Which water filter should you buy?
Many people today are aware of toxins in our water supply, but which filter is best to buy?
Dangerous contaminants such as lead, chloroform, arsenic, nitrate, nitrite, radon, and E. coli bacteria are common in tap water. Several types of cancer can be attributed to the presence of toxic materials in drinking water.
Water filters provide better tasting and better smelling drinking water by removing chlorine and bacterial contaminants. However, not every filter type will eliminate every contaminant so trying to find one can be a challenge.
Pitcher water filters like Brita use Granulated Activated Charcoal to get rid of some contaminants. They might be less expensive than other water filters but don’t hold much water, so large families may find this to be useless. Also, because the carbon is not solid, it does not remove all toxins.
Faucet-mounted water filters are ideal because they don’t require constant refilling. These filters fit right onto the faucet, and let you switch to filtered water and unfiltered water. However they can have a slow water flow and don’t fit all faucets correctly. Helen of Troy’s PUR brand dominates the faucet-mounted market.
Countertop filters screw onto the faucet after you remove the aerator. These allow you to filter a large amount of water at one time without modifying the plumbing. This type of filter is an excellent option, but it can be cumbersome, so you would need to have enough room on your counter for it to fit. This filter may not fit all faucets.
Under-the-sink filters can be a wonderful alternative because they don’t take up counter space, but they do rob space from the cabinet below the sink. These filters require professional plumbing modifications, and drilling a hole for the dispenser through the sink or countertop. Although they are often expensive, the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25 is a great budget option. Experts say it has an impressive filtering system, removing 90% of dissolved solids.
Reverse-osmosis filters remove a wide range of contaminants, including dissolved solids, and they are certified to remove arsenic. These filters need to be sanitized regularly. Some filter very slowly, and create 3 to 5 gallons of waste water for every gallon filtered. They can also be pricey, but reviews have shown they are well worth the investment. For example, Watts Premier Four-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is a top-notch brand of the reverse osmosis system. It is suitable for those looking for a product that is convenient and reliable at the same time.
I started many years ago with a water distiller filtration system through a company called Waterwise. We were happy with the water taste but it took hours to get the water we needed so we had to prepare in advance. Over time sediment accumulated on the inside of the metal filter and we had to get rid of it. We then decided on a monthly water supply purchase from Mountain Valley Spring Water, a fresh tasting water bottled at the source in Arkansas. We had a huge jug of water taking up counter space. I tasted the plastic in the water, leaching in from the containers. Then we switched to their glass bottles, but it became so expensive that we then began looking into the purchase of an under-the-counter filtering system.
Several years ago, I had received a town warning notice that our town water has high levels of arsenic 5. Being very concerned about this poison, I contacted water companies to search for a device that would filter out arsenic 5. In my research, I found Multi-Pure Water Filtration Systems. We bought an under-the-counter system which filters out chlorine and all toxins, except for fluoride. When in touch with their customer service department annually, I was told they were working on a filter that would remove fluoride as well. The major problem is that to filter fluoride, a toxin called alumina is required. Alumina is also very toxic, therefore it makes no sense to add it to these carbon filters to filter out fluoride. The only filters that filter out fluoride are reverse osmosis filters, containing 5 replacement filters to filter all the toxins in the water, including fluoride. Reverse osmosis filters fluoride and all other toxins, although it’s quite expensive.
There is a website run by Daniel Vitalis called FindASpring.com where you can find a fresh water spring in your area, go there, and fill up jugs of water. However, this website is a source for locating springs but doesn’t validate the safety of the water in that particular location.
Finally, the whole house filters are an inexpensive way to get rid of sediment and rust, and, with some models, chlorine. Long cartridge life is another plus. However, most whole-house filters aren’t designed to remove many other contaminants, including cysts, metals, and volatile organic compounds.
For myself, I have found the water-rich fruits and vegetables I eat replace much of the unprotected water sources. I get plenty of water from green juices, green smoothies, large salads and delicious fruit. I drink water when very thirsty after a workout or hike, and otherwise keep my water source predominantly into eating high water content, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
Ranzi, Karen. Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. Ramsey, NJ: SHC Publishing, 2010.