We are brainwashed by advertising companies. There is no better example than the bottled water fad. Because we are convinced that bottled water is cleaner and healthier than the one we get from our taps, in 2009 Americans spent $10.6 billion on bottled water. Millions of bottles end up in our overflowing dumps, and we are not even getting clean water as we are promised. An investigation conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, pain medication and 38 other pollutants in 10 popular brands of bottled water they investigated. Check their 2011 scorecard to see how your favorite brand fairs.
Environmental Working Group scientists and engineers recommend that we should reclaim our tap water and stop wasting our money. In most parts of the country, the tap water is of excellent quality and does not require additional filtration. But, if you are not sure about the water in your area, request from your utility company a copy of the Annual Water Quality Report, or the Consumer Confidence Report. They are required by law to give it to you. You can also check with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) about the water quality in your area.
If you prefer to filter your water in order to remove chlorine, to get better taste or remove some particulates, get a home-based filter for your tap and a portable glass or metal bottle to carry with you. Glass or metal bottles are healthier than plastic bottles as plastic might over time release phthalates, testosterone and other hormones disruptor , into the water in the bottle. Initial filter installation might cost you a bit, but the costs are not comparable to what you normally pay for bottled water.
How to choose home water filter
There are thousands of different water filters on the market, but you need to look at three things only: what does the filter remove, how much does it cost (including installation and replacement cartridges) and how long does it last.
Filter quality: Make sure that the filter you chose is NSF certified to Standards 42 & 53. NSF is a non-profit independent organization that certifies filtration devices. Your filter should (at the minimum) remove or reduce chlorine, mercury, lead, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether).
Installation: While some types of water filters like pitchers and counter filters do not require installation, under the counter filters” ™ installation can be complicated and costly and not all filters can be installed with all types of faucets. It is up to you to keep this in mind when deciding on your filter.
Continuous costs: Water filters have to last for many years, otherwise your water will be too expensive. Check also how long the cartridge, which has to be replaced occasionally, lasts.
To make a better informed decision, check a comparative review of some more popular water filter brands, or get a detailed guide on water filtration published by the Food and Water Watch.
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