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Best Water Filters for Coliform Bacteria

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
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Coliform bacteria are amply present in nature. When present in water, they give it a slimy feel, a cloudy look, and a strange odor.

While the total coliform species, which is the umbrella term for these bacteria, are mostly harmless, they do also include a few harmful subspecies that Kind Water Systemslve in contact with humans and animals, such as fecal coliform or E. coli.

These coliform subspecies are associated with many health issues varying from vomiting and diarrhea to typhoid fever and fatality. To stay on the safe side, it’s recommended that you address the presence of coliform in your water supply in general.

To that end, we conducted research and analyses on many water treatment items, and we put together a list of the best filters for eradicating coliform bacteria.

The SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System comes on top as the best defense against these potential pathogens. However, our list also features countertop, under-the-sink, and whole-house options for handling coliform bacteria. Read on to explore the top five water filters for coliform bacteria.

The Best Water Filters for Coliform Bacteria Are:
SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System
Best UV System for Coliform Bacteria
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM (Up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System
Best Under-the-Sink UV Purifier for Coliform Bacteria
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification w/ pre-filter
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 0.52 GPM (Up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: One year
Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV
Best Whole House Well Water Filter for Coliform Bacteria
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification w/ well water filter
  • Filter type: Whole house unit
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 14.7 GPM (up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: Five years
Big Berkey Water Filter
Best Countertop Filtration Unit for Coliform Bacteria
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop water filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Filtered water capacity: 2.25 gallons
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Epic Smart Shield Universal Inline Filter
Best Under-the-Sink Filter for Coliform Bacteria
  • Filtration technology: Undisclosed
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Filtration capacity: 651 gallons
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Reviews of Best Water Filters for Coliform Bacteria

SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System – Best UV System for Coliform Bacteria

SpringWell UV Water Filter and Purification System
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM (Up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $1,100.99
Pros
  • Ultraviolet purification is one of the most efficient methods against coliform bacteria
  • Its 30mj/cm2 UV strength is able to destroy all coliform species
  • The 15 GPM flow rate is ideal for homes with up to seven bathrooms
  • Features an electronic system head
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive unit
  • Depending on your water quality, you may need to install a pre-filter
  • Installation requires professional plumbing

UV water purification units are the best defense against bacteria and viruses because they’re able to kill all living organisms inside water. The only precondition is for the water to be clear of dirt, sediment particles, and other impurities.

In this category, we chose the SpringWell UV Water Filter as our favorite system against coliform bacteria since it has exceptionally durable and robust UV equipment.

Moreover, it sports a minimum of 30 megajoules per centimeters square (mj/cm2) of ultraviolet power. As only 10mj/cm2 is enough to destroy the most enduring subspecies of coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli ATCC 11303, the ultraviolet power of this SpringWell model is more than enough to eradicate them from your water.

In addition, the SpringWell UV has the highest flow rate among its competitors. It produces 15 gallons of coliform-free water per minute, enough to accommodate bigger households and homes with up to seven bathrooms.

Similar to other SpringWell whole-house water treatment units, the SpringWell UV filter has an electronic system head. The system head informs you of the UV emittance, the remaining time before you need to change the UV lamp (usually once a year), and the turbidity levels of the water.

Speaking of turbidity, one aspect we don’t like about the SpringWell UV lamp is its distinct turbidity, chlorine, and color requirements from the water it’s supposed to purify. For instance, if your water supply has too much turbidity, you’ll need to install a pre-filter to take care of that, which, considering the UV equipment is already expensive, will stretch your budget even more.

The installation of the SpringWell UV is another drawback. If you have no experience in plumbing, we advise you to hire a professional to set it up.

That said, SpringWell is a water treatment brand we trust since all of their products are made in the United States and come with lifetime warranties. We feel these qualities and the product’s unparalleled coliform-bacteria-removal capacity justify its high price.


Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System – Best Under-the-Sink UV Purifier for Coliform Bacteria

Acuva ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Treatment System
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification w/ pre-filter
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 0.52 GPM (Up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: One year
  • Price: $549 to $599
Pros
  • The 16mj/cm2 ultraviolet power kills all coliform bacteria
  • It’s a portable system providing coliform-free water wherever you go
  • Features a built-in pre-filter removing turbidity, chlorine, heavy metals, and VOCs
Cons
  • Pre-filter needs to be replaced at least twice a year
  • Produces only 0.52-gallon of coliform-free drinking water per minute
  • One-year warranty

If you’re looking for an affordable way to successfully eliminate coliform bacteria from your drinking water, the Acuva ArrowMAX Water Treatment System is the product for you.

Acuva ArrowMAX, a small UV-based water treatment unit, is compatible with every sink. It’s also one of the most straightforward devices to install. If you’re frequently traveling (in an RV or to a country house) or moving from place to place, uninstalling and reinstalling is a piece of cake.

Its UV power of 16mj/cm2 is humbler compared to the SpringWell unit. However, since 10mj/cm2 of UV power is enough to eviscerate even the most enduring type of coliform bacteria, the power of Acuva ArrowMAX is nothing to worry about.

The weakness of the SpringWell unit was the need for a pre-filter that reduces turbidity and chlorine. That’s not a concern with Acuva ArrowMAX, as the device already features a built-in pre-filter designed to neutralize both. The built-in pre-filter is also capable of eliminating some of the most dangerous heavy metals, including lead and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with a success rate of 99% at a minimum.

However, the pre-filter comes with certain disadvantages regarding maintenance. While the only maintenance of the SpringWell UV purifier is the fact you need to replace the UV lamp once a year, you’ll need to renew Acuva ArrowMAX’s pre-filter at least twice a year, which adds to its long-term costs.

Its 0.52 GPM flow rate pales against the 15 GPM of SpringWell, too. Still, we can overlook it since it’s only an under-the-sink unit, and 0.52 gallons (roughly two liters) is enough for the drinking water needs of most American families.

The only real disadvantage worth mentioning is the fact that Acuva offers only a one-year warranty.


Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV – Best Whole House Well Water Filter for Coliform Bacteria

Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV
  • Filtration technology: Ultraviolet purification w/ well water filter
  • Filter type: Whole house unit
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Flow rate: 14.7 GPM (up to seven bathrooms)
  • Warranty: Five years
  • Price: $1,399
Pros
  • Its 40 mj/cm2 ultraviolet power makes it the most robust UV device on the market
  • Kills more pathogens than its competitors
  • The well water filter removes VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides besides chlorine and turbidity
  • The 14.7 GPM flow rate is suitable for even the most crowded families
Cons
  • Expensive unit
  • Three-filter setup makes it high-maintenance
  • Bulky
  • Only five years of warranty

Tap water typically passes through various treatment phases before it reaches our taps, so a UV filter works more efficiently due to the lack of turbidity.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same thing for well water. Aquasana combined its UV purifier with its robust Rhino well water filter to combat the issue, resulting in a high-end technology for dealing with coliform bacteria.

Most impressively, the Aquasana UV purifier has the most potent UV power of 40mj/cm2. The high UV power means the device will kill more bacteria, virus types, and coliform bacteria than any other UV purification device.

Besides its remarkable effectiveness in terminating pathogenic organisms, the Aquasana Rhino’s well water filter combo is exemplarily efficient in stopping many inorganic contaminants, including herbicides, pesticides, chlorine, turbidity, sediment, and VOCs.

Distinctly from other whole-house treatment products, it comes with a dual-tank design that blends upflowing and downflowing filtration techniques, meaning the treatment process is as thorough as possible.

The sophistication of its dual-tank filter and the succeeding UV purifier doesn’t stop the Aquasana Rhino from supporting a flow rate almost equal to that of the SpringWell unit at 14.7 GPM. It’s enough to provide coliform-free water for homes with six or seven bathrooms.

Yet, the Aquasana has its cons, too.

It’s the most expensive item on our list and has a three-filter setup besides its UV lamp, all requiring replacements once or twice a year.

In addition, if you have no space, it may not be the best choice for you, as the Aquasana product features two tanks and a UV light.

Last but not least, the five-year warranty is modest, considering the system’s complexity.


Big Berkey Water Filter – Best Countertop Filtration Unit for Coliform Bacteria

Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop water filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Filtered water capacity: 2.25 gallons
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $367
Pros
  • Rare countertop filter able to remove pathogens such as coliform bacteria
  • Removes more than 203 other contaminants
  • Blends different filtration techniques in a single filter cartridge
  • Stainless steel
  • Lifetime warranty
  • More affordable than UV devices
Cons
  • Takes two hours to produce coliform-free water
  • Plastic spigot

UV devices are not everybody’s cup of tea because they require pre-filters, are difficult to install, and are expensive. For those who agree, we present an innovative countertop filter, Big Berkey, with its unique filtration technology that’s highly effective against coliform bacteria among more than 203 other impurities.

The success of Big Berkey in removing so many contaminants, including pathogens like bacteria and viruses, is down to its groundbreaking filters: Black Berkey Elements.

Black Berkey Elements entail different kinds of filtration techniques in a single cartridge. These techniques include microfiltration, adsorption, absorption, and prolonged exposure time.

Since coliform bacteria are rod-shaped, micro-filters with a sub-micron pore size block their passage to your drinking water. However, that’s not a preferred method to deal with pathogens as these organisms may still find a way to pass through even the most sub-micron membranes, including reverse osmosis ones.

To reinforce its effectiveness against pathogens, Black Berkey Elements utilizes adsorption. In adsorption, organisms with an electrical charge are drawn to the adsorptive walls of the filter and trapped there. That’s how Big Berkey removes 99.99% of coliform bacteria in water, making it a water purifier rather than a filter.

Additionally, most countertop devices produce filtered water in a matter of minutes. Big Berkey, on the other hand, takes two hours to provide safe, coliform-free, and filtered water, which is what makes its astounding contaminant removal numbers possible. However, we understand that some would consider it a downside since not everyone is patient enough to wait two hours for clean water.

On a final note, despite its stainless steel body, Big Berkey dispenses water through a plastic spigot, which we consider a downside to an otherwise innovative and remarkable unit.


Epic Smart Shield  – Best Under-the-Sink Filter for Coliform Bacteria

Epic Smart Shield Universal Inline Filter
  • Filtration technology: Undisclosed
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink filter
  • Coliform bacteria reduction rate: Minimum of 99.9%
  • Filtration capacity: 651 gallons
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $135
Pros
  • Rare non-UV under-the-sink filter that neutralizes coliform bacteria
  • Removes more than 70+ contaminants
  • Eco-friendly
  • Portable
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Replacement filter costs almost as much as the unit itself
  • Doesn’t feature a sediment pre-filter
  • Not recommended for well water

If you’re in the market for the most affordable water treatment product that eliminates coliform bacteria from your drinking water, then Epic Smart Shield is the evident choice. With a price tag of $135, this single-cartridge, portable device removes more than 70 contaminants from water, including coliform bacteria.

Thanks to its industry-leading technology, Epic Smart Shield neutralizes 99.9% of coliform species, including the most dangerous E. coli strains. Not only that, but it does it while keeping healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium intact, which distinguishes it from many other under-the-sink units.

Still, its coliform removal performance isn’t the only reason it’s one of our favorite water treatment items.

Most water treatment units, especially water softeners and reverse osmosis devices, get criticized for harming the environment by releasing sodium or producing too much wastewater. Epic Smart Shield does neither, and what’s better, the product itself is 100% made of recycled and sustainable materials.

What’s more, the manufacturer also runs a recycling program. By registering for this program and sending them used Epic Smart Shield filters, you receive a new replacement filter for free.

Of course, Epic Smart Shield also comes with a few drawbacks.

First, its replacement filters cost almost as much as the unit itself, burdening your budget in the long run, even though the filters last a year.

Second, Epic Smart Shield doesn’t feature a sediment filter, meaning rocks, sand, and clay amply found in private wells could end up in the system, reduce its efficiency, and eventually render it ineffective against coliform bacteria.

Still, if you depend on relatively sediment-free municipal water for your drinking supply, Epic Smart Shield is the most affordable defense against all coliform species.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we answer common questions regarding coliform bacteria, its health effects, and filtration devices designed to eliminate them.

What are coliform bacteria, and what are their health effects?

Coliform bacteria are everywhere – in soil, water, organic matter, animals, and even on your skin as you’re reading this. All these species are labeled under the umbrella name of total coliform bacteria and are not necessarily harmful. In other words, not all coliform subspecies are dangerous.
However, once these bacteria find their way to human or animal intestines, they Kind Water Systemslve into dangerous coliform subspecies, including:
Fecal coliform: Fecal coliform bacteria live in the intestines of animals and people. These coliform subspecies can pollute your water if they get to it via a septic tank that’s too close to your private well, improper waste practices, or untreated wastewater mixing with water sources feeding municipal populations. People exposed to fecal coliform through their drinking water experience serious health issues like typhoid fever and dysentery.
E. coli: Another subspecies of total coliform bacteria, E. coli, also known as Escherichia coli, is also common across the United States. While most of its strains are harmless, one of its most prominent strains, E. coli O157:H7, has been behind many disease outbreaks in recent years. The symptoms of this disease include bloody diarrhea and, in the worst cases, kidney failure.
Despite most coliform species being harmless, the presence of total coliform bacteria in water sometimes indicates the presence of harmful subspecies. So, even if you don’t show any of the symptoms mentioned above, you still need to do your best to prevent it from causing problems in the future.

Should I purchase a water filter that removes coliform bacteria?

Yes, especially if you reside in a rural area and depend on a private well for your drinking water supply. Buying a water filter to eradicate coliform species from your water is a smart choice.
Most municipal water suppliers and authorities disinfect their water lines with chlorine and chloramines or ozonation. Such practices destroy the already-existing pathogens in water and prevent them from multiplying.
However, even if you have shock-chlorinated your private well, chances are coliform bacteria are still present due to new bodies of water coming in. That’s especially the case when you don’t address the root of the problem, such as a leaky septic tank near your private well.
So, the best practice to protect your drinking water from coliform species is to purchase a UV purifier, countertop filter, or an under-the-sink unit equipped to deal with this problem.

How can I test my water for coliform bacteria?

The most precise way to know if coliform bacteria has contaminated your water supply is to collect a water sample from your faucet and send it to a water-testing lab certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Depending on the lab, you’ll get a detailed document listing the pollutants found in your water, including coliform bacteria, in a couple of days or weeks. Based on that info, you’ll know what your next step should be.
Please note if you doubt there are coliform bacteria in your drinking supply, you should immediately stop consuming the water. In such cases, sticking with bottled water until you find a permanent solution is better.

What’s the best water filter/purifier for coliform bacteria?

We can’t pinpoint one filter or purifier as the best choice for coliform bacteria because all the products on our list have at least a 99.9% neutralization rate. So, they’re all equally equipped for this purpose.
Yet, ultraviolet water purifiers, like the SpringWell device, are often considered the best way to deal with pathogenic organisms. But remember, to get the optimum efficiency from UV devices, you need to ensure your water quality is in line with the turbidity requirements of your chosen device.
To that end, we recommend testing your water for turbidity (by sending a water sample to a certified lab) and comparing the results to the online instruction manuals of the devices. If you can’t find an online manual, you should contact the manufacturer and ask them about the compatibility of their device with the turbidity levels of your water.
Additionally, installing a pre-filter is also a good idea.

Conclusion

Not all coliform strains are harmful, but when they’re, they lead to various severe health issues, including kidney failure. Most Americans, especially well-owners, choose water treatment solutions that destroy coliform bacteria to minimize this risk.

In that sense, SpringWell’s whole house UV device is a top item with its 30mj/cm2 UV lamp, 15 GPM flow rate, and lifetime warranty.

If you only want coliform-free drinking water, Acuva ArrowMAX is a portable UV unit with a decent pre-filter that allows you to filter the water at just one faucet.

The Aquasana Rhino combo, on the other hand, offers the most powerful UV lamp (40 mj/cm2) matched with one of the best well water filters on the market.

You also have a non-UV option in the Big Berkey, which rises above its competition with its innovative filter design that allows it to trap all coliform strains.

Lastly, Epic Smart Shield poses an excellent alternative to the other devices on our list for those looking to eliminate coliform bacteria in an affordable and eco-friendly manner.


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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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