Do We Really Need Water Purifiers or Filters in Singapore? Here Are the Facts


In today’s world, owning a water purifier seems almost like a standard for many.

It is especially hard to miss whenever you watch house tours of seemingly out-of-touch influencers.

Many hold the belief that water purifiers offer a healthier alternative to tap water. But is this assumption valid for Singapore’s exceptionally clean tap water?

Is our water “dirty”, and do we need to add even more minerals?

Purpose of Water Purifiers / Filters

Water filters, typically attached to the sink, work by removing impurities from water. Water purifiers, on the other hand, not only filter water but also claim to enrich it with additional minerals.

While they may reduce levels of chlorine, lead, and bacteria, they don’t eliminate all impurities. Many purifiers assert they can increase the water’s content of minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

While drinking water can boost the mineral intake, relying on drinking water alone for mineral intake is insufficient.

These minerals are abundantly found in a wide array of whole foods, including bananas, nuts, leafy greens. Therefore, if your goal is to enhance your mineral and vitamin intake for better health, focusing on a nutritious diet is the most effective strategy.

Yes, I know, it’s the same old advice.

Some proponents of water purifiers argue that they can balance the pH level of water, making it more alkaline.

However, the health benefits of alkaline water have been largely debunked. Given that our stomach is acidic, the gastric juices will neutralise the alkaline water. Meaning, it is unlikely to even retain any of the claimed benefits that alkaline water provides.

Water Purifiers vs Singapore’s Tap Water

In case you were unaware, our tap water does not only come from rainfall. Singapore has four sources for water supply: imported water from Malaysia, local catchment waters (rainwater), NEWater and desalinated water.

National water agency PUB ensures this water is safe for direct consumption by adhering to a rigorous sampling and monitoring programme. The water samples are collected from the sources listed above and tested at PUB’s Water Quality Laboratory.

The quality of tap water in Singapore aligns with both the Singapore Environmental Public Health (Water Suitable for Drinking) Regulations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.

The water is treated with chlorine to remove harmful bacteria and viruses and its residual is within WHO’s limit of 5.0mg/litre. There are other contaminants such as fluorine. However, it is present in small amounts, posing no adverse health effects.

In other words, forking out extra bucks for water filters or purifiers is not necessary as PUB essentially does the job.


Oh, you want more minerals?

Why not just drink more water?

Nevertheless, the counter argument is that water purifiers do indeed amplify the minerals and reduce the impurities, so technically speaking, you can say that they do work. The question is just whether you need them or not.

However, there’s a drawback.

Why Water Purifiers Might Not Be Worth the Investment

While water filters and purifiers may seem like a prudent investment for ensuring water purity, there’s a significant downside: the necessity for frequent cleaning.


You see, water purifiers and filters can only remain clean if you clean it regularly. Since it traps impurities from water, it also acts as a breeding ground for bacterial growth if not regularly maintained.

In order to really have your money’s worth and enjoy truly “clean” water, you will have to clean or change out the filters often.

In fact, the results from a CNA experiment, whereby they tested 5 households that have both water-filtered water sources and non-water-filtered sources.

Four out of five water sources without filters had low bacteria count in their water. The bacteria count was under 500, which is the safe limit according to Singapore Food Agency.

Shockingly, three out of five water sources with filters had high bacteria count. The bacterial count was a range of a whopping 9,000 to 25,400.

The water source with the highest bacteria count used a filter that was a month overdue for a change. The water source with bacteria counts of 9,000 actually changed their filter a month before this test. See how quickly the filter becomes contaminated?


The key lesson?

Clean your filters.

Watch our video below to gain more insight into this topic.