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What Filters Do You REALLY Need for Clean Drinking Water?

For Malaysia, waters that have been filtered and treated by water consortium such as SYABAS, are essentially clean until water enters in cities or towns that have not replaced old water pipes in decades. What they have done is to remove large sediments and provide chlorination to kill any bacteria.

While the local municipal council are gradually replacing old piping systems (especially rusty ones), there is a need to remove built up sediments. This applies the same for water storage tanks. Stagnant water tends to bacteria and sediments without periodic cleaning. You may use some filters to filter tap water.

water filter malaysia

What are the filters I need to use?

There are two main concerns when it comes to tap: sediments and chlorine

You can use a sediment filter made from polypropylene (PP filter) or ceramic. Go for 1 micron size to remove the bulk of sediments. PP filters will need to be replaced while ceramics can be brushed clean and used again.

The second filter will be a carbon block. This removes chlorine taste and smell and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).

An optional 3rd filter will be an Ultrafiltration (UF) filter. It can remove particles down to about 0.01 micron. It helps to remove bacteria or virus in the water. But since water already has chlorination, this filter can be used if water comes directly from a storage tank where there are concerns of potential bacterial growth that comes from stagnation. UF filters retains consumable minerals.

3 stage water filter

What about extra filters? Does it perform any better?

Adding anymore filters does not make the water any cleaner or safer to drink. In fact, adding more filters such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) will further remove minerals which are beneficial for consumption and adds more unnecessary cost. The pore size is 0.0005 micron for RO filters and it causes the water pressure to drop and lead to slow water tank refill rate. It does not really perform any better than a UF filter.

The same can be said for alkaline filters, it certainly will not make the water anymore ‘healthier’ as even our stomach has hydrochloric acid to digest food and liquid.

So, unless you have a very specific health need for reverse osmosis or alkaline water which has been confirmed by a doctor; there is no need for additional filters.

Just the Sediment, Carbon Block and maybe an Ultrafiltration will do.

Some brands will brag that they use up to 5 or 6 filters. But you really got ask, does it make the water any better or it’s just more expensive things to pay for?


So, depending on your budget and requirements, you can go for a simple 2 or 3 stage filter that dispenses immediately after filtration. No hot or cold temperature; just a casing to house the filters and a dispensing point. Or you can opt for a decent looking water purifier with temperatures that you need and looks good on your kitchen countertop.

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1) https://www.appliedmembranes.com/ultrafiltration-water-treatment.html

2) http://freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/10/17/okay-to-drink-tap-water-but/

3) https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2018/10/20/malaysias-water-safe-to-drink-straight-from-tap-says-span/1684932

4) https://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/alkaline-diets