Water is a very important part of human life. Our bodies are largely made up of water and being hydrated is a necessity for good health. Therefore, having water that is good and safe to drink is crucial. Since many off-grid locations require a well or rely on another source of water that is not filtered or processed by a city, having an off the grid water filtration system is a good way to ensure that the water is good to drink and will not be detrimental to health.
Finding the best-off grid water filter can be a daunting task. There are several factors to consider when looking for a filter. These include the level of filtration, any particular impurities that need to be filtered, the reason for filtering, the type of filter, and the technology used.
Level of Filtration
Many filters remove a variety of impurities, which include bacteria and other microbes as well as metals and resins. Basic filters may leave behind some things, while higher quality filters will remove much more, leaving the water safer.
Because the taste of water is largely related to minerals in the water, a filter that removes these may result in water that has no taste or is very bland. Some people may prefer a slightly lower filtration level for this reason, which is reasonable as long as the source is not contaminated.
Certain impurities can make it necessary to increase the level of filtration or to get a specific filter meant to remove that impurity. One such example is cryptosporidium, a microbe that can cause serious illness. Not all filters will remove this microbe, so it is wise to test the water source to determine if it will be required to purchase a filter that will remove it.
Other specific impurities include heavy metals such as lead, pharmaceuticals, and chlorine, among others.
Type of Filter
There are a lot of filter types of all sizes and shapes. There are a few most common types that are generally used. These include a pour-through filter such as the ones that fit inside a pitcher, one that mounts on the faucet, a larger countertop filter, an in-line filter installed under the sink, and a whole house filter that is installed where the water enters the house. Each has its own pros and cons. The only one that might not be usable if the source is contaminated with microbes is the whole house type, as it usually only removes sediment and occasionally chlorine.
Some of the technologies used in off grid water filters are simple, such as the particulate or mechanical filter, which is essentially a screen to block particles above a certain size. Carbon or adsorption filters capture impurities and are good for affecting the taste and smell of the water. Ion exchange units, often called softeners, replace hard metal ions with sodium or potassium chloride to ‘soften’ the water. Ultraviolet treatment kills germs. Reverse osmosis is a smaller filter similar to particulate and is often used in combination with a carbon filter. Distillation units turn the water into steam and keeps the purified water after the contaminants are dropped out; however, some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) survive the process.
Top Ten Off Grid Water Filters
In no particular order, here are ten top-rated water filters, ranging from pitcher to whole house options, as even off-grid properties often have running water indoors.
This pitcher is BPA free. It holds 18 cups of water and comes with three replacement filters. Its rectangle shape makes it easier to store on a countertop or in the refrigerator. It reduces chlorine, as well as metals such as copper, mercury, cadmium, and zinc (if they exist in the source water).
This filter attaches to the faucet and allows users to get water directly from the faucet or route it through the filter. This allows unfiltered water to be used for cooking and cleaning, so the filter will last longer for providing clean, fresh drinking water. It removes chlorine and makes the water taste better, and also removes sediment and rust. It uses a carbon filter which removes contaminants and adds minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium to the water. Each replaceable filter will process up to 1,500 gallons of water; this usually lasts 3-6 months depending on frequency of use and the quality of the source water.
Though made of BPA-free plastic, this pitcher has a glass-like look. The filter reduces limescale chlorine, as well as metals such as mercury, copper, lead, and more. It is also effective against pesticides and phenols, plus other impurities and substances. Its large capacity and long-lasting filter make this a great choice for a family.
Meant for Hydro Flask bottles but usable with other brands, this American made filter removes 99.9% of contaminants from tap water. A large straw increases the flow rate.
The reinforced stainless-steel inlet/outlet makes this whole house filter more durable. It reduces sand, silt, and residue in all parts of the house to help appliances that use water to work longer and do a great job.
This filter fits on standard faucets and filters up to 320 gallons of water. Easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water with the switch. This filter removes detrimental components while retaining minerals that are beneficial to the body, which also preserves taste.
Each filter will provide up to 1700 cups (105 gallons) of purified water with a high (alkaline) pH level. This will last about a month for an average person who consumes 8 cups daily. This filter can be used with any container desired.
This NSF 42 certified filter reduces chlorine, lead, arsenic, fluoride, and more. It has a multi-stage filtration technology that cleans the water efficiently, including carbon filtration. An LED light alerts users to the need to replace the filter after 200 gallons. The filter is easy to replace.
The three-stage water filter system has a .5-micron filter with high precision that cleans out 99.9% of lead, chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, VOCs, heavy metals, and more. The water can flow up to two gallons per minute and is able to fill up a cup of water in less than five seconds. It is built strong to resist leaks or cracks.
This USA-made filtration system is high quality and made to remove over 1000 different contaminants, including VOCs, toxins like lead, arsenic, and nitrates, and other dissolved solids. The premium filters are long-lasting, and the system comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty when registered. Leak-free fittings protect your home while providing fresh, clear water.