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Activated carbon filters used to filter water in your home typically contain either granular activated carbon (GAC) or powdered block carbon. Carbon water filters generally have a higher contaminant removal ratio. Two important factors that affect the efficiency of activated carbon filtration are the amount of carbon in the unit and the amount of time the contaminants spend in contact with it. The more carbon present, the more effective the filtrations system. Also, the lower the flow rate of the water, the more time that contaminants will be in contact with the carbon, allowing more absorption to take place.