What’s in your water?


I never thought about how good water filters were until I ordered a ZeroWater filter and it included a water testing tool.  They claim their filter results in water with 0 PPM (parts per million).  The higher the number means more particles and contaminants that not only make water taste bad but can also be bad for your health. It’s time for an experiment.


I tested my tap water, a bottle of spring water, and the ZeroWater filter:

Tap Water - 159 PPM
Tap Water – 159 PPM
Acadia Bottle Water -  24 PPM
Bottle Water – 24 PPM
ZeroWater - 0 PPM
ZeroWater – 0 PPM






My tap water clocked in at 159 PPM.  Is that a good number?  Apparently the World Health Organization says that water with a TDS (total dissolved solids) of 1,000 PPM is “acceptable” and under 600 PPM is “good.”  Yeah, maybe if you’re living in a tent in Africa it’s good but for us fussy Americans we want crystal clear drinking water without any off-flavors.  The higher the PPM number means the worse it will taste.  The bottle of Acadia Natural Spring Water was much better at 24 PPM.  And my new ZeroWater filter, as promised, clocked in at 0 PPM.  Guess it’s not marketing fluff after all.

I have two other water filters in my house–My refrigerator’s water filter (uses a PUR filter) and a Dr. Mercola filter that was pretty expensive.  In full disclosure, the refrigerator filter was replaced 2 months ago and the Dr. Mercola filter has about 5 months of use on it.  The refrigerator filter definitely gets more use than the Dr. Mercola filter.  The results really shocked me:

Refrigerator Water
My Refrigerator
Fridge Water - 171 PPM
Fridge Water – 171 PPM

My refrigerator PUR water filter is worse than my tap water at 171 PPM! How can that be?

Shouldn’t it be removing something?



Dr. Mercola Water Filter
Dr. Mercola Water Filter
Dr. Mircola's Pure & Clear - 178 PPM
Dr. Mircola’s Pure & Clear – 178 PPM

The worse rating goes to the expensive Dr. Mercola Pure & Clear drinking water filter which clocked in 178 PPM. It’s probably only fair to test the filters when they are brand new but I would still think that even if they are a few months old it shouldn’t be adding anything to the water.

I really like companies that back up their product claims, and the fact that the ZeroWater filter included a TDS water testing tool speaks volumes.   The instructions say to replace the ZeroWater filter once it gets to 6 PPM.  Maybe they should tell that to the entire water bottle industry.

17 thoughts on “What’s in your water?”

  1. I just borrowed a friends TDS tester. My tap water was at 59 so I tested my fridge filter and it was at 87. This shocked me and I changed the filter(it was over due) let about 10 glasses run through to purge the filter. Reading 245. did about 20 more glasses to purge it and got it down to 120 where it has stabilized. Brand new whirlpool filter. Scary stuff they are selling us. Guess I’ll either get a zero water or just drink my tap. That number 59 sounds pretty good right now. Think I paid $75 for a box of 2 whirlpool filters

  2. I just got the zero water filter for the house. In the past we used the bobble but I haven’t been able to find the filters and I like clean water to drink. I am picky about the water I do drink. I love it…. my city water was 230 ppm and it went to 0. I am looking in to the ppm differences in other brands and they don’t seem to be as good. I am interested if my husband can taste the difference also since he drinks alot of tap water I can no stand it.

  3. You guys need to realize that most water filters that are on your fridge or most filter pitchers are simply carbon and mesh filters designed to take out large particulates and things like chlorine and and some heavy metals. They make no claims of removing minerals and softening your water. For that you have 3 options, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, or distillation. The only one of those processes that can be done in a pitcher is ion exchange, and that’s what zero water does,,,, it’s a great filter, just don’t use the tds meter on other filters and expect them to lower total dissolved solids also, its not what they are designed to do.

  4. I have been using zero water since it came out. I lived upstairs so i never tired carrying up a 5 gallon bottle of spring water. I just moved and quickly bought 5 gallons and a crock-pot with tap. Since i have a PPM gauge that came free with my zero-filter refrigerator unit.. 395 ppm came back, my tap is 145. i will not be saving any money on filters with spring water. I feel disgusted as Spring Water is usually seen as the better water. Use those ppm meters folks.. I wish i had mine on me before i blew $50 on toilet water.

  5. I’m really glad I found this post. I thought it was just me. I bought a zero water filter which came with a meter. I have a PUR water filter on my kitchen faucet with a brand new filter installed. Testing the water several times a day for over a week, the PUR water filter results (185) are consistently higher than my unfiltered town water (174). I removed the PUR and will never buy another product of theirs. I also tested my water cooler (20 liter, Polar Artic Water from BJ’s). It also consistently read 0.0 ppm. All tests were conducted using glass not plastic containers.

  6. I know this is an old article… But I see in some of the comments people are using their TDS water and not quite understanding how it works…

    Just because your TDS reading is high after using a filter doesn’t mean that the water is not clean great tasting water. TDS reads the minerals and the right filter will remove all of the harmful minerals while leaving some which will give you a higher TDS reading then what you expect.

  7. On 4-6-16 my tap water taste funny like when as kid drinking out of the water hoes. Next day gotten sick maybe from the food or water was drinking all day. So sister gotten one these water zero my tap water was 860 ppm on 4-7-16 @ 4pm and @ 7pm it was 742 ppm. Now have new readings today @ 3pm it’s at 242 ppm..

  8. I stumbled across this post through a Google search on TDS and drinking water. My LG RO water filter gives water with a TDS of about 8 ppm, which I think is pretty good for an RO filter, although it isn’t as good as the Zero Filter you’ve mentioned.

    In our state (West Bengal, India), arsenic contamination is a growing concern so I thought that an RO filter would be a good investment.

  9. Well well well i have the zero water filter it’s amazing how everyone wants 0 on TDS dont u no your meant to have things like calcium / good minerals left in the water? Zero water strips it all away

    How about checking the Ph Level it can also make u ill its soo low 5.0 / 5.5 also ive brought loads of replacement filters and i have to change it every 2 months

    Type in Zero Water Fishy smell because it smells disgusting when the filter runs out almost sickening so make sure u dont drink it once u smell that

    1. City tap water does not have calcium / good minerals. Only bad things are collected from aging underground pipes that route to your home from your water treatment facility. I want pure clean water and I’ll eat healthy foods for the calcium / good minerals.

  10. Purchased a zero water filter system w/meter a couple of months ago for the office and can’t believe the difference in taste from my newly purchase refrigerator with water dispenser. I tested the refrigerator water and the faucet water and was not impress with the results compared to the zero water.

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