I have been debating putting in a whole-home water filter and purification system for over a year now. The research has been endless. I felt overwhelmed with the sheer number of options out there for home water purification and it has taken me a year now to finally make a decision on what system to install.
You might be asking…but why do I need a water filter in my house?
Why You Need a Water Filter in Your Home
I grew up in El Paso, Texas which was a city with very high mineral water. Residents often joked that the people in El Paso were very relaxed and calm because of all of the lithium in the water! I always loved the city tap water there and grew up drinking from the tap. I hated the idea of worrying so much about water. But the more I have researched the issue, the more I have learned about the importance of clean water.
Sure, the city ‘cleans’ the water to ensure you have ‘drinkable’ water, but that is precisely the issue.
Chlorine & Chloramine
Many cities disinfect water with chlorine.This is basically bleach folks. While this process is vital to ensure clean drinking water free of microorganisms that can make many of us very sick, chlorine carries its own risk including potentially causing bladder and rectal cancer. Many municipalities are investigating other means for cleaning water and are switching to chloramine. Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water. Unlike chlorine which can dissipate as it travels through pipes, chloramine remains active in the water (and on your body). This helps to kill bacteria more effectively in the water, however chloramine also carries risks including bladder cancer, linkages to liver, kidney, central nervous system problems, and reproductive effects, and anemia. (source)
While I realize that we do need to be protected from some serious microorganisms and that we are extremely lucky to live in a country with clean drinking water, I personally do not want my family drinking and bathing in what is effectively bleach and ammonia on a daily basis.
In many cities they add in fluoride for your children’s ‘dental health’ and it has been in our water for many years. However, long-term studies on the effects of fluoride are showing that it can cause a multitude of health issues including cancer (specifically bladder), gum disease, thyroid dysfunction, kidney and liver disease, genetic defects, endocrine imbalance, nervous system disorders and bone disease including fluorosis. According to the CDC,
“Dental fluorosis only occurs when younger children consume too much fluoride, from any source, over long periods when teeth are developing under the gums.”
Children are the most vulnerable. I actually have those spots on my teeth. Do you?
Pesticides, Pharmaceuticals and Heavy Metals
There can be many trace chemicals and pharmaceuticals contaminating your water – things like prescription drugs, lead, heavy metals, pesticides, and even asbestos. According to a National Academy of Sciences report, the residues of 39 pesticides and their degradation products have been detected in the groundwater of thirty-four states and Canadian provinces. We try so hard by eating organic fruits and vegetables to avoid consuming pesticides and they are most likely in our water!
The Solution: A Home Water Filtration System
I finally found a great company in my area to hook us up! We are now getting installed:
- A 4-stage reverse-osmosis filter for our kitchen to remove everything including chlorine, chloramine, lead, asbestos, chemical pollution, bacteria, worms and cysts and fluoride from our drinking water and ice.
- A re-mineralization system which adds back in trace minerals including: boron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium and lithium (yes–lithium). These trace minerals are essential to many cellular and organ functions and due to soil depletion, we are likely not getting enough of them through our food sources. This was very important to me that our water purification system include this function.
- A whole house carbon filter which purifies out the chlorine AND chloramines. Be sure to ask about both. Chloramine is harder to filter out and many types of systems filter out chlorine and other chemicals only – not chloramine.
Interested in Water Filtration?
I found a local water purification company (not a plumber) to do this installation for us.
- Water filtration systems: You can order quality water filtration systems online and have a plumber install it for you.
- Counter top systems: I know many of you like your counter top filtration systems. I personally did not want something clogging up counter space so I opted for the under sink RO and whole house system instead.
- If you are really tight on a budget then at least spring for this sport filtered water bottle which includes its own filter. I take this bottle with me when I travel and know that I am filtering out most of the bad except fluoride. It is a nice and economical solution in the short term.