• CALL  (02) 9000 1998   9AM - 5PM   MON - FRI

Do I Need A Water Filter For My House?

by Andrew Steer on May 23, 2023

Why Do I Need A Water Filter For My House? 



The water authorities across Australia have guidelines that set out requirements for both public health and the appearance of water. Tap water must pass both the health requirements and turbidity, colour, taste and odour tests. However, some of the treatments that make water safe for distribution across a city introduce contaminants and chemicals that are not beneficial to human health.

Having a water filter in your house ensures the quality and safety of your drinking water. Here are some of reasons why you might consider using a water filter; 


1. Removal of Contaminants:

Water filters can effectively remove or reduce various contaminants from your tap water. These contaminants may include chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals (such as lead, mercury, and arsenic), pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceutical residues, and other harmful chemicals . Filtering your water can reduce the long-term health risks associated with these contaminants. 

  • Does Australian water contain chloramine?

Yes - the vast majority of Sydney Water and treatment plants across Australia is treated with chloramine to remove bacteria and other micro-organisms that are harmful to people. In some longer pipelines ammonia is also added to ensure the disinfection of the water right up to your tap . Chloramines have been used for almost 90 years as disinfectants to treat drinking water. Although chloramines are less efficient than free chlorine in killing or inactivating pathogens, they generate less trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). They are also more stable than free chlorine, thus providing longer disinfection contact time within the drinking water distribution system. Source: Sydney Water

  1. Pesticides and herbicides: These can leach into waterways in rural areas. Some are potentially carcinogenic and live in the environment for a long time. While low concentrations of these chemicals have sometimes been found, our drinking water is usually free of them when tested. However, not all water authorities check for them regularly.
  2. Nitrate/nitrite: The main sources for these chemicals in waterways are sewage and fertiliser run-off. Groundwater supplies in rural areas are most likely to have high nitrate concentrations. While nitrate itself is harmless, it can be converted into nitrite, which mainly poses a problem to babies and young children – it can reduce the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. In areas where nitrate is a problem, the water supplier will usually advise people to use bottled or rainwater for children under three months.
  3. Chlorine and chlorination by-products: Chlorine or chloramine is usually added to kill bugs in the water that passes through the treatment plant and to protect against recontamination while the water's travelling through the distribution system. However, these chemicals can – depending on a number of parameters – react with naturally occurring organic substances in the water to form potentially harmful by-products (mainly so-called trihalomethanes, or THM). The Drinking Water Guidelines state a maximum concentration for these by-products. They also point out that while their concentration should be minimised, the disinfection of drinking water must not be compromised. The risk posed by by-products is considerably smaller than that posed by the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.
  4. Fluoride: This has been added to drinking water since the 1960s and 1970s as it has a proven record of reducing tooth decay. However, fluoride protection is now available from more sources, like many toothpastes or from fluoride treatments applied by your dentist. Critics say fluoridated water is unnecessary, as it may lead to dental fluorosis (mottled teeth) in people who get too much, and we don't know the potential health risk of drinking fluoridated water over a lifetime.
  5. Aluminium: Chemicals containing aluminium are used in a process called flocculation, which removes suspended particles from the water, making it clearer. While most of the aluminium used can be filtered out of the water, small amounts may pass through. Some water authorities have phased out the use of aluminium chemicals in favour of alternatives.


Water Contamination


2. Removal of Pathogens:

Filtering your water helps protect you and your family from potential waterborne illnesses caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Microbiological risks in your water can include;

  1. Bacteria: Most pathogenic bacteria found in water come from contamination by human or animal faeces. Disinfection (for example, with chlorine) usually kills all bacteria. Another potential threat is bacteria growing in the water mains. That's why water suppliers try to ensure there's a residue of chlorine to protect the water on its way from the treatment plant to your home.
  2. Protozoa: This group includes cryptosporidium and giardia. These can cause severe illness, and their cysts can often resist disinfection.
  3. Viruses: Some viruses that can be found in water are potentially harmful. While disinfecting the water usually kills most viruses, some may survive and make you sick. However, it's not known how big a problem this is in Australia, as the source of a viral infection (whether it's water, food or contact with another infected person) is difficult to trace. Source: Choice


3. Improved Taste and Odor:

Some tap water may have an unpleasant taste or odor due to chlorine, sulfur compounds, or other contaminants. Using a water filter can help eliminate these undesirable tastes and smells, providing you with cleaner and more refreshing drinking water. The improvements in taste, odor, and clarity allows for the full enjoyment of the water taste and will allow you to drink the right amount of water to adequately hydrate. 


4. Cost Savings:

While the initial investment in a water filter may seem significant, it can save you money in the long run. By filtering your tap water, you can reduce or eliminate the need to purchase bottled water, which is often more expensive and contributes to plastic waste


5. Protection for Sensitive Individuals:

People with compromised immune systems, infants, pregnant women, and the elderly are often more vulnerable to the effects of waterborne contaminants. Installing a water filter can offer an additional layer of protection for these individuals and give you peace of mind.


6. Environmental Benefits:

Filtering your own tap water reduces the demand for bottled water, which in turn helps reduce plastic waste and the carbon footprint associated with production and transportation. It's a more sustainable choice for the environment.


7. Versatility:

Water filters come in various types and sizes, allowing you to customize your filtration system based on your specific needs. You can install filters directly on your faucet, use pitcher filters, or even opt for whole-house filtration systems to ensure clean water throughout your home.


Remember that the effectiveness of a water filter depends on its type and quality and it's important to note that the specific contaminants present in your water may vary depending on your location.


Water Filter



Types of problems with your water

Except for microorganisms and lead, most of these contaminants are an aesthetic rather than a health problem, as long as they don't occur in very high concentrations. 

What's the problem? Symptom Likely cause
Stained plumbing and clothes Red or brown, black-green or blue Iron, manganese, copper.
Reddish-brown slime in water and pipes Slime Iron (bacteria that feed on the iron cause the slime).
Discoloured water Cloudy, black-red, brown or yellow Turbidity (fine suspended particles – air bubbles may also cause water to be temporarily cloudy when it comes out of the tap), hydrogen sulphide, iron, manganese, humic and tannic acids.
Unusual taste or odour Rotten egg, metallic, salty, musty, earthy, bleach-like, petrol Hydrogen sulphide, pH (acid-alkaline balance) is too low, iron, zinc, copper, lead, total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, bacteria or algae, chlorine, paint soaking into plastic piping used for newer houses.
Corrosive water Deposits, pitting of plumbing pH, copper, lead.
Source: Originally NSF International (formerly the US National Sanitation Foundation). Updated with help from Sydney Water. 


Contact our sales team on 02 9000 1998 to see how we can help get the water you want from your tap!