Activated Carbon Filters


Activated carbon is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. The treated or activated carbon has a massive surface area making it highly effective at absorbing tastes and odours, as well as chlorine and organic colour from water.

An activated carbon filter is a filter housing (either a cartridge filter housing or a granular activated carbon media filter is used for activated carbon filtration) containing granular activated carbon or an activated carbon block cartridge.



How they work

Low flow applications – activated carbon cartridge filters: water flows from the outside of the activated carbon cartridge to the inside of the activated carbon cartridge, through a collector tube, and out to process or the point-of-use. When the activated carbon becomes exhausted or blocked with suspended matter, the cartridge has to be replaced.

High flow applications – At CWC we use our conventional multimedia sand filter design, replacing a portion of the multimedia filter repacks with granular activated carbon. This allows the filter to act as both a sand filter and an activated carbon filter, removing suspended particles, taste and odour, chlorine and organic colour. When the activated carbon becomes blocked with suspended matter, the filter can be back washed in the same way as a conventional sand filter. When the activated carbon in the filter becomes exhausted, it is usually replaced, although some of the systems we manufacture are fitted with steam sterilization components, to regenerate the activated carbon bed.

Standard Features ​

For more information on low-flow applications using activated carbon cartridge filters, see our cartridge filter section. The following information is applicable only to back washable granular activated carbon filters.

  • Manual or automatic operation options.

  • Durable GRP or mild steel tank construction for corrosion resistance and high-pressure operation.

  • UV resistant materials are suitable for outdoor operation.

  • Simple inline configuration for ease of installation and maintenance.

  • Range of filter systems to suit household, commercial and industrial applications.


  • Automatic backwash controls.

  • Duplex kit to eliminate raw water bypass and system downtime.

  • Pressure differential backwash on automatic models.

  • Steam regeneration of activated carbon bed.

Applications and Benefits

  • Food & Beverage Production-Improved taste, clarity, and appearance.

  • Chlorine removal.

  • Reduces turbidity, taste, and odours as well as chlorine in drinking water.

  • Ideal for Reverse Osmosis, Deioniser, and softener pretreatment.

Design Considerations

In order to accurately size an activated carbon filter for your residential, commercial or industrial application, we will need to know the following:

  • The amount of water you expect to use per 24-hour period.

  • Your peak water demand.

  • Operating hours per day.

  • Your water pressure.

  • The suspended solids content, turbidity and residual chlorine levels of your water.

  • What you plan to use the filtered water for.

Your local approved CWC distributor can help you calculate your filtered water needs, and can arrange for a professional water analysis to be taken. For more information about granular activated carbon filters and how the CWC filtration process can help you in your home or business.



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