A guide to buy a quality water filter system

A quality water filter system must meet minimum standards and be effective in removing Cryptosporidiosis, gardia and other parasites.

Why ?

Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite affecting the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. It is shed in the feces in the form of an “oocyst,” which has a hard shell to protect it from the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Working Group on Waterborne Cryptosporidiosis :

"Waterborne Cryptosporidium outbreaks have occurred in both large and small communities, with the largest outbreak occurring in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993, affecting an estimated 403,000 people. Such outbreaks have caused major disruption to residents, businesses, and government. Infection with the Cryptosporidium organism may also have contributed to the premature deaths of immunosuppressed individuals in these outbreaks. Because of this, the finding of Cryptosporidium oocysts in many drinking water sources (rivers, lakes, and reservoirs), and occasionally even in treated water, has been a source of considerable concern to drinking water and public health officials, as well as to the public and the news media. Ordinary water disinfection methods cannot kill Cryptosporidium oocysts, and even the best filtration units may allow a few organisms to pass through in treated water. However, the health risks associated with the consumption of public drinking water supplies contaminated with small numbers of oocysts is unknown."

Package and Label information to look for in a water filter system.

Water filter system designed to remove crypto

Look for any of the four messages below on a package label. It indicate that the filter should be able to remove crypto.

  • Reverse osmosis (with or without NSF testing)

  • Absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller (with or without NSF testing)

  • Tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 or NSF Standard 58 for cyst removal

  • Tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 or NSF Standard 58 for cyst reduction

A water filter system labeled only with these words may NOT be designed to remove crypto

  • Nominal pore size of 1 micron or smaller

  • One micron filter

  • Effective against Giardia

  • Effective against parasites

  • Carbon filter

  • Water purifier

  • EPA approved — Caution: EPA does not approve or test filters

  • EPA registered — Caution: EPA does not register filters based on their ability to remove Cryptosporidium

  • Activated carbon

  • Removes chlorine

  • Ultraviolet light

  • Pentiodide resins

  • Water softener

In summary and to keep matters simple, look for a water filter system tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 or NSF Standard 58 for cyst removal/reduction.

Our personal reccommendation for a water filter system meeting
such a standard


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