Health, Optimum Water Solutions, Water

The Dangers of Refrigerator Water Filters

Most every office has a community kitchen and if your business doesn’t use an Optimum Water system then you might be using plastic water bottles or use water filtered by the company fridge. Here is some information that might make you think twice before you drink that fridge-filtered water! 

Refrigerator water filters have become commonplace, as they are meant to filter out any remaining contaminants such as lead or rust in water before we drink it. The ability of these filters to purify water is measured in microns; the lower the micron rating, the greater ability the filter has to capture small contaminants. Refrigerator water filters often use carbon and have an average rating of 20 microns, meaning they mostly remove contaminants that affect taste and smell. Refrigerator water filters cannot be relied on to remove all particles and bacteria that may be harmful to anyone drinking that water.


The number one risk involved with drinking water purified by a refrigerator water filter is that often the refrigerator filter fails to remove all the contaminants in the water. Studies have shown that microorganisms such as salmonella and coliform often make their way past water filters, and these contaminants can be seriously detrimental to your health.

Most refrigerator water filters aren’t meant to filter out such harmful contaminants, as the EPA is supposed to be purifying the water before it makes it to the refrigerator. Waterborne bacteria need fungus and moisture to survive, making your refrigerator water filter the perfect place for them to bloom. Even in cases where drinking water is properly purified before being distributed, studies have shown that traces of pharmaceuticals, lead, and parasites such as chlorine-resistant cysts are often not filtered out before the water is distributed. Refrigerator water filters are only meant to filter out certain contaminants, so when bacteria or particles that are supposed to have already been removed from the water aren’t, your refrigerator water filter probably can’t protect you.

Changing the Filter

As refrigerator filters remove what contaminants and particles they can, they become clogged with whatever they’ve managed to remove from the water. These filters need to be changed approximately every six months and not doing so can have disastrous effects. If you don’t change your filter, you may end up consuming harmful bacteria, chemicals, and particles every time you get a glass of water from the fridge.

If the water coming from your refrigerator is found to be contaminated, it may not be the filter’s fault. According to a 2013 study from the National Sanitation Foundation, the germiest place in your kitchen is the refrigerator water dispenser. The study found that most of these dispensers are coated with “concerning levels” of mold and yeast.

The dispenser can also pick up airborne particles that may be coming from other sources in your business. As your water pours through the dispenser, it can pick up these contaminants and bacteria. Even if your refrigerator filter is doing a sufficient job, if the water is reintroduced to particles on the dispenser, anyone drinking that water can be at risk for contamination.

Optimum Bottleless Water Coolers

All of this information may be concerning, but the good news is if you’re looking to protect your staff from drinking contaminated water, Optimum is here to help! Our bottleless water coolers are equipped with the latest advancements in water purification technology, including reverse osmosis filtration, a process that has been found to be more effective than the carbon filters that are standard for refrigerators. For more information about how Optimum can provide a 7-day free trial, call us or visit our website for more info. Clearly. Pure. Water.