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.
Do you know if well water contains any of these same issues?
Lindsey G. says
Yes–well water would also contain some of these.
I live in your city and would be very interested in what system/company you used. Would you also be willing to share the cost for a whole home system? Thanks!
Lindsey G. says
I used a company called Austin Pure Water. http://austinpurewater.com/
Shannon R says
We got a letter a while back from The City Utility company telling us that there had been cholera “incident” with our drinking water but that they had “taken care of it” and we had nothing to worry about anymore! I decided it was time to look into filtration so I had the local water filtration company here in central Florida come give me the speal. When he tested my water, he showed me that there was 2 and a half times the normal amount of chlorine in my water. I was floored! I was having skin and other health “issues” recently and it seemed the next logical step was to filter our water.
Long story short, we didn’t qualify for the system he was selling so little by little I have been purchasing filters for all of our faucets, with the kitchen being first. I put a new little faucet, by the spigot, and 3 filters underneath with an ice-maker attachment for clean drinking and cooking water and clean ice. I got that on ebay for $100. It takes up very little room and I can add on more filters when I can afford it. Then I got a $20 filter for the shower head. It just fits on the pipe then the shower head fits on it. I plan on getting something for the tub and for the washing machine eventually but for now I am very happy with my investment so far. My skin issues really started making some ground when I installed the shower filter.
Your recommendations are very interesting and is actually what I currently have in my home, except for the reverse osmosis system, as my system is a 6 stage system, and my whole home water filter system is a 2 stage system. But I do also take it one step further by also using a shower filter. I know this is a little overkill, since the whole home system will remove the chlorine anyway, but I don’t like to take chances.
I agree with you. A water filter is an essential water treat device at home. I have installed an under sink water filter in my kitchen and I have enough water to consume. I don’t need to stand the bad odor and taste of chlorine.
Eileen Traver says
Love the fact that the Berkey is portable!! Filtered water anywhere!
Yes! We brought along one of our Berkeys on our last camping trip! 😡
To be able to remove parasites and make safe living water is awesome! Thank you for the information!
This would really save me a lot of money, would love to have one!
I added a Berkey to my Amazon cart and wanted one badly but the budget just never allowed.We have well water that has never been tested tat I recall and would just feel safer to have a more filtered water.Also security if electric grid was down..i could get water from nearby creek.
Home water purifier says
As we know that only 1% of the world’s water is usable to us. About 97% is salty sea water, and 2% is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Thus that 1% of the world’s water supply is a precious commodity necessary for our survival. That’s why many cities disinfect water with chlorine and it’s really harmful for our body.I think we can solve this problem with water filter at home and your post gives important information on water filter, thanks for sharing it.