How To Choose A Home Water Treatment System

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Filtering your own water is a simple, cost effective solution for getting a drink that tastes great and is free of chemicals and other contaminants. You can have clean water without the waste or cost that comes with buying plastic bottles by having a home water treatment system. However, it can be tough to choose what type of treatment system you need. Understanding contaminates, filtration, and NSF certified systems can help you know how to choose the right home water treatment system for your needs.

Choose a home water treatment system based on contaminates

The first step in choosing a treatment system is determining what type of contaminants are in your water. Then, select a home water treatment system that addresses specific contaminants. Request a copy of the yearly quality report from your local water company. You can also opt to test for contaminants yourself through a local lab or with an at-home testing kit. The local utility company can put you in touch with a lab, and many home improvement stores sell testing kits. It is most important to figure out whether or not there is lead in your water. However, you should also gather details about other contaminates.

Choose a home water treatment system based on filtration

Most home water treatment systems use one of the following methods to remove contaminants: carbon filter, reverse osmosis, or distillation. The majority of undersink home treatment systems and pitcher filters use activated carbon filters. Activated carbon filters wipe out heavy metals (i.e. lead, mercury, copper), pesticides, chlorine, parasites (i.e. giardia), and some volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other types of contaminants, such as perchlorates (dry cleaning chemicals) and arsenic, require a different type of home water treatment system. For example, reverse osmosis removes perchlorates, while distillation removes arsenic. Refer to the NSF International’s chart for the type of home water treatment system that you will need to remove any contaminants.

There are two primary types of home water treatment systems: whole house or point of entry (POE) and point of use (POU). Typically, POE systems treat the majority of the water that enters a home and are installed after the pressurized storage tank or meter have been installed. One common type of POE system is a water softener.

POU systems generally treat water where it will be used, such as the refrigerator or kitchen sink. Some use a separate faucet while others work within one faucet. POU systems include pitcher or pour through filters, bottles, counter top filters, faucet mount filters, plumbed-in systems, separate faucet systems, and refrigerator filters.

Choose an NSF certified home water treatment system

Once you have chosen what kind of home water treatment system you need and where you will put it, you are ready to go shopping. As you consider various options, look for the National Science Foundation (NSF) certification. This certification seal indicates that the NSF has tested the treatment system to verify that it gets rid of the contaminants that it claims to remove. The NSF website has a search feature to help individuals find the right certified home water treatment system or pitcher for their needs.

If you have had your current home water treatment system for a number of years, it may be time for an upgrade. The treatment regulations have changed in recent years, and several leading system manufacturers make false claims. For example, older Brita pitchers are supposed to filter out lead. In reality, these pitchers do not meet NSF lead standards.

Finally, once you have a new home water treatment system or filter pitcher, make sure to change the filters and clean it out regularly. Some systems are equipped with automatic sensors or timers that let you know when it is time for a filter change or cleaning. If you do not have any sort of built in reminder, make a note on your calendar so that you do not forget to maintain the treatment system.

If you need a new home water treatment system, repairs, or service for your existing equipment, call Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. We are available 24/7 for any residential or commercial plumbing job you may have. You can contact our office at (806) 376-8345. You can also send us an email for more information about the services we provide or to request references.