Best Water Filter to Remove Arsenic: 6 System Reviews + Buyer’s Guide 2023

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Arsenic in its many forms can be very dangerous to our health. And unfortunately, the element has found its way into our ground and surface waters from natural mineral deposits, but also as a byproduct of mining and other industry sectors as well as through agricultural use in fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

What’s most dangerous about arsenic: Dissolved in water, it can’t be detected by taste, odor, or color.

That’s why we created the buying guide below. It features the best water filters to remove arsenic.

On This Page You Will…

No Time to Read? Check Our List of the Best Water Filters to Remove Arsenic!

Water FiltersDetails
Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filter
Best for Whole House: Crystal Quest Arsenic Water Filter

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Price: $$$
Type: Whole House System
Arsenic Reduction: Up to 99%
Read Review: Click
Crystal Quest Big Blue Arsenic Water Filter
Best for Small Homes (1-2 People): Crystal Quest Big Blue

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Price: $$
Type: Whole House System
Arsenic Reduction: Up to 99%
Read Review: Click
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
Best for Ease of Use: Clearly Filtered Pitcher

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Price: $
Type: Water Pitcher Filter
Arsenic Reduction: 98.3%
NSF: 42, 53, 244, 401, P473
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter
Best for Under the Sink: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage

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Price: $$
Type: Under Sink
Arsenic Reduction: 94.3%
NSF: 42, 53, 401
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter
Best for Countertop/Gravity Filtration: Big Berkey

Price: $$
Type: Gravity Water Filter System
Arsenic Reduction: >99.9%
NSF: 42, 53
Read Review: Click
*Needs to be combined with Berkey’s PF-2 filter elements.
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
Best for RO Water Purification: AquaTru

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Price: $$
Type: RO System
Arsenic Reduction: Arsenic 5 (>98%), Arsenic 3 (50-80%)
NSF: 42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click

Best Water Filter for Arsenic Reviews

Review Order

  1. Crystal Quest – Best for Whole House
  2. Crystal Quest Big Blue – Best for Whole House (1-2 People)
  3. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher – Best for Ease of Use
  4. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage – Best for Under the Sink
  5. Big Berkey with PF-2 Filter Elements – Best for Gravity/Countertop Filtration
  6. AquaTru – Best for Reverse Osmosis Water Purification

1. Best for Whole House: Crystal Quest Arsenic Water Filter

In our opinion, the best water filter to remove arsenic in 2023 is the Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filtration System.

That’s because it uses iron oxide-based filter media to reduce up to 99% of total arsenic from water, possibly below detectable levels.

FYI: Total arsenic means both forms of arsenic occurring in water are being targeted (arsenic 3 a.k.a. arsenite, and arsenic 5 also called arsenate) –this is key if you want truly clean and healthy water in your entire home.

Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filtration System

Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filtration System

Type:Whole House
Ability to Remove Arsenic:Up to 99%
Warranty:1 Year

Our Rating

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crystal quest whole house water treatment setup image 1


  • System applies a 3-stage filtration process:
    • First, a sediment pre-filter removes larger particles like sand and dirt to protect the large mineral tank from clogging.
    • At filter stage 2, the arsenic reducing tank comes into play. Crystal Quest’s proprietary Eagle Arsenic Oxide removes up to 99% of all arsenic from water through a combination of adsorption, adhesion, and solid-solution formation. No chemicals or regeneration required.
    • Lastly, an activated carbon block post-filter traps volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, insecticides, and industrial solvents for healthier and great-tasting water.
  • Choose from 2 whole house water filter sizes:
    • 1.5 cubic feet resin system provides 750,000 gallons of filtered water at 9-11 gallons per minute flow rate (1-3 bathrooms).
    • 2.0 cubic feet resin system provides 1,000,000 gallons at 10-13 gpm (4-6 bathrooms).
  • Optional: Stainless steel casings for durability.
  • Optional: Water softener to tackle water hardness.
  • Optional: SMART water filter using special blend of coconut-shell granular activated carbon and catalytic carbon + two types of KDF filter media + anion exchange resin to filter out any remaining chemicals like chlorine and chloramine, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and more.
    • Ceramic and Tourmaline balls are used to balance water pH and reach alkalinity.
  • System installation is “easy and clear with solid instructions”.
  • The pre- and the post-filter need replacement every 12-18 Months. Average annual cost: ~$40-60 USD – highly affordable!
  • As a company, Crystal Quest is reliable and customer support is A+.
  • 1-year limited warranty.


  • Whole house arsenic water filtration isn’t cheap.

Best for

The Crystal Quest is best for people who want a whole house water filter for removing arsenic.

2. Best Whole House Arsenic System for 1-2 People: Crystal Quest Big Blue

Households with 1-2 people may want to consider using Crystal Quest’s Big Blue Whole House Arsenic Water Filter as an alternative to the much larger system reviewed right on top. It uses filter cartridges instead of a large mineral tank which is why it’s much cheaper upfront.

However, water flow is limited to 4-6 gallons per minute and thus usually doesn’t suffice for homes with 3 or more people. Also, the arsenic removal filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 60,000 gallons. For a 2-person household, that’s about once a year – at roughly $260.00 per cartridge.

In other words, from a long term perspective you’ll be much cheaper off investing your money in the Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filtration System above.

Crystal Quest Big Blue Arsenic Water Filter

Crystal Quest Big Blue Water Filter for Arsenic

Type:Whole House
Ability to Remove Arsenic:Up to 99%
Warranty:1 Year

Our Rating

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  • Excellent customer feedback. People are happy with their purchase and say everything works perfectly.
  • Filter cartridge contains arsenic-selective resin specifically designed to filter arsenic 3 and 5.
    • Reviewers reported arsenic below detectable levels post filtration.
  • Optional: Floor mount stand for increased durability.
  • Optional: SMART filter cartridge uses granular activated carbon, catalytic carbon, ion exchange resin, and Eagle Redox Alloy for broad contaminant removal.
  • Optional: Additional 5-micron carbon filter block for reducing VOCS, pesticides, and other chemicals.
  • 4-6 gallons per minute water flow is enough for 1-2 people.
  • Water filter is easy to install and maintain.
    • 1 arsenic filter cartridge lasts 60,000 gallons. Cost: $261 USD per piece.
  • Covered by 1-year limited warranty in case anything goes wrong.


  • The cost for replacement filters will start to add up over the years.

Best for

The Crystal Quest Big Blue is best for people living in a 1 to 2-person household looking for a POE arsenic filter.

3. Best for Easy Use: Clearly Filtered Pitcher

In our opinion, the best arsenic water filter in the pitcher category in 2023 is the Clearly Filtered. Total arsenic reduction: 98.3% according to NSF standardized testing. Total arsenic includes both arsenic 3 and 5.

What’s more, the water filter pitcher is tested to remove more than 365 other contaminants that may be present in your water supply – more than any other pitcher on the market. 5 stars!

Clearly Filtered Pitcher

Clearly Filtered Pitcher

Type:Water Pitcher Filter
Ability to Remove Arsenic From Water:98.3%
NSF:42, 53, 244, 401, P473

Our Rating

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Alexa’s Video Review

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 1Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 2Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 3Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 4

After setting up the pitcher and using it for a while we really liked this pitcher (…). It tastes really good, it pours easily, it was easy to set up, and I like how it looks on the counter. So it gets 5 stars in my book.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator



  • Made in USA!
  • The Clearly Filtered pitcher combines granular activated carbon with the company’s own Affinity Filtration Technology to eliminate more than 365+ water contaminants: Chlorine (99.5%), chloramines (99.7%), lead (99.3%), chromium 6 (97.8%), arsenic (98.3%), pharmaceuticals (up to 99.9%), pesticides (most to 99.9%), VOCs (most to 99.9%), PFAS (99.0-99.5%), bacteria (99.99%, and many more.
    • NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and P473 were met for guaranteed filtration effectiveness.
    • Provides healthy and great tasting drinking water.
  • 10-cup water storage volume is suited for family use.
  • Removable lid for easy refilling.
  • Tritan plastic material is 100% BPA-free.
  • Quick to assemble.
  • One filter cartridge serves 100 gallons of water. This is much more than what you get with the competition.
    • Keeps maintenance low.
    • Annual replacement cost: ~$150 USD which is okay. Discounts if you buy in bulk/subscribe.
  • Clearly Filtered offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and lifetime product warranty for peace of mind.


  • Pricey compared to other filter pitchers.

Best for

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is best for people who want a POU arsenic filter that’s easy to use, extremely effective, and affordable.

→ Read: Clearly Filtered Pitcher Thoroughly Reviewed

4. Best for Under Your Sink: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage

In the under sink category, the best water filter for arsenic in 2023 is the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage. It has been lab-tested against NSF standards to remove 94.3% of total arsenic in addition to over 200 other potentially harmful substances that you don’t want in your drinking water. Definitely worth checking out!

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter

Type:Under Sink
Ability to Filter Arsenic:94.3%
NSF:42, 53, 401

Our Rating

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Alexa’s Video Review

clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 1clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 2clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 3clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 4

I’m going to give this a 5-star because I think that this it is the nicest product you can get for under-the-sink filter. I can’t believe how much different it made my tap water taste coming out of the faucet. (…) on top of that it was super easy to install and I could do it myself.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator



  • Built in the USA!
  • 3-stage filtration process:
    • At stage 1, coconut shell GAC removes all kinds of chemicals such as chlorine (98.6%) and chloramines (95.3%), bad taste & odor, and volatile organic compounds among other stuff.
    • Filter stages 2 and 3 both target the trivalent and the pentavalent form of arsenic, which is what you want. Apart from that, heavy metals like chromium 6 (99.4%) and lead (98.9%), PFAS (>99.6%), radiologicals, and fluoride (90.7%) are eliminated.
  • System has met the requirements of NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53, and 401. This confirms that the under sink water filter performs as advertised.
    • Provides exceptionally clean water.
  • Hoses are made from durable stainless steel for longevity.
  • The non-permanent installation only takes about 10 minutes. Easy!
    • Inline system simply connects to your existing kitchen faucet.
  • Thanks to the modular filter design, you can change cartridges with just one twist, no need for tools. Capacity: 2,000 gallons of water or 1 year. Thus, it’s extremely easy to maintain the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage filtration system.
  • Backed by 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
  • Lifetime warranty? Check!


  • Water pressure is likely to decrease by 15-25%.
  • Domestic manufacturing means higher price tag than competitor models. Replacement filters aren’t cheap either.

Best for

The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage is best for people looking for an under sink arsenic water filter that’s compact, highly effective, and easy to set up.

→ Read: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Thoroughly Reviewed

5. Best for Countertop/Gravity Arsenic Filtration: Big Berkey with PF-2 Filter Elements

In case you’re looking for a countertop or gravity arsenic removal system, look no further. The Big Berkey is not only the most popular water filter in this category, it’s also the best.

It can be fed from any freshwater source including ponds, stream, and lakes, and produces potable water of exceptional quality – water that tastes great and that meets drinking water standards. This is also ideal in emergency situations.

Combined with PF-2 filter elements, you can achieve more than 99.9% arsenic reduction.

Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter

Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter

Type:Gravity System
Ability for Removing Arsenic:>99.9%
NSF:42, 53

Our Rating


  • The Big Berkey gravity water filter removes a wide range of different water contaminants. This includes chlorine, chloramine, chromium 6, cadmium, lead, mercury, disinfection byproducts, trace pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, volatile compounds, sediments, and even bacteria, cyst, and viruses.
    • In accordance with NSF 42 and 53-standardized testing.
  • The optional PF-2 filter elements boost arsenic removal to above 99.9%. Fluoride removal is increased likewise.
    • The filters get installed in the lower chamber, matched with the regular Black Berkey filters on top.
  • Berkeys come in several different sizes. The Big Berkey is the most popular and ideal for family use. It stores up to 2.25 gallons of water and produces up to 7 gallons per hour.
  • Durable and food-grade 304 stainless steel.
  • Rubber gasket prevents countertop surface scratching.
  • Assembling the autarchic filter system is quick and easy.
  • The standard Black Berkey filter elements provide 3,000 gallons of purified water (up to 3 years). PF-2 fluoride filters last 1,000 gallons per set of 2. Total annual cost: ~$160 which is okay.
  • The seller offers a lifetime warranty free of charge.


  • The additional PF-2 filter elements add to the cost.
  • Filter cartridges need to be re-primed on a regular basis.
  • Drinking water dispenser might leak.

Best for

The Big Berkey is best for people looking for a gravity filter system capable of eliminating arsenic, and ideal for home use and prepping.

→ Read: Big Berkey Thoroughly Reviewed

6. Best for Reverse Osmosis Water Purification: AquaTru

The AquaTru reverse osmosis system is the only water filter being part of this guide which was not specifically tested for arsenic reduction.

However, research showed that, applying reverse osmosis, arsenic reduction rates of 98% and higher are realistic. This only applies to arsenic 5 reduction, though. Arsenic 3 reduction varies between 50 and 80%.

As for the AquaTru reverse osmosis water filter itself, it’s NSF-certified for the removal of more than 80 contaminants providing safe drinking water free from unpleasant tastes and odors.

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Filter

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Filter

Type:RO System
Arsenic Reduction:Arsenic 5 (>98%), Arsenic 3 (50-80%)
NSF:42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Warranty:1 Year

Our Rating

Get 15% Off! Use Code: BOSAQUATRU

Alexa’s Video Review

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 1AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 4AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 3AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 2

The 3-part filtration system is quite impressive. It really removes everything out of the water. As far as water filtration systems go this will be a very high quality option for you. (…) Overall my review of this system is going to be a 4.5 out of 5.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator



  • Sediment and activated carbon pre-filter traps large particles to prevent clogging of subsequent filtration stages and adsorbs chlorine taste and odor (96.6%) + several chemicals.
  • RO membrane rejects heavy metals including lead, fluoride, cyst (99.99%), and total dissolved solids (87.1%).
  • Carbon filter block reduces organic contaminants, PFAS (97.5%), pesticides, and more.
  • System has earned 5 NSF certifications: 42, 53, 58, 401, and Protocol P473.
    • Outstanding test results guarantee pure drinking water.
  • Built-in pump increase water pressure for faster filtration with less water wasted.
    • System processes 1 gallon in 10-15 minutes.
    • Only 20% of input water goes down the drain. (3-5 gallons per 1 gallon filtered is the standard.)
  • RO water collects in front tank for easy dispensing.
    • Removable for cooling in refrigerator.
  • Countertop reverse osmosis system is installation-free which is not only convenient, it also saves you a lot of money. Setup barely takes 5 minutes.
  • Long lasting filters can be replaced with a simple twist – easy to maintain system.
    • The AquaTru will tell you when it’s time for a new filter cartridge.
    • Yearly cost: About $100-120 which is cheap.
  • Only BPA and BPS-free plastic used.
  • Everything is covered by 1-year warranty.


  • Design issue may cause leaking.
  • For some people the filtration system stopped working within a few months of use.

Best for

The AquaTru is best for people who want an RO system that’s installation-free, compact, and really effective at reducing arsenic.

→ Read: AquaTru Thoroughly Reviewed

Best Water Filters for Arsenic Comparison List

(Mobile Hint: Swipe to Scroll)

Water Filters that Remove ArsenicPriceTypeArsenic RemovalNSF/ANSIWarrantyAdditional Info
Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Water Filtration System$$$POE99%1 YearPoint of Entry Water Filtration System Filters Arsenic in Your Water + Heavy Metals, Also for Well Water
Crystal Quest Big Blue Arsenic Water Filtration System$$POE99%1 YearFilters Arsenic in Your Water + Heavy Metals, Also for Well Water
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Filter$Filter Pitcher98.3%42, 53, 244, 401, P473LifePoint of Use Filter for Highest Purified Water Quality
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Water Filter System$$Under Sink Filter94.3%42, 53, 401LifeHigh Quality Water Filter
Big Berkey Water Filter System$$Gravity Filter>99.9%42, 53LifetimeGravity Water Filter System Provides Exceptional Purified Water Quality, Also for Well Water
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Filter$$ROArsenic 5 (>98%), Arsenic 3 (50-80%)42, 53, 58, 401, P4731 YearRemoves 87.1% Total Dissolved Solids Including Heavy Metals

Buyer’s Guide: How We Picked the Best Arsenic Removal Systems

The following are things worth considering before you go out and hunt for the best arsenic removal system. These are also the very same criteria we focused on when picking our top products for this guide.

Types of Water Filter Systems and Their Arsenic Removal Capacities

Some contaminants like chlorine are easy to remove from water; arsenic isn’t one of them.

To be more precise, removing one form of arsenic, arsenic 5, is relatively simple. You can do so using a reverse osmosis system for example. But removing the other form, which is arsenic 3, you’ll have much more difficulties.

But it’s doable. You just need the right type of water filter or rather water treatment method. These are:

  • Oxidation + filtration
  • Coagulation + filtration
  • Adsorption using iron oxide
  • Adsorption using activated alumina
  • Distillation

Side note: Both anion exchange and reverse osmosis only affect levels of arsenic 5 in water.

You also need to decide if you prefer point-of-use (POU) or point-of-entry (POE) water treatment. As the name suggests, POU filtration provides clean water at a single tap only such as your kitchen sink, whereas POE is a synonym for whole home applications.

big blue whole house water filter

If all you want is treat arsenic in your drinking water and nothing else, installing a relatively inexpensive under sink or countertop water filter is the most straightforward solution. Of course, in this case you can’t drink from any faucet in your home but one.

If you insist on whole house water filtration, though, be prepared to invest a bit more for a water treatment solution that really works.

Filtering Other Water Contaminants

It’s unlikely that there is just arsenic lurking in your water supply. So, think about adding additional filtration stages to filter other types of water contaminants.

Flow Rate

In case of whole house water filtration systems, you need to make sure that a system can provide enough water flow to meet your demand even at times of peak consumption.

Otherwise, you might see a drop in water pressure when using multiple water outlets at once.

Filter Life & Maintenance

A longer service life reduces the amount of time and money you need to invest into maintaining your new arsenic removal system. The Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House System is definitely the top choice here since all that’s required are replacement of the pre-filter and post-filter every 12-18 months. #cost-effective

Your Budget

When you calculate your budget, also take long term expenses into account, especially for new filter cartridges. Oftentimes, the cost is much higher than the original purchase price of a water filter system.

More on Arsenic Water Filters

What is Arsenic and What is it Used For?

Arsenic is a chemical element that naturally occurs in minerals in the earth’s crust and also in pure crystal form.

Primarily, arsenic is used in batteries and as a semiconductor in electronic devices. It’s also being used for the production of ammunition and, in declining quantities, in the agricultural sector as part of pesticides.

Arsenic in Well Water & City Water

Where Does the Arsenic Come From?

Because arsenic is a natural component in the soil, arsenic contamination in deeper levels of groundwater is a widespread issue that severely affects more than 100 million people all over the world.

As for the US, arsenic is found most often in the ground waters of the southwest.

In some cases, arsenic water contamination is men made and a result of agricultural or industrial runoff.

Map: Private Domestic Wells in US Counties with High Arsenic Levels

Map: Arsenic Levels in Private Domestic Wells in U.S. Counties (µg/L, Micrograms Per Liter) – Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Types of Arsenic in Water

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of arsenic found in water:

  1. Arsenite, also called trivalent arsenic or arsenic 3 – Other forms of spelling are arsenic(III), As(III), and arsenic-3.
  2. Arsenate, also called pentavalent arsenic or arsenic 5 – Other forms of spelling are arsenic(V), As(V), and arsenic-5.

Which of the two you may be facing depends on the amount of oxygen in your water source. Higher oxygen levels usually lead to increased arsenic 5 concentrations and less arsenic 3.

This has to do with oxidation and applies to groundwater but also to municipal water systems which oftentimes treat their water with chlorine for disinfection. Chlorine as a common oxidation agent oxidizes arsenic 3 to arsenic 5.

Health Effects of Arsenic in Drinking Water

Although arsenic 3 is more toxic than arsenic 5, all forms are a serious health risk. That’s why the metalloid was classified as a Group-A carcinogen by the EPA.

Consequently, there currently exists a federal standard that defines the highest level of arsenic allowed in drinking water. It’s set to 10 parts per billion (used to be 50 ppb before January 2001).

However, due to the fact that arsenic is a cancer-causing pollutant the non-enforceable federal health guideline is 0 ppb. The guideline defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is 0.004 ppb which is considered as not posing a significant health risk.

Speaking of health risks, arsenic is associated with skin, lung, bladder, kidney, and liver cancer. Other health concerns include:

  • Harm to the central nervous system
  • Harm to the brain
  • Cardiovascular effects (increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes)
  • Diabetes
  • Skin lesions
  • Harm to the lungs
  • Impaired intelligence, behavioral problems, harm to the developing immune system (in case of prenatal exposure)

The good news is, unless your arsenic level is extremely high (over 500 ppb), showering, bathing, and other household uses are safe. Arsenic is not absorbed through the skin, nor does it evaporate into the air.


Did you know that food not water is the main cause for arsenic exposure in our country? In other words, our diets play a major role when trying to reduce the amount of arsenic we ingest on a daily basis.

The biggest culprit: Rice and rice-based processed foods including cereal, pasta, and rice milk. This is because rice plants accumulate arsenic from water and soil.

Testing conducted by Consumer Reports showed that more than 200 samples of rice products contained measureable amounts of arsenic, many at worrying levels, both in inorganic as well as organic forms.

Bottom line: Removing arsenic from your drinking water is a great start, but don’t underestimate the potential impact of your diet.

How to Test Your Water for Arsenic

The easiest way to find out if there is any arsenic present in your tap water is by checking the EWG Tap Water Database. Simply enter your zip code and you will be shown a list of suppliers that serve your area and the surrounding county. Click the name of your utility to learn about all the contaminants detected between the years 2010 and 2015.

Another option is to contact your supplier directly and ask for a free Water Quality Report.

What do you do, however, if you are on a private well? One way to go about this is to reach out to your local health department. The staff should be able to tell you whether or not arsenic is a problem in your area.

If you want absolute certainty you should have a water sample tested by an accredited laboratory. Or you can do the testing yourself. A variety of test kits is available that allow for easy, cheap, fast, and relatively accurate testing. Tip: You want to look out for kits that provide useful arsenic detection levels like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, and 50 ppb.

Water Testing Report

How to Best Remove Arsenic from Water at Home

Given the fact that tap water contaminated with arsenic is being served to millions of Americans each year – not to mention the people that receive their water from a polluted well – searching for ways to have the toxin removed from our water at home feels like a worthwhile endeavor.

Where to start? First of all, it’s important to distinguish between arsenic 3 and arsenic 5 in the source water. The latter can be removed pretty easily by most filter systems. But arsenic 3 is more soluble and thus requires a more sophisticated approach. Other factors to consider are water flow rate and the presence of other contaminants, primarily iron.

That being said, with arsenic removal the goal should be to reduce your intake from drinking water as much as possible. The following water treatment methods can help you achieve this:

  • Oxidation + filtration – For iron levels above 0.3 ppm and an iron-to-arsenic ratio of at least 20:1, iron removal processes can be used to get rid of iron AND arsenic.
  • Coagulation + filtration – For iron levels above 0.3 ppm and an iron-to-arsenic ratio of less than 20:1, coagulation followed by filtration is recommended.
  • Adsorption using iron oxide – Ideal for iron levels below 0.3 ppm.
  • Adsorption using activated alumina
  • Anion exchange – Ideal for iron levels below 0.3 ppm. Arsenic 5 only.
  • Distillation
  • Reverse osmosis – Primarily arsenic 5.

Additional pre-treatment may be required, particularly if you are on a private well.

What’s more, you should test the water quality periodically to monitor the levels of arsenic to ensure timely filter media replacements.

Oxidation + Filtration

This basically is an iron removal process. But it works for removing arsenic, too!

Arsenic 3 is oxidized to arsenic 5 as the first step. This can be achieved using chemical additives such as chlorine, ozone, or potassium permanganate. Due to the strong oxidizing properties, contact time is not a critical factor.

The filtering media that follows may consist of sand, sand and coal anthracite, or proprietary products like Pyrolox, Birm, and manganese greensand. Backwashing of the media is required.

Coagulation + Filtration

Coagulation + filtration is a very common and effective method for getting arsenic-free water.

Metal salts, especially iron, are dissolved into the water causing the arsenic to coagulate (bind to the additive). The newly-formed, larger solid particles can then be pressure-filtered. Pressure filters require backwashing.


Next we have adsorption media filters which is the industry standard for arsenic removal.

Using Iron Oxide

Granular iron (hydr)oxide-based media housed in a large tank adsorbs arsenic into its tiny surface pores – similar to how carbon filter media works.

Titanium and different kinds of hybrid media that contain iron-impregnated resin are also highly effective.

The media bed removes arsenic until it’s exhausted. Regular media replacement is mandatory.

Using Activated Alumina

Although more effective at removing pentavalent arsenic, activated alumina (or short AA) adsorption works for both arsenic 3 and 5 with achievable reduction rates of more than 95%.

Additional benefits are that activated alumina will also remove any fluoride that might have been added into your water and which you might be concerned about. Plus, activated alumina is easy to handle because there’s no wastewater and backwashing.

One example of a water filter using AA for arsenic removal: The Berkey, one of the most popular gravity-fed water filters.

Anion Exchange

Similar to a water softener, an anion exchange system relies on a resin bed housed in a large tank to remove the pentavalent form of arsenic from water.

How exactly does the process work? As water passes through the tank, the arsenic replaces chloride ions attached to the resin which becomes exhausted over time.

Eventually, the resin needs to regenerate by backwashing with supersaturated sodium chloride solution. The chloride strips the embedded arsenic molecules of the resin which are then flushed out in the wastewater.


Distillation provides the cleanest water of all purification methods.

First, water is heated to its boiling point. As it vaporizes, it leaves almost all contaminants behind including both forms of arsenic and cools down in a cooling coil where it condenses back into its liquid form. The water is then collected in a separate container.

For more info check the BOS Guide on the Best Water Distiller Systems for Home Use.

Reverse Osmosis

Does reverse osmosis remove arsenic from water?

Yes, it does. As studies have shown, reduction rates of more than 98% are realistic. However, this only applies to As(V). Removal of As(III) by reverse osmosis water purification is 50-80%.

Complete removal of As(III) needs pre-oxidation to convert to As(V) which reverse osmosis systems can then filter out. This additional step will increase the cost and complexity of the setup.

under sink reverse osmosis system

Does Carbon Remove Arsenic?

Regular activated and even catalytic carbon filtration won’t help removing arsenic. Removal capabilities are insufficient.

Do Brita Water Filters Remove Arsenic and How About PUR?

Pitcher, dispenser, or faucet units – as far as Brita is concerned, the popular water filters won’t have any effect on arsenic content. Unfortunately, the same goes for PUR.

Does Boiling Water Remove Arsenic?

Unfortunately, heating or boiling water will not remove arsenic. In fact, due to evaporation arsenic concentrations can actually increase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Does a water softener remove arsenic in water?
    No, water softeners are useless for removing arsenic.
  • Does ZeroWater filter out arsenic?
    Yes, according to ZeroWater, arsenic 3 is removed by 85% and arsenic 5 by 93% after 40 gallons of water filtered.
  • How much is too much arsenic in well water?
    It depends. The federal standard for arsenic in drinking water is 10 parts per billion. For shower and bathing etc., up to 500 ppb should not be a problem.

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Questions about the best water filters for arsenic? Ask away!

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About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald has been with BOS since the very beginning. She is head of content creation and has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
Learn more about Gene and the rest of the BOS Team.


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