What Comes Out of Your Tap and Why Water Filters are Important
Ever come home and run straight to get a glass of delicious cold fresh water from your kitchen….only to feel that it wasn’t as fresh and clean tasting as you had in mind?
Tap water is by definition, water supplied to a faucet/tap via a pipe. There are a whole range of pipes used across our nations, ranging from old lead pipes to newer steel, pvc and copper pipes. It is used to, but not limited to, drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning and beauty. Any water that runs out of your faucet/tap without having to go through any filter, is considered tap water.
Since water goes through a lot of kinks and turns and various channels before it gets to our home’s plumbing, it is not surprising that there are unwanted microorganisms like bacteria, parasites, virus, herbicides, pesticides, toxic chemicals and minerals. Sometimes, these natural deposits are produced from improper disposal of waste including human and animal fecal matter.
Gross right? Knowing there are microorganisms in your tap water, would you still have the courage to drink it or let your family have it when there is a great exposure to Diarrhea and Amoebiasis? Thanks to modern technology and research, water filters are now available to save our day!
To effectively choose the best water filter for your house, you will need to review your local Water Quality Report (also known as consumer confidence reports). The report is produced every year and lists all the regulated toxins and contaminants that were detected in your water supply. This will help you decide which filter suits your needs.
Water Filter Options
Water Pitcher/Bottle Filters - Have you got used to drinking filtered water and feel like a water snob at the office or when out and about? Being on the go or at the office can be hard as most companies may have a water dispenser/cooler, but not a water filter. There are many large brand names on the market, but many use only active carbon, which will simply remove bad taste & odor, dust & sediment. To remove the ‘big stuff’, nasties like herbicides, pesticides, toxins and heavy metals, and perhaps even fluoride, you will need a filter accommodating these areas.
This is usually a mineral filter, which will not only filter your water thoroughly, it will also mineralize your water and raise the pH level for added health benefit, lowering the acidity in your body, which is deemed to be the main cause for disease stemming from gut inflammation. It’s main use is to filter out nasties and purify drinking water. Mineral filters are fairly inexpensive and require regular changing to maintain optimal health benefits and secure strong function removing the nasties after 2-6 months.
A Faucet/wall mounted Shower Filter - Did you know you absorb approximately 6 times the amount of chemicals by taking a 5-10 minute shower, than by drinking a glass of water? Not to mention how the toxic fumes affect you when in a room with little or no ventilation. A shower filter is good for improving skin and hair conditions, as well as helping with washing and cleaning your bathroom. They generally install within minutes and attach using a universally fitting connecting end
Countertop Water Filtration System - Do you have a large family, or are you an avid sports enthusiast who consumes large amounts of water daily? Then perhaps a larger scale countertop system is for you. No more waiting for a smaller size pitcher to filter, with a larger unit, you’ll always have fresh clean water at your fingertips. As with the filter bottles/pitchers, they need filter replacement after a period of time.
Plumbed-in filters, In-line and Whole-house filters - for large families, or those wanting peace of mind everywhere, a plumbed-in system covering your entire house is the way to go. The downside is they are expensive, but in the long run worth it. This type of filters are usually installed directly to your pipelines, filtering water as they pass through. Many believe due to the size of these filters generally is large, that they therefore do it all. Unfortunately, many systems only remove sediment, dust, odors and bad taste and soften water. There is plenty more to be done before your water is clean, so make sure you also have a UF filter for bacteria and virus ++ removal, mineral filter for health, and toxin/heavy metal removal media.
Type of Filters
Filters have different materials and uses. Most filters consist of a combination of materials, to create the best effect for you, but there are also many single media options.
The most commonly used filters are:
Activated carbon filters usually remove contaminants that affect the water’s taste and odor. It is also designed to remove chlorine byproducts and other minerals, herbicides, pesticides, VOC’s and THM’s. There are many types of carbon filters on the market, so the results may vary, the strongest and most eco-friendly option is made from charred coconut shells.
Ion exchange filters have the ability to remove hard water elements such as calcium and magnesium, making your water smooth and palatable, whether you are drinking it or showering in it. It will also help adjust the pH value, as well as remove toxins and heavy metals. However, you need to use this together with other filters to remove other minerals such as chlorine byproducts.
Multi-layer Mineral Filters help maintain the life essential balance of minerals and trace elements in your body. RO filters for example will strip everything out of your water and create so-called ‘dead water’, which is unhealthy for you to consume. To make it ‘living water’ again, which is healthy for you to consume, you will need a re-mineralizing filter. Our wondrous earth has an abundance of minerals naturally occurring in our soil, and thus our drinking water, with varying amounts of each substance dependant on the location naturally. Mineral filters usually consist of 4-9 layers of different materials, generally including active carbon and ion exchange media.
Reverse osmosis has the power to strip most everything from your water, however this process does also render your water ‘lifeless’, meaning deprived of all living elements like minerals and trace elements that are life essential, therefore often being referred to as ‘dead water’. As you probably intuitively understand, this type of water is not consistent with our living bodies, it is the same as with food, living food will provide you with the nourishment you need for good health. An RO system, will strip everything out, by adding a re-mineralizing filter, you can once again restore the filtered water, and create ‘living water’. The downside is you waste 4 gallons of water, for every 1 gallon filtered. In today’s world where water is a shortage, this is a choice not to be made lightly.
Distillation units consist of boiling water and condensing the captured steam, thus creating distilled water. Distilled water has the same effect as RO, it will create a ‘dead water’ which health experts deem unfit for human consumption, even boldly stating it can shorten your life. Re-mineralizing water after distillation is therefore a must to generate healthy living water once again. For those wanting to reduce limescale, distillation will not do you any good, as boiling water, will actually generate more limescale through calcification, when water reaches temperatures above 131F/55C.
It is important to use the right tap water filter for your household. Do your research, ask your neighbor if they are using water filter and what best works for them and read reviews. Most importantly, make sure the filter you’re buying is certified by an independent certifying agency, these agencies performs tests that confirms that the filters are functioning based on the advertised purpose of the filter.