Water purifiers for different budgets
An expensive RO purifier does the best work, but tests by Right Choice magazine confirm that even non-electric purifiers, which cost under Rs1,000, can get the job done.
Products that keep you healthy aren’t what you want to save money on. But there is a wide difference between the cheapest water purifiers on the market and the costliest. How much? Well, non-electric purifiers start at around Rs1,000, while those that use reverse osmosis (RO) technology can cost a hefty Rs17,000, with UV purifiers in the Rs6,000 to Rs8,500 price range (September 2013). If you’re looking to buy a water purifier, you probably want to know what each category is giving you for your money.
The magazine Right Choice recently tested all three and found that while more expensive technology does a better job at bringing contaminants much below acceptable limits, the cheapest technology is also capable of giving you safe drinking water. Here’s what their tests revealed:
RO purifiers use membranes to flush out impurities. They do a great job, but are also the most expensive technology available. Right Choice tested four RO purifiers and found that all of them did an excellent job of removing contaminants and impurities. It also rectified hardness of water and made it more palatable. The lowest score awarded to a RO purifier was 96%. If you are looking to buy one of these, consider buying the Eureka Forbes Aquasure Nano. With a Right Choice score of 99%, it also cost the least, with a retail price of Rs9,999.
Pros: Does a near perfect job of purifying your water. On par with standards applied by bottled water plants.
Price range: Rs9,999 to Rs17,000
Using UV radiation, these purifiers deliver very good results for a relatively cheap price. All purifiers using this technology gave great results in the Right Choice test, with the lowest score being 87%. UV purifiers manage to remove almost all impurities, chemicals, bacteria and viruses. However, its major flaw is that it does not rectify hardness of water. The Kent UV Maxx UV purifier (Rs7,950) got the highest score (91%) in this category.
Pros: Quick and effective, UV filters are much more effective than basic chlorine treatments.
Cons: Does not rectify hardness of water, dissolved solids and other contaminants.
Price range Rs5,999 to Rs8,499
This technology is non-electric and uses different chemicals, ranging from chlorine to silver nanoparticles, to kill bacteria and viruses. A filter is set up to remove any other kind of physical particles from entering your drinking water. When Right Choice tested four of these purifiers, it found that they did pass the requirements set by Bureau of Indian Standards, brought toxic chemicals like cyanide, arsenic and lead below the maximum threshold. Hardness of water, however, remained even after purification, as with UV purifiers. With a Right Choice score of 75%, the Eureka Forbes Aquasure Amrit (Rs2,499) received the best score in this section.
Pros: Kills many bacteria and viruses, gets water to acceptable safety levels as specified by Bureau of Indian Standards at a very affordable price.
Cons: Does not rectify hardness of water, dissolved solids and other contaminants, occasionally adds chlorine to purify water.
Price range Rs949 to Rs3,150