Drinking Water Standards
If you get your drinking water from a municipal source, like the local city water treatment plant, it will have been treated to meet certain U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Just because your water meets these standards, however, doesn't mean that it's free from every contaminant or additive. And if you get your water from a private well, it's especially important for your water to be tested and treated for anything that might have contaminated the water supply. Once you've had a complete water test performed on your water, you can choose the best drinking water filter system for your specific problems.
At the municipal level, water is treated to remove most sediment, chlorinated (or treated with another disinfectant like chloramine) to kill microorganisms, and filtered to remove dissolved particles and many chemicals. The EPA sets limits on more than 90 different contaminants, and water treatment plants may employ additional treatment methods as required. Most water systems in the U.S. also add fluoride to the water to help reduce tooth decay. Once water leaves the plant and goes into your home, it can still contain low levels of a number of contaminants, as well as chlorine or chloramines and fluoride.
What's in your drinking water?
Before you can choose between the many types of drinking water filter systems available, you need to know exactly what's in your water. There is no œone size fits all filter that will work for every contaminant, so it's important to tailor your treatment system to focus on the problems specific to your water. US Water Systems has a number of reliable and affordable water testing kits available to help you determine the type of treatment you need.
Drinking Water Treatment
Undersink filters are some of the most common and effective types of drinking water treatment available. These filters can be used alone to treat specific contaminants, or as part of a larger drinking water filter system that includes reverse osmosis and/or water disinfection. Typically, a filter system will include two or three filter cartridges, each of which can be customized for a specific contaminant. For example, you could choose a three-stage system that includes a 5 micron carbon block filter to remove chlorine and many volatile organic compounds, a 1 micron filter made for chloramine removal, and a 0.5 micron filter to remove lead.
While a whole house water filter can ensure that you're getting the same quality of water from every tap, a smaller drinking water filter system may be sufficient for your needs. This type of water filter it usually installed in the kitchen, and a dedicated water faucet is used so that there is no mixing with untreated water. By treating only your drinking water, you can make sure that the water you are consuming is safe without the often high price of a whole house system that might not really be necessary.