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Best Chromium 6 Water Filters

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

Chromium 6, also referred to as hexavalent chromium, is a naturally occurring heavy metal. But often, it contaminates water supplies due to improper industrial waste practices, as exemplified by the Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) case.

If your water supply has hexavalent chromium, you should immediately take action to remove it because it’s associated with severe health repercussions. Some complications caused by chromium VI include damage to the respiratory tract and an increased risk of lung and nasal cancers.

So, purchasing water treatment devices that remove it from your drinking water supplies is highly advisable. But which water filter on the market is the best for eliminating chromium 6?

Our experience, tests, and analyses show that the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink is the best unit for reducing chromium 6. However, our list also features the best water pitcher, countertop filtration unit, and reverse osmosis system for chromium removal, so you can pick the product that suits your needs best.

Top 5 Chromium 6 Water Filters Are:
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter SystemCheck Price
Best Water Filter Overall
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 99.4%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons (roughly a year)
  • NSF certifications: NSF Standards 42, 53, & 401
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 97.8%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF certifications: NSF Standards 42, 53, 401 & 473
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Big Berkey Water Filter
Best Countertop Filtration Unit
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop filtration unit
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 95%
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtration capacity: 6,000 gallons for two-filter setups (roughly  two years)
  • NSF certifications: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
Best Reverse Osmosis Device
  • Filtration technology: Reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Countertop reverse osmosis system
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 94.7%
  • Contaminants removed: 82+
  • Filtration capacity: Unspecified (We recommend replacing its filters once a year)
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, & P473
  • Warranty: One year
US Water Systems Purely EZ Triple Whole House System
  • Filtration technology: Sub-micron filter with PAC and Agion Silver
  • Filter type: Cartridge-based whole house filtration unit
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 85%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 15 – 20 GPM
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42 & 61
  • Warranty: Unspecified

Reviews of Top 5 Chromium 6 Water Filters

Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink – Best Water Filter Overall for Chromium 6

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter SystemCheck Price
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 99.4%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons (roughly a year)
  • NSF certifications: NSF Standards 42, 53, & 401
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • With a 99.4% success ratio, it has the best chromium 6 reduction capacity
  • Can reduce more than 232 contaminants other than hexavalent chromium
  • Doesn’t rely on reverse osmosis or ionic exchange for chromium reduction
  • Doesn’t affect healthy minerals during the chromium reduction process
  • Durable filters
  • Holds all relevant NSF certifications and a thorough performance data sheet
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive unit
  • Expensive replacement filters

The Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink is the best filtration unit for reducing hexavalent chromium with a minimum of 99.4%. What impressed us most is that it doesn’t rely on filtration techniques like reverse osmosis during its chromium reduction process.

Most chromium 6 filters employ either reverse osmosis or sophisticated ionic exchange devices to reduce or eliminate chromium. However, they also remove healthy minerals during the water treatment process, making the water relatively neutral and bland-tasting.

Clearly Filtered, on the other hand, developed its unique filtration method. Instead of a reverse osmosis membrane or an expensive ion exchange resin, the device features a special heavy metals + VOCs (volatile organic compounds) filter targeting substances such as hexavalent chromium and lead.

This unique filter, which enters the frame in the second phase of Clearly Filtered’s three-stage filtration process, surprised us with its 99.4% chromium reduction rate. The most efficient reverse osmosis unit, the AquaTru, doesn’t deliver this kind of efficiency.

Moreover, as seen in its performance data sheet, the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink unit reduces 232 other contaminants as efficiently as chromium. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified the factuality of the claims, reinforcing the brand’s trustworthiness.

Unlike many other under-the-sink filters that have a life expectancy of around six months, Clearly Filtered filters are among the most long-lasting on the market. Depending on your household’s water use, they last as long as a year, roughly adding up to 2,000 gallons of chromium-free water.

That said, neither the filtration unit nor the replacement filters are budget-friendly. However, if you want the most powerful unit regarding chromium reduction, there’s no better solution than the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink system.

Lastly, you’ll be happy to know this product comes with a lifetime warranty and is made in the United States.


Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher – Best Water Pitcher for Chromium 6

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 97.8%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF certifications: NSF Standards 42, 53, 401 & 473
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • Reduces 97.8% of chromium VI thanks to its unique Affinity Filtration technology
  • Reduces 365+ other contaminants
  • Doesn’t affect the healthy minerals content
  • NSF-certified with an impressive performance data sheet
  • Durable filters
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive unit for a water pitcher
  • Expensive replacement filters

The Clearly Filtered 10-cup (80oz) water pitcher has a less impressive reduction capacity than the under-the-sink model we just reviewed. However, its minimum reduction rate of 97.8% is still better than the best reverse osmosis units available today.

Most impressively, Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher reduces more than 365 distinct contaminants (see its NSF-certified performance data sheet), making it even more versatile than the under-the-sink model.

Compared to the under-the-sink model,  the water pitcher doesn’t have a special filter for heavy metals and VOCs. Instead, it utilizes another innovative technology called Affinity Filtration to reduce dangerous substances like chromium 6.

This filtration process is a blend of different technologies the manufacturer doesn’t disclose. However, we know its remarkable success is mainly due to its two unique elements:

  • Unique structure: The various filtration materials used in Clearly Filtered’s water pitcher create numerous barriers that impede the passage of contaminants through the filter. With these obstacles, it effectively traps pollutant molecules, including chromium 6.
  • Contaminant magnet: The walls and paths of the filter act like a contaminant magnet that pulls and traps impurities with an ionic structure.

Similarly to the under-the-sink model, the pitcher’s filter is long-lasting. While the filters of most water pitchers need to be replaced once every two to three months, Clearly Filtered’s lasts around four months.

Also, as with all Clearly Filtered products, the water pitcher is 100% made on domestic soil and comes with a lifetime warranty.

However, it shares the main cons of its under-the-sink sibling: it’s expensive for a water pitcher, and so are its replacement filters.


Big Berkey Water Filter – Best Countertop Filtration Unit for Chromium 6

Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop filtration unit
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 95%
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtration capacity: 6,000 gallons for two-filter setups (roughly  two years)
  • NSF certifications: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • Highly effective against chromium 6
  • Removes 203+ other contaminants
  • Extraordinary 6,000-gallon filtration capacity
  • Tested by various EPA-certified labs
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The filtration process takes two hours
  • Plastic spigot

If Clearly Filtered produces ground-breaking water pitchers, under-the-sink systems, and refrigerator filters, we can say the same about Big Berkey regarding countertop filtration.

According to Envirotek Laboratories, Big Berkey removes a minimum of 99.9% of chromium 6 from water. At the same time, the Environmental Toxicology Laboratory of the County of Los Angeles reported its removal rate is no less than 95.0%. In either case, both percentages indicate a remarkable removal capacity that Big Berkey achieves thanks to its sophisticated ion exchange technology.

This technology involves Black Berkey Elements, Berkey’s proprietary filtration techniques.

However, we know these filters force contaminants such as chromium 6 into a labyrinthine-like path. In addition, they use absorption technology, which draws and neutralizes contaminants with an ionic structure.

On top of that, Big Berkey is a gravity filter, meaning the system doesn’t push water from its unfiltered water tank to the filtered water tank. Instead, it lets gravity do that, which prolongs contact time between filters and water, ensuring better contaminant removal.

Big Berkey also sports a long filter lifespan. The Black Berkey Elements last over two years, producing roughly 6,000 gallons of clean and chromium-free water.

However, once you fill the unfiltered water tank, you’ll have to wait two hours for it to complete its treatment process, which may be frustrating for people who prefer clean water on demand.

We also don’t like that its spigot is plastic despite its main body being stainless steel. It’s ill-suited for such a high-end, effective product.


AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System – Best Reverse Osmosis Device for Chromium 6

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
  • Filtration technology: Reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Countertop reverse osmosis system
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 94.7%
  • Contaminants removed: 82+
  • Filtration capacity: Unspecified (We recommend replacing its filters once a year)
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, & P473
  • Warranty: One year
  • Price: $449
Pros
  • Robust RO membrane that removes at least 94.7% of hexavalent chromium
  • Two pre-filters that ensure efficient RO performance
  • Removes more than 82 other contaminants
  • NSF-certified and comes with a performance data sheet
Cons
  • Most of its components are made of plastic
  • Only one-year warranty

As we mentioned earlier, reverse osmosis (RO) technology is one of the most popular methods for chromium removal. However, among all the RO systems on the market, AquaTru, with its 94.7% removal capacity, is the only product that comes close to Clearly Filtered and Berkey’s reduction rates.

Reverse osmosis devices push water through a semipermeable membrane with microscopic pore size. Since the pore size is extremely small, the molecules of some of the most common water contaminants, including chlorine, lead, and hexavalent chromium, can’t pass through the membrane.

However, for the reverse osmosis process to work effectively, the water should be clear of sediment and turbidity, which otherwise would clog the pores of the reverse osmosis membrane. To that end, AquaTru RO features a mechanical and an activated carbon pre-filter.

While the mechanical pre-filter handles large-particle sediments, including dirt, dust, and clay, the activated carbon media removes aesthetic impurities such as chlorine. This process eases the job of the RO membrane to a great extent and is one of the main reasons why the AquaTru emerges as the best option among RO systems.

Additionally, most RO manufacturers, like WaterDrop or FrizzLife, don’t care for NSF certifications. AquaTru, on the other hand, has all the relevant NSF certifications (NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, & P473) for chromium 6 removal and other claims. Plus, it has a detailed performance data sheet listing info about 82 contaminants.

On a more negative note, the manufacturer offers only a one-year warranty for the device, which falls short when you consider the lifetime warranties of Clearly Filtered and Berkey units.

Adding to that, the components of the device are made of plastic, which makes us more forgiving of the Berkey for its plastic spigot.


US Water Systems Purely EZ Triple Whole House System – Best Whole House System for Chromium 6

US Water Systems Purely EZ Triple Whole House System
  • Filtration technology: Sub-micron filter with PAC and Agion Silver
  • Filter type: Cartridge-based whole house filtration unit
  • Chromium 6 reduction rate: Minimum of 85%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 15 – 20 GPM
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42 & 61
  • Warranty: Unspecified
  • Price: $599
Pros
  • Rare whole house unit that removes chromium VI
  • Space-friendly
  • Great flow rate
Cons
  • 85% hexavalent chromium reduction rate is very humble
  • Warranty not specified

Typically, whole house water filtration units are less effective against heavy metals like hexavalent chromium than against more common contaminants such as chlorine. Even when the manufacturers claim that their product removes heavy metals, they rarely back such claims with scientific proof.

The US Water Systems Purely EZ is an exception.

The unit rises above its competition by performing well in reducing chromium. And a certified lab verified that Purely EZ reduces chromium 6 by at least 85%.

The Purely EZ is a cartridge-based system, and its success against chromium is mainly due to the filter media present in its second filter cartridge, including:

  • US Water Sub-Micron Interceptor
  • Powdered activated carbon (PAC) media
  • Antimicrobial silver composite (Agion Silver)

The Sub-Micron Interceptor works similarly and slightly less effectively than RO membranes. The PAC media provides an extensive surface and prolonged contact time between the water and filters. The silver composite, on the other hand, prevents bacterial or microbial buildup inside the filter and absorbs heavy metals with ionic structures, like hexavalent chromium and mercury.

In addition to being a rare whole house filter with a high chromium removal capacity, the US Water Purely EZ is space-friendly. It lacks the bulky tanks associated with more traditional whole-house systems. So, even if you’re short on space, you can still have chromium-free water from all taps within your household.

Most whole house systems have a 7-9 gallon water per minute (GPM) flow capacity. YetPurely EZ comes with 15 to 20 GPM, ideal for crowded households with up to seven bathrooms.

However, we have two main problems with this product. First, the manufacturer doesn’t specify any info concerning warranty options. Second, the 85% reduction rate is poor, so we think you’re better off with some of the other systems on your list, although they’re not whole-house water treatment systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions concerning hexavalent chromium and filters that remove this heavy metal.

What are the health risks associated with chromium 6?

Exposure to chromium 6 is associated with a broad range of health effects. Drinking water contaminated with chromium 6 may lead to:
Cancer in lung, nose, and nasal sinuses
Increased risk of stomach cancer
Gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, abdominal pain, and bleeding
Skin irritation, including but not limited to allergic dermatitis
The Environmental Protection Agency only confirms the claims that the contaminant causes skin irritation, stating that other possible complications require further research. However, based on the adverse skin effects, it has established a 0.1 mg/L (100 parts per billion) safety threshold for chromium 6 in drinking water.

Should I purchase a water filter that removes chromium 6?

Considering substantial research data indicates an increased cancer risk, we recommend that you do your best to eliminate chromium 6 from your drinking water supply. So, if there’s chromium 6 in your water, you should purchase a water filter capable of removing it.

Which water filter is the best for removing chromium 6?

The Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink model is the best device for reducing hexavalent chromium. Thanks to the Clearly Filtered innovative technology, its under-the-sink device reduces chromium 6 by a staggering 99.4%.
The water test conducted by Envirotek Laboratories shows that the Big Berkey removes this heavy metal by 99.9%. However, the inorganic test report from the Environmental Toxicology Laboratory of the County of Los Angeles established that rate as only 95%.
So, we’re taking the safe road by sticking with our #1 choice, the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink model.

How can I test my water for chromium 6?

If you’re connected to a tap water system, your water supplier should send you consumer confidence reports detailing the contaminants in your water and their levels annually.
If you don’t want to rely on this official confidence report, or if you have reason to suspect that your water is contaminated and have to wait several months for the next one, you have the option of collecting a water sample from one of your faucets and sending it to an EPA-certified water testing lab.

If you depend on a private well for your water supply, you don’t have another option than to send a water sample to an EPA-certified lab.

A certified water testing lab usually charges between $25 to $400 for a test. You’ll receive a detailed list of contaminants, their concentrations, and how they fare against EPA standards.

Needless to say, if you suspect that chromium VI contaminates your water, you should immediately stop drinking it and stick to bottled water until it’s safe again.

What is the relevant NSF certification for removing chromium 6?

There’s currently no specific NSF certification pertaining to the removal of chromium 6.
That said, NSF-certified devices always come with performance data sheets that you can access online to see which certifications they do hold. By checking out these data sheets, you may learn whether the device you’re researching is able to remove hexavalent chromium and at what rates.
All the products we included in this list are NSF-certified.

Conclusion

Chromium 6 is a dangerous contaminant that has been potentially linked to various types of cancer, although more research is needed. If you suspect your water is contaminated, you should take immediate action to make sure you stay on the safe side.

The Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink model is your best bet, with a 99.4% reduction rate. If you’re looking for a water pitcher, the brand’s water pitcher option is another excellent water treatment device, as it reduces this heavy metal by 97.8%.

Do you want a trusted countertop unit to remove chromium VI? Then, the Big Berkey is a great choice as it removes at least 95% of it from water.

On the other hand, we recommend the AquaTru system if you want a reliable RO unit. Its minimum 94.7% reduction rate for hexavalent chromium makes it the best in its category.

Lastly, the US Water Systems Purely EZ  is a decent whole house alternative for those who want to treat the water at all the faucets in their household.

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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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