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Water Filters That Removes Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are disinfection by-products from the chemical reactions between chlorine and natural organic matter in water. Long-term exposure to trihalomethanes may lead to various health conditions, including bladder cancer.

Municipalities use chlorine to disinfect tap water in the United States, so most of it contains trihalomethanes. Well water isn’t deprived of their presence either since most private wells are subjected to shock chlorination to prevent or diminish bacterial buildup.

Considering their health effects, it’s understandable why many Americans want to remove TTHMs from their drinking water supply. But which water filters are capable of doing that?

The best trihalomethanes water filter is the SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filter System, which uses KDF and catalytic carbon filtration to remove 99% of TTHMs in water.

TTHM WATER FILTER
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filter System
Whole House Filter
  • Filtration technology: KDF & catalytic carbon
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 9 GPM (1-4 bathrooms)
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
Reverse Osmosis System
  • Filtration technology: Activated carbon + reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Countertop reverse osmosis system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 95%
  • Contaminants removed: 82
  • Filtered water capacity: One gallon
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: One year
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s own 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99.6%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly a year)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Big Berkey Water Filter
Countertop Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Under detectable levels
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 2,25 gallons
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Best Water Pitcher Overall
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99.8%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Best Trihalomethanes Water Filters:

1. SpringWell CF1 – Best Whole House Filter For TTHMs

SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filter System
  • Filtration technology: KDF & catalytic carbon
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 9 GPM (1-4 bathrooms)
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • The combination of KDF media and catalytic carbon bed builds the perfect defense against TTHMs
  • Trusted brand
  • Great flow rate for a whole house filter
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t have any NSF certifications
  • Difficult installation

SpringWell is the go-to whole-house water treatment brand we recommend because they produce the most effective and popular products, be it for filtration or softening. The SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filter System is one of the brand’s flagship products, perfectly encapsulating why we like the brand with its efficiency against many contaminants, including total trihalomethanes.

The SpringWell CF1 reduces both chlorine, the chemical that by-produces TTHMs, and TTHMs with a minimum success rate of 99%. The device handles this task in a 4-stage filtration process:

  • Flex bed: The flex bed technology increases contact time between the water and filtration media. This way, the filtration media is able to reduce chemicals with small molecules like TTHMs more thoroughly.
  • Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) bed: KDF media is a special alloy of copper and zinc that reduces chlorine, heavy metals, and TTHMs by at least 99%. But it’s not all it does; the KDF media also protects against granular or activated carbon, prolonging its operation by first handling some of the most arduous contaminants.
  • Catalytic carbon media: If any TTHMs are left in the water after their treatment by the KDF bed of the SpringWell CF1, the catalytic carbon will take care of the rest. Standard activated carbon is already an excellent method to remove TTHMs, but catalytic carbon is a fantastic upgrade. In activated carbon, the carbon molecules are static, while in catalytic carbon, these molecules are electrically charged, which increases the method’s effectiveness.
  • 5-micron sediment filtration: Lastly, the SpringWell CF1 ensures that no sediment particles can find their way to your taps.

What we particularly like about the SpringWell CF1 is that it removes TTHMs and other contaminants without a drop in the flow rate thanks to its 9 GPM (gallons per minute) capacity, ideal for houses with 1-4 bathrooms. As a cherry on top, it has a lifetime warranty, meaning there’s no expiration date.

However, the high efficiency and lifetime service of this product comes at a lofty price of $1,016 (as at 03/09/2023) as the SpringWell CF1 is one of the most expensive whole house filters. Additionally, since it is a whole-house system, you’ll need a professional plumber to install it.

Lastly, this device has no NSF 53 (National Sanitation Foundation) certification to support its claims about its TTHMs removal capacity.


2. AquaTru RO – Best Reverse Osmosis System For TTHMs

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
  • Filtration technology: Activated carbon + reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Countertop reverse osmosis system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 95%
  • Contaminants removed: 82
  • Filtered water capacity: One gallon
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: One year
Pros
  • The combination of activated carbon and reverse osmosis technologies makes it highly efficient at dealing with TTHMs
  • Holds an NSF 53 certification and a performance data sheet that proves its claims regarding the removal of TTHMs
  • Will have one gallon of filtered water ready at all times as long as its unfiltered water tank is full
  • No installation is required since it’s a countertop unit
  • Portable
Cons
  • Only one-year warranty
  • Expensive for a countertop water filtration device
  • Made of plastic

You can’t find a better reverse osmosis system for TTHMs than the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System. This unit is even better than the SpringWell CF1 system because it holds an NSF 53 certification (the certification pertaining to the removal of TTHMs), which proves ot reduces TTHMs by a minimum of 95%.

Like the SpringWell CF1, the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System utilizes a four-stage filtration process to deal with TTHMs:

  1. Mechanical pre-filter: It removes sediment and turbidity from the water, allowing the other filtration components to do their job more effectively.
  2. Activated carbon pre-filter: As we mentioned when reviewing the SpringWell CF1, activated carbon is a successful treatment method against TTHMs, but that’s not all it does. It also removes chlorine and aesthetic impurities such as odor, taste, and color.
  3. Semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane: Reverse osmosis is one of the most robust water treatment methods for heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic, and dangerous chemicals like TTHMs. The semipermeable RO membrane of the AquaTru system takes care of whatever TTHMs are left after the activated carbon stage.
  4. Activated Coconut Shell Carbon VOC Filter: Lastly, the VOC filter of the AquaTru RO System eliminates volatile organic compounds from water. It also gives the water a pleasant taste thanks to its coconut shell.

With the 4-stage filtration process, the AquaTru RO System removes 81 contaminants, including lead, hexavalent chromium, PFAS, and TTHMs, as listed on its performance data sheet.

In contrast to the SpringWell CF1, a whole house unit, the AquaTru RO System is a countertop device. So, it won’t affect the water flow at your house; rather, as long as you regularly fill its unfiltered water tank, you’ll always have one gallon of filtered water ready for drinking.

That said, the device comes with only one year of warranty, which is humble compared to the lifetime warranty of the SpringWell CF1. The poor warranty becomes even more apparent when we take into account that the item is pricey for a countertop system made of plastic.


3. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink System – Best Under-the-Sink Filter For TTHMs

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s own 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99.6%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly a year)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • Innovative Clearly Filtered technology impressively reduces TTHMs by a minimum rate of 99.6%
  • Can staggeringly remove more than 232 contaminants
  • Holds NSF 53 certification
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Long filter life
Cons
  • Clearly Filtered replacement filters are expensive in the long run

If SpringWell is our favorite brand for whole house units, Clearly Filtered fills that spot for small devices, like under-the-sink units, water pitchers, and refrigerator filters. The brand’s 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System is a case in point as it’s NSF-certified (NSF Standards 42, 53, & 401) to reduce a staggering 232+ contaminants with an impressive 99.6% success rate for eliminating TTHMs.

Unlike the SpringWell and AquaTru models we reviewed above, the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink system has an effective three-stage treatment process:

  1. Advanced priming filter: The leading filter responsible for reducing TTHMs is the filter at the second stage of the process. However, the water must also be treated for sediment, chlorine, odor, taste, and color. The advanced priming filter reduces all of that.
  2. Heavy metal + VOCs filter: The power horse behind its impressive data sheet is the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink system’s heavy metal + VOCs filter. It’s what reduces heavy metals, dangerous chemicals like VOCs and PFAS, and of course, TTHMs with such a great success rate.
  3. Built-in fluoride filter: Clearly Filtered never employs reverse osmosis in its products, so it utilizes a special fluoride filter to eliminate this particular mineral from water.

RO systems typically remove healthy minerals from water. What we like about Clearly Filtered products is that they don’t use RO, so beneficial minerals remain in the water.

Sharing the same advantage as the SpringWell CF, this under-the-sink system has a lifetime warranty, showing the manufacturer’s trust in its product.

Additionally, most under-the-sink filters require you to replace their filters once every few months since contaminated water renders these filters inefficient very fast. However, that’s not the case for the Clearly Filtered unit, as most customers replace filters only once a year.

That being said, the replacement filters of the Clearly Filtered aren’t precisely the most affordable among their competitors. So, replacing them, albeit yearly, may burden your budget in the long run.


4. Big Berkey Water Filter – Best Countertop Water Filter For TTHMs

Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop system
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Under detectable levels
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 2,25 gallons
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • The unique filtration tech known as the Black Berkey Elements reduces TTHMs to under-detectable levels
  • Removes 203+ contaminants
  • The Black Berkey filter blends different filtration methods in one single cartridge
  • It’s a water purifier because it kills all viruses
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Tested by an EPA-certified lab
Cons
  • The filtration process takes two hours
  • Plastic spigot

In the same line as Clearly Filtered, Big Berkey doesn’t rely on reverse osmosis to treat water. Instead, the manufacturer utilizes its own technology called Black Berkey Elements. Thanks to this special technology, the Big Berkey is able to remove or reduce more than 203 contaminants, including TTHMs.

To successfully remove TTHMs, Big Berkey combines four different filtration methods in one single filter cartridge:

  • Micro-filtration: The Black Berkey filter consists of six different filtration media. While that’s not an innovation by itself, the way they’re placed inside the cartridge significantly amplifies the efficiency of these media. Their placement is intricate, and they have microscopic pore sizes, which present a “tortuous path for contaminants,” including TTHMs.
  • Absorption: Contaminants with ionic structures pass through filtration media with even the smallest pores. To that end, the Black Berkey Elements feature absorptive walls that attract and trap ions.
  • Adsorption: The adsorption method is aimed at tiny viruses, an essential feature of the Big Berkey which makes it a true “water purifier.” This technique allows the Black Berkey Elements to pull viruses by their electrostatic charge and eliminate them from the water.
  • Exposure time: The Big Berkey can’t produce water on demand. If you always want access to clean water, you must regularly fill its unfiltered water tank. That’s because the Black Berkey Elements take two hours to filter water. That being said, the prolonged contact time between water and filtration media ensures the most thorough filtration possible, reducing TTHMs to under-detectable levels.

Of course, the fact that the filtration process takes two hours may be a dealbreaker to some. Additionally, although the main body of this system is made of stainless steel, it has a plastic spigot, which is a shame for a product of its quality.

Finally, Big Berkey doesn’t hold an NSF 53 certification, but it has been tested by an EPA-certified water testing lab, so you may trust the manufacturer’s claims.


5. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher – Best Water Pitcher For TTHMs

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • TTHMs reduction rate: Minimum of 99.8%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Pros
  • Affinity Filtration technology reduces TTHMs by 99.8%, which makes it the best TTHMs filter on our list
  • The best water pitcher
  • Can remove 365+ other contaminants
  • Holds all the relevant NSF certifications
  • Filter lasts about three to four months
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The products itself and its replacement filters are among the most expensive on the market

Did you think that the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink System was remarkable? Well, let us introduce you to the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher, an amazing product not only in its category (water pitchers) but also in the water treatment niche as a whole.

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher reduces an unprecedented number of contaminants. According to tests run by an independent lab, that number is higher than 365, as listed in its performance data sheet. In addition, thanks to the unique Affinity Filtration technology, the filter can reduce TTHMs by 99.8%, which is extraordinary for a water pitcher.

Similarly to the Black Berkey Elements, the Affinity Filtration tech of Clearly Filtered has a distinctive physical structure that traps the molecules of contaminants like TTHMs in its many twists and turns. Further along the line, the filtration media in the filter cartridge act as a contaminant magnet attracting and binding many toxic pollutants.

Despite its unrivaled efficiency in contaminant reduction, the Clearly Filtered filter cartridge is long-lasting. It produces 100 gallons of clean water until it needs replacing, roughly three to four months.

The 10-cup capacity of the pitcher is also enough to meet the daily drinking water requirements of small families without needing too many refills.

Just like the other Clearly Filtered product on this list, the Water Pitcher comes with a lifetime warranty.

It also holds all the relevant NSF certifications, including the NSF 53, proving its TTHMs removal rate. Therefore, it inspires the ultimate confidence in customers and us.

However, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher and its replacement filters are among the most expensive in their category. Although the product is worth it, it might not be ideal for every budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about TTHMs and water filters that remove TTHMs.

What are the health risks associated with TTHMs?

Total trihalomethanes are associated with many health risks such as:

– problems in the central nervous system
– liver and kidney issues
– bladder and rectal cancer
– and increased cancer risk overall

Many variables prevent scientists from reaching comprehensive conclusions regarding the causal relationship between exposure to TTHMs and the above mentioned problems. Still, the scientific consensus is that there is risk.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency now regulates TTHMs under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs). According to the EPA, TTHMs in drinking water should never exceed the 80 parts per billion (ppb) threshold.

Should I install/purchase a water filter that removes TTHMs?

If the level of TTHMs in your water surpasses the limit set by the EPA, 80 ppb, you should purchase a water filter that removes TTHMs. As TTHMs are associated with many serious health problems, exposing yourself to these chemicals poses a risk to your health.

How can I test my water for TTHMs?

The best way to conduct a water test for TTHMs or other contaminants is to collect a water sample from one of your faucets and send it to an EPA-certified water testing lab.
Sending a sample to an EPA-certified lab will cost roughly $25 to $400, depending on the lab and what you need testing. The process takes time, but you’ll get a detailed list of what contaminants are in your water, what levels, and how these levels compare to EPA standards.

Which water filter is the best when it comes to removing TTHMs?

Although the answer to this question depends on what type of filter you’re in the market for, the best filter for reducing TTHMs is the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher, with an unequaled success rate of 99.8%.

However, a water pitcher might not be ideal for meeting the drinking water demands of crowded families. For those, the most powerful filter options against TTHMs are the SpringWell Whole House System and the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink Filter.

Note that while the former will provide TTHMs-free water for the whole house, the latter produces clean water only at one faucet.

What is the relevant NSF certification for TTHMs removal?

If you want to purchase an NSF-certified filter for removing TTHMs, you should look for an NSF 53 certification. This is because the EPA regulates TTHMs under the NPDWRs, and the NSF 53 certification pertains to contaminants regulated under the NPDWRs.

Conclusion

Total trihalomethanes are disinfection by-products associated with various health concerns, including increased cancer risk. So, it’s only reasonable that you want to remove them from your drinking water supply.

If you’re looking for a whole house filter that can provide clean water at all the faucets of your household, the SpringWell CF1 Whole House System is the ideal product for you due to its 99% TTHMs reduction rate.

For those needing an effective reverse osmosis unit, we recommend the AquaTru RO System. It can remove 95% of TTHMs alongside 81 other equally dangerous contaminants like lead.

Will an effective under-the-sink system providing clean water only at one faucet suffice? Then, you can do no better than the Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink Filter, which has a 99.6% success rate at reducing TTHMs.

Do you want a countertop unit that produces on-demand safe water and reduces TTHMs below detectable levels? Then, the Big Berkey is the answer.

Last but not least, if you’re in the market for an effective water filter pitcher, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is not only the most impressive water pitcher on the market but also the most impressive water treatment product you can find anywhere. Its 99.8% TTHMs reduction rate and 365+ other contaminants reduced are a great testament to this.

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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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