We have excellent choices for home water treatment systems, today. But, regretfully, not everyone make the most excellent choice.
Of course, some experts say that any attempt at purification is better than none. But, some water treatment products are definitely better than others.
Do you know much about what's in your water? The list of possible contaminants is long, but primarily, you should be concerned about chemicals used for disinfection, disinfection byproducts, and bacteria that are resistant to chemical disinfection, as well as, hazardous compounds that are man made or naturally occurring.
The right home water treatment systems can remove all of these things. Luckily, some of the most affordable water treatment products do the best job. Let's look at a few examples.
Perchlorate is a naturally occurring compound that is used to make rocket fuel and as a medication to treat hyperthyroidism. If ingested by an otherwise healthy individual, it causes dysfunction of the thyroid gland or hypothyroidism.
In children, this causes developmental problems. In adults, it causes metabolic disorders. Researchers have found it in over 800 test sites around the United States. But, it is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. So, currently, you have to assume that it is present in your tap-water.
The water treatment products that remove perchlorate target "volatile organic compounds" or VOCs. Most of the highly advertised home water treatment systems do not target those compounds.
For example, Brita and PUR do not remove them and neither does reverse osmosis technology. A technology called adsorption (not absorption) is needed to remove them. Typically, the process is performed using a carbon block, not granular activated carbon, which is what the cheapest water treatment products (PUR, Brita, and Ever-pure) include.
Public providers add chemicals to surface or groundwater to kill bacteria, algae, viruses and protozoa. Byproducts, primarily THMs, are created by this process. THMs are similar in composition to VOCs. They can only be removed through adsorption.
THMs are toxic and constant exposure can cause cancer. They become airborne due to boiling or the use of hot water in the shower. They can also be consumed by drinking unfiltered tap-water.
You can purchase whole home water treatment systems and remove the threats entirely. But, at the very list, you need a kitchen purifier and a showerhead filter. Only two of the five most popular showerhead filters remove THMs.
If you compare product performance data, you can learn what health hazards a system removes and to what extent. The data should also give you an idea of how much per gallon, your water treatment products will cost.
However, many companies do not provide complete information before you buy. Reverse osmosis providers may tell you "what" is removed, but not "how much". Brita is very evasive. It took a lot of time to find out that their pitchers only reduce lead by 93% and chlorine by 75%.
But, it was worth it, because now I have home water treatment systems that I know are effective. They gave me the freedom to drink and shower without worry.