Does KDF Media add copper and zinc to water?

A number of water companies, particularly those who do not use KDF Media®, suggest to consumers that KDF is dangerous because it adds copper and zinc to drinking water. This concern was brought up in a conversation recently and so that customer and I looked at several water samples to see if it is valid.

I compared water tests of incoming city water before treatment with tests after my Urban Defender whole house water filter, which contains 3.6 lbs of KDF Media, and/or sometimes my Kitchen Defender, which contains 1 lb of KDF Media. Flow rates in the two systems are very different. Here are those results:

City             Incoming Water      After Urban Defender      After Kitchen Defender

Detroit
Copper      .057 mg/l                   .034 mg/l                           .004 mg/l
Zinc           .065 mg/l                   .710 mg/l                           .510 mg/l

Plano, TX
Copper     .610                             .210
Zinc          .220                            .020

Ventura
Copper    .15                                                                              ND
Zinc         .008                                                                          .010

The first sample above, Detroit, shows a decrease in copper and an increase in zinc but the zinc is then decreased slightly after passing through the Kitchen Defender.
The Plano sample shows a decrease in both. Ventura show a decrease in copper and a slight increase in zinc.

Below are samples after the Urban or Kitchen Defender where there is no raw water test. Still this is interesting because as you can see the levels are either very low or ND non-detect.

San Francisco
Copper                                            ND
Zinc                                                 ND

Sacramento
Copper                                           .033
Zinc                                                .10

Denver
Copper                                          .017
Zinc                                               .290

Manhattan Beach
Copper                                         ND
Zinc                                              ND

It appears to me that you cannot conclude that KDF Media adds copper and zinc to the water. I don’t know what explains the ND in some case and presence in others.

Another point of interest to me is that I would suggest that both copper and zinc at these levels are beneficial and in no way harmful.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Best Water Filter, Healthy Drinking Water, Water Purification, Whole House Water Filter, Whole House Water Filtration and Purification. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Does KDF Media add copper and zinc to water?

  1. judy maxwell says:

    Will a KDF shower filter eliminate any copper from my shower water? I am assuming copper is coming into my water supply from the pipes, as I see some blue staining on the shower. I live in a rented apartment, so I cannot install a whole house water filter. Thank you.

    • Blue staining suggests low pH water, acidic water, which is dissolving copper in your pipes….like an oxidized church steeple it has kind of a blue green color.

      The problem is low pH. If that’s true you may also have lead in your water from solder in the pipes. I suggest your test your pH and then talk to your water commpany and complain.

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