What do POU and POE mean?

POU and POE are acronyms for “Point Of Use” and “Point Of Entry” respectively. They describe where a water treatment system is used. A POE system treats higher flow rates than the POU system.

POU Water Treatment

POU treatment systems are small in size and are designed for low flow rates at a specific single location. For instance, a system designed to treat water at the kitchen sink, is considered a POU system. POU systems treat flow rates less than 5 gallons per minute. POU systems such as RO (reverse osmosis) units produce only 20 to 50 gallons of water per 24-hour period.

Other common uses for POU treatment systems are

  • Appliance protection such as just in front of a tank-less or on demand hot water heater
  • Ice maker and refrigerator drinking water
  • Specialty filter pitchers kept in the refrigerator

POE Treatment

POE treatment systems are much larger in size compared to a POU system and are designed to treat higher flow rates. These systems are meant to treat all the water at the Point of Entry to the home or business.

Example POE systems

  • Water softeners
  • Water filters
  • Ultraviolet sterilizers

Perfect examples of POE cartridge based treatment systems are the Cascadian® PolyHalt salt free ion bond softeners.

So which do you need?

The right system depends upon several factors

  • What problems need fixing
  • What flow rate is required
  • How much water needs to be treated
  • How much space is available
  • Do you want treated water everywhere?
  • What is the cost

A complete treatment system can have both POE and POU. Consider this, a POE system treats all the water and then it’s finished or polished to a higher treatment level for a specific use with a POU system.

A water treatment professional will be able to help you with a comprehensive treatment plan.


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