Home Drinking Water Quality

I’ve had a few friends ask me about my home water quality setup,
so I figured I’d make this post for wider accessibility.

If you want just straight tools / purchase recommendations,
skip down to the Recommendations section.


There were three methods for water filtration
that reoccurred frequently and stuck out to me
(note: this is certainly not an exhaustive list):
– Distillation
(see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distillation)
– Reverse Osmosis
(see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_osmosis)
– Ion Exchange
(see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_purification
and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion-exchange_membrane)

The best home methodology I found seemed to be a mix of all three,
but distillation requires more energy and time,
and I found it not practical for my current home setup.

The method I’ve found that works well for me currently is
1) Pass water through Reverse Osmosis (RO) system
2) Pass water through Ion Exchange (IE) System.

When the water comes out of the tap here in Central Florida,
I am measuring it to contain roughly
160 parts per million (PPM)
of total dissolved solids (TDS).

After passing through the RO system,
the PPM drops to 5-10.

After passing through the IE system,
PPM drops to zero.

Due to the smaller filter size,
and that my IE system creates no waste water,
I found it more logical to use the RO system for the first pass,
and use the IE system to filter out the water even further.
RO systems have about a 1:4 to 1:5 ratio of filtered to “waste” water.


For a Reverse Osmosis filtration,
most of the systems on
I would recommend.

However, I would recommend NOT getting one
that has an Ultraviolet (UV) filter,
as the size of biological materials these filters kills
gets filtered out in the process of RO anyway.
This seems gimmicky to me,
and not grounded in clear thining.

For Ion Exchange filtration,
I would recommend the products on

I personally use:
for first stage filtration,
followed by
for second stage filtration.

I would, however, not recommend the 20-cup filter,
as the button requires a fair bit of pressure to press.
One of the pitchers,
or a filter that has a toggle nozzle instead of a push nozzle
will likely be easier to use:

PS – If you are on a tighter budget,
purchasing only the Zero Water filter will achieve
a similar 0 ppm result,
but will chew through your filters quicker.