The authorities do a pretty good job of ensuring we get clean and safe water in our homes. So, if tap water is that good, why all the talk about water filters? Is it just another fad? We will answer this and more in this article.
Do I need a home water filtration system?
Yes. You will need to install a filtration system in your home. All water sources have a level of contamination. It can be from either naturally occurring minerals or manufactured chemicals. Although your local authority does its best to treat your water, it may still have contaminants from plumbing and other sources.
Ever heard of the Cryptosporidium parasite? Well, this is a notorious parasite that can survive in chlorinated water. In other words, it can still be found in your tap water. Without a water filter, you wouldn’t be able to get rid of such a parasite. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of other contaminants that have been found in US tap water. The following are some of the commonest tap water contaminants in the US:
- Lead. It can be as a result of natural deposits or corroded lead pipes. Prolonged consumption of water containing lead may cause serious health complications.
- Chlorine. Most waste water management systems use chlorine to rid the water of microbes. Excess chlorine in water may lead to all manner of issues including dry skin and irritation when used as shower water.
- Chloramines. Chloramines are mixtures of chlorine and ammonia used as water disinfectants. They combine with other materials in water to form disinfectant byproducts which are known to cause cancer
- Pharmaceuticals. These get into public water sources due to poorly controlled waste disposal from industries.
- Herbicides and Pesticides. Agricultural chemicals can leach into the soil and get washed off into water sources by rainwater.
- Bacteria and Cyst. They can survive in water for long and can cause serious waterborne diseases.
There has also been a rising concern about US water containing PFAS (potential toxic ‘forever chemicals.’ This group of contaminants is known to cause cancer.
The above are enough reasons why you should install water filtration in your home. Keep in mind that there is no one-for-all type of filter. You need to know what is the predominant contaminant in your tap water before choosing a filtration system. Different filters remove different types of contaminants. You can know this by testing your water before investing in a water filter.
Here are some common types of filters and what they filter;
- Sediment Filters. Sediment filters are widely used to filter out sediments like dust, rust, and other debris. They are used primarily as prefilters in multi filtration systems to avoid clogging. Sediment filters cannot filter out contaminants with less than one micron. Ideally used as a point of entry filter with other filters.
- Activated Carbon Filters. Carbon filters are widely used to eliminate chlorine, taste, and odor.
- Reverse Osmosis Filters (RO). RO systems employ a semi-permeable membrane to eliminate inorganic contaminants. RO systems produce the cleanest water but get rid of beneficial minerals found in water.
7 Reasons Why You Need a Water Filtration System
Apart from enjoying clean and safe drinking water at home, let’s look at other benefits of installing a filtration system.
- It saves you money. The cost of buying bottled water for an average family is high. Buying 2-3 bottles of water a day translates to an annual expense of over $500. You can easily install a filtration system with such a budget.
- Environment conservation. Reduced use of plastics from buying bottled water will help reduce pollution.
- Preserve your plumbing system. Heavy minerals can cause corrode your pipes and faucets. Installing a filtration system (Point of entry) will play a part in preserving your pipes.
- Avoid deposition of limescale in your kitchen appliances. If left unchecked, limescale can reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your appliances. Follow this link to see my detailed buying guide on the best water filters for limescale removal.
- Filtering water before drinking will reduce turbidity. When talking about drinking water, you expect a crystal clear glass of water. If your water is cloudy, you should filter it to make it more appealing.
- Filtering water will help you get rid of bad tastes and odors. Consider using a carbon filter to improve the taste of your drinking water and remove bad smells.
- Filtering drinking water helps reduce the risk of developing health complications caused by consuming harmful chemicals heavy metals in the water. Drinking water with lead can lead to brain damage. Other chemicals in water, if ingested, are known to cause cancer
Is a Tap Filter Worth it?
Installing a tap water filter is worth it. If you are used to buying bottled water, you should reconsider your options. The annual expenditure for a family consuming 2-3 bottles exceeds the initial cost of installing a tap water filter. If estimates are anything to go by, bottled water costs will cost 300 times as much as tap water. Let us break it down;
On average, a gallon of bottled water will cost $1.22, while a gallon of tap water will cost $0.004, according to ConvergEx Group Chief Market Strategist Nick Cola.
You can purchase a tap water filter for as low as $15 and save the rest. The maintenance cost of a tap water filter is relatively low. All you need is to change your cartridge every six months. Additionally, you can’t run out of tap water unless there is a water shortage. You may find yourself waking up at night to get a bottle of water, and you are all out. A tap water filter is very much worth your money.
In a nutshell, it is advisable to install a filtration system in your home. With a whole house filter (point of entry filter), you can rest easy knowing that all the water running in your pipes is free of contaminants. If you are planning on installing a filtration system, it is wise to test your water. This way, you will have a clear idea of what contaminants you are dealing with. Remember, there does not exist a filter for all contaminants. Buying bottled water will cost you more than drinking filtered tap water.