questions and answers about carbon block water filters

Questions & Answers about TAPP 5-stage Carbon Block Water Filters

We receive a lot of questions about carbon block water filters from existing and prospective customers every day. What is the advantage of carbon block water filters, what do they remove, are they BPA free and more. The answers in this article cover EcoPro (previously TAPP 2), EcoPro Compact and PitcherPro.

Here’s a selection of questions that people have asked us during the past year that we thought could be valuable to share.

My tap water doesn’t taste as good as it did when I started using EcoPro. How can I fix it?

Tips for customers who are not satisfied with the taste of the filtered water:
1. Change cartridge in less than 3 months.
2. Flush filter with water for 30 seconds if not used for a some days.
3. Reduce the water pressure when filtering, lower is always better.
4. Temperature also affects the taste. Try cooling the water in the fridge.

Does EcoPro carbon block water filters reduce or remove oestrogen/estradiol and endocrine disrupters from tap water?

Yes, according to multiple studies and lab tests TAPP activated carbon filters are very effective in removing pharmaceuticals including oestrogen and endocrine from tap water.

Does EcoPro reduce TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)?


A high TDS reading is NOT an indication of a poor filter. It's the trace minerals in water that result in different TDS readings. Our filters are designed to filter out contaminants as well as chemicals (e.g. chlorine) that impact the taste of tap water. At the same time we want to keep the healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, bicarbonates, etc that are the main constituents of TDS. In fact many bottled mineral waters have very high TDS (250 or higher). Therefore TAPP Water filters don't reduce TDS.

Unfortunately you won't be able to measure the reduction of heavy metals, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, etc with a TDS meter. To check this we would need a water sample.

If you contact us and tell us where you live then we can find your local water quality report to see what the issues you experience might be. We are here to help you if possible.

I would like to know how your device prevents the formation of bacteria inside the cartridge?

Great question. Bacteria has historically been a major issue in activated carbon as well as reverse osmosis (RO) filters. As a matter of fact many tests have shown that there is more bacteria in the filtered water than unfiltered for RO filters and pitchers. The solution to this is to use silver-impregnated activated carbon but this is bad for the environment and may also cause some health concerns.

TAPP Water has chosen to use the highest quality activated carbon (Aquasorb HS by Jacobi) without silver. We weighted the pros and cons of including bacteria inhibitors and based on testing we've proven that it's not required. Faucet filters have an advantage as the water going through is relatively high pressure.

If you use the TAPP faucet filter every day then the bacteria growth inside the filter is very limited and below all safety thresholds. However, if you are away for a few days then you should always flush the filter for 20-30 seconds before use. Furthermore after 3-4 months the filter gets clogged with contaminants which may cause increases in bacteria growth and this is why the cartridge refills should always be changed every 3 months.

Does the TAPP filters filter out pesticides and herbicides - glyphosate/ roundup in particular?


Yes, our filters are efficient in removing Organic contaminants such as pesticides and herbicides (such as glyphosate and roundup). For more information about contaminants' removal, check our blog https://tappwater.co/en/what-activated-carbon-filters-remove/ water filter herbicide pesticide roundup

Is it true that tap water in Spain is among Europe’s most dangers in terms of causing bladder cancer?

Unfortunately yes. Read more here.

Thankfully EcoPro is proven to reduce chlorine by-products and thus the risk of bladder cancer by more than 80%.

Do TAPP carbon block water filters remove PFAS?

Yes. Researchers found that activated carbon filters such as Essential remove 74% of PFAS contaminants on average, and microfiltration carbon block filters such as EcoPro are some of the most effective filters at reducing PFAS levels, averaging more than 94% reduction! https://www.wqpmag.com/pfas/new-report-explores-effectiveness-water-filters-remove-pfas

Can TAPP activated carbon filters remove BPA and BPS?

Yes. Activated Carbon is used to remove BPA (Bisphenol A) and BPS (Bisphenol S)
BPS is often used as a replacement to BPA to comply with BPA-free requirements and marketing. However, it could have same/similar adverse health impact as BPA.

Activated Carbon as used in TAPP Water filters is also used in large scale waste water filtration and has been proven to be effective in adsorbing and thus filtering out BPA and BPS from water. We have not tested this ourselves but there is sufficient amount of scientific evidence that this is effective.

Source: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7995448

Would you kindly send me the studies carried out to show the reduction in pathogens with the TAPP water carbon block filtration system please?

EcoPro is intended for chlorinated public tap water which doesn’t contain pathogens (bacteria or viruses). However, with a micron rating of 1-2 the physical filtration will remove all bacteria larger than 1-2 micrometers in diameter. Our tests of tap water in Bali with eColi confirmed this.

However, if you have issues with bacteria in your tap water we would recommend a UV or ultrafiltration filter. See TAPP 1 UF / Ultra.

Also see https://tappwater.co/en/complete-list-activated-carbon-filtration/

Does TAPP 2 filter oxide/rust?

Yes, EcoPro filters/reduces the oxidated metals, known as heavy metals, such as Iron, lead and Copper (especially larger pieces) efficiently but won't remove entirely. We've tested with yellow/brown water from a boiler and the water came out completely clean. Note however that it will only work for a short period with very contaminated water as the filters adsorption capacity will be used up.

Does the TAPP activated carbon filter remove copper and by how much?

Based on independent tests of EcoPro between 80-100% of copper is filtered.

https://tappwater.co/us/tapp-2-independent-lab-test/

Does TAPP Water Filters have NSF accreditation?

EcoPro, EcoPro Compact and PitcherPro are tested in accordance with NSF-42 and NSF-53 but does not have certification as we are constantly improving the product and would have to redo the certification every time which takes 4-6 months.

See our independent lab testing of TAPP Water filters for more information.

I need to know if TAPP activated carbon filters filter COD, DBO5, SST? Also what are the percentages of the removal parameters and the densities that are removed by TAPP and reverse osmosis filters?

These are industrial waste chemicals / contaminants. If you think or know there is a risk of these chemicals being found in the local tap water above legal limits then it’s not advisable to use our filters. Although activated carbon has been found efficient in reducing / removing COD, DBO5 and SST we haven’t tested this ourselves. Therefore we cannot guarantee that EcoPro will remove these contaminants. With regards to RO filters we cannot give you an answer.

Can you supply an ultrafiltration TAPP Water Faucet Filter?

Yes, check out Ultra by TAPP Water that filters 99.99% of bacteria.

Does TAPP Water filters with activated carbon reduce selenium?

Activated carbon that is contained in our filter does not remove Selenium. Selenium can be removed from drinking water by one of the following methods: reverse osmosis, distillation, strong base anion exchange filtering, and activated alumina adsorption.

However it’s likely that polyphosphate used to reduce limescale reduces selenium as the same process as removing calcium and magnesium ions seems to work with selenium ions. But would need to be tested. Don't think we ever found enough selenium in tap water.

Generally selenium is considered a healthy mineral in small amounts. There is even selenium infused bottled water.

I've just received a EcoPro from you in Malta. Out of curiosity I tested the pH as I have aquariums that need water tested. Although pH equipment is not fully accurate it's a liquid testing kit (not strips). I got a reading of something between 8.5 and 9 (closer to 9). Is this something to be concerned about after long term use?

TAPP filters may increase pH slightly by 0.1-0.2 points to make it more alkaline but not more than this. However, I would definitely be worried if the water pH is really that high in an aquarium. It should be about 6.8-8.0.

According to your website, the carbon block removes nitrates, fluorides,... amongst others with an activated carbon (AC) block made from (microporeus) coconut shell based AC. On top, it removes pharmaceutical molecules with carbon chains of 14, 15 and 18 C atoms.
Does the carbon block only contain AC, or does it contain something else in order to remove molecules that are, according to my knowledge, very hard to adsorb with (virgin) AC?

Thank you for your question. This is a common question and we’ve spent a lot of effort researching and testing the reduction of pharmaceuticals and other unwanted substances in the tap water. We cannot test for everything ourselves so therefore our filtering specifications are based on a combination of
A) testing in our lab and third party labs
B) testing by other water filtration companies that use activated carbon without other filtering stages
C) public research on the efficiency of activated carbon

For example here’s research purely on activated carbons efficiency of pharmaceutical removal (although in several stages):
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24901634/

One reason why we may have slightly higher efficiency as well is that we use catalytic activated carbon in the carbon block.

Why does the water conductivity and TDS increase after TAPP Water filtration in your lab tests?

The materials (coconut shell activated carbon) the carbon block is made of releases ions that contribute to higher conductivity. See independent testing lab results.

Do you have any info on medical interaction of carbon active filtered water and medicines? Like estrogen, seizure medicine, etc... Did you do any kind of research or test on that?
Also I am using your filters and never saw any kind of warning or note about this anywhere.

No, there is no scientific evidence that the activated carbon residue from the filter would have any ability to adsorb pharmaceuticals or any other chemicals in your body. It's simply too diluted with the tap water that has been filtered.

Does TAPP Water activated carbon filters filter Sodium?

No. Sodium is an essential mineral that we need. Tap water in Barcelona for example has about 100 mg/L which is well below the 2300 mg recommended maxium sodium per day even if you drink 3 L. For babies the recommended limit is 400mg per day so the baby has to drink a lot of water or baby formula to go beyond this.
https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/sodium.pdf

How does EcoPro filter limescale?

We've spent the past 4 years in research and development for limescale filtration. We tested and discarded for example ion exchange resins used by Brita due to taste issues and inefficacy. The solution and formula we use is therefore a company secret. What we can say is that it's a proprietary formula with materials approved by the EU and NSF to be used with water filtration.

Does TAPP activated carbon filters filter residue from pipe paint sch as casting type polyester and MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)?

More details: We live in high-floored apartment. The mains water first fills into the warehouse of the apartmet and from there it's going to the faucet of the flats. The material of our water warehouse is polyester. Repairs were made due to a split in the warehouse 3 months ago. Materials named Casting Type Polyester and MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) were used in this repair made for the bonding of the injured part. These materials were mixed with water a little, and right after the repair, we smelled these chemicals from our tap water. I have a 2-month-old baby, I have just had a bath with drinking water, but the days I will have it with tap water are near. I also have neighbors with similar concerns. If these chemicals are still in the water, does your product purify them as well?

MEK is banned in Europe and the US from being used as coating. I would assume the coating is applied on the outside?

Activated carbon is highly effective in adsorbing methyl ethyl ketone with low concentrations according to multiple studies. It might be advisable to change the cartridge every 2 months the first couple of months though just in case.

So yes, EcoPro will offer a good solution in this case.

What is the carbon footprint, pollution and other environmental impact from the production of TAPP Water filters?

TAPP Water is constantly working on ensuring that our products have a positive environmental impact:
* The carbon footprint is the lowest of any quality water filter available today: https://tappwater.co/us/carbon-footprint-bottled-water/
* We use the minimum amount of plastic available
* The plastic cartridge housing is fully reusable and recyclable
* The carbon block is made from the highest quality and sustainable activated carbon from Jacobi. Read more here: https://www.jacobi.net/sustainability-journey/

What is the minimum water pressure for TAPP faucet water filters to be used?

Normal water pressure is 1-2 bar and TAPP faucet water filters work with as little as 0.25 - 0.5 bar.

What is the maximum temperature to use TAPP activated carbon filters with?

Actually there is no limit. But the higher the temperature, the lower the filter efficiency will be. Therefore we recommend to use it with cold water (the coldest possible from the tap).

My son has just been diagnosed with leukemia and I would like to know whether your filters are good for him?

So sorry to hear this. The straight answer is that a water filter is always a good protection for your home and especially vulnerable infants and children as it reduces the risk of contaminants and bacteria. But of course you should listen to the health advice from his doctor first in case they have specific recommendations.

Does the TAPP faucet water filter also filter out perchlorate?

Short answer is no.

Perchlorate is a tricky substance to filter for because it only responds to 2 types of treatment:

1. Destructive (biological, chemical, or electrochemical)
2. Physical removal (anion exchange or RO)

More on it here:
https://www.wqpmag.com/perchlorate-removal

Perchlorate can only be removed with ion exchange or reverse osmosis, not with carbon block.

Is the black carbon block inside TAPP Water filters biodegradable?

It’s made of activated carbon from coconut shells and a binder that holds the carbon block together and makes it so dense. The activated carbon is entirely compostable. However, the binder is inert but not compostable according to European standards.

To our knowledge there is no binder available that is approved for composting so therefore any filter manufacturer that claims that their carbon block is compostable is probably poorly informed or lying. Read more here: https://tappwater.co/en/european-standards-for-biodegradable-and-compostable-products/

How can TAPP filter limescale without reducing hardness?

A lot of people keep on asking about how limescale removal/reduction works. The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals. When hard water is heated, such as in a home water heater, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form.

Basically there are two methods to prevent limescale
A) remove the calcium and magnesium ions from the water, so that calcium and magnesium carbonates cannot form
B) prevent calcium and magnesium ions from forming calcium and magnesium carbonates

Method A: Most Water Softeners and pitchers
Water softeners using e.g. ion exchange resins, swap the calcium ions for sodium ions. This is why the water becomes salty. Water softeners typically separate out the calcium and magnesium ions as waste water.

Method B: TAPP Water
Our proprietary limescale inhibitor forms a complex with inorganic contaminants and prevents them from forming hard scale, staining, etc. It forms a protective coating of insoluble mineral scale in the coffee maker, tea kettle, water pitchers, etc.

The positive thing is that Calcium and Magnesium does not get reduced and the water doesn’t taste salty. On the negative side you may still have some white grains/bubbles in the water from the Calcium and Magnesium ions.

Read more about how to filter limescale and how TAPP filters do it.

TAPP Water filters don't reduce water hardness.

What heavy metals does TAPP carbon block filters reduce/remove?

The most common heavy metals from the periodic table are Cobol, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Zinc. There are many more within the weight/density definition but generally very rare/uncommon. The most common ones found in tap water are copper, iron and lead as well as trace amounts of mercury, nickel and zinc. Iron, cobalt and zinc are also considered essential minerals but the amounts in tap water are generally not great enough to add any nutritional value.

TAPP Water Filters are tested to reduce toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel and manganese by 90% or more. It may also reduce healthy minerals such as iron and zinc but Unfortunately the filter technology cannot separate out healthy minerals from the bad heavy metals.

See What TAPP filters for more information.

For more questions and answers about the TAPP products see our FAQ page or contact support.

Please send your questions to magnus@tappwater.com

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