- Can remove a wide range of contaminants up to 99.9%
- Relatively compact, modern and space-saving design
- Provides optimized ORP and pH levels for drinking water
Alkaline water filters (also known as water ionizers) work by altering the chemical balance of water, thereby making it better tasting and also better for the body. They produce alkaline water which is basically water with a high pH level (above 7.5, ideally around 8 to 9) than regular drinking water.
There are a good number of studies that suggest drinking alkaline water provides several health benefits over drinking standard tap water (which generally has natural pH of 7). These benefits include better hydration, immunity-boosting, improving digestion, lowering fatigue levels after intense exercise, and providing relief from acid reflux, and relief from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Alkaline water filters (ionizers) also produce molecular hydrogen (active hydrogen) which is one of the most beneficial/potent antioxidants for the body due to its small size. So generally, drinking alkaline/ionized water offers lots of health benefits over regular tap or filtered water.
In this review, we’ll look at the Pure Hydration alkaline water filter which is produced by CosanUSA, a company that has been manufacturing water products for 35 years. Cosan USA Pure Hydration is one of their top products and perhaps amongst the few best alkaline water filters on the market today.
Unlike most of its competitors, it’s an all-natural water ionizer – it uses no plates, just natural minerals which are very effective as they create alkaline water with a 9 to 9.5 pH level. Moreover, they infuse the water with more molecular hydrogen (1500ppb) than a regular electronic ionizer.
The other impressive thing about it is that it’s an ionizer and a filtering system as well. It comes with highly effective filter media that is capable of eliminating 99.9% of over 220 different water contaminants. Being a countertop unit, the Cosan USA Pure Hydration is equally convenient and simple to install and use.
Below is our comprehensive review of it and we’ve tried to cover everything so that you get a detailed view of what you can expect from it including its advantages and a couple of flaws that several users pointed out.
Cosan USA Pure Hydration has a modern design that looks quite attractive. It almost resembles a small countertop water dispensing machine with a sleek black finish that’s nicely accentuated by the silver spigot and silver knob for dispensing water. It’s generally an aesthetically appealing machine that would look good sitting on any contemporary kitchen counter.
The build quality of this unit is just as appealing as the design. The body is a sturdy BPA-free plastic material that feels robust and capable of holding up for a long time. The cartridge housings are also made of solid BPA-free plastic and the knob for dispensing water is pretty solid too. The only part that seems not durable is the spigot – a few users reported that it wears out quickly while others mentioned that theirs’ broke within just a year of using the unit.
With regards to size, Cosan USA Pure Hydration has a relatively small footprint. It measures 14 inches high, 8 inches wide, and 14 inches long, so it’s fairly slim and compact hence doesn’t take up much space on the counter.
The best part is that it’s a countertop ionizer that you can easily unhook from your kitchen sink faucet and move it or store it away whenever you want. It’s also light (weighs slightly over 10 pounds with the filters installed), so you won’t have any trouble moving it from one position to another.
To sum it all, the overall design is simple and very efficient. It’s not a bulky unit, plus the filters are easily accessible when you want to change them – there’s a door on each side with a handle that you just open to access the filters, which are two on each side.
This system utilizes four stages to treat water which include two proprietary carbon filters, an ionizer cartridge, and a mineral replacement cartridge. These four media work together so effectively to ionize the water, produce molecular hydrogen, raise the pH, and as well remove a wide range of contaminants found in water.
They have been independently tested and meet NSF standards – certified to remove up to 99.9% of more than 220 contaminants.
The first stage of the system consists of 0.5-micron granular activated carbon (GAC) filter media. It’s made of coconut shell and effectively pre-filters the incoming water removing sediment (sludge, rust, sand), chlorine, and VOCs.
The second stage features solid activated carbon block (CTO) filter media which is equally made from coconut shell and infused with silver. It has a 0.1-micron rating and performs a more thorough filtration removing both inorganic and organic contaminants.
These first two stages together remove the bulk of contaminants lurking in the water. They remove 99.99% of heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, antimony, selenium, aluminum, copper, iron, and manganese. They also remove inorganic non-metal contaminants including chlorine (over 95.2%), chloramine (over 96.8%), nitrate (over 58.4%), and nitrite (over 86.2%).
The two filters as well eliminate 99.9% of pesticides, semi-volatile contaminants (like fluorine and isophorone), herbicide, pharmaceuticals (like ibuprofen and bisphenol A (BPA)), and VOCs such chloromethane, MTBE, chloroform, benzene, and toluene.
They clear out all the foul smells and odors caused by these chemical and metal contaminants. Moreover, the infused silver in the solid activated carbon block filter in the second stage further improves the taste of the water and also helps reduce germs.
The third stage is yet another 0.1-micron solid activated carbon block (CTO) filter media made from coconut shell but this round is infused with magnesium so as to produce molecular hydrogen (H2). The carbon block and the magnesium form a carbon/magnesium bond which when it comes into contact with the water as it moves through the cartridge, molecular hydrogen is produced.
Cosan USA Pure Hydration produces up to 1500ppb of molecular hydrogen during this process which is almost twice the amount that most regular electronic ionizers make, plus it remains in the water longer. This molecular hydrogen (also known as active hydrogen) is the most beneficial antioxidant for our body due to its exceedingly small size (.074 nm) which allows for fast cellular absorption as well as quick neutralization of free radicals.
It’s in fact the only antioxidant that’s capable of entering the body at a cellular level. It donates an electron to unstable free radicals and as such balances the dangerous free radical, thereby rendering them neutral such that they are no longer harmful to the body.
The higher the level of this molecular hydrogen in the water the better, so with a production rate of up to 1500ppb, the Cosan USA Pure Hydration system is much ahead of most electronic ionizers out there which makes it a more reliable and better option. This third stage filter also helps remove microorganism contaminants from the water – it’s able to remove over 99.9% of microbes like E.coli, P. aeruginosa, E. faecalis, and P. klebsiella.
The fourth and final stage features another solid carbon block filter media made of coconut shell and this one contains a mineral chamber inside. There’s an assortment of minerals and other natural earth elements inside the mineral chamber which include magnesium, coral calcium, tourmaline, carbon, barely stone, zeolite, KDF, and red clay.
This final stage introduces the essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) into the water to raise the pH level and the number of electrons in the water. Depending on your source water, Cosan USA Pure Hydration is capable of raising the pH level to around 9 to 9.5 which is where you would want the pH of your alkaline water to be because ideally water with a 9 pH level is considered the most beneficial for our bodies.
The alkaline water produced after this stage also has an ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) of -450 mv to -700 mv which is a pretty good range as an ORP of around -700 mv or lower is super healthy for drinking. The lower the ORP level, usually the more free electrons the water will have to combat contaminants within the body.
In general, the water that’s produced after these four stages of this Cosan USA Pure Hydration system is clean, healthy, alkaline water with 9-9.5 pH, ORP of -400 – -700mv, and 1500ppb of molecular hydrogen. It’s alkaline antioxidant water that’s very beneficial to your body and tastes wonderfully fresh like natural spring water due to the addition of essential minerals.
The higher pH combined with active hydrogen makes the water more easily absorbable by the body which allows for better hydration, plus gives it strong cleansing properties that ultimately aid the body to rid itself of harmful toxins.
Many users testified noticing a significant change not only in the quality and taste of their water but also in their overall health. They reported that things like inflammation in their joints significantly subsided after several weeks of using the system.
Others reported experiencing reduced acid reflux, heartburn, as well as symptoms of gastritis. Many also mentioned experiencing an improvement in their mental clarity while others reported that their skin and hair seem more vibrant. The water is wonderful to cook with too – many claimed that the foods taste much better than when using regular tap water.
The amazing thing about this Cosan USA Pure Hydration system also is that it ionizes the water purely using minerals along with other natural earth elements as it’s done in nature. There are no plates that wear out like in electronic ionizers which utilize an electrical charge jumped from plate to plate using an anode and cathode. It’s an all-natural process that requires no electricity and produces no wastewater.
The alkaline water that this system produces also holds its alkalinity for a fairly long period when stored properly in glass containers. The alkalinity can last for around 20 days without much change. The only downside is that the molecular hydrogen dissipates quite fast (within about 7 hours) – it’s the biggest benefit of Cosan USA Pure Hydration, so you have to drink the water immediately or in a few hours of dispensing it in order to benefit from the molecular hydrogen.
Many reported that the water comes out bubbly and frosty which is pretty normal because the hydrogen and oxygen in the water produce some small bubbles. The molecular hydrogen, in particular, comes out as a gas when produced hence creating small bubbles that might make the water frosty and bubbly – this however dissipates within a few seconds of dispensing the water.
The system can work with both well water and municipal water. However, if your well water is very bad, then the filters may need to be changed sooner than their expected lifespan, plus you may need to also install another filtration system like an RO system if the water is not microbiologically safe. The system works great in conjunction with an RO system or any other filtration system.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t remove fluoride. It can eliminate some of it but not greatly reduce it like other systems that feature activated alumina filter which is the only media that’s able to greatly reduce fluoride from water.
Flow Rate and Dispensing the Water
Most water filtration systems, especially with alkaline filter cartridges, tend to reduce the flow rate of water by a small but noticeable margin. However, with Cosan USA Pure Hydration, the water flow is decent.
It’s able to process around 2 liters of water per minute which is approximately 0.5 gallons per minute – that’s about the same flow you would get from most standard water filtration systems out there, so there’s basically no waiting period. You simply place your glass under the spigot and dispense the alkaline water right away.
The height of the dispensing area from the spigot to the drip tray is 8.5 inches, so there’s sufficient space to accommodate small and tall cups without any challenges – the drip tray itself is large enough to accommodate big cups without having to hold them. You’ll not be able to fit tall sports bottles in there though unless you tilt them at an angle with the opening right under the spigot for you to fill them.
One disadvantage is that there’s no light around the dispensing area, hence it can be a little tricky dispensing water in the dark at night – the whole dispensing area, as well as the spout, won’t be clearly visible if the kitchen lights are not on.
Perhaps the most appealing quality of this Cosan USA Pure Hydration system is the fact that it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to installation. It comes with a diverter valve that allows you to install it as a standalone unit on your kitchen countertop. This is the most basic installation option because it attaches directly to your current kitchen faucet. The process of setting it up is simple for even a beginner.
You just unscrew the aerator and screw the provided diverter valve onto the faucet, in place of the aerator. Then unscrew the ferrule nut from the diverter valve, and slide up one end of the white ¼” tubing – work the end of the tubing onto the diverter valve until it is flush up against the threads. From there, you just reinstall the ferrule nut on the diverter valve and tighten it.
After that, you insert the other end of the white tubing into the inlet port which is located on the back of the unit, turn the kitchen faucet and then turn the diverter valve knob to the nine o’clock position.
Once that is done, you just place a cup in the dispensing area and turn the dispensing knob counterclockwise to dispense water. You have to run at least three gallons of water before use and check all fittings, connections, and inside the unit to ensure there are no leaks.
The diverter valve hooks to most kitchen faucets that have a removable aerator including bathroom and laundry tub faucets. Two adaptors are even provided for the faucets with a different thread size.
Apart from the diverter valve which is the basic countertop installation, CosanUSA offers a solid brass valve that allows you to install the Pure Hydration on your counter without having the tubes running so visibly or interfering with your kitchen faucet. This method has a more custom feel and looks to it, and it’s better for pull-out faucets – that’s if you don’t have a removable aerator.
The valve can be installed in several different ways. The first method is mounting it in place of a pullout spray nozzle or a soap dispenser while the second one is drilling a ¾-inch hole in the countertop and then using the provided hardware to hook the unit to your cold water supply.
Both methods require a hole, so you can either drill one in the countertop or use an existing hole from for instance a soap dispenser. This custom installation is fairly easy if you are handy but if you are not certain about your DIY skills then you may need to hire a plumber to do the installation.
Cosan USA Pure Hydration has two other ports (faucet and fridge) in the back that provides you with additional installation options. You can install it under the counter using a cold-water valve which is not provided in the package – you have to purchase it separately from the manufacturer plus the special manual faucet kit.
This is a good alternative installation option if you want to keep the tubes and the unit itself out of sight. However, like the custom countertop installation, this too will require a bit of plumbing knowledge or DIY skills which if you don’t have you’ll need to hire a plumber to do it for you.
The other alternative option is installing the unit with a refrigerator kit which you have to purchase separately from the manufacturer as it’s also not included in the package. The kit contains a ¼” ball valve and a ¼” push-on Tee fitting. You simply turn off the water going to your refrigerator, cut the ¼” supply line/tube going to the refrigerator, install the ¼” Tee, and then the ¼” ball valve.
There are videos on the CosanUSA website that clearly take you through all these different types of installation, so with basic DIY skills, you shouldn’t really have any difficulties setting up this unit the way you want. Note that the system is meant to be installed in cold water only – it can only handle temperatures of 39 to 95 ºF. You can install it in conjunction with other filtration systems – it installs very well to an existing RO system with the provided diverter valve.
The package for this particular Pure Hydration unit includes the cartridges, the diverter valve, tubing, and the owner’s manual. All the kits and hardware needed for the other installation options are sold separately.
Maintaining Cosan USA Pure Hydration is simple as the only major thing you have to do is change the filters. They can handle about 600 to 800 gallons (around 3000 liters) before requiring replacement. That’s enough capacity to serve a family of four for about 6 months before the filters require changing – it’s basically the standard lifespan of most carbon filters and means you’ll be replacing them at least twice a year.
However, if your water supply has lots of sediments or is very bad (highly contaminated), then you may need to replace the filters a little earlier than the 6 months.
The process of changing the filters itself is not challenging at all as they are quarter-turn cartridges. You just turn off the incoming water to the unit depending on your method of installation – from the diverter valve for the basic countertop installation or cold water supply valve for custom countertop installation or angle stop valve for the under the counter installation.
Once the water is turned off, you remove the excess water pressure from the cartridges by turning the manual knob to the on position or turning the faucet if installed under the counter. Next, you open the left side door of the unit and turn the first-stage cartridge ¼ turn such that the label faces the back, then pull it down and remove it.
From there, you install the new first-stage cartridge starting with the label facing the back. You have to turn the cartridge up and down so that the label faces out the side again – the cartridge will stop after approximately ¼ turn. Once that is done, you repeat the same for the second-stage cartridge, doing one cartridge at a time.
When you’re done replacing the cartridges on the left side, you then open the right-side door to remove and replace the third-stage cartridge, followed by the fourth-stage cartridge. With all four cartridges replaced, the only thing left is to turn the water supply to the unit back on and run approximately three gallons of water before starting to drink or use the water.
The only unfortunate thing is that there’s no visual indicator or a notification in the form of a sound alert to let you know when it’s time to change the filters. However, there’s a place on the filters where you can mark when to change them or you can keep track of when to replace them on your smartphone which is a method that most of the customers use.
The manufacturer does also send you an email reminder after every six months which is good but not as convenient as having a filter-life tracking system on the unit to alert you immediately they need changing, especially if your water is very bad and they need replacement even before the recommended 6 month period is up.
Apart from replacing the filters, the only other maintenance you may need to do is clean the unit once in a while. It comes with a brush for cleaning it if necessary – you simply remove the filters, unscrew the housing, and then brush under running water. You may not need to do this under most circumstances, especially if you are on city water – if you are using well water and it’s pretty bad, then you may need to clean the unit occasionally.
The drip tray is permanently attached to the unit, so you can’t remove it to clean it or empty the water that has collected into it which is one design flaw that really needs to be corrected to make cleaning the tray simple – in other units, it comes off for easy cleaning.
The major issue that users reported is water leaking, especially around the plastic connectors inside the unit – they seem not able to withstand the water pressure over time with the water valve left open throughout. However, only a few users reported having this issue which means it’s not really a widespread problem that can be considered a deal-breaker.
This particular Pure Hydration model utilizes a knob for dispensing the water but CosanUSA also offers a newer version of it that utilizes a motion-activated switch/sensor mechanism where you just pass your hand close to it and water starts running from the spigot.
It’s meant to make operating the unit easy and convenient but that seems not to be the case as many people reported that the sensors are extremely sensitive such that most of the time the water starts running even when you barely pass a hand in front of it or every time you accidentally get too close to the machine.
Others mentioned that the sensor sometimes fails to shut off the spigot when you want it, hence causing water to pour all over the counter and onto the fall ending up making a huge mess which can be annoying.
The Cosan USA Pure Hydration alkaline water filter is an ideal option for anyone looking for an all-natural water ionizer that’s capable of not only producing high pH alkaline water but can also infuse molecular hydrogen into it. It’s able to raise the pH to 9.5 and produce twice the amount of molecular hydrogen that a regular electronic ionizer makes.
This unit is also worth considering for anyone looking for an alkaline water filter that can as well remove a wide range of harmful contaminants found in the water. It can efficiently remove 99% of more than 150 different contaminants from the water including heavy metals, chemical contaminants, and microorganisms.
It’s basically a highly effective water treatment system that’s also very convenient to use and easy to install. The other advantage is that it requires no electricity to operate it and it doesn’t waste any water.
All the components except the filter cartridges come with a lifetime warranty. The company will repair the unit parts and labor for free for any manufacture defects for the first five years, and then afterward they’ll do any repairs or replace the unit at a cost – so it’s not really a lifetime warranty but still, though, 5 years is a pretty decent warranty period, plus the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the system.
Their customer service seems excellent too. Many users attested that the staff is very responsive and helpful. They can be reached via email or phone in case of any questions or issues.
Things we like
- Can remove a wide range of contaminants up to 99.9%
- Relatively compact, modern and space-saving design
- Provides optimized ORP and pH levels for drinking water
- Simple installation and operation through video tutorials
- Decent flow water rate is up to 0.5 gallons per minute
- Long lifespan with an average filtration capacity of up 800 gallons
- Offers 30 days money-back guarantee and 5 years warranty against defects
Things we don't like
- Unable to remove fluoride from water
- Should be equipped with LED night light to easily dispense water at night
Historical Price Chart
This is one-year-history price chart of the Cosan USA Pure Hydration Countertop Water Filter.
Note: This price chart is provided for reference purpose only.