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Fluoride Removal - Why & What Works

The Federal Government's initiative to fluoridate all the nation's drinking water has caused health concerns with many Australians. Simply access the Materials Handling Data Sheet on Sodium Fluoride on the internet and it clearly shows it is a poison with many health side effects.

  1. Fluoride is a mineral and cannot be removed by any type of carbon filter
  2. You cannot effectively take Fluoride out of house water or shower water without using a quality Reverse Osmosis system. 

Reverse Osmosis is the only GUARANTEED fluoride removal. ALL OTHER OPTIONS, see below, offer a very limited removal (i.e. reduction) time of 4 - 6 months. It is strongly recommended that should any consumer considering fluoride removal alternatives to reverse osmosis, they ask for more detailed information on exactly 'how the fluoride removal is done, and at what capacity'.

Fluoride Removal Options


A process where water is boiled with the steam contained in a condenser where it is cooled to become a liquid. While this process has been recommended when Giardia and bacteria may be present, it is not recommended because of the considerable cost in energy. Not recommended as it produces zero mineral water, which can be aggressive and leach minerals from teeth etc. Also taste is flat.

Activiated Alumia

Removes around 90-95% of fluoride for 2000 litres (6 months). Cost $95 - $120.

Made by treating aluminium ore so that it becomes porous and highly absorptive.Fluoride bonds with the alumina (with some concerns that aluminium could be leached back into the water). Test results show that in order to get the 90-95% removal water should be run no more than 4 litres a minute. Some companies are recommending this type of fluoride removal for house water. With households consuming around 200 litres per day per person, an average a 4 persons is approx. 6000 litres a week or over a 6 month period 150,000 litres. As most homes need a flow rate of 30 - 40 litres a minute to service hot water systems etc, you would need a truckload of Activated Alumina to treat house water for little more than a month.
As this media's effectiveness is capacity, not time related, any increase over the minimum fluoride dose, would reduce the life expectancy considerably.

As this media does not remove any chemicals, must be used in conjunction with a sediment and chlorine removal – triple undersink system. Expensive to replace 3 cartridges around $260 pa.

ION Exchange

Fluoride is removed by using a resin, which has been electrically charged to attract both negative and positive minerals. This media is not Fluoride specific so all minerals are removed. A standard 10" cartridge will only filter around 600 - 800 litres, and if not changed regularly will become saturated and dump all minerals back into water.

They can also produce a fishy taste when the beads sweat which makes water undrinkable.Again cost is around $80 - $100 dollars and changed 3 - 4 monthly. Once again needs to be used with triple undersink s does not remove any chemicals.

Reverse Osmosis

The only truly successful means of removing fluoride is through reverse osmosis, which will remove 96-99% fluoride, through the use of an ultra fine membrane which separates water molecules producing pure and wastewater. The reason consumers look for alternatives to reverse osmosis is:

  1. They believe it to be too expensive: $1200 - $2000. Unfortunately some retailers and door-to-door sellers sell them at this price.However Purestream has a spacesaver unit for $319, which provides unlimited fluoride free water with remineralising and an annual replacement cartridge cost of $100.Undersink unit with all fittings and tank is only $595 plus installation.
  2. They are concerned at the water wastage: In the past ratio between pure water and waste, which includes all the contaminants including minerals, has been 1 pure to 3 or 4 litres of wastewater. Nowadays with quality membranes, PLUS Purestream's membrane flushing mode to maintain purity, this is down to 1 pure to 1.5 litres waster. For an average family this is a waste of about 6 - 8 litres, or a toilet flush, which is small price for pure water. There is also ability to save any wastewater, thereby eliminating this concern.
  3. Takes out all minerals. Unfortunately reverse osmosis is not fluoride specific and usually the mineral count or (TDS) total dissolved solids is around 5-6 ppm for the end product. There are quality mineralising cartridges which can be added for around $60 pa, also alkalising and mineralising cartridges which puts back around 80ppm back into the water of good minerals as well as increasing the pH of the water to around 9 and increasing the oxygen (ORP) to around -350mv.