At Hawthorne Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling, we often get questions about water filtrations systems. Are they worth the cost? Do they actually work? Are they even necessary? Let’s work together to consider your situation.
Water Consumption in the United States
Americans consumed 14.4 billion gallons of bottled water in 2019, up 3.6% from 2018. Bottled water’s retail dollar sales reached $34.6 billion in 2019.
Given that bottled water is 300x more expensive than tap water, and with growing recognition of the potential health and environmental impacts of plastic packaging, many people are turning to home filtration systems instead.
As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 25% of Americans use some type of home water filtration—from simple and inexpensive carbon-filter pitchers to whole-home, reverse-osmosis systems that can run as much as $10,000.
Questions to Help You Decide if Whole Home Water Filtration Systems are Worth It
- The EPA requires water providers to provide a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to their customers by July 1 every year. This report shows all contaminants found in your local drinking supply and how those levels compare to the agency’s drinking water standards.
- While most tap water in the United States is safe to consume, the unfortunate truth is that some local systems violate health standards—nearly 6% of them serve 21 million people, according to a recent study.
- If your water doesn’t meet or exceed EPA standards, a carefully chosen filtration system may be beneficial.
- A 2016 study indicates the average American household uses 300 gallons of water per day. Interestingly, only 17% of that comes through our faucets—and only 1% of the water coming into our homes is used for drinking.
- The rest is used for bathing, laundry, flushing our toilets, watering our yards, and so on.
- In fact, more water gets wasted through leaks than gets consumed! If you’re primarily concerned about the quality of your drinking water, a whole home system is a good idea.
- If you have a family member whose immune system is weak because of illness or medical treatment, water filtration is wise.
- Certain parasites, such as Cryptosporidium, are resistant to the chlorine-based disinfectants used in public water systems, and if your water comes from surface, rather than underground, sources this could be of particular concern.
- The best way to remove Cryptosporidium is to boil the water for 60 seconds before cooking with it or drinking it. Otherwise, the EPA recommends a high-quality point-of-use filter at minimum. In this case, be diligent about selecting a system certified by NSF International for the particular contaminants of concern.
- When selecting a water filtration system, it’s helpful to keep your goals in mind. If you simply don’t like the taste of your water, an inexpensive solution will help.
- But if you have higher-than-acceptable levels of contaminants and/or an immunocompromised family member, something more comprehensive than a water pitcher is worth it.
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