Consumer Water Treatment

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Water Treatment

This study covers the United States consumer market for water treatment systems primarily designed to decrease the amount of contaminants and minerals in households’ water. Systems purchased by consumers for personal use outside of the home (e.g., during leisure activities, pleasure, work, or school) are also considered, as are consumables, such as replacement filters, membranes, and salt.

Refrigerator water filters and pitchers are excluded because these systems are originally sold to equipment manufacturers and only the replacement units are sold to consumers.

Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided for consumer water treatment systems demand both in units and in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation).

Key breakouts for consumer water treatment systems include technology, system, and region.

Technologies include:

  • conventional filtration (adsorptive or mechanical filtration media or the combination of the two)
  • ion exchange
  • reverse osmosis and other membranes (e.g., ultrafiltration, microfiltration)
  • distillation
  • other technologies
    • magnetic and deionizing
    • ultraviolet disinfection
    • ozone treatment
    • atmospheric disinfection

The technology under which a particular product is classified is determined by the highest level of treatment in that system. For instance, if a product includes both conventional filtration and reverse osmosis, it is labeled as a reverse osmosis system because that technology removes the most contaminants.

Types of systems include:

  • whole-house
    • point-of-entry (POE) water purification
    • water conditioners (e.g., conventional, or salt-based; exchange tank systems, magnetic, template assisted crystallization)
  • point-of-use (POU)
    • under-the-sink
    • countertop
    • faucet-mounted
    • flow-through
    • other POU systems (e.g., atmospheric, showerhead, water bottles, filter straws)

The main designation for systems is the point at which treatment occurs, entry or use. Point-of-entry treatment is defined as treatment at the location where water enters the household for the first time, prior to being dispersed to the home’s faucets. Point-of-use treatment is defined as treatment at the point where water will be consumed or used for other purposes.

Consumables are also included in this study:

  • replacement water filters
  • water softener salt
  • replacement membranes (e.g., spiral-wound, hollow-fiber, plate and frame, large tube)

Demand for consumer water treatment systems is also segmented by the following US geographic regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.

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