What is the Atla Water System A305? How do you use it? Approximately six years ago we installed the Atla system in our home. (At that time it was known as the AquaLiv system.) We’ll tell you about our experience—how it’s installed, how we maintain it, and whether we’ve had any complaints.
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NOTE: In Mid-October 2021 Aqualiv changed their name to Atla Water. References to the AquaLiv Water System in this review article have been updated to the Atla Water System. The products are the same. Model numbers are still the same. For example, systems using Filter Set FS300 will continue to use Filter Set FS300. The system we previously referred to as the AquaLiv Water System A305 is now the Atla Water System A305. The only changes are the name and the product labels/artwork. Ownership of the company has not changed.
Some photos in this article show the system with the AquaLiv branding. Those photos are of the actual system we have installed in our home and were taken prior to the Atla Water System name change.
In March 2023 Atla Water introduced a new look for their product. The system is the same, but with a new look on the outside. This review includes images showing the new look.
Why we installed the Atla Water System.
In early 2017 we moved out of the city to a rural area where we could live with less traffic and noise, less congestion, and a simpler life in general. The one thing we didn’t like in our new home was the taste of the water from the local utility.
Even before the move, we’d been researching ways to have naturally alkaline drinking water in the house without having to buy it in bottled form at the supermarket. In my pre-move research I’d read extensively about the Atla purifier. When we were confronted with the taste of the public utility water in our new home, we quickly went online and ordered the system.
What is the Atla A305 water system?
Some people have a “hard water” problem and install softener systems. But most people who install water treatment appliances in their home do it to filter impurities or to improve the taste. Over the forty-eight plus years of our marriage, we’ve had a number of simple water filters. Most of them just attached to the kitchen faucet itself.
The Atla A305 is a water filter. But it’s much more than that, too. The manufacturer doesn’t call the A305 a water filter. They call it the Atla Water System. You’ll understand why that is a more accurate name when we see how it does much more than simply filter water. It extensively filters the water, but it also naturally alkalizes and energizes it before it is delivered through your faucet.
How does the Atla Water System work?
Water runs through a series of treatments between the time it enters the Atla system and when you fill a glass from the faucet.
The Atla A305 removes toxins and impurities
The Fluorgon and KDF55 filters take care of Fluoride, Chromium, Arsenic, Aluminum, Lead, Iron, Manganese, Mercury, and others.
A 5-micron Catalytic Coconut Carbon Blocks Chlorine, Chloramines, VOC’s, Radionuclides, and others. As its name implies, it blocks particles greater than 5 microns.
It also has a .5 micron Activated Coconut Carbon block that stops particles and organisms greater than .5 microns. It also removes taste and odors.
The Atla A305 water system naturally alkalizes water.
The Atla A305 uses what its manufacturer calls ActiveMag technology to naturally alkalize water. Similar to the way mountain streams pick up minerals from the rock bed they flow over, water passing through the Atla water system picks up trace amounts of pre-oxidized magnesium. There is more to it than this simple explanation, but in short, the system naturally and safely alkalizes water on its way to your tap.
The Atla A305 water system naturally energizes water.
It does so by sending the water through the Atla Revitalizer, a unit which creates structured water and energizes it after it has been through the filters. Rather than try to explain the technology and the science behind it in this article, you can learn more about the system on the manufacturer’s website.
How is the Atla Water System A305 different from other filters?
The Atla Water System A305 uses no electricity. It can be installed anywhere you need to have a healthy water supply. It is recommended for use in places where one would need clean and healthy water for drinking, cooking, or ice. It is probably not the best choice for use in a whole house filter situation.
Once installed, the system is completely hands-off except for changing the filter cartridges approximately once a year. The filters will be effective for one thousand gallons, or about a year in average usage.
In short, the system simulates the process that water goes through as it passes down a mountain stream, as mentioned earlier.
How large is the Atla A305 Water System?
The A305 is compact for the work it does. The filters and ActiveMag cartridges themselves fit side by side on a compact frame that is fifteen inches wide and five inches deep. With the cartridges installed it is fourteen inches tall. The frame can be installed on any stable and durable wall surface.
The Revitalizer module is a standalone item that is fifteen inches high and seven inches in diameter.
We have our system installed under the kitchen sink. The frame and its cartridges are installed on the back wall. The Revitalizer sits on the cabinet floor in a front corner.
The system is very flexible. The basic system can be connected to the kitchen faucet. We chose to order the separate Modern Chrome faucet with our system. On the date this article was updated, that faucet was $66.00 as a standalone item. We also bought the ice maker connection kit.
How do we use the Atla water system?
We’ve have had the Atla A305 installed and in continuous use for approximately six years.
As explained earlier, we had the system installed under our kitchen sink. We use it daily and primarily for drinking water and ice, but also occasionally for cooking. We installed the Modern Chrome faucet which Atla Water sells in the hole on the sink top where some people would have a sprayer. In our case the sink sprayer is incorporated into the main faucet, so that hole was available.
We do not have the system connected to whole house. We did not consider it necessary to have filtered water for laundry, showering, etc..
I don’t know that all refrigerators allow it, but when we connected the Atla A305 System to our ice maker connection, we removed the filter that came with the refrigerator. We have a KitchenAid refrigerator.
Because I have not researched the topic across all modern refrigerator brands, I can’t say if all brands would allow the internal filter to be removed or bypassed when an external filter is installed. Our KitchenAid does it allow it, though.
Our refrigerator apparently determines when it is time to replace the internal filter based on the amount of water that has gone through the ice maker and drinking water dispenser in the door. It still reminds us on schedule to replace the factory filter. We tap the buttons to tell the fridge that we replaced the filter, and life goes on, complete with ice made from water that has been filtered, alkalized, and energized by the Atla water system.
What are our personal results with the Atla Water System A305?
I may seem like a paid spokesman for Atla Water and as stated at the stop of this article, we may receive a commission if you buy the system through one of the links in this article. But we never tell you we’ve used any product and liked it if in fact either of those statements would be false. I can say with all honesty that we would still recommend the Atla Water System even if we weren’t affiliates.
I said earlier that we really disliked the taste of the water as it came through the taps from our public utility. Now, when we fill a glass with water from the filter faucet, it always tastes clean and fresh. Our ice is always clean with no odd water taste.
We thought we had a problem with the Atla system.
A year or so after we installed the system, we noticed a slight deterioration in the taste. When we double checked ourselves, we discovered we’d lost track of time and were late changing the filter. If you don’t change filters on time, your taste buds may tell you about it. The change in the taste of the water was our fault, not the Atla’s.
Changing filters on the Atla A305 Water System
The three filter cartridges, including the ActiveMag cartridge, should be changed every thousand gallons or approximately one year, in average usage. The replacement cartridges come as a full set and are available from Atla for approximately $135.00 as a one-off order (price updated 5/18/23).
Customers who buy the full water system receive an email approximately 11 months after their purchase date with a $20.00 discount offer on filter replacements. You can then subscribe to receive future replacement filters with a $20.00 discount. The standard subscription is to receive a new set of filters every 12 months. You can opt to receive replacement filters more frequently if you are a very heavy user.
When you purchase the A305 water system from Atla, it will come with a large wrench that helps in removing the cartridges from the frame. It may take a little bit of tugging to break the outer cartridge threads loose.
NOTE: I would strongly recommend that you install the Atla A305 in such as way that you can easily reach the three filter cartridges. If you don’t, it may complicate things when time comes to replace the cartridges.
The filter change basically goes like this:
- Turn off the water supply to the filter. (There should be a dedicated valve installed during the initial installation that allows you to cut off the filter without turning off the water to the entire house.)
- Using the wrench that came with the new system, remove the cartridges one at a time. Remove the old cartridge from the container and dispose of it. One or more of them may be heavier than you expect because there will still be a small amount of water inside them. They may drip, so be sure to have something available to contain the water as you remove and dispose of the old cartridges.
- Gently remove the O-ring from the groove around the top of the spin-on filter container. Carefully wipe it clean and apply a light coating of the lubricant that comes with the replacement filter pack.
- Clean the inside of the filter container.
- Carefully reinsert the O-ring into the groove around the top of the spin-on filter container.
- Insert the appropriate filter cartridge into the containers. The included instructions tell which cartridge goes into which container.
- Reinstall the spin-on container with the cleaned and lubricated O-ring and the new cartridge onto the bracket. Follow the instructions to be certain you install them in the correct order. Turn them by hand until tight, then just a tad more. Again, follow the instructions to be sure you properly tighten the spin-on cartridge containers.
- Turn the water supply on.
- Follow the instructions for purging air from the line.
Enjoy your newly refreshed Atla water system.
A warning about high water pressure surges
After almost six years of using the Atla Water system without an issue, we developed a dripping water leak coming from the top of the #1 filter canister.
I contacted Atla Water and found that sometimes if there are high-pressure water surges or water hammer issues, a hairline crack can form in the canister top. That was the issue with our system.
The Atla Water system is designed for use in systems where the maximum consistent water pressure is 75 PSI. Our local water system had increased the water pressure in our area to a level higher than that. That pressure increase resulted in water hammer happening, particularly in the middle of the night.
Atla Water sells a 3/8″ quick connect Shok Blok water pressure surge protector for people who experience this issue. I installed the Shok Blok and it handled any surges in water pressure. It is very easy to install.
Because the top of the #1 canister had developed that hairline crack we ordered a new top for the system and installed it. Problem solved. The leak is gone and hopefully we won’t have that problem again with the Shok Blok surge protector installed.
Let me stress that this issue was not a fault with the Atla Water System. We had been using it constantly for nearly six years with no issues at all. The problem was that our local water utility increased our water pressure without us being aware of how high it was.
How long is the Atla Water System warranty?
The Atla Water System comes with a two-year warranty. There is a 90-day money-back guarantee. (You will need to keep the original packaging material until the 90-day warranty is expired.) The separately purchased faucet comes with a one-year warranty.