While the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, raised serious questions about the risks in public water supplies, most supplies in the United States are very safe. Still, there are good reasons you might want to filter your home’s water:
You Have Hard Water
The dissolved minerals in hard water can make your laundry feel scratchy, decrease the efficacy of shampoo and soap, and affect your water’s taste. Iron can stain your clothes and dishes, even at levels allowed by the EPA.
The solution: Install a whole house water filter system like the one below, which will filter every drop of city or private well water that comes into your home.
While the water leaving your provider should be clean, the quality could decline before the water reaches your taps. Even the pipes inside your home could be to blame.
The solution: First, have your home’s water tested to identify lead, pesticides, minerals, bacteria and other substances. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a list of certified water testing labs on its website, epa.gov. In most cases, you’ll only be concerned about your drinking water. That means a system connected to your kitchen faucet may be all you need and will save you lots of money compared with a whole house water filtration system.
Get Rid of Bad Taste
It’s the disinfectants added at the water treatment plant—often chlorine—that people generally find distasteful. “The chemicals are there for a good reason, but many people do prefer to have them removed,” says Tom Bruursema, associate executive director of the Water Quality Association. Once the water has reached your house, the chemicals have done their job and can safely be filtered out.
The solution: A simple under sink water filtration system like the one below removes chlorine taste and odor.
But you might not need to install a filtration system. A simple NSF-certified pour-through water filter pitcher like the one below removes chlorine taste and odor, and costs $30 or less. Some of these pitchers also filter out contaminants such as copper, cadmium and mercury. There are pitchers for about $40 that remove lead. — Stephanie Thurrott, contributing editor.
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