Water Filtration: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy

July 21, 2014 3

Water Filtration: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy

A cool, refreshing drink of water is more enjoyable when you know it’s clear of contaminants, and strong smelling and tasting minerals and salts. Designed to improve the taste and quality of drinking water, water filtration systems use physical processes to filter out unwanted materials from water. 

There are a wide variety of water filtration systems: from stand-alone units such as water pitchers, to faucet and sink-mounted systems, refrigerator and even professionally installed main waterline systems.

Get to know the features and capabilities of the various water filters on the market, so you can choose the right system for your home and lifestyle.

1. Contaminant Removal

There are various filtration systems all offering different ways of removing the contaminants in your water. Some water filtration systems employ activated carbon filtration, which can remove chlorine and heavy metals like mercury and copper. Other systems offer an Ion exchange which is an effective way of removing heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper and also salts. Others also purify water, filtering out impurities such as microbial cysts.

2. Capacity

How much water you can filter at one time depends on the type of filtration system. Stand-alone filtration systems vary widely in the amount of water they can clean at once. You’ll find pitchers and water bottles that filter from just a few ounces to units that clean 48 to 184 ounces at one time. 

If you require a great deal of water filtered at once, you should choose a faucet, under-sink, refrigerator or main waterline system.

3. Ease of Use 

While faucet and under-sink water filtration systems require some skill to install and maintain, stand-alone units are particularly easy to use. Generally, you just install a filter in the unit and pour in water. 

Many stand-alone filtration systems, such as bottles, are also portable, which means you can easily take them out for the day or when you go traveling and camping.

4. Length of Use

Water filtration systems vary widely on how long their filters last. Your geographical location, water quality and your filter’s effectiveness in removing impurities play a major role in a filter’s lifespan. There are water bottle filters that can last for up to three months, replacing 375 disposable water bottles, and sink models that reduce up to 48 gallons of tap water and require replacement every two to three months. Some units have an automatic alert to let you know when a filter requires changing. 

5. Water Quality Monitoring Capabilities 

So that you can be assured that your filtered water quality is ideal, some stand-alone water filtration units feature built-in water tester meters that keep you informed of the quality of the filtered water. This also assists you in determining when your filter needs to be changed.

Now that you know more about the many capabilities of water filter systems, you can make the right choice as to how to keep your water clean.

Julie Bawden-Davis

Comments (3)

  1. I wonder which stand-alone water filtration units feature built-in water tester meters that keep you informed of the quality of the filtered water. Could you specify these models?

    - D Feer
  2. Manufacturers seem to assume you know what undesirables are in your water and then scare you silly in order to buy their product to save the world. Do you know of a free and reliable source that discloses results of local municipality water sources? When I did an online search, I found lots of expensive labs that promised to tell you precise microbial whatevers, but hopefully you can offer a better way to be an informed consumer. Thanking you in advance.

    - Sandra Griffin
  3. This was basic information about the products and very little about the quality and taste of the water. It doesn’t help me make a decision on which one I want to buy.

    - Iris Miller

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