A five-year study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) between 2004 and 2009 found that most of the municipal water in the US contains 316 potentially harmful chemicals and microbial contaminants including, among others, heavy metals, pesticides, industrial chemicals such as perfluorochemicals (PFCs), and pharmaceutical residues. Out of these 316 contaminants, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only regulates 114 of them, meaning your municipal water likely contains unhealthy doses of the remaining contaminants.
In fact, in addition to the regulated chemicals, most municipal water contains up to 30 unregulated contaminants, according to the aforementioned report. This essentially means that government bodies such as the EPA need to do much more to ensure your municipal water is clean and safe. In the meantime, you should invest in the best water filtration system in the market, visit Qualitywaterlab for in-depth buying guides. So let’s get started.
Water Filtration — An Overview
Put simply, water filtration is any process that aims to reduce or remove particulate and microbial contaminants from water in order to make water safe for an intended purpose, such as human consumption. Examples of such contaminants include, among others, fungi, algae, bacteria, biological contaminants, heavy metals, and potentially harmful chemicals such as pesticides. If this process contains any sort of a filter, then it is a water filtration system.
The Different Types of Water Filters
Coming in different shapes and sizes, most water filters use both chemical and physical filtration to eliminate impurities from water. Physical filtration uses a physical barrier to eliminate larger particulate impurities from water, whereas chemical filtration employs chemical reactions, such as passing water through activated carbon, to remove microscopic contaminants. With this in mind, the four common types of water filters available today include ion exchange, reverse osmosis, steam distillation, and activated carbon filters, which is the most popular.
Tips to Help You Choose the Best Water Filtration System
Because not all home-based water filtration are created equal, you should choose a filter that meets your water filtration needs. To ensure you get the best water filtration system, you need to consider various factors. These main factors to consider include:
Your Water Needs
Different water filtration systems eliminate different contaminants, meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all water filtration system. For this reason, you should first be aware of the contaminants in your municipal water supply, and then purchase a filter that would be able to eliminate them. Typically, water filter manufacturers include this information in their product labels, so you should have no problem choosing the best water filter system for your needs.
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, NSF International is essentially an independent organization that inspects, tests, and certifies consumer products, including water treatment systems. Keeping this in mind, one way to find out what a particular water filtration does is to look for its NSF certification either on its label or in the NSF online database. It is worth noting that the NSF has various standards applicable to water filtration. These standards include, among others, standard 41 (taste and odor), standard 58 (reverse osmosis), and standard 62 (distillation). To be on the safe side, avoid water treatment systems that have no NSF certification.
Water filtration systems come in different capacities, ranging from under-sink filtration systems to point-of-entry stems. To get the best water filter system, determine how much water you use on a daily basis for purposes such as cooking, bathing, washing, and drinking. For example, if you need a system that will purify all incoming water, then you should go for a point-of-entry water filtration system. On the other hand, if your water to purify only a relatively small volume of water, such as water for drinking purposes, then you should go for a low capacity system, such as a countertop water filter or an under-sink filter.
A system’s filtration rate is another important factor to consider. Simply put, the filtration rate is the volume of water a particular water purification system is able to purify on a daily basis. Every water treatment system has a filtration rate. Similar to capacity, to choose the best water treatment system for your needs based on filtration rate, you have to analyze your daily water usage.
Installation and Operating Costs
The actual cost of installing and operating a water purification system varies from one system to another depending on factors such as efficiency, features, technology, and build quality. In general, basic water treatment systems cost under $20 while complex systems cost hundreds of dollars, and typically require professional installation. In addition to installing costs, you should also consider electricity and repair/maintenance costs, such as the cost of replacing filters or cartridges. Irrespective of your budget, you should be able to find the best water filter system for your needs, especially if you do your research.
To get the best results and save money, choose a water treatment system that compatible with your plumbing system and fixtures, including sinks and faucets.
Most municipal water in the US contains unhealthy levels of contaminants. To ensure your water is clean and safe, you should invest in a home-based water treatment system. To choose the best water treatment system for your needs, consider the six factors discussed in this article.