Advice on water filter

Hi all

New to Malaysia and I am given to understand that one cannot directly drink the tap water here. Need your advice and suggestions for a good water filter.

A lot of people just have bottle water delivered - because the systems have a heater as well.

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I think Amway sometimes have some offers worth checking out

yes that is correct. you can PM me for more info on eSpring water treatment system.  As i have one myself.

The water is safe to drink, but tastes not so good. We use a sand filter outside for sediment removal and a filter at the sink. I think that many expats go overboard on filters and bottled water. Back in the US I was very picky about water and had an RO system, and I don't have any issues here.

Hi Bonfire,  Eco wise I object to bottled water but you are right, we are advised not to drink the water.  In fact after an accident the doctor said, "Very important that you do NOT wash your wound with tap water, it's dangerous".  I used to own a hotel and remembered the water was filtered through a triple filter and ultra violet system but when I looked into it it was way too big for a domestic service and VERY expensive here. That decided me to go to simply buying a Brita Filter Jug.  We are in a new apartment in the city and to be honest the water tastes fine, my wife being Malaysian has grown up drinking bottled water if not being boiled for tea etc. so she was more nervous than me about just using a simple filter jug, so initially we stayed on bottled water for her and filtered water for me, I was as we say, "The Guinea pig".  As I hadn't died after a couple of months my wife went onto filtered water too and after nearly 3 years neither of us have had a tummy upset other than from a rotten burger in a Western restaurant in town!! Welcome to KL.

I use a Coway filter which you can buy in instalments normally over 2 years. Foreigners are required to pay 50% up front to cover the first year then the remainder during the second year in monthly instalments. Someone will come every two months to service the unit. My unit was the top of the range unit, supplying hot and cold filtered water and cost around rm3200 in total

I think we just saw those at IOI. Looked very neat if it's the same thing, thought it was a unit which you put 25litre bottles of water because I had similar in Vietnam, very convenient for cup of tea! However they explained it was plumbed in. 2,900 myr on special.  But your kitchen layout has to be suitable.  The jug filter is 45 myr in the UK and the filters about 28 myr and we change ours every three months. I haven't seen any here but all the expats I know with them buy half a dozen filters when they go home.

Yes these units are plumbed in. Two small pipes, one inlet from the mains and the other waste. The plumbers here are quite resourceful in being able to merge the inlet pipe from the sink even

Who says you cant drink the water? Ive been drinking tap water almost 20 years and im still here!

I think whats going overboard are the scare tactics and pressure and sales tactics filter companies use to sell very expensive equipment. The most filtration Ive ever had is the double filter apparatus purchased at Giant for RM70, and then you replace the low cost filters when the water pressure drops or when the sediment filter becomes dark. I also bought another house line filter to attach at the meter but I have never installed it.

That said, how far should one go in filtering water? For me personally, the only way is distillation as it removes everything. I drank distilled water for at least 30 years in US. You can buy a suitable electric distiller on AliExpress for about US150, and those make about 4 gallons an hour.

Your choices otherwise are the large, outside tank filters you see everywhere, starting at about RM700. But on close examination of the guts, Im not convinced those filters do a good job at anything other that filtering dirt.

The village way to clean water is first to put water into large bottles and let them sit for a month so that all the sediment settles at the bottom, then pour the result into pots for boiling on the stove.

Berkey is believed to be a good system and what you can do is have the filters sent here from US and then go on Youtube to see how easy it is to make your own Berkey tanks. I wouldnt mind to do that.

Let me tell you some old news. In US, our water company issued reports and as far back as about 1990 said that some harmful contaminants simply cannot be filtered out and had already reached very high levels. As time has gone by, water contamination has worsened, with no further advances in technology to filter it out. Are we slowly dying from whats in the water? Sure, why not. What to do? Not much we can do. There is no house system that can filter petroleum contaminants, for example.

1. Dont worry too much.
2. Dont waste money on expensive systems that cannot do the job. How to know? Send samples to a lab for testing, you'll soon see how bad the filters are. INDAH is the water company in Malaysia and they have a lab.
3. Where expats can be helpful is to put undue pressure on the government to END the widespread practice of chemical dumping. Though there is no EPA here, there rules which are widely disobeyed. Where is the logic in believing that after someone dumps engine oil right on the ground, which then seeps into the ground water, that one can go to Tesco and buy a purification system for it? Seriously?
4. You want pure water? Its all around you and its free. Catch rain! Rain is distilled water and you can build (see on Youtube) an effective, simple and low cost rain water filter.

There is no easy answer for water that can simply be purchased, you (we) will have to fight for it. Nobody will willingly and happily give it to us. One way or the other, peoples' actions are required.

I would just mention you may need to be aware of reverse osmosis bottled drinking water - even coca cola produces some under their banner (Dasani). It is lethal for me to drink theirs if not subsequently boiled, although I can drink tap water apart from disliking its taste and occasional grittiness due to bad or unmaintained filters in the condo. I otherwise have a gut of iron and have no problem with anything else. But trial and error will let you know where some RO systems do not clean the water properly. Some condos produce brown water from every tap so filtering it is not going to achieve a very palatable quality.

Hi, a lot of good answers here. I'll add a few points from my experience:

1) Bottled mineral water is relatively cheap.
2) I have family who use simple water filters (like this) and boil the water afterwards. They're nearly 70 now and healthy.
3) My own family bought a reverse osmosis water filtration system (around RM3000) many moons ago, keep in mind you have to get it serviced every so often, but for the sheer convenience why not.

I would stay away from buying RO water from the vending machines as studies have found E. coli in the water samples (link).

I would suggest you to look for eSpring Water Treatment System ("eSpring") which has been awarded by the followings:
>>Certified by NSF International 42, 53, 55 and 401
>>Earned the Gold Seal from the Water Quality Association (WQA)
>>Received Readers Digest Most Trusted Brand Gold Award in Malaysia and Asia since 2005.
>>Awarded Frost & Sullivan's Choice of Water Filtration Company of the Year for Asia Pacific since 2010.

Besides these, eSpring is the world’s No. 1 selling brand of home water treatment systems.

Following are the benefits of eSpring:
1. Improves taste, odour and clarity of water.
2. Effectively reduces more than 140 potential health-effect contaminants and retains beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium with its carbon filter.
3.Destroys more than 99.99% of waterborne, disease-causing bacteria and viruses in drinking water with its ultraviolet light technology.

For more information and details may contact me at 016-447 0702 (Whatsapp)

Personally I wouldn't buy a water filter system in order to have drinkable tap water because you can easily subscribe to any of the many osmosis/drinking water suppliers and they give you a free water dispenser which supplies both hot and cold potable water and deliver those giant bottles of water directly to your home. Most people use these as I did for more than ten years.

If you are living in a condo, the management should clean those giant water tanks on the roof every six months and also get the water tested, but some managements do it once a year or when the water is dirty. The water supply to condos is supposed to be potable but condos often install filters before the water is sent up to the holding tanks. Still, I'd recommend not drinking water from the tap.

If the condominium is an old one then the old GI water pipes might be rusted through and produce reddish water. If the landlord has done a major renovation of the apartment he should have replaced all the pipes and electrical system (I've done this in two apartments), so ask him. Renting a newer apartment will not have these problems because Malaysia stopped using GI pipe quite a while ago and UPVC pipes are now standard. So before signing a rental agreement for an older apartment it is worth to run all the taps just to check that the water is clear.

Installing a filter at the junction where your water meter is located is good in order to have clear water and I believe costs below a thousand ringgit (I never had one installed so I don't know the exact price). Unless you own the apartment, it is something that you could ask the landlord to install before agreeing to move in.

Even with a filter system in place, I'd still prefer not to take the risk of drinking tap water and instead go for the suppliers of osmosis water along with the free water dispenser.

Why would you not drink the water once it's filtered?  That doesn't make sense.  When I did a lot of work in India my friend owned one of the biggest bottled water companies in India and I know the product was only filtered mains water.

PS.  The WHO issued a health warning about "Reverse Osmosis" water and I think it's important that people realise that over filtering water is no good for you..
"Why is reverse osmosis water bad for you?
Just about everyone knows that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, but few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals. ... However "only a few months exposure may be sufficient 'consumption time effects' from water that is low in magnesium and/or calcium to create serious health problems"

Um.... What the heck are you talking about?

Filtered tap water isn't the only source of calcium and magnesium. As long as you eat food you will get your daily requirements of both calcium and magnesium as well as most other minerals. Suggesting that by drinking Reverse Osmosis water and not drinking filtered tap water that you will get serious health problems is ludicrous.

Foods and drinks such as milk, cheese, beans, leafy veg, fish, nuts, yogurt, bananas, whole grain, avocados, broccoli, tofu, canned fish and so many others will easily provide your daily magnesium and calcium requirements.

And the great thing about these food and drink products that contain calcium and magnesium and most other minerals is that they are readily available in supermarkets all over Malaysia.

My brother in law is an International expert on Poverty and Nutrition. He's employed by the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION.  One thing he taught me (as I was the original owner of Penridge Nutrition and need constant information) is search the WHO before spouting nonsense.  So look and learn.  They state that drinking what tou call "Reverse Osmosis Water" very quickly deplets the body of the minerals you are getting from other food.
But to get to the original statement that even if domestic water has been filtered through these triple / quad filter systems still don't drink it! But drink Reverse Osmosis water....RO is just filtered water.  It's not magic it is just a marketing term for filtered water. They usually state, "Filtered under pressure"  if you look at the pressure it's about 1 bar...standard household water pressure.

Written on my phone in a cab.  Excuse any typos!

Water filters will not well clean water supplied through rusty pipes, and I have seen enough Management reports in Condominiums to know know that the large holding tanks, unless cleaned every 6 months, can harbour germs, and bad pH levels, etc. After ten or so years, those tanks need to be replaced or coated on the inside or lined inside. but many condos do not want to go to the expense and leave it longer. Old buildings use GI Pipes while new buildings use UPVC pipes. GI Pipes are a problem and still pretty widespread in older buildings where landlords who rent our their properties do not want to go to the expense of spending a small fortune replacing all the plumbing and water supply system for the entire property. I'm talking about the point where the pipes enter the property and throughout the apartment or house. What's the WHO's recommendations on that?

But if you feel so strongly about it then by all means tell others to ignore my advice and to drink filtered water from the tap. I am not bothered. I just know that I wouldn't.

May I also add that after living in Malaysia and more recently in Indonesia for around 15 years, and drinking water from water dispensers during all that time, that I am still alive and not suffering from mineral deficiencies. So I will definitely continue drinking RO or Spring water or any bottled mineral water, but will not begin to drink tap water unless I move back to Europe.

Up to you my friend.  I'm in a brand new condo and so far so good😊. I was in an old unit before and keep in touch with the new owner and he said they've had a new tank as the old one was, "disgusting".  I seriously doubt Malaysian bottled water is any cleaner than water from a domestic filter system.  The "Reverse Osmosis" filter suppliers in Sweden, USA etc. are now all offering "ReMin" filters because they recognise the problem. I actually marketed water treatment products for a UK company and had virtually everything they sold installed at my farm so I'm not anti filter systems, but I'd never ever recommend 'De-Ionised", or 'Distilled" or "De-Mineralised" bottled water to anyone other than to quench your thirst if you are out for the day.  As for the quality of water after being filtered, the company I had my kit from was EMWC, I'm sure they're still going.  I looked at NSA az well, either way they actually demo taking pond water and filtering it.  Even better, there was a company who took water from a septic tank, ran it through their unit and the salesman used to drink a glass!!!!  All I'll say is in my opinion, any 3 phase water filtering system will take out 99.9% of the bad stuff from the water supply. A four stage or 4 plus uv filter will in my opinion give you virtually distilled water which is bad for you. Only my opinion based on research that anyone can google.

Who ever thought water quality was such a sensitive subject.

Get mineral water as that is probably the safest and still has some nutrients......

iskandarhack :

Who ever thought water quality was such a sensitive subject.

It's not sensitive really, just different people have different opinions.

Serving on some Management Committees and having changed piping in two of my apartments in KL just makes me more aware of the issue about water quality. The incoming water from Syabus, at least in Bangsar, is supposed to be potable or almost. But what happens to that water once it comes in to the water system of a condo depends on the regularity that the Management clean the tanks. Each cleaning requires a water test before and after the cleaning. Then once the water arrives at your apartment it can be affected by your own piping system. In a new condo there is nothing much to worry about as long as the tanks are cleaned every six months. However, some condos clean the tanks once a year and some even less.

Anyway, for all I know most people drink from the tap in Malaysia and have a filter system installed. I just feel safer drinking bottled water.

I use a gravity water filter, have done so in Malaysia for many years.

I won't buy one made in Malaysia, though.  They have a tendency to develop mildew in them.  I only buy ones that are manufactured in Korea.

No fancy machines, no expensive contracts.  Pour tap water in, delicious clean water comes out.

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