Activated Carbon Filters: What Do They Remove From Water?

Activated Carbon Filters: What Do They Remove From Water?

Activated Carbon Filters: What Do They Remove From Water?

You should be looking into different water treatment options if you are concerned about your water quality. Water filters are generally very effective in reducing contaminants, unpleasant odors, and bad taste from water. Activated carbon filters have extraordinary abilities, which are not available in ordinary filters. However, activated carbon water filters can target and remove specific contaminants in water. It is important to know what contaminants it removes or reduces.

Today, carbon filters are a leading player in water filtration. It is possible that activated carbon block filters have unique properties that can effectively remove up to 99 percent of total suspended solids, volatile organic compounds, sediment, heavy metals, chloramines, and other contaminants from drinking water.

What Is A Carbon Filter?

Activated carbon filters, also known as activated charcoal filters, are not like traditional water filters. They are made up of small, porous sponges or black beads that have been processed to better trap impurities. It is first injected with heat or steam to increase the carbon’s surface area. The activation process opens up more pores to allow carbon to absorb and trap a wider range of contaminants. This makes carbon far more effective as filter media.

The carbon particles have a large surface area, which allows them to be exposed to as many active sites in the filter media as possible. This ensures that the pollutants are absorbed/removed at their maximum potential. A pound (450g), of activated carbon, has a surface area of approximately 100 acres. This is nearly three times that of The Pentagon.

This, along with other amazing properties, make activated carbon a great medium for removing impurities from water by adsorption. It is also used to create respiratory masks and in exhaust fans and air conditioners to remove unwanted odors such as animal and smoke fumes.

What Does Active Carbon Filters Do To Water?

Paragon Waters Solutions’s water is treated by carbon cartridges filters using a process known as adsorption. The activated carbon acts as a sponge and absorbs contaminants in water by absorbing them. Simply put, activated carbon acts like a sponge with a large surface area and absorbs the contaminants.

The liquid’s dissolved impurities move to the areas with the strongest attractive forces. Because the attractive forces that keep the contaminants dissolved in the fluid are stronger than their attraction, the contaminants are attracted to the carbon surface. The filtered water then flows to the next stage, if necessary.

Activated carbon filters are used to remove chemicals such as chlorine or other chemicals that don’t adhere to carbon. Activated catalytic carbon, which is more reactive than regular carbon, chemically alters chlorine molecules and converts them into salt.

Are All Carbon Filters Are The Same?

Although activated carbon filters can remove much more pollutants than regular carbon, there are some differences. Some filters have more activated carbon than others. This can affect their filtering ability, absorb speed, and other factors. A high level of activated carbon can extend the filter’s lifespan. It will therefore require fewer replacements and produce filtered water longer.

Different Types Of Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are available in two types: granular activated charcoal (GAC) and carbon block filters. GAC filter contains loose, millimeter-sized granules made of activated carbon. These filters can detect and filter contaminants that might otherwise go unnoticed by other types. These filters use coconut shell, coconut shell, wood, coal, and other media, with coconut shell carbon being the most renewable.GAC filters have many great benefits. However, contaminants can sometimes get through GAC filters.

Carbon block filters on the other hand are made from finely ground granules, usually less than 1 micron in size, and a binding agent. This holds the granules together so that they don’t move around. The pellets are combined with the binding agent and heated to form blocks. There are three types of media that can be used in a carbon filter: coconut-shell media and bituminous coal.

GAC filters have 7-10 times the surface area of carbon block filters, and they prevent channeling. The granules’ compact structure may result in a slower flow rate. This could be a problem for some.

What Contaminants Do Carbon Block Water Filters Remove?

Activated carbon filters are excellent at removing many contaminants from water. This includes chemicals, gas, and physical impurities. NSF International and the Environmental Protection Agency (USA) claim that activated charcoal filters can remove 60 to 80 chemicals from water and reduce 30 more. They also moderately reduce 22 other contaminants. Two things are important to consider when determining the system’s ability to remove or reduce these contaminants.

  1. Type of activated carbon (GAC or block)
  2. The quality of activated carbon

You must make sure that your tap water is free of any problem-causing contaminants. The EPA recommends activated charcoal filtration technology for water treatment. This technology is capable of eliminating almost all known herbicides, pesticides, and inorganic contaminants.

These are just a few of the water contaminants that activated charcoal filters can remove or reduce.


Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS for short, is a water and stain-resistant synthetic compound that is widely used to make carpets, fire-fighting foams, furniture, paper packaging for food, clothing fabric, and other materials that are resistant to water, grease, or stains. PFOS chemicals can be difficult to break down, which means they can remain in the environment and water sources for many decades. Exposure to PFOS chemicals at higher levels can cause adverse effects. This includes congenital disabilities, cancers, and liver effects. Activated carbon filters can effectively remove PFAS including PFAS and PFOS as well as PFNA.


High-quality activated charcoal filters can remove pharmaceutical residue from drinking water. The World Health Organization describes pharmaceuticals as “synthetic and natural chemicals that can potentially be found in prescription medications, over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, and veterinary drugs.” They can also get into water sources via human waste, improper disposal of drugs (e.g. flushing drugs down sinks or toilets), or agricultural runoff containing livestock manure. Pharmaceutical residues can have a significant impact on aquatic life if they are allowed to accumulate in the environment. Even worse, they can leach into water wells.


There are many sources of phosphate in water, including runoff, pet, and human sewage, chemical manufacturing, and other sources. Although phosphate is essential for plant growth, excess phosphate can cause water to cloudy from algal bloom. Premium charcoal filters can remove as much as 90% of the phosphates from the water.


American water disinfectant of choice is chlorine. Nearly every U.S. water provider uses chlorination before dispensing water to customers. To kill bacteria and other pathogens that can make water taste and smell bad, chlorine is used. However, despite its amazing disinfecting power, studies show that people who consume chlorinated water are at least 93% more likely to get sick than those who drink water without it. Some activated carbon filters can be used to remove chlorine and the unpleasant smell and taste that it causes. Premium activated carbon filters can remove 95% of free chlorine from some water sources.

Chorine Byproducts

When chlorine used to treat water reacts naturally with compounds in the water, harmful chlorine byproducts can form, such as VOCs and THMs. The long-term exposure of some of these toxic byproducts can lead to cancer, birth defects, and other unwelcome diseases. The activated carbon filter is the best way to remove chlorine byproducts. According to the EPA, the technology eliminates 32 of the most well-known chlorine byproducts. This includes the most common tap water report byproduct: total THMs (TTHMs).


Chloride is a key ingredient in the chlorination of drinking water. W.H.O states that chloride levels above 250 mg/liter could cause a detectable salty taste in water …”. This is especially true for those on low-sodium diets and people with certain health conditions.


Activated carbon filters have been tested and designed to remove 14 of the most common pesticides that could be found in water. These pesticides include Chlordecone/CLD/Kepone, Chlordane, and Heptachlor. Lindane is also included in the Round-up. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences defines Pesticides as any substance that is used to kill, repel or control certain types of plant or animal life considered pests. These substances include herbicides and fungicides. These agricultural chemicals can easily reach water-bearing groundwater aquifers because of their widespread use. Short-term adverse effects on health can be caused by pesticides, but long-term effects can persist for months or even years.


Global agriculture has used herbicides for many centuries. This is primarily to control undesirable weeds and increase production. These chemicals can sometimes be uncontrolled and end up in water supplies, affecting non-target aquatic organisms as well as humans. Some herbicides may cause cancer in humans. Activated carbon has been tested and shown to be able to remove 12 common herbicides including 2,4-D weedkiller and atrazine.


Lithium, a trace metal naturally occurring in the earth’s soil and mineral formations, can also be found in water. The presence of lithium in tap water can be used as a stress-relieving and antidepressant. We must be aware of the potential health risks that metal can have on our bodies, even if more research is done. The lithium content in drinking water can be reduced by charcoal filters up to 90%

Do You Need A Carbon Block Filter?

The type and concentration of contaminants in your water will determine whether you should use a carbon or non-carbon filter in your home. In the event that any of the harmful pollutants activated carbon filters remove, or reduce, it is possible to install one.

A home water quality test can be used to quickly and accurately check the water quality in your home. These tests are affordable and easily accessible. They also provide quick and useful results that are easy to understand. We offer reliable, high-quality, and affordable water testing kits which test for many contaminants in drinking water within a matter of minutes.

You can also contact your local water provider to request a copy of their annual water quality report. This usually contains useful information about your area’s water quality. Or if you want to take the more expensive, time-consuming, but more accurate-results-producing route, you can take a water sample from your home and send it to a laboratory in your area for testing.

Back to the question “Should you install a carbon block filter?” A carbon filter can be a smart investment if your water quality tests return positive for any of these contaminants. You can still install one even if your tests come back negative.

There are two options available to you if you want to buy and install activated carbon filters.

Point-of-entry (POE) filters

POE filters are connected to your main water line. They filter all water that passes through your home before it reaches the water dispensers. This includes faucets, toilets, and showers, as well as kitchen and laundry water. A whole-house filtration system is the most popular type of POE system. Whole-house filters are used to remove contaminants from your water supply before they reach your taps.

The Paragon Waters Solutions water filtration system uses the same POE technology and other unique materials to provide clean and great-tasting filtered water. It utilizes catalytic activated coco shell carbon and other innovative filtration techniques and technologies to remove 99.9% of harmful water contaminants including PFOS and PFOA.

Our whole-house systems use catalytic activated coconut carbon made from high-quality coconut shells. This activated carbon greatly improves the efficiency of removing contaminants and accelerates the decomposition of chloramines, chlorine byproducts, and other chemicals.

The preferred carbon in POE systems is coconut shell-activated carbon. This is probably because it removes VOCs and THMs as well as hydrogen peroxides and hydrogen sulfides. Plus, it is more environmentally friendly than most other forms of activated carbon since coconut trees are not destroyed during harvesting.

The CF1 has a remarkable filtration capability that prevents water pressure drops. It is simple to install and maintain. The system comes with a lifetime warranty, six-month money-back guarantee, and free shipping

Point-of-use (POU) filters

Although they achieve similar results, POU filters should not be confused with POE systems. They are generally less expensive and offer a more consistent experience. POU filters can be installed at one fixture to treat water right where it is needed, usually under the sink in the bathroom or kitchen.

The most popular type of system is the reverse osmosis system. These systems include Paragon Waters Solutions’s reverse osmosis water filtration system, which can be placed under the sink. These filtration systems can remove contaminants from water, including lead, copper, and fluoride as well as chlorine, arsenic. aluminum, chloramines, herbicides, and pesticides. They can be installed under almost any sink, and deliver 75 gallons of water every day to your home. These are the ideal solution if you need to treat water from specific taps within your home.

Last Thoughts

The activated carbon filter is a great water treatment technology. It can solve many water-contamination problems that most of us deal with every day. However, there are some exceptions you should consider.

Be sure to do your research before you buy an activated carbon filter

  • Which specific contaminants is it capable of removing and reducing?
  • Type of activated carbon used (granular, block, etc.).
  • Which filter media is it using (e.g. wood, coconut shell carbon, or coal)
  • You can use any of the above methods to determine the current water quality in your home.
  • You need to filter water where you live, in particular points, or throughout your home.
  • Your budget

Why Choose Us?

If you are looking for the best Water Filter manufacturer then look no further. Paragon Water Solutions has been around for decades and can provide easy solutions to any water problems in your home. There are many products available, including 3 stage reverse osmosis filter system, 4 stage reverse osmosis filter system, RO filter replacement, carbon block water filter, and under sink water filters. Our company is customer-driven and has a passion to save lives from water-borne illnesses. All water products are designed, engineered, assembled, and manufactured in our laboratories. They can be customized to meet your specific needs. If you have problems with your water filtration or if your water is not being cleaned properly, go straight to the water filter manufacturer Paragon Water Solutions, contact us today!