Which water treatment system should you buy
I was worried about the water that my children were drinking and washing with. Tap water is supposed to be pure but most of the time it isn’t
The first thing I did is to find out where our drinking water was coming from. Most city water comes from either groundwater or surface water. Groundwater is usually cleaner since it is found deep in the earth’s surface.
This means that by the time it has gotten there, it has been filtered by hundreds of feet of ground. Surface water is the water from rivers, lakes, and streams. It has a good chance of picking up contaminants as it makes its way through the earth’s surface. Next, I found out the results of their EPA tests. Utility companies have to provide you this by law.
Then I asked how they disinfected the water and whether they added fluoride. Most city water is disinfected with chlorine.
We also tested the water ourselves…you always want a second opinion, right? Call around and find an EPA-certified lab. After testing it, we were not completely satisfied so we started looking for a filter. We knew that to get something good you have to spend, so we were just looking for something to install on the sink.
At first we looked at carafe filters. They are basically like a coffee pot filter that filters the water as you pour it into a pitcher. The good part is that they remove lead, chlorine, and a few other things. However, they dont take out bacteria, pesticides, and other chemicals.
Another type of filter is the faucet filter. It is also called a point of use carbon filter. It passes water through a carbon bed that takes out chlorine, lead, some pesticides, radon, and some bacteria.
Reverse osmosis (RO) tanks can be attached to the pipe under your sink. It removes almost every contaminant, bacteria, and chemical, as well as most of the fluoride. It’s much more expensive than the carafe and faucet filter, at least initially. You will pay $700 to $1000 to get it installed, but in the long run (taking into account the cost of replacement filters), it should run you about a dime a gallon.
What I didn’t like about RO units is that they waste a lot of the water. In fact, up to 75 percent of the water that goes into them goes down the drain!
A big problem in our area is that the water is really hard, meaning that it has a lot of calcium and magnesium. We looked into ion exchange (water softeners) systems to take care of this. Softeners remove these minerals, as well as some of the iron, manganese, and other heavy metals. They pump the tap water through a tank, where sodium replaces the hard minerals.
So that means that your water will not be heavy on sodium. This could be a problem if you have heart problems, so talk to your doctor first.
So which water treatment system should you buy?
Well, first of all test your water to see if you even need one. Try the simplest solution first to see if it solves the problem. Also find out how many gallons of water the unit will produce in one day…will that be enough for your household?
You will also want to know how much maintenance is required. One thing I didn’t think about before I started my search is, “How will I know when the unit is not working as it should?”
There’s usually some kind of alarm or indicator light to tell you when things are not right — just make sure your unit has one.
Which water treatment system should you buy ?
We finally decided on the Multipure Aquaperform Below-the-Sink with Faucet. This is an excellent carbon filter. It is actually a solid carbon filter inside of a stainless steel housing that goes under your sink. It even has its own chrome faucet! We change the filter every 6 months or so, since that’s about the time the water starts to slow down a bit. What I like about it is that it is the only NSF-tested filter that reduces lead, mercury, asbestos, PCB, and chloramine. You can take a look at it here.
Of course, there are many other choices and what we chose may not be the best for everybody. I understand, that’s why you might want to take a look at this video that compares the top 10 water filters NSF-certified water filters.
At this point, you might just say, “Forget this filter business, I’ll just stick to tap water.”
That would be perfectly reasonable, and chaces are that you would live! That’s because over ninety percent of the tap water in the U.S. meets EPA standards. In fact, tap water is more regulated than bottled water. It still tastes gross, you might say.
I agree, the taste is not the best. Getting rid of minerals through filtering might improve the taste. Maybe you live in an old area where the pipes and other infrastructure are keeping the water less great than it should be. Whatever your situation, think about what kind of filtration system — if any — you would like. If your city water is pretty good and you just want it to taste better, then a pitcher or faucet water filter might be the way to go.
If the water in your area is really poor and you’d like filtration for showering, washing clothes, and other non-drinking needs, then a whole house filtration system might work for you.