Do you need a water filter?
The short answer is — yes.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water and sets legal limits when it comes to certain contaminants. Most water sources stay within these limits, while some municipalities are a bit too lenient when it comes to regulations. Not only that, but more than half of the chemicals found in tap water sources are not even regulated.
The best whole house water filter can help further reduce these contaminants. More importantly, it will give you the peace of mind knowing that you are giving yourself and your family fresh, clean water. The right water filter can reduce pesticide level in rural areas or the byproducts of chemicals in city water sources. For example, nitrates and arsenic compounds are some of the more common contaminants in drinking water and depending on your location, you might’ve been potentially exposed to antibiotics or hormone runoff. To determine if you need a water filter, considering these factors:
Location. Some states are stricter when it comes to the legal amount of contaminants in water. For example, it is well-known that places like Des Moines, Iowa, and New York City have one of the more clean sources of water compared to other cities. These places have been recorded to have extremely low levels of lead, bacteria, and acids. The secret to such clean drinking water is a very stringent government that closely regulates water sources, automatic nitrate detectors, as well as a dedication to transparency — Des Moines has a website that is regularly updated every few days so that citizens are aware of what sort of chemical readings are given off by the local water sources.
Proximity to toxic sites. Proximity to toxic wastewater or dumpsites can contaminate water sources.
The Best water filter system: What to Look For
Countertop water filters are the least expensive type of water filter and are easier to use. The initial set up is easy to do and future maintenance is hassle-free. The only maintenance is the regular change of the filter. The filter itself does not take a lot of space in your kitchen and living spaces, with water filters being bought at a decent price.
First, you will need to consider if get your water supply from a private well or city water. Unfortunately, water from a public water supply can be contaminated with different types of contaminants that are not regulated by the EPA. Those who have access to private wells have their concerns and should read this article on (well water filtration systems) — some studies show that some private wells can be contaminated with coliform bacteria at any time. Depending on the contaminants and the source of your water, there are a variety of filters and treatment options.
Consider what contaminants will be removed. A countertop water filter will have different methods, so it is best to read and be familiar with each unit. If you have problems with metallics, then you want a water filter that can remove them. Chlorine? You want a water filter that can handle minute levels of chlorine without its performance being impacted.
The longevity of replacement parts. Countertop filters are units that need to have the filters replaced. Depending on the number of people in your family and the need for water, replacement parts may need to be replaced more frequently.
Determining the type of filter. Water purification methods include physical processes like filtration, as well as biological processes like sand filters. There’s also reverse osmosis and the use of activated carbon to further floss the water.
Activated carbon removes large particles such as sediment and silt from your water. They work by absorbing them from your tap water. One of the other benefits of activated carbon is that your tap water will have a reduced odor and will taste fresh and crisp — the way water is supposed to be.
Reverse osmosis is a type of filter that can remove hazardous contaminants. It is one of the more improved ways of filtrating water, actively removing contaminants and also odors. Once the water is treated and has gone through the reverse osmosis procedure, the purified water is stored away in a small tank. Typically these are used for an undersink filter instead of countertop filters — but you may also find countertop filters utilize the unique capabilities of reverse osmosis.
There’s also the use of infrared water filters. These are one of the newest technologies in the water filter industry. These UV filters will destroy bacteria. It is environmentally friendly and does not need the frequent replacement of other filtration methods. It doesn’t use any sort of solution or chemicals to treat the water – which is ideal for families who are actively reducing their ecological footprint. Like alkaline filters, infrared filters also soften the water, which may be something that you may need if you have reoccurring issues with hard tap water.