Aquatru Review: 6 Data-Driven Tests

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At the time of our review, we could buy the AquaTru in 4 configurations:

  • The AquaTru Classic – the standard configuration and the cheapest option
  • The AquaTru Connect (costs $20 extra) – comes with WiFi connection and provides information about the filters on a dedicated app
  • The AquaTru Alkaline Classic (costs $50 extra) – comes with an alkalizing mineral-boost VOC filter instead of the standard VOC filter
  • The AquaTru Alkaline Connect (costs $70 extra) – comes with built-in WiFi and alkalizing mineral-boost VOC filter
AquaTru ConfigurationsInclusionsPrice
ClassicRO + VOC Filter$449
ConnectWifi RO + VOC Filter$499
Alkaline ClassicRO + Alkaline Boost VOC Filter$469
Alkaline ConnectWifi RO + Alkaline Boost VOC Filter$519

For this review, we tested the AquaTru Classic, with this being the base model. We’re hoping to test the system with the remineralizing VOC filter soon, so we can see how it performs when adding healthy minerals back into the water.

📊 Scoring Data

Our scoring data is based on the testing we carry out ourselves and any supplementary information that we find on company websites and third-party lab test results. We rank a water filter’s performance, design quality, ease of use, and overall value for money with 6 testing categories. We’ve highlighted these in the table below.

Health Related Contaminants9.90
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationCertified for 100% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate0.08 GPM
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationExceptional
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.11/ gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping
Returns30 days

🎬 Video Review

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

Score: 9.91

To test contaminant reduction, we objectively tested the AquaTru with SimpleLab’s Tap Score. We also compared the manufacturer’s contaminant reduction claims with IAPMO’s performance certification data.  

Our Performance Testing

Score: 9.90

Tap Score provided us with a sample kit for us to use at home. We then sent our before-and-after test samples back to the company, where they were tested in a laboratory.

water testing with tap score

We followed Tap Score’s strict sample-taking protocol to ensure we got the most reliable results from the tests. This involved filling a clean bucket with tap water and swirling it around to make sure it was well-mixed. 

We poured most of the water into the AquaTru and dispensed our “after” sample once it had been purified in the unit. We then took a “before” sample straight from the bucket when there was less water in there, making it easier to pour from. We got an email alerting us that the results were available to view via a digital report on the SimpleLab platform. 

Important Note: Tap Score lets you review your test results based on different water quality standards. We decided to evaluate our results using the HGL (Health Guideline Level), a benchmark that prioritizes human health and is much stricter than the federal MCL.

Health-Related Contaminants

Score: 9.90

Our unfiltered water contained trace levels of 11 contaminants with possible health effects: fluoride, lead, strontium, uranium, molybdenum, barium, zinc, nitrate, sodium, copper, and sulfate. Of these contaminants, the three most concerning were fluoride, lead, and uranium, which were all detected at levels higher than the HGL.

Some of the possible health effects caused by these contaminants include:

  • Developmental issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects
  • Problems with the blood system
  • Skeletal health issues
  • Immune function effects
  • Reproductive issues
  • Cardiovascular health effects
  • Nervous system problems
  • Gastrointestinal effects

Our purified water test results showed us that the AquaTru system was able to eliminate 100% of all contaminants with possible health effects detected in our unfiltered tap water. That includes the contaminants we were the keenest to remove, like lead and fluoride.

ContaminantMeasurementPre-FiltrationPost-Filtration% Change
Nitrate (as N)PPM2.10-100.00%
Total Dissolved SolidsPPM11212-89.29%

Minerals & Salts

The reverse osmosis filtration process is so thorough that it doesn’t only remove the bad stuff – it also reduces healthy minerals. Since we tested the AquaTru system without the remineralization filter, the healthy trace minerals in our water were reduced by the RO membrane, and there was nothing in place to replace them.

Calcium in our water was reduced by 97%, magnesium by 94%, and chloride and sodium were both completely removed.

There’s the option to upgrade and buy the AquaTru with a VOC carbon filter that includes a remineraliation element, which we recommend doing in most scenarios – it’ll improve the taste of your water by adding healthy trace minerals. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Score: 9.90

Around 0.5 PPM of chlorine was detected in our unfiltered tap water. 

The AquaTru uses two activated carbon filters: a Pre-Carbon Filter and a VOC Carbon Filter. Numerous studies have proven activated carbon’s ability to effectively remove chlorine, tastes, and odors – this 2022 report highlights a handful of studies that confirmed that AC could be used successfully for this purpose.

Tap Score sent us a chlorine test strip to use at home for each of our tests. We needed to do the test as soon as we gathered our sample because chlorine is volatile and would dissipate before arriving at the lab. Our post-filtration test results showed that the AquaTru had removed 100% of chlorine from our water. 

There was no detectable chemical taste or odor after filtering our water in the AquaTru – another sign that the carbon filters were doing their job. 

Performance Certifications

Score: 10.00

We know that performance certifications are super reassuring to most customers, who don’t plan to do their own testing to prove that a filtration system performs as advertised.

The AquaTru has been IAPMO certified to NSF Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473 for the removal of 83 contaminants, including TDS, barium, chromium, copper, fluoride, lead, radium 226/228, selenium, cysts, arsenic perchlorate, nitrate/nitrite, Estrone, BPA, PFOA/PFOS and more. This made it certified for 100% of the manufacturer’s contaminant reduction claims. 

It’s worth noting that these are only the contaminants that the AquaTru has been tested and certified to remove, and, with its RO process, it should remove hundreds of other trace impurities and dangerous contaminants.

Carbon Tetrachloride98%
Dibromochloropropane (Dbcp)>99%
Ethylene Dibromide (Edb)>99%
Heptachlor Epoxide98%
2,4,5-tp (Silvex)99%
Tribromoacetic Acid>98%
Chloroform (Surrogate Chemical)95%
Xylenes (Total)>99%
Hexavalent Chromium97.2%
Trivalent Chromium98.0%
Radium 226/22896.4%
Chlorine Reduction, Free Available97%
Bisphenol A99.0%
Nonyl phenol96.7%
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)97.5%
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)97.5%

🚦 Filtration Rate

Score: 7.5

The AquaTru system uses an electric pump (which means it needs to be plugged into a power source) to send water through the RO stages and into the collection tank. 

In our testing, we found that the unit could purify 1 gallon of water in around 12 minutes, giving it a flow rate of 0.08 GPM

This AquaTru stores the water in a tank, ready for dispensing, which has its pros and cons. 

On the one hand, we didn’t have to wait for water to flow through the filter stages before it was ready for dispensing, which was a plus. On the other, the clean water tank is a gravity tank, and we found that the flow of water exiting the tank was slow – and it only got slower as the tank emptied.

Efficiency Ratio

The AquaTru is one of the more efficient reverse osmosis filter systems, especially when compared to a conventional under-sink system. It has a 4:1 performance efficiency, which, so far, is better than any of the other countertop systems we’ve reviewed.

In case you’re new to efficiency ratios, these measure how much waste water a reverse osmosis system generates for every 1 gallon of purified water produced (wastewater production is, unfortunately, a side effect of the reverse osmosis process). 

The AquaTru unit’s 4:1 efficiency ratio means there’s only 1 gallon of water wasted for every 4 gallons of clean, filtered water produced, which meant there wasn’t a whole lot of wastewater that we had to throw out, and our tank emptying duties were less frequent than with other countertop systems we’ve tested.

aquatru clean water tank
The clean water tank

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📐 Design

Score: 9.7

To test the AquaTru’s design quality, we looked at two factors: the quality of the materials used in the components, and whether or not the system holds a certification for design.  

Out of the box, the AquaTru filter system is a compact RO unit that’s designed to sit on a countertop. The idea is that you fill the water tank with cold tap water and attach the tank to the AquaTru base. The AquaTru will automatically start purifying the water until it has filled the front filtered water tank.

As far as design is concerned, we felt the AquaTru system had everything we were looking for in a modern countertop RO system. It might not be the most feature-heavy, but the digital display screen helped us out with filter lifespan information, and the water level icon meant we always knew when a tank refill was necessary. 

We didn’t personally test the WiFi Connect system, but we think some people will prefer this system because it lets you view data on filter lifespan, water consumption, and water quality from a dedicated app.

Design Setbacks

We identified a couple of setbacks with the AquaTru’s design. 

First, because the AquaTru isn’t connected to a water pipe or drain line, you need to manually fill the tap water tank and empty the wastewater tank once it gets full. This takes some effort, and if you forget to empty the wastewater tank when it’s full, the system won’t work. 

Another design setback is that the purified water exits the tank via gravity. This is a slow process that only gets slower as the tank empties. 

Brian pouring filtered water from Aquatru

Component Quality

Score: 9.50

We were happy with the quality of the components used in the AquaTru, and felt that the system has a robust construction and uses thoughtful design features to enhance functionality. 

The AquaTru is made of Tritan plastic, which is claimed by manufacturers to be BPA and BPS free. The plastic design is nice and sturdy without glass’s high potential for shattering or stainless steel’s weight and bulk. 

That said, we know some folks will be trying to avoid using plastics for food and water storage purposes, and there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to say for certain that Tritan is 100% safe. We found a 2014 study that evaluated the estrogenic activity of chemicals leaching from BPA-free plastics and concluded that many Tritan resins leached chemicals with estrogenic activity, so even if Tritan is BPA- and BPS-free, it may still contain other bisphenols.

aquatru review

Design Longevity

We couldn’t find any conclusive evidence for how long Tritan plastics are designed to last, but materials companies that make Tritan say that it lasts through “hundreds of dishwasher cycles” “outlasts other plastics and glass”, and is “extremely resistant to staining and smell absorption”. 

It’s not going to shatter like glass or rust like metal, so we think the AquaTru’s components themselves should last for years, if not decades. 

But the AquaTru also uses electronics, and if the system malfunctions or stops working, you’ll probably have to replace the whole thing even if the unit itself is in sound condition. 


Score: 10.00

In our research, we found that the AquaTru is certified for materials safety and structural integrity. This falls under the system’s IAPMO certification to NSF Standards 42, 53, and 401. It also holds an NSF 372 certification for lead-free design.  

That means the AquaTru has been independently tested and deemed safe for use as a water filter, which is exactly what we love to see. 

Filter Materials

The filter cartridges in the AquaTru are made from activated carbon and semi-permeable membrane material (which is typically either cellulose acetate blends or polyamide composites). There’s also a mechanical pre-filter that removes sediment, but we couldn’t find any information on exactly what materials are used to make this. 

Activated carbon has been widely researched, and numerous studies support its effectiveness in water treatment. This 2019 study on activated carbon adsorption in water treatment concluded that AC has an “excellent purification ability” thanks to its loose porous environment and high specific surface area. The CDC recommends reverse osmosis systems for removing microorganisms, metals, and chemicals from water. 

There’s plastic in the filter housings, which is very common for most water filters but obviously isn’t ideal. 

⚙️ Setup

Score: 10.00

We measured the time it took to assemble the AquaTru, and the complexity of the process. 

Our unit came partially assembled. All we had to do was set it up on our countertop of choice, install the filters, wash and fill the tanks, plug in the unit, and get started. 

We followed the instructions in the user manual to prime the filters, which is super simple and just requires running 4 tanks of water through the system and discarding the water in the filtered water tank. While the filter priming process was quite time-consuming, it was easy, and there was no assembly, tools, or technical know-how required.

Brian installing the water tank of aquatru

🔧 Maintenance

Score: 9.75

We assessed the AquaTru for its servicing requirements and the cost of replacing the filters. 

Servicing Requirements

Score: 9.5

We found it easy to follow the instructions for maintenance for the AquaTru, including:

  • Cleaning both water tanks with warm, soapy water once a week
  • Cleaning the outside of the unit base with a damp towel when necessary
  • Flushing the unit with pure water once a week to clean the filters (recommended but not essential)
  • Buying replacement filters when notified by the display screen (the prefilter lasts 600 gallons or six months; the reverse osmosis membrane lasts 1200 gallons or two years; the VOC filter lasts 600 gallons or one year)

Like any multi-stage RO system, the AquaTru water filter system is a bit more maintenance-heavy than non-RO systems. It’s worth asking yourself whether you want the most thorough, comprehensive filtration process to remove harmful contaminants from your tap water, and whether you’re happy with the additional maintenance commitments of changing the separate filters every 6-24 months.


Score: 10.00

We calculated the cost per gallon of the AquaTru filters to determine the system’s long-term value for money.

The overall cost per gallon for the filters is $0.11/ gallon. Here’s a breakdown of the cost per gallon for each of the filter stages: 

  • Classic Pre/Carbon Filter: $0.03/gallon
  • Classic VOC Carbon Filter: $0.04/gallon
  • Classic Reverse Osmosis Filter: $0.04/gallon

That makes the AquaTru one of the cheaper-to-maintain systems we’ve tested, despite using multiple different filter stages. For some perspective, the middle-ground average cost per gallon for water filters is around $0.54-0.61/gallon, and some systems have filters that cost more than $0.85.gallon to replace. 

🏢 Company

Score: 8.80

To grade the AquaTru in the Company category, we looked for information on the system’s warranty, shipping, and returns. 


Score: 8.5

The AquaTru has a 1-year limited warranty, which means it’s warrantied to be “free from defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the original purchase date”. 

There’s a shipping and processing fee that the customer has to cover if a repair or replacement is needed. The warranty only applies to the AquaTru system and not its filters. 

This isn’t the longest warranty we’ve seen. You can pay around $50 for the extended 3-year warranty, but we don’t like that this costs extra. 


Score: 10.00

AquaTru ships to all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Canada, so it gets top points for us in this category. Find out more about shipping here. 


Score: 8.00

All AquaTru customers can try the system for 30 days and return it for free for any reason within this period. Customers have to pay for the return shipping fees. 

We’ve seen longer returns periods – up to 90 days – but this is still pretty great, and we appreciate that AquaTru doesn’t require you to return the system unopened and unused. 

AquaTru’s returns policy can be viewed here

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Aquatru Compared to Other Brands

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  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

8 thoughts on “Aquatru Review: 6 Data-Driven Tests”

  1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    I use pond water as my main water source and it does go through a chlorine process, but I buy bottle water for drinking and cooking. Will the Aquatru work for me?

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell
      Brian Campbell

      Is there any other treatment besides the chlorination system? Are there filters to remove suspended solids?

  2. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    We like our counter top model.
    Is there anything bad in the waste water? Can we use it to water plants, flowers, or vegetables in pots?

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      The concentrated contaminants come out in the waste water. Depending on what types of plants you have, watering them with this concentrated discharge water should be fine. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any changes and stop watering with the discharge water if need be.

  3. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    I just discovered your videos and info. love your info on berkey and pro one too, as we are questioning our berkey use with city water.

    we just purchased an aqua tru under the counter RO system for $250 but haven’t installed it yet bc I am still researching. my question is why would the aqua tru counter top system be twice as much $?

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      I followed up with Aquatru in regards to this question, here was their response:

      “Each model has its own manufacturing cost which ends up determining the final price of each model.”

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