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Water Filtration for Your Home [Everything you Need to Know to Get Started]

You will learn about:

 

  • The benefits of drinking more water.

  • Common water issues.

  • Contaminants that may be lurking in your water.

  • How to increase the quality of your water.

  • The difference between filtered and reverse osmosis water.

  • The models available for your home.

  • Filter installation.

  • The average cost and savings benefits.

  • Water filter care.

Terminology:

  • Water filter: a carbon or reverse osmosis water treatment that connects to your water line.
  • Contaminants: Physical, chemical, biological, and radiological substances in solid, liquid or gas format.
  • Water line: the method through which water moves from the municipal source to your sink, restrooms, dishwasher, etc.
  • POU: Point of Use, uses a bottle-less cooler to dispense filtered water.

Benefits of drinking more water

We do not often include water as part of our health and beauty plan. When in reality it should be the most significant consideration. It is a simple way to make a massive impact on the way you look and feel.

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

Try these resources to read further about the advantages of drinking more water.

How much should I drink?

It is easiest (and most recommended) to use the age-old eight glasses (64 ounces) per day. You should drink water throughout the day, but there are times that your body needs more–such as when you wake up.

When to drink waterPhoto credit: Adobe Photostock

Knowing how much to drink and when is one thing, remembering to do it is another. There are tools to help. This free printable chart by coachmorris.com is a visual reminder and a tracking mechanism. For those that prefer a digital method, try this app

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Common issues and contaminants

Reported issues with tap water usually refer to taste, smell, and appearance. When homeowners call our offices the conversation often includes phrases like:

  • “My water tastes tart, harsh or sour.”
  • “There is a moldy, eggy, sulfur or chlorine smell.”
  • “My water looks cloudy.”
  • “There are stains on my sinks and toilets.”
  • “My faucets have a scale on them.”

It is no wonder these concerns occur. The journey our water takes before arriving in our cups is astounding. Cleveland municipal water is drawn from Lake Erie,  and then distributed through 5000 miles of water lines! Our four treatment plants do a fantastic job of meeting safety standards. But, they face quite a challenge in our agricultural, industrialized state. Residents of Akron drink from the Cuyahoga River after it travels through over 1000 miles of pipes!

Along the way, our water supply is vulnerable to contaminants. Contaminants that cause the common complaint of taste, smell, and appearance. Including:

  • Bacteria
  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Metals
  • Sulfur
  • Dissolved solids
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Iron
  • Nitrates
  • Parasites
  • Algae blooms
  • Coliform
  • E-coli
  • Arsenic

Woman drinking water with baby smallPhoto credit: Adobe Photostock

The biggest concern of all is lead. To read more about the harmful effects, check out this blog post, “Everything You Need to Know About Lead in Water”. The state of Ohio also provides a great tool for tracking areas of concern with this lead locator map

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Solutions

We all play a role in improving the safety and quality of our water. There are steps that you can take to help your municipality fight issues before it makes it to your sink such as:

  • Dispose of grease, paint, oil, and chemicals in a responsible manner. Cuyahogarecycles.org is a great place to turn if you are not sure what to do with a product or its packaging.
  • Use all natural cleaning products such as distilled white vinegar and baking soda.
  • Skip the pesticides and fertilizers or opt for a service that provides organic lawn care.

Even if you are doing the right things to ensure water safety for your community–you can not control your neighbors. To add an extra layer of confidence, use a carbon or reverse osmosis water filtration system.

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

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What is filtered water?

Filtered water is the product of your tap water passing through 5 stage carbon cartridges. Each cartridge plays an essential role in producing a high quality finished product:

  • Stage 1- Sediment Prefilter: screens out dirt, sand, rust and other microscopic particles 15 times smaller than a grain of sand.
  • Stage 2- Carbon Prefilter: activated carbon prefilter reduces elements that cause water to taste and smell unpleasant, including the taste and odor of chlorine.
  • Stage 3- 2nd Carbon Prefilter: second activated carbon prefilter reduces elements that cause water to taste and smell unpleasant, including the taste and odor of chlorine.
  • Stage 4- RO Membrane: reverse osmosis membrane filter squeezes out dissolved substances, including radium, lead, arsenic, and many others.
  • Stage 5- Polishing Filter: second activated carbon filter that polishes the water to make sure that it is crystal clear.

Water filters are effective at removing contaminants, foul smells, and tastes. Water filtration systems offer a variety of benefits including:

  • Never run out.
  • Cost effective for high consumption.
  • There are no bottles to lift, store or keep track of.
  • Sustainable choice.
  • Filters only need to be changed every six months.

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What is Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water?

Wikipedia defines RO as, “…a water purification technology that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, molecules and larger particles from drinking water.” Although you can choose to use only the carbon system and forego the RO stage, we believe it adds an essential extra layer of protection. RO filters are effective at removing contaminants such as radium, lead, arsenic, and more. You can learn more about the differences between filtered and RO water in our article, “Filtered vs. RO: Which to Choose?”

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Available models

Water filtration systems come in many shapes and sizes. Most of which are classified as “point of use” or POU. A point of use filter connects to a water line and uses a bottleless cooler to dispense chilled or instant hot H2O. The options are as follows:

Under the sink model

Water filter at sink

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

With this option, the water filter housings and storage tank mount below your sink. The finished product dispenses through a stylish spout installed on your kitchen counter. The technician will need to drill a silver dollar size hole into your counter. If you have a granite countertop, another option might suit you better.

Countertop model

Counter top water filtration system

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

Countertop water filters offer a compact design that allows the unit to fit under standard height cabinets. These models offer both cold and hot water for drinking as well as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa. If you already have limited counter space, a stand-alone machine may be better.

Stand-alone floor model

Child filling glass from water filter

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

A water cooler type of design is the most popular choice for filtration. These freestanding units also offer cold and hot water. They are sleek in design and attractive enough for a modern kitchen. You will only need about a square foot of space for this POU but, it does require electricity (as do all of the models). Therefore, it will need to be placed near an outlet as well as access to a water line. 

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Home Installation

We always recommend using a professional installer. Water leaks can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home. Besides, when you rent or buy a water filter, the service is usually provided. Choose a spot close to a water line (look for a sink, washing machine, ice dispenser, etc.). If you can’t find a perfect location don’t worry, the technician will get creative.

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Cost savings

Aside from dozens of health benefits, having a water filtration system in your home will save money. How Stuff Works estimates that a family of four, who currently purchases small bottles at the grocery store, would save $2,878.57 per year in this article, “How much money can I save with a water filter?”

Your actual cost savings depends on a few variables. You must first decide if you would prefer to rent or purchase a water filter. A rental agreement will come with perks that take maintenance and troubleshooting out of your hands. You will be able to set it and forget it while enjoying the ease of one consistent charge each month. Our rental units, for example, come with free filters, and service calls. A competitive price for this sort of design is around $35.00 per month.

Young woman drinking water

Photo credit: Adobe Photostock

To own a water filter, you must first of course purchase the unit itself. It is impossible to estimate a cost as there are many levels of available features. Basically, you get what you pay for. A word of warning– don’t go cheap– invest in a high-quality unit with a standard set of features, and you will be happy for the long term.

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Maintenance

Water filters require very little upkeep. There are only two chores that you will need to mark on your calendar (unless you rent, in that case, this step is handled for you):

You should plan to address both of these tasks every six months. In addition, it is a good idea to wipe the spigots periodically with antibacterial soap to prevent the spread of germs.

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Your family deserves the best in healthy hydration and you deserve to look and feel your best. Water filtration can help and also save you time and money with no bottles and a consistent bill each month. A water filter will provide the reliability you are looking for and assure that your water is contaminant free!

Cheers 💧!

Distillata has been solving the water needs of Northeast Ohio businesses for over a century!  1608 East 24th St., Cleveland, Oh 44114/ (800)999-2906/ distillata.com

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