Concerned about what's in your drinking water? Well, you should be! While municipal drinking water in the U.S. is among the safest in the world, almost all of the 25 largest city water systems have reported violations of federal drinking water standards. These include samples that contained significant levels of chlorine, lead, E. coli bacteria, and other contaminants.

 

don't drink bottled water

 

 

 

 

Think you're better off drinking bottled water instead? Wrong again! Bottled water is even less regulated than tap water and has been found to contain a number of contaminants, including potentially harmful chemicals from the plastic bottles that can leach into the water. That doesn't even include the environmental damage or health risks for pets!


What is bottled water really costing you?

 

Doctors say a person should drink 8 glasses of water a day or 8 500mL bottles of bottled water. So let's say you are like most Americans and you only drink 4 bottles a day. A 24 pack of bottled water will last you 6 days. 

 

So let's do the math

 

1 year / 1-24 pack every 6 days = 61 24-Packs a year

$6.00/24 Pack * 61 = $366/year in bottled water  

That's 193 gallons of water a year!

 

An average $700 Whole House Filter/600,000 gallons * 193 gallons of water a year = $1.93/year in purified water at home!

 

600,000 gallons of bottled water (500mL bottles) would cost $1,135,500

 

Now, what if you could get better than "bottled tap water" from your own home without the bottle and the price tag? If you get a whole house filter here is your savings difference.

 

Bottled water per gallon: $2.00/gallon

Whole House Filter per gallon: $0.01/gallon (much better quality of water)bottled water in landfill

 



 Fortunately, there's a simple solution-installing a water filter in your home. While some models may require a visit from the plumber, many are a snap to install. They're easy to use and available to fit any budget or lifestyle. Plus, you'll save money compared to buying bottled water.

Here's an overview of the main types of water filters that are available for your home.

The Filter is the Key

The most important component of any system is the filter itself. The more common types are:

  • Carbon: The most commonly used filter due to its high adsorption rate and low cost. May be impregnated with silver to help kill bacteria. Reduces lead, mercury, and chlorine, along with some organic chemicals and pesticides, while improving odor and taste.
Water filter pitcher

Water filter pitcher

  • Ceramic: Made from fossil shell material. Unlike carbon, ceramic filters can be cleaned and reused. They are often combined with a carbon filter for more complete coverage. Ceramic water filters can remove bacteria, cysts, and asbestos.
  • Reverse Osmosis: Water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure. They are large, slow, expensive, and waste several times more water than they clean, but produce highly filtered water. Reverse osmosis water filters can remove most contaminants including heavy metals, nitrates, arsenic, chlorine, pesticides, and bacteria. However, they also remove minerals that may be necessary for good health.
  • Water Distillation: Water is boiled and the steam is then condensed. Distilling water kills microbes and removes lead and mercury, but some chemicals may pass through. Also, it can remove minerals that may be important for good health.
  • UV Radiation: High intensity ultraviolet light kills microbes present in water, but does not eliminate most chemicals and other contaminants.

Water Filter Systems for Your Home

There are several different types of water filter systems available that vary in both cost and convenience.

Under Sink Mounted Water Filter

  • Mounts under sink and attaches to cold water pipe with separate water dispenser installed next to sink.
  • Can handle large volume of water.
  • Harder to install - requires moderate plumbing skills.
  • No counter clutter but takes up space in cabinet.
  • Requires hole in counter or sink for dispenser.
Whole house water filter

Whole house water filter**

Whole House Water Filter

  • Filters all the water as it comes into the house.
  • Most only remove sediment and rust, though some more expensive models filter out other contaminants as well.
  • Requires professional installation.

Icemaker Water Filter

  • Attaches to water line for icemaker.
  • Reduces contaminants and sediment in ice and improves taste.
  • Fairly easy to install - requires some minor plumbing.

Choosing the Right Filter

  • Begin by requesting a water quality report from your local water system. Known as the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), it will list any known contaminants. You may also be able to find your report online through theEnvironmental Protection Agency website.
Shower mounted water filter

Shower mounted water filter**

  • While the report tells you what's in your municipal water supply, the water that comes out of your tap may harbor additional contaminants, such as lead from pipes. To find out more about the water in your home, a testing kit can be purchased at most home improvement stores for under $20.
  • Read the filter's label carefully before purchasing, and match it to the results of your CCR and home test.
  • Consider how much water the filter will handle. While a pitcher may be perfect for one or two people, a large family might require a system with a higher capacity.

  • When comparing the price of similar systems, don't forget to include the cost of replacing the filter. You may find that a less expensive system actually costs more in the long run.
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Replies to This Discussion

Cities like Los Angeles now use chlorine AND chloramine to treat their water. While chlorine can be removed by carbon filters like you mentioned, chloramine removal is not that easy. Only specially rated carbon block filter with smaller pores can remove chloramine.

I have see a few of these filters available online. APEC, iSpring and WECO reverse osmosis filters have the capability to remove both chlorine and chloramine. UV and reverse osmosis can be combined too.

I checked the EPA link you provided, but most of the cities including mine (LA) have not uploaded their CCR to the website. I guess we got to call the municipality to get a copy.

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