Best Drinking Water Systems

My articles now consist of a series of questions followed by Short or Long answers.  You will know which works best for you.

There are lots of good reasons to buy a drinking water system because water is incredibly important to maintaining and even improving your health.

Should I be drinking more water?

Short answer: 

Yes, unless you are already drinking a minimum of 8 glasses per day with 12 glasses being the average

Long answer:

The human body uses up one to two gallons of water per day depending upon your size (bigger people lose more), you level of activity (working at a physical job or working out causes you to lose more), and even where you live (hotter temperatures or higher altitude loses more).

Most people are dehydrated to some degree.  Being dehydrated by a little as 2% can result in a 10% to 15% drop off in cognitive activity and physical ability

It is virtually impossible to drink too much water.  The only know occurrences of drinking too much water are with marathon runners and babies who are being fed the water.  In general, you will feel the discomfort of being bloated long before drinking too much water becomes a danger to your health.

What water system should I buy?

Short answer:

A system that: cleans the contaminants out of the water, includes calcium and magnesium that naturally occur in the water, and provides hydrogen rich water.

Long answer:

The answer to this question could go on for pages and pages and take forever to write.  I’ll try to keep this long version as short as possible so I will limit it to two areas of primary interest: 1) clean water 2) healthy water

Clean water means water that is safe to drink and removes nasty contaminants such a fluoride and more.  If you receive your water from a municipality, it is already clean but it may still have contaminants.  A quick call to the town office will tell you if you have fluoride in your water.  Fluoride is a poison that nobody should be drinking.  If you don’t have fluoride in your water, a simple under the counter carbon based filter will remove the unpleasant taste and smell of chlorine.  If you do have fluoride in your drinking water, you may want to purchase a filter that removes most of the fluoride.  While the commonly seen activated alumina and bone char offerings on the market have very limited fluoride removal capabilities, the new technology zeolyte filters remove about 85% of the fluoride from the water which is almost as effecient as a reverse osmosis system.

Healthy water is different from clean water.  People believed that clean water was healthy for you up to about 20 years ago.  Clean water is better for you than drinking water that makes you sick right away, but drinking really clean water (as in reverse osmosis systems that removed everything from the water) is actually unhealthy.  Your body needs calcium and magnesium to operate efficiently.  While most of us get plenty of calcium in our diets (thanks primarily to milk marketing advertisements), at least 80% of people are magnesium deficient.  Most source water contains calcium and magnesium, so reverse osmosis systems are actually harmful for you in the long run unless you add some form of Cal/Mag supplement or you eat an incredibly healthy diet.

About 20 years ago, marketers for alkaline water ionizers started making claims about how drinking alkaline water was healthy.  The claims were made after people users of alkaline water ionizers seemed to experience a number of health benefits.  It turns out that the benefits all come from the appearance of molecular hydrogen (H2) gas that gets formed during the electrolysis process and actually has nothing to do with the water being alkaline.

Today, more than 700 independent research studies and peer reviewed papers indicate that H2 is beneficial to every organ in the body and it has been recognized as being beneficial for 170 diseases and counting.  With 1,600 researchers now studying H2, it is expected that the number of studies and the number of identified benefits will grow in the future.

In recent years, there has been a technological advancement to water ionizers that has massively improved their capability of producing H2 enriched water in machines called HIM’s (Hydrogen Infusion Machines).  Yyou can read about this here:  The HIM’s were created to transfer the H2 created during electrolysis back into the water as opposed to alkaline water ionizers which lose most of the H2 before you get a chance to drink the water.  The HIM’s also work in virtually all source water conditions which is a big problem for alkaline water ionizers.

How much do drinking water systems cost?

Short answer: 

Basic under the counter filter systems start at about $70 at big box stores which consist of a carbon filter in a canister.

More sophisticated under the counter systems range from $250 for units that include fluoride removal to thousands of dollars for “souped up” reverse osmosis systems.  A basic RO system that can be purchased for $200 to $300 is just as effective as the fancy systems.

HIM systems typically cost $2,000 for above counter systems that hook up to your tap, to $2,500 or more for under counter systems where the tap is that only thing that sits on your counter.

Long answer: (same as the short answer without making this article a book)

Is there anywhere I can get a good deal on water systems?

Let’s start with a warning.  Everywhere you look, companies seem to be offering the “best product” at the best prices.  That is impossible as they can’t all be the best.   When dealing with a sales person or reading websites, be aware that everyone has an agenda and that agenda is almost always based upon “how does the person or website get you to buy their product so that they can make money”.   My agenda is and always has been to share information from my hobby, which is researching drinking water.  I don’t make any money from referrals or commissions on the referrals that I make in my articles.

Unsafe drinking water: Unsafe drinking water needs to be made safe.  The cheapest and most effective way to convert unsafe drinking water to safe drinking water is with a reverse osmosis machine.  The typically range in price from $200 up to thousands of dollars each.   The bottom line is that they all do the same thing so I can’t imagine why anyone would spend more than $200 to $200 on a RO system.  Shop at the big box stores as they don’t have an agenda. Be sure to add a remineralization filter to any RO system or take some form of Cal/Mag supplement to add back the calcium and magnesium that a RO system removes when it is cleaning the water to make it safe to drink.

Municipal drinking water:  Municipal drinking water is safe to drink.  Well, mostly safe to drink.  You will read about all kinds of horror stories about fluoride, chromium 6, and drugs that can be found in municipal water supplies.  Some of the stories are true, while many stories are based upon fear in order to get you to “buy our product”.

If you want to purchase a decent water filter to remove the taste and odor of chlorine from water, you can buy a single carbon filter and holder from a big box store for about $70.  By the time you add in a tap, you are probably looking in the $120 range.

If you want a better water filter that removes pretty much anything you will find in municipally supplied water including fluoride, my recommendation would be to pick up an under the counter system from Brilliantz (see:  It checks off all the boxes and now sells for $180 and you only have to change the filters once per year at a cost of $99).  Brilliantz recently reduced their prices for their filters by 25% after eliminating their sales team in favor of dealing directly to the public (note: Brilliantz doesn’t pay commissions or referral fees)

Hydrogen Infusion Machines: If you can afford to have the best healthy water that money can buy, step up to a HIM machine.  Once again I recommend Brilliantz (see: for their under the counter unit or (see: for their above counter unit) because they recently dropped the prices of their hydrogen products by 50% after eliminating their sales team in favor of dealing directly with the public (note:Brilliantz doesn’t pay commissions or referral fees).   Both units sell for $1,040 including shipping in the USA, which makes them half the price of any of their competitors.

Author’s bias:  Unless you eat incredibly well, exercise regularly, and lead a fairly stress free life, you can undoubtedly benefit from consuming hydrogen rich water.  The scientific evidence is piling up in support of H2 consumption and the benefits are far reaching.  As such, I’m a big supporter of H2.  My unpaid endorsement of Brilliantz these days stems from the fact they sell their excellent products for up to half the price of their competitors.  I believe everyone should be drinking H2 enriched water and their 1/2 price makes it much easier to take the plunge.

8 Responses to Best Drinking Water Systems

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for all the wonderful information!
    I would like to buy the Brilliantz under the counter sink. However, I have very hard water in my apartment and I have talked with the people living in the other apartments in my house about purchasing a water softener together. I read elsewhere on your website that you prefer a salt-free water softener. There are different types of those and some types are deemed not very efficient. Which kind of salt-free water softener would you recommend? It would be good if you could recommend a specific brand that would be combined well with the Brilliantz for people who have very hard water.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi Bold:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      The salt-free water softeners are effective up to about 20 grains of hardness. Given your description of you “very hard” water, I would recommend that you purchase/rent a tradition “salt” water softener.

      The Brilliantz under counter filters are great. When a group of H2 leaders were tasked with finding ways to improve the new H2 machines in 2015, my job was to find the best filters on the market as I had worked with filter technology for years. Or, maybe the guys just wanted to give me something to do to keep me out of the way. The Brilliantz filters will work really well with your machine. I think the under counter filter system sells for $180. The replacement filters are about $100 and last a full year, which makes them a very good value.

      If you buy from Brilliantz, you can get a 5% discount if you use the link and use the word “waterfyi” in the coupon code box. 5% isn’t much of a discount, but when they were already priced at 50% off retail, I wasn’t able to squeeze any more out of them

  2. Dear Rob,

    Thank you so much for your kind answer and for the discount code!

    In the meantime, I’ve done a bit more research on healthy drinking water and hydrogen water machines and I wondered the following…

    I’ve decided to purchase a salt based (traditional) water softener per your recommendation as the water where I live is very hard. However, I would like to have a tap with drinking water with maximum health benefits. I’m very interested in the hydrogen water machine because of all those amazing scientifically backed benefits. However, I’m wondering if I should use the softened water for the hydrogen machine or if I would use a separate pipe of unsoftened water because softened water is usually not considered very healthy (it removes calcium and magnesium, also softened water generally tastes less good). However, I read other reports that making hydrogen enriched water is not very efficient if your water contains a lot of minerals. What would you do in my case? Use the unsoftened water or the softened water?

    The values of my water (unsoftened) are:

    – Hardness: 39 °fH (or 22,2 gr/gal (US) or 21,4 °dH (Germany) or 3,8 mmol/l)
    – Chlorine: 200 μg/l = 200 ppb
    – pH: 7,69
    – Alkalinity: 28,8 °fH
    – Calcium: 123 mg/l = 123,2 ppm
    – Magnesium: 17,2 mg/l = 17 ppm
    – Natrium: 13 mg/l = 13 ppm
    – Sulfate: 60,6 mg/l = 60,1 ppm
    – Nitrate: 24,4 mg/l = 24 ppm
    – Nitrite: 0,02 mg/l
    – Fluoride: 94 μg/l = 81 ppb
    – Chloride: 31,8 mg/l = 31,1 ppm
    – Iron: <20,0 μg/l
    – Nickel: <2 μg/l
    – Bicarbonate: 351,8 mg/l

    Based on this info, do you think that the Under the counter filter system from Brilliantz and the Brilliantz hydrogen machine are a suitable combination for me? So do you advise using the hard water (with more minerals but maybe risk of scale build-up in the machine) or do you still recommend that I use the softened water for the production of my drinking water.

    Will the Brilliantz under the counter filter be adequate taking into account the present fluoride, chloride levels etc.? (They are within the legal norms, but I'm not sure if the legal norms are perhaps a little too tolerant.)

    Also, I wondered if there are any details on how much hydrogen is produced in the water by the Brilliantz device? Apparently there are a lot of differences between companies.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Kind regards,

    Bold Bliss

    • Hi Bold Bliss:

      You ask good questions and you have obviously done your homework in terms of checking out your source water.

      My preference would always be to drink natural source water instead of water that has been softened.

      Your concern about whether your hard water would diminish/destroy the ability of a water ionizer to work is legitimate for alkaline water ionizers but is of little or no concern for hydrogen machines. The HIM’s have a nanofilter as a first stage which blocks calcium and magnesium (the source of the hardness) from entering the 2nd stage ionizing chamber. The calcium and magnesium that are rejected by the nanofilter bypass the 2nd stage ionizing chamber and move directly to the 3rd stage Hydrogen Diffusion Unit (HDU) where it merges with the H2 created in stage 2. Therefore, any potential calcification in the ionization chamber is avoided. Bottom line is that you should have no problem with calcification of the ionizing chamber if you use your source water.

      The Safe Drinking Water Act now allows 0.8ppm of fluoride. Your source water only has 0.08ppm of fluoride so it wouldn’t be much of a problem for any system. The Brilliantz HIM2 filters or the Under the Counter pre-filters would take care of any fluoride problem if you did have a higher concentration of Fluoride. The filtration capabilities of the HIM filters will take care of the other contaminants in your source water.

      My experience with testing the Brilliantz HIM units as well as the unit that I use in my home has been that the unit produces between 0.5 to 0.8 ppm of H2 when you first start using it. Withing 2-4 days, the units typically produces about 1.1ppm of H2. The improved performance over the first couple of days is due to the membrane “breaking in”. The condition of the source water really doesn’t matter as the HIM’s basically make all source water the same when it comes to producing H2.

      • Thank you so much for your answers, Rob! This is super helpful. I will definitely buy the Brilliantz filtration system for my apartment in a number of months when my renovation is at a further stage and the plumbery is finished. I will install a separate pipe for unsoftened drinking water as the rest of the water will be softened. Do you know if a new product by Brilliantz is in the pipeline? (Some manufacturers launch a new and updated version of their product every two years or so.) If yes, I should wait for that.

        • The company hasn’t provided me with any indication of their intention to introduce any new products.

  3. Hello! We currently have well water with a water softener. I was originally considering the purchase of a water ionizer. My husband and I attended a Kangen seminar and I left with many questions. My research led me to natural alkaline machines like the the UltraStream and Aqualiv. After reading your article o have become aware that the H2 is much more important that the alkalinity. I have never considered getting an RO system because we do not have fluoride in our water that I’m aware of and I don’t like the idea of removing all of the mineral. Will the Brilliantz system work well for us? Are there Minerals that remain in the filtered water? If not, should that be a concern? Thanks for your advice!

    • Hi Brandy:

      Congratulations on trusting your instincts in regards to having questions about Enagic and their “Kangen” water. The company has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of water ionizers at massively inflated prices on the premise that alkaline water is a magic potion. H2 is responsible for all of the health benefits while the pH of water is irrelevant because the body automatically balances pH with a very effective buffer

      The Brilliantz HIM’s (2 or 3) work well with virtually any potable (drinkable) water, including yours.

      The HIM systems divert the minerals found in your water past the 2nd (ionizing stage) and reintroduces them back into the water before the 3rd stage (hydrogen diffusion unit). Therefore, the healthy minerals remain in the water with HIM units.

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