Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All 3M.com Site Map

Whats in your water


By discovering what's in your water you can choose the filter that will best suit your needs. For example, if you live in a rural area your water may not be chlorinated and cysts may be an issue. In the same way, chlorination in urban areas can cause unpleasant-tasting drinking water.

The following table outlines some common problems for you to consider. To help you, we also explain some filtration terms and phrases in our glossary and hints section.

Contaminant Problem Effect of Contaminant Filter Choice
Bacteria
SEDIMENT
Plumbing and appliances can be damaged over time. Rust particles can cause brown, yellow or orange spots on clothing, fixtures and toilets. Water unpleasant to drink, with solids and discoloured water. Can block and damage internals of taps/shower roses and hot water cylinders. A sediment filter will reduce sand, silt particulates and rust.
Bacteria
TASTE & ODOUR
People often complain about taste and smell of chlorine in water. Water treatment plants use it to maintain a disinfection agent residual in the water. Unpleasant taste and odour. High levels of chlorine dry and irritate skin conditions. Can cause carcinogenic by-products when combined with certain contaminants common in most water sources. A Taste and Odour filter will reduce Chlorine, offensive tastes and odours. Some also reduce Chloramines, a by product from chlorination.
Bacteria
LEAD
Lead was often used in pipes and to solder pipes in houses built before 1986. Overtime water can leach lead and other heavy metals from brass taps and plumbing fittings. Lead consumption can cause health related development problems especially in infants and children. Some filters will reduce lead.
Bacteria
CYSTS
Encapsulated forms of single cell parasites that can be present in drinking water and resistant to normal chlorination. Ingested, cysts can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhoea in immune deficient people (children and elderly) and can cause death. A cyst filter will reduce Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Bacteria
SCALE
Hardness is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Hard water will reduce the ability to create lather and will also build up on heating elements and create scale - a hard deposit that forms in kettles etc. The build up of scale will reduce the efficiency of your kettle and will eventually cause the failure of the heating element. A scale reduction cartridge will minimise the formation of scale inside appliances.
Bacteria
BACTERIOSTATIC
Harmless heterotrophic bacteria can grow on the pores within the activated carbon block present in filter cartridges. It can be more severe if the cartridge is not used for a long period of time. The heterotrophic bacteria can impart an unfavourable taste to the water. A carbon block with bacteriostatic properties will reduce the growth of bacteria on the carbon block.