By Juanita Ruby
By definition, drinking water purification systems should remove contaminants. In order for a drinking water purification system to be complete, any contaminant should be targeted. The problem is this becomes complicated. When we rely on the treatment facilities to protect our health, we could be exposing ourselves to any number of chemicals, bacteria and other infiltrates.
If we turn to bottled water, we will spend more money than we need to and add to the pollution in the environment, while wasting more natural resources than necessary.
The best solutions are home drinking water purification systems. They allow us to have a healthy drink, right from the tap or bottle our own, if we want, without contributing to the environmental issues that we face in our world today.
When you go shopping for drinking water purification systems, you have to use caution. Just because something claims to provide purity does not mean it is a drinking water purification system.
Most companies use the word “pure” to describe their product because it appeals to consumers. It just sounds good. The word is used in advertising everything from hand soap to food products.
Some of the most expensive home drinking water purification systems on the market today were never meant for home use. Reverse osmosis or RO, for example, is used in many treatment facilities, industries and for desalination. In most homes, it is a waste of money, time, energy and groundwater. For every one gallon that it cleans as many as five gallons become wastewater. It requires electricity to run the pumps and for pressurization. It removes nearly all trace minerals, as it would salt, and in order to make the resultant healthy to drink, a re-mineralization step must follow. There are better, more affordable choices.
A home drinking water purification system should remove chlorine, as well as the harmful byproducts of chlorination known as THMs. Many products address the former, but not the latter. It is illogical, because if chlorine is present, so are THMs. But, since you cannot taste or smell them, chlorine filters make you think you are safe. THMs are known to be cancer causing and their presence is limited by the Environmental Protection Agency, but most feel that those regulations are not stringent enough.
Home drinking water purification systems should remove lead and other toxic metals. It takes either RO or a multi-media filter to trap them. In many cities around the country, the pipes that run from the street to your home are old. They were made of lead-lined copper and lead was used at the solder joints. That lead is seeping into public water and can come through your tap, unless you have a drinking water purification system that can capture it.
If you want to be sure, you can have your water tested by an independent laboratory. Since the problem is not at the facility, but between the facility and your home, there is no way for the public water facility to test for it. For simplicity and because lead content can change over time, you can just make sure to get a drinking water purification system that is certified to remove lead.
There are many other things that home drinking water purification systems should remove. Some are VOCs, MTBE, pesticides and herbicides, as well as microscopic cysts. In order to capture all of these things, you need a multi-phase system with activated carbon and a multi media block. An ion step is also advisable for balancing mineral content and pH level.
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