Here in the United States, we are blessed with an exceptionally robust water treatment and supply system that delivers clean, potable water to our homes and businesses. But even when treated water meets standards, that doesn’t mean it is completely pure.
Since purchasing bottled water isn’t economical or eco-friendly, you may be wondering: Should I get a water faucet filter?
The Truth About Tap Water
Public water systems are subject to a set of legally enforceable minimum standards for a variety of contaminants, such as:
- Microorganisms like e. coli
- Disinfectants like chlorine
- Byproducts of the disinfectant process like trihalomethanes
- Metals like lead, mercury, and selenium
- Radionuclides like Radium
Regular testing means that our water is healthy and potable, although recent events concerning high lead levels in the Detroit prove that no system is without fault.
The Facts About Filters
Most people who are concerned about water purity are worried about what their family is actually drinking. High levels of lead are particularly worrisome for children, while those with a suppressed or compromised immune system may be more concerned about bacterial contaminants. If your family drinks lots of water, you may want to reduce their exposure to trace levels of chlorinated by-products, trace metals, or unregulated organics. In that case, point-of-use faucet filters are an economical investment for peace of mind.
Faucet filters add an extra layer of filtration right at the point-of-use. Since ingestion is the most common concern, kitchen faucets are the best target since that’s where the family is most likely to fill up their glasses for drinking.
If you’re going to invest in a point-of-use water filter, choose one with a charcoal filter paired with reverse osmosis filtration. This combination removes the maximum amount of contaminants, including heavy metals.
The Whole-House Option
If you’re concerned about the quality of water that you use to wash dishes, clothes, and bathe in, you may want to consider a point-of-entry purifying system. These are installed somewhere along the pipe between where the water line enters your home and where it enters your water tank heater. Understandably, these are larger and more expensive units tasked to treat thousands of gallons of water per week.
Point-of-entry systems are durable and sturdy and the filters are good for years, but they don’t filter the water to the extreme extent of a reverse-osmosis, charcoal-filtered point-of-use unit. A P.O.E. system combined with a P.O.U. system on the most-used faucets will provide water closest to bottled-water standards.
Whether you’re considering a whole-house water purifier or just one for your kitchen sink, call your local plumber to make sure you’re getting one that will provide the particular filtration you need.