Tap water is used for a wide variety of everyday household activities. You turn on the faucet to wash your hands, dishes and produce. You may go back to the tap to fill up a pot for cooking. Many people use their kitchen sink for drinking water, too.
Given the central importance of tap water in many homes, it’s vital to carefully consider whether – and how – you’ll use filtration systems to improve the quality of this water source.
Do You Really Need To Treat Your Drinking Water?
Before we go any further and discuss different options, let’s talk about why it’s important to treat your tap water in the first place.
First of all, if you have well water, you need to test your water at least annually to determine if there are contaminants or other common issues associated with problem water. Based on what you learn, a local water expert can help you decide on a treatment plan, which typically consist of a drinking water system and if needed, a whole-house filtration system as well.
If you get your water from a regulated public water system you may still want to treat your drinking water. Here’s why:
Distribution Systems and Emerging Contaminants
While standards for public water systems in the U.S. and Canada are enforced by federal and local agencies – and municipal water is generally safe – there are some potential issues not covered by these protections.
After leaving treatment facilities, drinking water may encounter issues due to breaches in pipes, corrosion or even the presence of lead in service lines and home fixtures. Additionally, there are emerging contaminants for which some authorities, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, have not yet established enforceable standards. These substances include PFOA and PFOS.
Taste and Aesthetic Concerns
In addition to making water safer, filtration systems can improve the taste of water and address issues that are considered aesthetic concerns, such as appearance and odor, even if they don’t present any health hazards.
What’s the Best Way to Filter Tap Water?
The best tap water filtration option will depend on your needs. In describing the various pros and cons of options such as water filter pitchers, faucet-mounted filters and under-sink filtration systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the ideal solution will depend on factors like:
- What the filter can remove
- Whether it is certified to NSF standards
- Your budget
- How much water you need
- How convenient the treatment option is
How To Treat Tap Water: Tap Water Filters
One popular method for treating drinking water at home is to install a simple faucet-mounted tap water filter. There are benefits and limitations to these products.
Benefits of Faucet-Mounted Water Filters for Tap Water
These devices are typically fairly easy to install. You may be able to attach them to your faucet without any outside assistance or support. Faucet-mounted tap water filters are also usually fairly inexpensive. However, they aren’t a very comprehensive solution.
Tap Water Filter System Techniques and Limitations
Kitchen tap water filters often rely principally on activated carbon, though they may employ additional filter media, too.
Carbon filters are most often associated with reducing chlorine taste and odor in drinking water.The Water Quality Association (WQA) notes that activated carbon filters can also address volatile organic compounds, some pesticides and petroleum-related compounds, with some block filters also being capable of removing lead, asbestos and some microbes. They do not, however, impact issues such as viruses, bacteria, arsenic and dissolved solids.
How To Treat Tap Water: Reverse Osmosis Filtration Systems
Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems also treat water at the point of use. Typically installed under the sink, these systems can address a more comprehensive range of water issues than simple tap filters (and water filter pitchers).
Benefits of RO Systems for Drinking Water
RO systems provide numerous advantages, and they’re one of the most effective ways to treat your water to address the widest range of potential contaminants and impurities, such as:
- Dissolved minerals
- Viruses and bacteria
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
An Investment for Your Family
There are a variety of different RO systems available to ensure that you have instant access to an unlimited supply of refreshing drinking water, including tankless options and smart systems. In addition, these comprehensive solutions can come with features like water consumption tracking, digital monitoring and professional service to make maintenance simple and easy.
Choose the Best Tap Water Filtration System for Your Needs
When it comes to tap water filtration, reverse osmosis systems provide enhanced quality and convenience. Make sure you’re taking steps to ensure that your family has access to great-tasting drinking water, right at their fingertips.