What do you need to know about Water Filtration?
In this day and age, the benefits of home filtration systems far, far outweigh the benefits of buying costly bottled water! Not only that - filtered water makes good cooking taste great, laundry is cleaner and brighter, dishes more sanitary…and the list goes on. With tricky terms and industry jargon, it can be confusing! As a smart consumer, you’ll want to know the best way to get started on your own home filtration and you’ll need to know some basic information first.
Fact is, NOT all water filtration technologies are as effective as others! Water Softeners use ion exchange, reducing calcium and magnesium (but don’t remove other contaminants). Mechanical filters remove cysts and sediments (but can’t remove chemicals). And all Carbon Filters range in efficacy. Here at EVO Filter Supply, we've made it easy for you by outlining vitally important steps in determining the best possible system!
FIRST – What is IN your water?
Before considering a filtration system, you’ll need to determine what’s actually IN the water, currently. Logically, the first step in determining the best water filter for your home is analyzing the contaminants that are present in your water currently. You see: different water filter systems for different uses and different areas will filter out different contaminants. Therefore, you need to find out what’s common for the water table in your area. We know it sounds tricky, so how can you go about this?
1 - You may obtain a ‘WATER QUALITY REPORT’ from your local Water Utility (Authority/Company), which is sometimes referred to as a CCR (Consumer Confidence Report).
2 - You may contact the NSF (https://www.nsf.gov/) for a LIST OF CONTAMINANTS. This is beneficial not only for the information localized to your utility (area) of use, but this report also contains a list of products certified to reduce whatever specific contaminants you may be looking to eliminate.
3 - D-I-Y! Even if you have your own private well, you can still enjoy water filtration! Simply obtain an IN-HOME water-testing device (readily available from a number of retailers and home improvement stores).
4 - Outsource! You can call your local Water Utility (Authority/Company) or local University to help you locate an independent lab for testing (this service is often free), or you can hire a private firm to do the testing for you! (ESPECIALLY recommended if you have an independent well-system or a non-city/county maintained water supply).
(As you’ve likely guessed, the prices between RO systems, Whole-house/RO, Pitchers, Under sink systems, Shower-heads and Water filters vary. Depending on your water filtration needs, one may be more ideal for you than others.)
SECOND - Compare, Compare, Compare!
The fact that there are SO MANY options available can be overwhelming, perhaps even intimidating. We will go over the basics with you now, this way you will be able to make a well-informed decision based upon your personal location and setup.
1 - POE (POINT-OF-ENTRY) systems treat where you water. This includes Water Pitchers, Faucet Filters and Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems.
(NOTE: RO systems are the only NSF-Certified systems that reduce fluoride, nitrate, lead and copper but please be aware that this method wastes water.)
2 - Whole-house/POE systems treat the water as it enters your building. Installed close to the water meter (municipal) or pressurized storage tank (well water), these filtration systems include microbiological (UV), Water Softeners or Whole-house (removes mineral deposits and unpleasant taste, odor and particulates).
3 - COMMON FILTERS AND THEIR METHODS:
Carbon: Activated carbon is found in pour-through water filtration pitchers and in many under sink filtration systems. Carbon filters work by trapping contaminants in the pores of the positively charged, highly absorbent filter.
Reverse Osmosis: An RO system reverses the natural flow of water, passing the water through a semipermeable membrane.
Distillation: Distillers heat water to the boiling point, collect the steam as it condenses then it leaves contaminants behind (Combine a Distiller with a Carbon Filter for the best possible results).
THIRD - Maintenance
Change those filters! Once you have decided on a home water treatment system, it needs regular maintenance for operation. Replace your filter when required, easy as that! So; become familiar with the replacement requirements of your system to keep everything clean, and running smoothly. If your system does not include an automatic timer or sensor to let you know when you are due for a new filter, make sure you note the date on your calendar. Changing water filters promptly is the best way to ensure that your water is the best it can possibly be!
NSF and Drinking Water Standards:
When you see the NSF seal it means the product or system has been tested to ensure it actually removes the contaminants it claims. NSF certifies drinking water filters to standards applicable to each type of treatment option. You’ll notice the NSF marks on products along with information: NSF/ANSI 53 or NSF/ANSI 42 &/or NSF/ANSI 58. These refer to the standard to which the filter has been certified. Manufacturers choose which contaminants their product will reduce and NSF International verifies that their filter will do what it says it is going to do!