AquaTru Water Filter Review
I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance, so I’m extremely grateful for all the ways I can support my health. Whether it’s being able to choose healthy foods or having an AquaTru water filter, I’m thankful every day.
I know not everyone has access to the same abundance of food I have. And I know firsthand that not everyone has clean water.
When I was traveling abroad years ago, I got dysentery from bacteria-contaminated water.
That led to a chain of mast cell reactions that left me sick for a long time.
I’d been dealing with health issues for years. That was just the final straw.
Getting sick from drinking water made me so grateful for sanitation processes that get rid of most pathogens found in water.
But I also know that these processes leave toxic chemicals in the water. This isn’t healthy either. Especially if you have MCAS.
These toxic chemicals in the water can be major mast cell triggers.
But everybody NEEDS water to survive. It’s essential to life.
So, if water is necessary to survive, why do some people have reactions from drinking even “clean” water?
For 99% of the Mast Cell 360 clients who have reactions to water, we learned it was actually chemicals in their water causing the reactions.
Read on to learn more about:
- Common water contaminants
- Potential risks associated with those contaminants
- Why these toxins are making your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome worse
- The pros and cons of different types of water filtration systems
- My favorite water filtration system
Let’s start by looking at what might be lurking in your water.
How Is Water Treated: The Good and the Bad
It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. If you have any medical condition, it is critical you work under the care and guidance of a licensed medical provider.
In many countries around the world, public water sources are treated to make water safer to drink, cook, and clean with.
To sanitize water, chemicals are added to the water. These chemicals bind with dirt and other particles that settle to the bottom of a treatment tank.
Then the water gets filtered through coarse material like sand and charcoal.
From there, it’s disinfected further with chemicals like chlorine or chloramine. This kills parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
And in 1945, fluoride was first added to tap water.
These sanitation processes greatly reduce risk for:
- Hepatitis A
- Tooth decay
In Cincinnati, across the river from Mast Cell 360, there was a cholera epidemic in 1849. Thousands of people died.
Poor sanitary conditions led to contaminated waters. That’s how cholera spreads.
The drinking water was so bad that even children would drink beer instead of water. It was safer to drink because the water got boiled first. That killed some of the pathogens.
But today, I don’t even think about cholera because of clean water. And that’s a big deal.
But as industry, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals change, so does our public water supply.
We may not have to worry about certain diseases now, but there are new concerns.
What’s In Your Water?
If you are drinking water straight from the tap, you may be consuming:
- Chemical residue
- Drug residue
Let’s touch more on each one.
Bacteria and Mold
Bacteria and mold can grow in your water lines and pipes. The damp, wet environment is perfect for them to thrive.
You aren’t likely to get cholera or typhoid from this bacteria.
But your body can see bacteria as a threat. And that means mast cell activation.
Mold is another concern. When water sits on surfaces, mold can grow. The moisture makes a perfect environment for it.
And Mold Toxicity is the #1 root cause of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome we see in the practice. It wreaks havoc on your immune system, your nervous system, your digestive system, and more.
You definitely don’t want bacteria and mold in your drinking water!
TIP: Run your water for a few seconds before washing your face or getting in the shower to clear the germs from the line. If you’ve been out of town or haven’t used a faucet in a few days, let the cold and then hot water run for 2 minutes each to flush the line.
Chemical residues from chlorine and fluoride have been shown to be:
- Carcinogenic (cancer-causing)
- Genotoxic (affecting genetic expression)
- Mutagenic (affecting genetic material)
- Neurotoxic (affecting development and the brain)
Tap water has been shown to contain:
- Mood stabilizers
- Synthetic hormones (oral contraceptives)
Growing evidence indicates that these contaminants can have negative health effects in humans and other animals who drink it.
They can be endocrine disruptors and affect the reproductive system by impairing development and fertility. They may even lead to estrogen dominance, one of the root causes of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
Metals occur in nature. But industrial pollution also contributes to metals in the environment, including water. Too much of certain metals can be toxic.
Heavy metals of particular concern are:
Some have been shown to have carcinogenic effects.
Others have been shown to cause genetic damage.
Still others have been shown to disrupt the nervous, endocrine, and/or reproductive systems.
Microplastics are categorized as being 5 millimeters long or less. At maximum, that’s about the size of a sesame seed. But they can be much smaller.
They include microbeads which are often found in health and beauty products.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), microplastics in drinking water may be a risk to human health. Studies are ongoing, but some have linked microplastic wastes to health concerns such as:
- Reproductive issues
- Organ problems
- Developmental delays in children
Picture a credit card for a second. Think about its size.
This is the amount of plastic you might be consuming each week.
A 2021 study estimated that on average, many people are consuming enough plastic weekly to equal the size of a credit card.
Now think of 52 credit cards. That’s how much you might be getting each year.
Pesticides, like nitrates, can come from different sources. It may be used in direct treatment of water. It can also come from run-off from industry and agriculture.
Pesticides can contaminate our sources of water such as rivers and ground water.
And they’ve been shown to affect the endocrine and reproductive systems.
That’s a lot of potential toxins in your “clean” tap water.
But tap water isn’t alone in having some potential problems.
Well water can have its share of issues, too.
Well water can get contaminated in many of the same ways as tap water. You might find any of these things in well water, so be aware of:
- Chemical fertilizers
- Animal waste
- Heavy metals
- Uranium and radium
And all of these contaminants in tap water and well water that you just read about can be mast cell triggers.
Toxins and Mast Cells
Mast cells are an important part of your immune system. And when toxins enter your body, your mast cells are going to react.
That’s generally a really good thing! This response is meant to keep you safe.
If your mast cells sense danger in the form of a virus, bacteria, or other toxins, it goes on the attack against it.
But if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, your mast cells are in a state of overreacting. And you’re trying to get that response calmed down.
All of these toxins found in water can keep your mast cells on high alert. That means amped up reactions. For some people, even small amounts of toxins can trigger a flare-up.
Related Article: Making a Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Flare Up Plan
Here’s some good news, though. For me, a good water filter has helped with my reactions significantly.
But not all water filtration systems are the same.
I know this because I’ve tested dozens of water purifiers, water filtration systems, countertop water filters, bottled water, tap water, and more.
I’ve finally landed on what I can feel confident recommending.
Keep reading so you can learn some of the pros and cons of various water filters.
Save yourself some time and money by learning from my trial and error!
I’ll tell you about the one I’m using now. I’m loving it, and I feel confident recommending it.
It’s one of the best options at the best price.
TIP: There are a lot of water filter review websites that are actually written by water filter companies. They are mocked up to look independent. But they’re not.
Pros and Cons of Different Water Filtration Systems
You’ve got a lot of options for clean tasting water. But with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, you don’t just want it to taste clean.
You want it to really be free of as many toxins as possible.
I’ve tried so many. Some didn’t do much to improve taste. One led to me getting SIFO! (You can read the story in this post).
One was so expensive, I ended up just trying the samples. I couldn’t even consider the cost!
Here’s a look at some of your options. And I’ll let you know about my favorite one. It’s the one with the most bang for your buck.
- Filtered for impurities
- Low cost
- Can leach toxins into the water
- Microplastics found in plastic bottled water (likely from the bottle)
- Can contain BPA – associated with:
- Reproductive toxicity
- Abnormal inflammatory or immune response
- Developmental disorders of brain or nervous system
- Endocrine disruption
TIP: Just because plastic is labeled “BPA free” doesn’t mean that it is safe. Many companies have replaced it with BPS or BPF which may be just as toxic.
- Improves taste
- Low cost to start
- Most remove some chemicals like chlorine, zinc, and hydrogen sulfide
- Cost of replacement filters adds up
- May or may not filter out:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Heavy metals
TIP: If the filter does remove those contaminants, the packaging should cite a separate certification mark for each.
Some Brands like the Berkey Filter
- Improved taste
- Options for no plastic touching your water (you can buy a metal spigot for an additional cost)
- No electricity gravity filter (which is great for disaster preparedness)
- Time consuming filtration
- Extra cost for fluoride filters
- Questionable toxin reduction long-term
I know a lot of people love Berkey. Many of my clients have used this system.
But here’s what I’ve been seeing.
I’ve looked at hundreds of chemical toxin panels for clients. I’ve frequently found elevated levels of water-borne toxins and chemicals in people using this filter.
Now, I acknowledge this wasn’t a controlled experiment. However, I asked a lot of questions and looked at a lot of different lifestyle factors for each client.
Do you drink from the office water cooler? Do you drink the water brought to your table at restaurants? Have you recently traveled abroad? Are you swimming in lakes or public pools (accidental ingestion)?
While it might be due to something else, I did see that a lot of people who had these issues also used this filter. And when they changed the system, they didn’t have these same ongoing issues.
Because of this trend I’ve observed in my practice, I’m hesitant to recommend this product.
- Improved taste
- May be helpful for Acid Reflux Disease
- Higher cost – $1500-$5000+ for a system (With MLM options you’re often paying for commissions all the way up the pyramid. That adds up to a price well above normal mark-up.)
- Can worsen symptoms in those with low stomach acid (common with MCAS)
- I’ve seen this type of water speed up detox too rapidly in very sensitive people
- Often no way to prevent mold from building up in system if it sits unused for a few days
- Time consuming and labor intensive process
- More waste water than some other methods
- Alone, doesn’t remove VOCs
- Water pH becomes acidic after a few hours as it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air
- Frequently stored in plastic which may leach into the water
Reverse Osmosis Water (RO Water)
This is the method I’m using now. And I love it.
- Excellent for filtering:
- Mold spores
- Filters a large variety of:
- Most bang for your buck
- Improved taste
- Easy to use
- Quicker filtration than many methods
- Under sink models may or may not have a way to keep mold and bacteria from building up (I’ll tell you about one that has this important feature.)
- Removes trace minerals (but you can cheaply and easily add them back. I’ll tell you how.)
Here’s why this is what I’m using now.
AquaTru is a reverse osmosis system for water filtration. There is both a counter top and under sink version.
Reverse osmosis technology works like this.
How a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Works
The water starts in what’s usually called the tap water tank.
First the water passes through a pre-filter / carbon filter. This stage removes sediment like dirt. This is also where chlorine will be addressed.
High pressure pushes water into the reverse osmosis filter. In the AquaTru water filter system, this removes at least 90% of total dissolved solids (TDS).
Then the TDS has to be flushed out of the reverse osmosis filter and through a VOC filter.
In the next stages water will be filtered for VOCs and eventually end up in the clean water tank as purified water.
Some RO systems may also include additional filtration or add-ons.
Here’s why I’m a big fan of this system.
AquaTru Water Filter System Pros
There are a lot of advantages to the AquaTru water filter system.
One of the things I like best is what it filters out.
What Does AquaTru Water Filter Remove?
Like you read earlier, reverse osmosis (RO) is top-notch at filtering out:
- Bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli
- Viruses like Hepatitis A and Rotavirus
- Mold spores
That’s really important to me. Now, I know that some of these things are already being addressed with water straight from the tap.
But like you read earlier, bacteria and mold in particular can build up in the pipes in your home. So, for me, having this extra layer of protection gives me great peace of mind.
If you’ve had Mold Toxicity or SIBO, you’ll know how much work it is to recover your health from these conditions.
I’ve had several setbacks. I don’t want my water source to be one of them ever again.
And this extra filtration is getting at some of those things that don’t get addressed with municipal treatment.
The AquaTru water filter has been laboratory tested and certified to NSF/ANSI standards, and is shown to filter out 83 harmful contaminants including:
- Estrone (estrogen)
- and others
- Chromium 6
- Various pharmaceuticals like antidepressants, anxiety meds, birth control
- Various chemicals found in anticonvulsants (seizure meds)
- Toxic pesticides like glyphosate
This is a condensed list. To see the full report, click here.
Your water tastes great without all these chemicals!
I’ve had water served to me at restaurants where I could taste the chlorine.
Yuck! Water shouldn’t really taste like anything.
Another thing I like about AquaTru water purification systems is how easy it is to use.
AquaTru Countertop Unit
AquaTru has both a countertop unit and an under sink model. You can check them out here.
The countertop unit is so easy to use.
I recommend people with MCAS get the Classic model. The Connect model uses WIFI and will emit EMFs.
With the Classic, there is no installation. You just plug it in and it’s ready!
You pour water into one of the tanks. It then filters through to the clean water tank in just a few minutes.
Then you use a water dispenser button to dispense water into your glass from the clean water tank.
All you have to remember is that you need to replace the filter periodically. The filter life lasts between 600-1200 gallons of water. That’s really long-lasting!
TIP: Depending on your family size and how much water you drink how long you’ll go between filter changes varies. I recommend keeping track (loosely is fine) of the gallons at first. Then you’ll know how long you can go and mark your calendar accordingly.
For a family of 2 humans with 2 dogs, I change my pre-filter and VOC filter every 6 months. I change the RO filter every 12 months.
For upkeep, I also recommend washing the tanks weekly with soap and water. It really only takes about 2 minutes.
You can use a brush to really get in the crevices. This will help prevent bacteria or mold buildup.
You would do this with any type of system that has a vessel holding your water.
May need to replace the tanks every 2-3 years if they show wear and tear. Scratches and scrapes are places where bacteria and mold can harbor.
TIP: If you are going out of town for more than 24 hours, I highly recommend emptying the filter and turning it upside down to dry while you are gone. Letting water sit for any extended time may lead to bacterial and mold growth.
AquaTru Under Sink Unit
Now, this will take some installation so it’s not quite out-of-the box use. My husband is fairly handy and installed ours.
Th AquaTru water filter unit goes under your sink and the purified water runs right through your pipes, through the filters, and out your faucet.
The under sink models have 3 filters. One lasts about 6 months. The others last between 1 and 2 years. That’s also long-lasting.
For upkeep, just change your filters.
I also suggest flushing your unit anytime it’s not been used for more than 2-3 days. Just run your faucet a couple minutes to flush out the line and get rid of any bacteria that might have grown there.
When I’m gone for vacation, I do a full flush. I run it until the water goes down to a trickle. Basically, I’m emptying the holding tank and pushing out any water that may have been sitting in the line.
But I mentioned that a con of some under sink units is mold and bacteria build up. So what makes this one different?
But I mentioned that a con of some under sink units is mold and bacteria build up. So, what makes this one different?
Here’s how AquaTru says to take maintain the under sink model.
They recommend using a bleach solution (instructions come with the unit).
The bleach solution will never actually mix with the water that you drink. That’s because it goes through the filters before first.
If you want to be extra cautious, though, you can run 2 cycles of water with the bleach cleaning solution in the tank before drinking any of the water.
Basically, that means you can flush the lines twice.
This once-a-year treatment prevents bacteria and mold buildup in the tank.
Both the countertop and under sink unit now also come with the option to get alkaline water.
That’s up to you. I prefer the classic model. Sensitive people may not want the alkaline version.
TIP: Be careful not to get raw meat near the filter spout. You don’t want bacteria from raw meat getting in your water filter line.
AquaTru Review: Most Bang for Your Buck
Some RO water filtration systems can cost up to $1800 or more. But that’s not necessary at all to have a great unit.
You can have a great AquaTru water filter system (either countertop or under sink) for under $500.
And the filters last a long time.
So, you don’t have to order replacement filters often.
Some pitcher replacements suggest every 120 gallons.
That’s nothing compared to the 600 -1200 gallons you’ll get with AquaTru water filter.
And with AquaTru, you’re getting cleaner water.
Here’s what’s even better. AquaTru comes with a 1-year warranty. That always makes me feel better when I’m buying something.
And they have a 30-day money back guarantee. You get 30 days to see if it will be right for you.
If the AquaTru water filter isn’t in your budget right now, I think it’s worth saving up for.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn about a decent pitcher style filter option that won’t cost much up front.
But first, there are two more things you may want to know about the AquaTru water filter system.
AquaTru Filtering Process and Wastewater
All RO systems create some wastewater in the filtering process. Some units can waste up to 80-90% of the water that flows through.
AquaTru water filters create only 30%. That’s still not environmentally responsible if you just pour that down the drain.
But it has a waste water tank. I use my waste water to water my plants, wash my dishes, and do other cleaning chores that require water.
That way, I’m not being irresponsible in my water use. And I’m still able to drink the clean water that supports my health.
Mineral Content Depletion
RO water systems pull out a lot of toxins. They can also pull out minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Many people are concerned about losing out on important minerals.
I’ve worked with a lot of people drinking RO water. It hasn’t been an issue.
Most of your minerals come from food rather than water.
But if you want, you can add minerals back to their RO water.
This is my favorite way to do that.
Some sensitive people may not tolerate adding minerals all at once.
If you’re sensitive, I’d recommend starting with 1 drop Concentrace to about ½ gallon of water (or more) and mixing it well.
You can gradually increase as you are able.
Many sensitive people can do this level of Concentrace. But if that’s too much for you, it’s ok. You can work on your sensitivities and then add the minerals later.
I’m now able to do about 40 drops spread through the day. I put about 10 drops in every 24 ounce bottle of water I drink.
Ok, now for the pitcher option to consider.
You have to really read the labels when it comes to pitcher filters.
Not all of them filter the same.
Some don’t filter heavy metals. Some don’t filter pharmaceuticals.
Over all, I still strongly recommend a good reverse osmosis filter.
But I understand that the upfront costs may not be in the immediate budget for you.
And I still want you to have a cleaner water.
So, I would recommend saving up for a reverse osmosis system.
But in the meantime, here’s an option to consider.
The best pitcher style I know of right now is the Pur Ultimate with Lead Reduction Filter.
It was rated the best by Consumer Reports for flavor improvements and odor reduction.
It reduces levels of:
as well as other industrial contaminants.
Upkeep is easy, too. You just need to wash the pitcher weekly with soap and water to prevent mold and bacteria buildup.
It’s worth a look if you can’t get a system like the AquaTru water filter right away.
Final Word on AquaTru Water Filter
There is no perfect one-size fits all water filter.
What you need depends on the particular contaminants that are of most concern in your water source.
But after using my AquaTru water filter for a while, I am really satisfied with it.
And now a large percentage of the clients in our practice have tried it and love it, too.
AquaTru has proven to be a great solution for the majority of our community.
I hope it will be for you, too!
Want to Learn More About Reducing Everyday Mast Cell Triggers?
- My Air Doctor Air Purifier Review
- Are You Getting Zapped? Top Mast Cell Triggers in your Home
- The Best Supportive and Non Toxic Mattress
- Safe Skincare for MCAS
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