Filtered Water, Everywhere

Filtered Water, Everywhere


Water filtration has gotten a lot more sophisticated since the filtered water pitcher became ubiquitous in people’s refrigerators. Now, those who are concerned about tap water purity can even install a whole-house system that processes the water before it enters the home.

How necessary are these filters for a person’s health?

“Basically in most cases, water filters are a personal preference thing,” says Carl Seville, owner of Atlanta-based Seville Consulting, which focuses on sustainable building. “Municipal water systems need to meet [Environmental Protection Agency] guidelines, and in most cases they’re pretty good. People are going to want to use water filters if their pipes are bad, if they don’t like the flavor of the water. Some people don’t like to be around chlorine.”

The primary reasons people turn to water filters is to improve the taste, smell and quality of their water, says Derek Mellencamp, vice president of marketing for Aquasana, a water filter company. “Above and beyond taste, it’s really about long-term health and longevity. The better your water tastes, the more you drink,” he says.

Filter systems include countertop or canister filters, faucet-mounted filters, undersink filters, and whole-house filters. Shower filters are available, too. “The benefits of a shower filter are, with the removal of chlorine, you get softer skin and hair,” Mellencamp says.

Whole-house systems treat all of the water that enters your home, and installation requires the expertise of a certified plumber. But if you’re only looking for filtered water in the kitchen, for example, an undersink or faucet-mounted system could be an easier solution.

“Our system [requires] a 10 to 15 minute installation for someone who is comfortable getting under the sink and putting a couple of screws in the wall,” Mellencamp says.

There could be an economic benefit as well. Compared to the price of bottled water, filtering water in the home is less expensive. With an undersink filter, water costs about 10 cents a gallon, while bottled water costs about $8 a gallon.

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