FAQs: System Selection and Information

Under-sink Systems

Choosing an underwater filtration system depends on what you want to remove from your water. For some, it comes down to taste. We’re happy to discuss all options so you can make the best decision based on your needs.

Reverse osmosis systems remove a whole host of organic compounds, chemicals, and other harmful contaminants from your household water. The water is filtered through a sediment fitler, then a carbon cartridge to remove chlorine and organic compounds.. Then the water is pushed through a fine membrane designed to remove almost all contaminants, including lead and total dissolved solids like fluoride. Finally, the water flows through another carbon cartridge to polish the water before consumption, reducing almost all contaminants in your tap water. You can even add a stage to re-introduce minerals and make the water alkaline

Multi-stage filtration systems remove contaminants from the water by using a filter to physically block contaminants from coming through and then by reducing chemicals through the adsorption process. This removes unpleasant water taste or odour, and contaminants such as chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides, aluminum and many more. This system retains healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium without affecting your water’s pH level. You can customize your multi-stage filtration system by adding a fluoride filter to remove arsenic and fluoride, an ultraviolet light that eliminates microbiological contaminants and a pH boosting Alkaline filter.

Our water filtering systems give you a highly cost-efficient way to enjoy the highest quality water – as little as 2 cents per litre and make less of an environmental impact than plastic water bottles.

Your under-sink water system comes with its own faucet which you can choose to match your decor. This keeps the water you drink separate from the water you use to clean.

We carry many differnt faucet designs in different finishes – so odds are we have a faucet in stock that will work seamlessly with your kitchen design. If we don’t, we can help you choose and order the ideal faucet for your space.

We keep an inventory of our faucets, so most are in stock. Special orders can take up to 3 weeks.

It takes approximately one hour to install your under-sink system.

Typically we can have your under-sink system installed within a week.

Yes. Our team will need to drill a hole in your countertop to fit the faucet. We do this many times every day. We’ll take care of everything – you don’t need to drill the hole in advance. 

We can move your under-sink system for you and cover the faucet hole with a tight stainless steel cap. Most people never even notice a system was there.

The average system is 16” x 6” x 6”, which in our experience, easily fits under most kitchen sinks. If you go with a reverse osmosis system, there’s an additional tank that is 15” x 12”. But it can lay on its side if necessary.

One may think that if your water source doesn’t contain bacteria, it would be impossible for it to grow in a water system that treats this water. But this is not the case.

Carbon filters (which all systems contain) cannot be disinfected initially. If you add any kind of disinfectant into carbon, it will just consume that disinfectant and destroy the filter. This means that there is a tiny amount of harmless bacteria in the system to start with. Depending on system maintenance and filter quality, this bacteria will grow to a greater or lesser degree.

This bacteria grows because every water system on the market reduces the city-added chlorine early in the process.Chlorine prevents bacteria growth so that a small amount of bacteria is free to grow inside subsequent filters. The growth is called a “heterotrophic plate count” (a very high-brow set of words meaning non-disease causing bacteria). If the system is not properly maintained, it can grow to high levels, and there is some research that shows it may cause symptoms such as stomach upset, diarrhea and malaise. To help prevent this, make sure these filters are changed regularly and that the system is properly sanitized every time this is done.

Fluoride is a very subjective and polarizing issue. Many people are passionate about either keeping fluoride intact or about removing fluoride from their drinking water.

Because it is a health question (and we don’t pretend to be health professionals), we leave the choice to you. If you would like to remove fluoride, this can be done with or without removing other minerals from the water.

We should make it clear right away that Watermart is able to offer two different manufacturers Alkaline water systems. Selling these systems is good business. However, our most important benchmark for any water system is water cleanliness and serviceability.

  • Concerning cleanliness: These alkaline water systems usually contain only a single filter which uses granular activated carbon as its main filtration media – this is in contrast to the extruded carbon blocks which are used in Watermart systems. Extruded carbon offers more contact time between the water and the carbon – thereby reducing organic compounds more thoroughly than granular carbon. Also, granular carbon has a shorter life span and is much more susceptible to bacteria growth (this is because there is no defined pore structure and the bacteria has lots of room to grow in the spaces).
  • Concerning serviceability: Filter changes also should be taken into account. Alkaline water filters are proprietary, meaning that if the company discontinues your model, you may not be able to get replacement filters.

Technically, a whole-home system will clean the water throughout your home. But if you’re specifically concerned about your drinking water quality, an under-sink system will produce cleaner water simply because of a slower flow and the relatively larger surface area of activated carbon it passes through.We’re happy to discuss all the options based on your goals so you can make the best decision for your needs.

We highly recommend the Berkey water filtration system if an under-sink system doesn’t work in your kitchen. Available in a range of sizes that sit on your countertop, Berkey is an economical, portable choice for cleaner, healthier water at home or on the go.

A Berkey removes many unwanted contaminants from drinking water while preserving the essential minerals your body needs. Specifically, Berkey water filters remove harmful bacteria, unwanted chemicals, unhealthy chlorine levels, harmful contaminants, viruses, parasites, microscopic organisms, heavy metals, chloramine, plastic, kerosene…and more!

Yes! Portable and easy-to-use, Berkey units are perfect water purification systems for apartments, as well as RVs, dorms, hotels, cottages and campsites. Berkey is the best way to get better water quality anywhere.

Whole Home Systems

Our whole home water filtration systems deliver clean, chemical-free water to every faucet in your home. This gives you healthier drinking and cooking water, softer skin after bathing or showering, cleaner clothes and dishes, and extended life spans for your washing machine, dishwasher, and hot water tank. Unlike other whole-home water filtration systems on the market, ours backwash and self-clean periodically.

A self-cleaning whole-home water filtration system keeps your flow-rate high and eliminates the buildup of bacteria in the filter itself. Because home water filters remove chlorine, a system that doesn’t self-clean will get bacteria buildup.

A water softener removes minerals that create water hardness, one of the most common water quality problems. Water softeners bring your family cleaner skin, softer hair, and longer-lasting clothes. Appliances such as hot water tanks, dishwashers, and washing machines last longer when using soft water.

We carry the world’s leading brands in water softeners, professionally installed by certified technicians. Our water softener systems are energy-efficient, self-cleaning, and use only the minimum amounts of water and salt.

Most whole home system installations take two to three hours. More time may be required if your water main is in a closet and we need to run a drain to another room. So, the typical installation time can range between 2 to 8 hours. Once we see your floor plan, we can give you a more specific time estimate. 

Over the past couple of years, many companies have been advertising “No-salt water softening systems”. This is, in fact, very misleading. We sell units like this too – but almost entirely for the commercial market where the water is in closed loops and not exposed to air.

These units can be more accurately called; “scale prevention units” – not softeners. These salt-free scale prevention systems will not do the following:

  • Reduce mineral build up on dry surfaces such as glass from the dishwasher and shower doors.
  • Make water easier on skin and hair
  • Reduce the amount of soap used in washing machines, dish-washers and the shower.

What these systems will do is prevent scale buildup inside hot water tanks and household plumbing.

When these units first came on the market, we were very excited. Water softening has essentially (despite increases in efficiency) been exactly the same for about 100 years. Unfortunately,  we were very disappointed with the results (as were customers) and ultimately removed the units and replaced them with conventional softeners.

The problem: These systems use a technology called “Template Assisted Crystallization” which, in a nutshell, means that hardness molecules cling to one another and grow larger. The net effect is that the hardness does not precipitate to form scale inside piping and hot water tanks – this makes these units ideal for closed water loops (such as radiators). However, once the water comes out of the pipes and it’s exposed to air, the hardness all precipitates at once – essentially forming a “sludge” – which then shows up on shower doors, fixtures, dishes, etc. Definitely not a good thing.

All this is to say that despite the fact that we carry these units, we do not recommend them at all for residential use. And (in our opinion) nor should anyone in my industry.