Carbon filtration is considered one of the relatively cheap and efficient ways of purifying water. Carbon filters themselves are highly touted for their performance, mainly due to their physical characteristics. A single pound of carbon possesses an approximate surface area of about 125 acres, allowing it to absorb a huge amount of pollutants in water. This quality is one of the factors that make carbon filters an important part of many reverse osmosis water filter systems.
Activated carbon filters are also known as activated charcoal filters. The material is charcoal that has been oxygen-treated to make it highly porous with a large surface area—properties that allow it to absorb significant amounts of water contaminants. When water passes over the carbon, pollutants in the water quite literally “stick” to the activated carbon, and effectively get removed from the water.