Water is the most essential element for the survival. Generally, we get water from pipeline systems and taps in cities and from wells in villages. At some places water from streams and river is also used.
However, unfiltered water contains contaminants like arsenic, chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, herbicide, pesticides, algae, mold, chlorine sediment, radon, etc. Tap water is filtered with carbon and alum, but it removes only impurities like sand and mud. Later it is chlorinated to remove bacteria. Well water is also purified using this method.
Previously, only basic processing like chlorination was done to purify water. After researching water-borne diseases, many companies started coming forward with innovative water filters.
There are companies like Aquasana, Whirlpool, GE, Everpure and Berkey. Each of these companies offer a range of water filters. Berkey’s for instance, provide helpful Berkey resources in the form of articles, videos, images etc. The size of your family, and position of water filter to be installed should be taken into consideration to purchase the right water filter.
However, before doing window shopping at Amazon, let’s have an idea of the right filter. Here are some tips to buy the right water filter.
If you want a water filter for all purposes, you can choose faucet water filter that fits in kitchen faucet. It will get you continuous filtered water. You can have a handy as well which sits on kitchen counter or connect it under sink to save the space. For only drinking purposes, you can get pitchers or bottles which are handy and useful for camping, outing, tour, etc. Offices and schools usually have big filtration systems in place.
Water filters have specifications like reverse osmosis, purification of certain contaminations, electricity, cartridge etc. So before choosing filter get information about them.
- Reverse Osmosis: – The filter containing reverse osmosis is useful for 90% purification along with removal of harmful metal like arsenic, fluoride and lead. It is better to have one, but it also removes good minerals like calcium magnesium. Keep in mind that Reverse osmosis filters cannot purify volatile organic chemical, herbicides and pesticides.
- Need of electricity: – Some filters need electricity for purification. Make sure to check with your vendor if electricity is required for filtration beforehand..
- Installation: -The filter should be easily installed, or have instructions for installation. Wall mounted filters require professional installation, whereas faucet filters are good for easy, manual installation.
- Replacement availability: – Some filters give alarms for cartridge replacement. You need not keep a watch for that. Some filters contain auto sterilizing cartridge. However, some filters do not have replacement facility, you will have to buy new one at times.
- Certification: – NSF certification is required to effectively reduce contaminations. Usually, filters have certification of reduction of contamination ranging from 55% to 77%.
- Filter life: – Although initial installation charges are less and cost of filter is less, some companies compensate from shorter filter life and costly cartridges. The filtration capacity of filter ranges from 100 gallons to 350 and 3000 gallons as well. Small pitcher filter has capacity of only 100 gallons. So, you will have to purchase new one.
- Water wastage: – All RO systems waste more than 50% water coming through them. To choose RO, you must have ample water resources.
- Warranty: – Generally every filter has one-year warranty.
- Water softeners: – Hard water spoils plumbing, hot water heaters and similar appliances. The calcium and magnesium in the water is the main cause. There are some filters that soften water.
- Water pressure: – Some filters use water pressure with indicators, and they are fast in filtration.
Even though you may get a water filter which satisfies all conditions, you must get water that contain essential minerals like stream water. Opt for a good filter that removes all impurities, contaminations and provide essential minerals.