Understanding Your Water Filter Purchase

In recent years there has been an increase in the purchase of home water filtration systems. This is a response to the growing concerns about the quality of our water supply. Studies continue to show the connections between public water contamination and a multitude of health issues. Depending on the source of your home’s water you may be consuming or bathing in pesticides, high levels of metal, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and carcinogens. Each of these is increasingly more common in our water. Levels of pharmaceuticals, too, are rising, contaminating our water, not only through sewage, but also the individual and corporate disposal of medicines. Each of these contaminants pollute our water and our health.

Despite the public water system’s best efforts, there is only so much feasibly possible while still meeting the demand for water. There may be contaminants in your water that are not regulated by EPA and therefore no attempt is made to remove them. The rising purchases of water filters are predicted to increase as the pressure on the public system becomes greater. Some people, however, are purchasing unsuitable filtration systems for their home. Without understanding your water needs or the capabilities of your water filter, this is a poor investment since your water, without the appropriate equipment, likely still contains contaminants.

When considering your filter, it is important to recognize what they do. Are you looking to filter a single faucet, such as the kitchen, or an entire home, or do you need to do both? If you are looking to filter a home then there are many factors to consider. For instance, should you opt for an upflow system or a backwash system? While most upflow systems are generally cheaper, it is a false economy to choose one. This is due to their more regular upkeep that, ultimately, would cost you more in the long term. It is also understood within the industry that they are not as effective at removing contaminants when compared with a backwash, downflow system.

It is also fundamental that you understand the size of filter required for you home. Choosing the wrong size, while still offering filtration, will not be as effective. This is because the filtration of your water occurs at a certain speed. Contaminants are removed by carbon as the water flows through it. If there is not enough carbon or if the flow rate is too high then not all contaminants will be removed. For example, to filter a chemical such as chloramine, a common and difficult contaminant to remove, the system requires the water be in contact with the filter (and its carbon) for a certain amount of time. If your home draws water faster than the filter can operate then it will not be as effective. As such, when considering a whole house water filter, it is important to be aware of your water use.

Furthermore, while many filters will be offered as a general purifier they may not be working for your water specifically. Since each water supply has its own levels and varieties of contaminants, it is unwise to approach buying a filter, especially a whole home water filter, without first understanding your own water. Where is your home’s water drawn from? What contaminants are present that are not listed in the report? What levels of chlorination does it have? Are their high levels of plastics or pesticides? It is therefore recommended that you source your local water report before making a water filter investment. Sweetwater LLC will review your water report with you by phone, helping you to make an informed decision.