Water Filtration: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy

July 21, 2014 5

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 (5)

  1. I completely agree Ms.Miller. . . ‘Title of post’ completing misleading & just inappropriate uninformative content. Basically no information other than the fact she said there is two main types, ones for small consumption & larger consumption; which is kinda obvious! If you look at a pitcher filter, uh isn’t it obvious the amount of water that is going to be filtered is how much the pitcher holds! If you get a sink filter, isn’t it obvious, it filters however much water you choose to come out of the faucet??! I mean, just sayin’ . . . We know the obvious & also know filters are going to have a ‘replacement/change date’. This post was SUPPOSED to have five things ‘TO KNOW’ before you buy! Where are they?? What are ‘we’ supposed to know BEFORE we buy? . . . . . still waiting ………………… wont hold my breath, & I don’t advise anyone else waste their time reading this barely can be called a guide to buying water filters.

    - Shannon
  2. Hello, I don’t know where you live, but if in US it should be the same or very similar to my state. I live in northern KY and our water company (The Northern KY Water District or NKWD) is mandated by law (I believe state, possibly some federal) to monitor, test, report & publish those results quarterly to the appropriate governing officials & all residents for which it services or area covers. The water company actually mails residents the quarterly water report with a list of each & every mineral, metal, microbial, & contaminant level indicated for that quarter in our water source, which their in charge of treating & keeping it safe for public consumption & use. Since the majority (I assume) of residents have no clue what ‘level’ is safe, they thankfully include a normal value range for comparison & even list how our water quality sizes up next to surrounding districts/cities by listing their reported values compared to our values. It’s actually pretty informative, yet discernible for the average citizen. Most residents probably throw out the leaflet if they still get snail mail, because the report comes with your bill & can at a glance can seem like ‘bloat’ mail. Since most do online paperless billing now, the report is easily accessed on the water districts website. Depending on which state you live (assuming it’s in the US), your water &/or sanitation district would have this information (water quality report) on their site or in your local yellow pages under government pages. If that doesn’t lead you where you want, you could always contact your local municipality or city & they would definitely know who’s in charge of your city’s water & sanitation treatment facilities. If all else fails, google my water district (NKWD) & I’m sure they being in that business could guide you, if not already know or have who operates & treats your local water. I sure hope this helps!

    - Shannon
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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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