What does ZeroWater Filter out? Removing Contaminants Revealed

Due to the wide range of impurities in public and private water sources, the need for a water purification system, especially for drinking and cooking, cannot be over-emphasized.

Filtration units come in various forms, from whole-house to countertops filters. While variety provides specialized and more effective options, understanding the different filters can be challenging.

Filters like ZeroWater have become popular due to their compact structure and high purification efficiency, but how well do you know this filter and what it removes? Before using any filter? It is paramount to identify the type of impurities it tackles. And this is because the impurities in water vary, and the filters specialize in removing specific contaminants.

Before buying the ZeroWater filter, do you know all the contaminants it can remove? This can be tough for many considering ZeroWater filters many impurities. We know this, so we’ll discuss all the pollutants this countertop filter can remove. This way, you know if buying ZeroWater is the right choice. We’ll start by understanding the unit better.

What is ZeroWater Filter?

ZeroWater is a compact countertop filter with a 5-stage purification system that ensures thorough water filtration. It is mobile and can be carried outdoors for picnics, camps, and more. The system uses gravity to channel the water through its filtration stages.

The filters come in different sizes with slight variations. 10-cup and 22-cup tanks are the most common, with the 22-cup tank featuring a faucet below that ensures you don’t have to raise your jug to get filtered water. As mentioned earlier, it features a 5-step filtration process that makes it effective in removing a lot of impurities.

While ZeroWater enjoys a wide range of effectiveness, it sees a purification rate as high as 99.9% for some impurities like copper, iron, and zinc. But that’s not all, as there are so many other materials this filter can remove to ensure you get clean drinking water.

How does ZeroWater Filter Work?

How does ZeroWater Filter Work?

Now we know what the ZeroWater filter is, it is time to understand its working principles as this guides what impurities it can remove.

Remember, ZeroWater features a thorough 5-stage filtration process where the water has to pass through before it can be certified clean. And while this filter does not remove all water contaminants, it has a long list of impurities it can remove, albeit with varying efficiencies.

Stage 1: Coarse Remover

The first stage in the ZeroWater filter involves a coarse filter that blocks off sediments and particles. This layer is made from a micro cloth of infused carbon.

Stage 2: Foam Distributor

The water flows into the next filter layer, a foam distributor that acts its name by spreading the water across its face. It helps to remove even more impurities.

Stage 3: Activated Carbon and Oxidation Reduction

This stage combines activated carbon and an oxidation-reduction system to remove organic substances and alloys.

Stage 4: Ion Exchange

The water comes in contact with the ion exchange resin that loosens all foreign ions attached to the water.

Stage 5: Ultra-Fine Screen and Non-Woven Membrane

The final filtration stage in a Zerowater filter contains a non-woven membrane and an ultra-fine screen to remove such fine particles. The ultra-fine crean catches any remaining material in the water.

What does ZeroWater Filter Remove?

What Does ZeroWater Filter Remove?

The intense filtration process of the ZeroWater filter makes it possible to remove as many impurities as you’ll find out shortly. While you may be conversant with the more common contaminants it removes, like chlorine and metals, because it is highly advertised, there are many other pollutants this filter can remove.

It is essential to differentiate between what the manufacturer claims it can remove and what has been tested to be accurate, as manufacturers often exaggerate their filter’s capabilities.

1. PFOA and PFOS

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are becoming quite common in the environment, so they find their way inside your drinking water. These synthetic chemicals do not break down in the background and cause severe illnesses.

Exposure to these chemicals can lead to darning illnesses like cancer and even harm to a fetus. Considering the material’s structure, removing these chemicals from your water is more challenging. ZeroWater is among the few filters that can remove PFOA and PFOS from your drinking water, leaving it safe and free from these impurities.

ZeroWater sports a PFOA and PFOS purification rate of 86 to 94.9%, which is impressive considering it is the only pitcher filter with an NSF certification for PFAS removal. Pitcher and dispenser filters are the two ZeroWater lines that can remove these synthetic chemicals.

2. TDS

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the amount of organic and inorganic materials in the water. This section has many impurities, as this list covers any dissolved materials in the water. Since water is known as a universal solvent, Ignis not a surprise that many substances can dissolve in it. Removing these dissolved materials is a challenging feat.

These impurities can get into your water from natural and human-influenced sources, with the natural sources involving plants, water bodies, and the soil. So many other TDS get into your water through human activities, as these dissolved solids are sometimes added directly to water when packing in bottled containers.

ZeroWater filters are marketed as the ultimate TDS removers, with the marketing claiming this filter can turn the TDS quantity in your water to zero. It even backs up this claim by including a free TDS meter in its pack so you can confirm its efficiency. It has been tested and certified that the ZeroWater filter is an excellent TDS remover.

Some of the common TDS in water that ZeroWater removes include:

  • Chlorine
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Chloride
  • Barium
  • Fluoride
  • Hydrogen sulfide

ZeroWater has NSF and WQA certifications for most of these TDS, showing they’ve been tested and proven true by top consumer safety regulators.

3. Others

ZeroWater filters remove more than the impurities mentioned above as it filters particles, including sediments and sand, from the water using its first coarse bed. It can also remove heavy metals like lead and pollutants that affect the taste of the water, like chlorine and potassium.

Which Impurities ZeroWater Can’t Remove?

Which Impurities ZeroWater Can’t Remove?

While ZeroWater can remove so many impurities in the water, it is limited and has some pollutants it cannot remove. If you want to remove some of these materials from your water, choosing a different filter will be best. Here’s a list of contaminants the ZeroWater filter cannot remove:

1. Microbiological Contaminants

The filter cannot remove contaminants like bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

2. Phenols

Phenols are organic materials found in water and can sometimes taste bitter. While it can remove chemicals that affect the taste of water, like chlorine, it cannot remove phenols.

3. Uncharged Particles

Some materials are free, and ZeroWater uses a double comprehensive ion exchange system, so it cannot remove uncharged particles.


Check this section for simple questions and answers about the ZeroWater filter and what it can remove.

Do ZeroWater filters remove everything?

Not even a ZeroWater filter can remove all impurities in water. However, it draws about 99.9% of TDS with up to 95% of PFAS.

Does ZeroWater remove the salt?

Its TDS value of 0 ZeroWater can remove calcium, sodium chloride, magnesium, and iron.

Does ZeroWater remove plastic?

ZeroWater removes all microplastics from the water, especially in its second and fifth stages.


ZeroWater filter is a unique countertop filter in different lines, including pitcher and dispenser models. Their 5-stage purification system makes it possible to remove many impurities, which include TDS and PFAS. However, even though it has an impressive range of contaminants it pulls out, it cannot remove all pollutants.

If you’re interested in a portable filter that covers a wide range of contaminants while offering impressive efficiency, ZeroWater should be at the top of your mind.