Should you choose a pitcher, a filter that attaches to the faucet, or a device to install under the sink? To filter the water, here are the options available to you.
Bottled water has become an environmental taboo. In many western countries, we are lucky: the quality of the tap water is regulated and water treatment must comply with guidelines for residual contaminant levels. According to researchers in the field of water treatment, when water meets these quality standards, a home filtration system is useless but we tend to think differently. For those who remain concerned or who believe that filtration improves the taste of water and remove the nasties that the water companies don’t, here are a few possible options.
How it works: when you fill the tank, the water passes by gravity through a carbon filter which reduces chlorine, lead and depending on the type of cartridge, disinfectant by-products like haloforms, microscopic parasites like giardia and cryptosporidium from infected people or animals like beaver and deer.
Who is this system suitable for? A carafe holds about two liters, and is well suited for small apartments.
Easy to use: fill at the tap and refrigerate.
Note: the cost of buying a carafe is relatively low, but you will have to pay more to buy the six cartridges than you will need on average per year.
How it works: tap water is directed to a carbon filter attached to the tap. This type of filter is more effective than decanters in reducing chemicals, contaminants, and pharmaceuticals such as drugs that contain hormones. This type of filter has a longer lifespan, about three months.
Who is it suitable for? For larger homes or those who want filtered water directly from the tap.
Ease of use: this type of filter fits most taps and is installed without tools.
Note: washing dishes will greatly reduce the life of these filters. Consider a model that can filter water or not.
How it works: the appliance is connected to the cold water inlet pipe. Some models have a carbon filter and a ceramic filter that removes impurities. The reverse osmosis system reverses the pressure of the water which is pushed through a carbon filter and a semi-permeable membrane.
Who is it suitable for? To people who monitor their budget. Since the filters last at least six months, the cost of use is lower than that of other systems.
Easy to use: if you are a handyman, you can install this device in less than an hour. You will need to work on the water supply hose and drill a hole through the sink or counter. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, have a plumber or a good handyman do the work.
Note: this device takes up a lot of space under the sink and filters water much more slowly than other types of filters.