A: For little more than a store bought ‘charcoal jug’, you can install a simple filtration system that eliminates chlorine, giardia, pesticides and herbicides. Free quotes are given for small and large systems.

A: Total Water Solutions is based in Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland. We actively service the Sunshine Coast region from this location. For clients outside this geographic area, we are able to provide phone advice and quotes; and supplying filtration systems via courier for you to install.

A: Total Water Solutions provides a comprehensive on-site maintenance service to customers in the Sunshine Coast region. Regular servicing is imperative to the effective functioning of your system. We also respond promptly to emergency filtration situations.  Systems outside this region can be maintained by a local service agent.

A: Cartridges can be purchased directly from the office in Maleny or we can mail/courier your order to you. We provide email/mail/phone reminders to you of when your cartridges are due to be changed based on the quality of your water and household usage. We can provide instructions for most systems for you to change the cartridges yourself, however we would suggest a professional service for some systems.

A: Water issues can be specific to the source eg:
Town Water

  • Hard Water
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Chemicals
  • Taste/Colour/Odour

Tank Water

  • Taste/Colour/Odour
  • Sediment
  • Parasites
  • Bacteria


  • Taste/Colour/Odour
  • Low pH
  • Iron & Manganese
  • Hardness/minerals
  • Sediment
  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Herbicides/Pesticides
A: A wide range of treatments and products are available.  Town and tank water are usually a ‘known quantity’ for which we can easily recommend a system without a water analysis.  Treatment for dam/bore/creek water sources should be based on an analysis of the source water.  Please contact us for a water analysis.

Find out More

Water Use & Availability

Prolonged drought, water shortages and concerns for our health have changed forever the way Australians think about water – no more so than in the fast growing area of South East Queensland. Not so long ago we assumed the water out of our taps was OK if it looked clean and didn’t smell too bad.

With global connections through the internet and information becoming more readily available – people are starting to ask questions about their water.

  • Will we have enough water into the future?
  • Where does our water come from?
  • How safe is it to drink?

Governments implement strategies around the sources and supply of water.
Agriculture and industry consume large quantities of water and are looking to minimise usage.
Householders also want to minimise use and are concerned about its quality and how to improve it.

That’s where we come in. Total Water Solutions provides a comprehensive range of products, advice, and analytical and consulting services; aimed at optimising the use of our most precious of resources.

Why Purify Water?
Understanding the qualities of water will help answer this question.

Water is like a magnet. When it comes into contact with other substances, it readily absorbs them. That means as rain water moves through our environment, it can pick up harmful substances which are then drawn into our water supply – for example air pollution or toxic chemicals in the ground. Without filtration, we end up drinking these substances and bathing in them. Water can also damage or cause corrosion to pipes and appliances.

Water quality is affected by:

  • the occurrence of natural elements like minerals in the soil
  • intended additives – chlorine/fluoride
  • accidental additives – pollution from mining or agricultural activities, leaching of surrounding soils or airborne pollutants

The science to analyse water problems and the technology for solving them have made rapid advances in recent times. So whether it’s domestic drinking/household water or industrial/commercial water, there are solutions to water purification and efficiency in water usage.

Water comes into our homes from different sources – each having a unique set of characteristics.

Tank Water
Tank water collected off your roof through gutters and downpipes, is open to a variety of contaminations: from chemical pollutants in the city, through to leaves, dirt and animal droppings. In some areas … Continue reading →

Town Water
Town water originally comes from a variety of sources. Water authorities set up catchment areas that trap the water running above and through the ground. It then sits in large dams waiting to be used. Town water is known as a … Continue reading →

Dam/Creek/Rivers/Bore Water
The contamination found in tank water can also be found in these source waters. Some additional contamination … Continue reading →

For those who are technically minded, we thought to include some interesting information about the carbon filtration process.

How does carbon filtration work and what is the process in making a carbon filter?

Carbon is manufactured by the controlled burning of cellulose. The temperature of the burn and the amount of oxygen entering the process control the hardness, filtering power and grain size of the carbon.

Carbon actively filters water, not only through grain size, but also by its ability to bind organic and inorganic materials to itself through an electrical charge on its surface – a process known as adsorption.

Carbon filtration is used for filtering wastewater and removing fine insoluble, metals and chlorine compounds from domestic water.

There are several types of carbon produced for differing filtration needs.

We prefer to use activated carbon in our filtration systems allowing for more uptake of contaminants.
Activated carbon is made from any organic material containing carbon. Commercial carbons are made from sawdust, wood, charcoal, peat, lignite, petroleum coke, bituminous coal, and coconut shells.
We choose these raw materials in order to provide the best activated carbon to our customers.

Let’s choose coal as our raw organic material from which we are going to make activated carbon.
The coal is pulverized to very fine particles like talcum powder. The powdered coal is mixed with a binder to “glue” it back together. Then it’s pressed into briquettes. These are then crushed and classified to the size of the desired end product. This process, called reagglomeration, creates a uniformly activated carbon that is harder and less dusty than the original product.
The sized material is heated in an oxygen void environment to remove the volatile components of the coal. The carbon is then activated by additional heating in a controlled environment of oxygen and steam. The activation process creates a highly porous graphitic plate structure with tremendous surface area.

500 grams of activated carbon has a surface area equal to 125 acres of land.

Pure carbon weighs about 180 kilograms per cubic meter. It is much denser than activated carbon. During the manufacturing process the structure is “opened up,” creating porosity (pore volume) inside the granule. The finished product “activated carbon” has a density between 33 to 54 kilograms per cubic meter.

A container of carbon is roughly 20% carbon, 40% interstitial space (the volume between the carbon granules), and 40% pore volume (the volume inside the carbon granules).
Another way to visualize this is: If you had a 200 litre drum full of dry carbon, you could add 166 litres of water to the drum before it would overflow. Therefore, 80 percent of the drum volume is air.

The pore space is the internal volume of the carbon granule. It consists of all the cracks and crevices created when the coal is crushed and glued back together, and the volume between the graphite plates. The distance between the graphite plates determines whether the space is an adsorption pore or a transport pore.

Adsorption pores are the internal volume where the graphitic plates are very close together creating a higher energy. Higher energy is important to adsorption because it is the energy that “holds” the contaminant (the carbon “adsorbs” the contaminant). The volume where the graphite plates are far apart and the cracks and crevices make up the transport pores. It is important to note that all adsorption takes place in the adsorption pores and not the transport pores.

There is a natural attractive force between all things in the universe. Gravity is one of these forces. In adsorption theory, the force between the contaminate and the carbon is the adsorptive force. It technically is a Van der Waals force. It is this attractive force that enables adsorption to occur. The forces are a function of the distance between the two objects. The closer together the objects are, the higher the attractive force is. The higher the attractive force, the higher the “energy” level of the pore space.

Transport pores are the internal volume of the carbon granule where the graphitic plates are far apart or the cracks and crevices of the particle. The transport pores act as the “highways” for the contaminants to reach the adsorption pores where they are adsorbed. It is important to note that no adsorption takes place in the transport pores. Transport pores are vitally important, as they allow access to the adsorption pores – especially those deeper within the carbon granule.


That’s the process for getting the carbon filter made. What happens when that carbon filter is introduced into a water filtration system?

A container of carbon is roughly 20% carbon, 40% interstitial space (the volume between the carbon granules), and 40% pore volume (the volume inside the carbon granules). If air remains in the pore volume, your water can’t get to the surface of the carbon. The air becomes a barrier to the carbon functioning properly.

Typically, it’s recommended to fill your system with water and allow it to sit full and idle for 24 hours. This time allows the water to displace all of the air in the pores of the carbon. After the system has been idle for 24 hours, the next step is to use an upflow backwash to displace any air that has been trapped in the carbon bed. This backwash will also remove most of the carbon fines in the system.

Once the contaminant enters the carbon granule via the transport pore space, it diffuses into the carbon matrix until it enters the smaller pores where the adsorptive forces begin to take effect. Once it reaches a higher-energy area, it can no longer migrate (or diffuse) because the adsorptive force is stronger than the diffusional force. The contaminant is adsorbed to the carbon surface by the adsorptive forces (the Van der Waals forces). In this state, the contaminant is referred to as the adsorbate.