Whole House Water Filter
designed by ecologist James P McMahon
Some years ago, while selling another company's product, I realized I could design a whole house water filter that was more effective, cost you less, and cost less to maintain. So I did.
I put all of my knowledge about water quality and all of my experience in water treatment into the design. I believe that the Urban Defender is the best whole house water filter available today, equal to products that cost three times the price and far superior to many of my competitor's products that deprive you of effective treatment in order to appeal to you on price.
To learn about these features click here, or request my specifications here. The Urban Defender is custom built and I can modify each unit to match your water and the needs of your household. Hundreds of people now enjoy healthy water using the Urban Defender. If I could make it even better, I would...
Sweetwater's Urban Defender™
Extremely Effective - Great Value
Learn how it works! To learn what design features I use, click here. Or, request the Urban Defender's specifications to learn how it works. This description includes the seven features to look for when choosing a whole house water filtration system:
I have also designed a less expensive system for smaller homes. Sweetwater's Terminator is designed for homes with one or two people and low water use. See below.
The Urban Defender is the most effective whole house water filtration system available. It will remove the chlorine or chloramine and the carcinogenic chemicals in municipal water supplies.
The Urban Defender whole house water filtration system removes or reduces: volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds such as chloramine, chlorine, alachlor, atrazine, trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, solvents such as benzene and MTBE, soluble metallic and non-metallic ions including but not limited to arsenic, cobalt, antimony, copper, mercury, cadmium, chromium, lead, chloroform, hydrogen sulfide, lindane, malethion and other pesticides, silver, and trichlorethane.
"My Urban Defender has changed my life. I love it!"
Aileen Gee; Falmouth, MA
The Urban Defender is available with catalytic carbon to remove chloramines or granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove chlorine.
Urban Defender with GAC: $1556.
Urban Defender with catalytic carbon: $1810.
Super Size Urban Defender for large homes: $3450.
5 micron pre-filter: $ 190.
Optional add on filters:
Fluoride filter: see here
Zeolyte (for trace levels of iron and manganese) filter: $325.
Nitrate filter: request my specifications
All orders are by phone but you may request detailed specifications by email:
I invite you to watch this short video in which I demonstrate quite clearly that chlorine is quickly absorbed into your skin when you shower or bathe:
If your water contains chloramines, a toxic combination of chlorine and ammonia now in use by many cities, then you need the catalytic carbon version. If your city uses chlorine then the GAC version will work just fine. If you have want to be able to use more than two showers at any one time then you need to use the Super Size version which has a higher flow rate.
The Urban Defender is the best whole house water filter because the media is tailored to your water, the features, such as downflow filtration and the amount of carbon I use, make it effective at removing contaminants, and the quality of its components are the best in the industry. Mostly though I can honestly say that it is the best because I look at your water report as we talk and I build the system that will serve the needs of your family.
The seven features that make the Urban Defender the best whole house water filter in America today:
First, the Urban Defender is a Downflow system, which means that the water flows down through KDF media and 55 lbs of carbon chips forcing the contaminants to come in contact with both media types, thus maximizing effective removal.
Second, weekly backwash reshuffles the carbon to present new carbon surfaces to incoming water, maintaining effectiveness throughout the five to seven year life of the initial media.
Third, you can choose between catalytic carbon for chloramine removal or granular activated carbon (GAC) for chlorine removal.
Fourth, the 2 cu ft Urban Defender is limited to a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute - allowing for sufficient contact time between water and carbon to ensure removal of contaminants for the typical family home.
Fifth, for larger homes a larger version is available. For smaller homes of one or two persons my Terminator model is ideal. The Terminator is intended to compete price-wise with the cheap carbon systems that don’t actually work well. This includes Pelican, Aquasana, and Mercola's filters.
Sixth, the Urban Defender is reusable, meaning that when the carbon is saturated with contaminants you can easily replace the media in a little over an hour.
Seventh, I use media that has been certified by NSF (42 and 61) but I don’t make phony claims about how long the system will last or what it will do.
For a comparison to other whole house water filters, visit:
Read my blog posts on the misleading claims by some companies about NSF certifications:
Finally, I can provide numerous pre or post treatment filter options to remove or reduce the other contaminants in your water - if necessary.
The Urban Defender will out perform and out last competitors' systems. It is far superior to non-backwashing, upflow systems and equal in effectiveness to more expensive competitors backwashing systems while costing you less.
As you can see from the diagram all of the water is treated by a downflow design. The purpose of the backwash then is to reshuffle the media in order to provide new carbon surfaces to the water as well as to eliminate channeling.
I really encourage you not to be swayed by the lower price and false claims made about downflow systems that do not backwash or upflow systems. While tempting, these systems will not last long and you will end up having to replace them sooner. An honest estimate of their longevity is one fifth of the gallons they claim. I explain that in a blog post about false claims for non-backwashing carbon filters here.
And you may request my explanation on why a downflow design with backwash is better than an upflow carbon filter: Backwash vs Upflow. They really are. Once again this entire issue comes down to the question of who you can trust to sell you an effective product. Look at my testimonials. With the products I sell you are getting the very best that money can buy.
The Urban Defender may also be combined with Ultra Violet light, a water softener, nitrate or iron removal, or an array of backwashing filters to provide you with a comprehensive and effective whole house water filtration system - all based on a review of your water report and the contaminants that must be removed to provide your family with healthy water.
I do not sell products over the internet and there is no shopping cart on this site. To order, you call me and we will review your city's water report, discuss your goals, and determine which product will best meet your needs. My phone number is in the top right hand corner of this page.
Urban Defender Product Reviews:
"Because I have chemical sensitivities, allergies, and other health challenges, I need the cleanest water. Jim and I discussed my particular requirements and sensitivities and arrived at a customized set of components for a whole house water filtration system, showering, and drinking. I intentionally waited a year after the installation to have the water analyzed by a national lab to see if the water filtration system components were each still doing a good job, even at the point in time when replacement filters were due. The tests came back with results that were near perfect: in all cases contaminants were below the national standard, and no contaminants and bacteria could be detected at all for the drinking water. This is the best whole house water filter because after many years and several systems the Urban Defender allows me to have peace of mind about my water. Thanks for your help and caring."
Diane, Asheville, NC
"It has been almost 2 years since we purchased and installed the "Urban Defender" whole house water filtration system and I can now without hesitation offer you my unqualified statement of satisfaction. The Urban Defender completely transformed the quality of our drinking water, which now is pure tasting goodness. To say we are thrilled is an understatement! Maintenance -- the simple annual replacement of the system's 5 micron filter -- is a snap and cost effective. I congratulate you on a fantastic product and will continue to tell friends and associates about the benefits of clean and pure drinking water. You know your stuff. Sincerely,"
David J. Peebler Montclair, NJ
See what my other customers have to say:
To see how my Urban Defender compares to other popular models, visit:
This comparison shows that the Urban Defender is the best whole house water filter because it is equal in contaminant removal to whole house water filtration systems that cost three to five times as much. I am confident that your choice of the Urban Defender is the best choice for the health of your family. If I could make it even better....I would.
"What an amazing difference! We used to have a chlorine smell every time we opened the tap, now we have amazingly clean, odor free water. We purchased the Urban Defender with the additional fluoride filter, as well as the custom reverse osmosis system. The end result was that our water not only tastes fantastic but also feels great too!Jim is awesome at what he does and he gives you personal attention through the entire process. He looked at our water reports. He helped design the perfect system. He helped us when the shipping went awry. He talked to the plumber when the installation took place. He overnighted us a part that was missing. Jim is a really great guy, and he really stands behind his product!For anyone looking for a water filtration system, I can’t recommend enough Jim or his Sweetwater systems. You will definitely be thrilled with the end result."Nicholas SaparoffFranklin, MA
Sweetwater's Urban Defender® is the best whole house water filter because of its effective removal of contaminants and the facts about your water and home that go into the construction of each unit - custom built just for you.
The Terminator: a Filter for One Person Households
The Terminator is an inexpensive whole house water filter designed specifically to provide you with a high quality alternative to the cheap products offered by my competitors that plague people with underperformance. I have struggled for years to bring you a design that I can be proud of and I finally have it. The Terminator is intended to be an entry level product that can protect you from chlorine, chlorine byproducts, pesticides, and other volatile organic compounds.
Please note the following factors. Because this is intended to be inexpensive it has a limited application. The Terminator is best used on small homes with two people or less to remove chlorine or chloramine and its byproducts.
The Terminator will remove 1 ppm of chlorine at 4 gpm. At higher flow rates it will remove less chlorine due to the decreased contact time.
The Terminator is a downflow system with a manual backwash. The backwash can be plumbed to a drain or attached to a garden hose.
$900 for chloramines
Email me today for more details:
If you want the best whole house water filter, buy my Urban Defender described above.
I always recommend that you use a 5 micron pre-filter. Here's a look at one after 6 months of Madison, WI water:
Are you drinking that?
When you call, you'll reach me directly.
Together, we will solve the water problems in your home.
Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 6 PM Mountain Time
"What's in YOUR Water?"
James P McMahon
Learn about my products and services here:
To read more about this topic see this Wikipedia article
To view my experience and credentials: