Recently many people asked how to drink water healthily and how to choose the best water filter for their family. To be frankly, these problems had bothered me for many years. Since I’ve been researching these problems for many years, now I can solve them. Therefore, it is time for me to write something about water filtration systems and healthy drinking water.
We cannot live without water. And we know the importance of finding the most nutrient and healthiest dense food options is very important to our health. However, to some degree, as water is the most important part of our body, finding the healthiest water options can be more vital. If you have done some research on water you drink every day, you will find there are so various contaminants in the water. If you drink the contaminated water, these chemicals can be easily absorbed by our body. In a long run, this can destroy your health in someday, which leads to serious diseases.
What’s in the water?
The common water we drink every day is the tap water. However, there are over 300 chemicals and contaminants found in the tap water. If you don’t believe in the fact, you can click the below link to learn more.
Pollutants are classified as the following:
Fluoride: Fluoride is purposefully added to the water for disinfecting. Is it harmful or benefit to our healthy? This problem is controversial, because it is really a heated debate about the harm/benefits of this. But I think fluoride may cause thyroid problems and other disorders. It has many potential dangers if you keep on drinking water containing fluoride. We know that Fluoride is added to toothpaste to protect our teeth. Maybe this is only benefit of fluoride. In a word, it does more harm than good.
Heavy Metals: Heavy metals like mercury and lead are found in some water sources which can cause very serious problems if you keep on drinking water from these sources without any purification.
VOCs(Volatile Organic Chemicals) Chemicals like herbicides, pesticides are VOCs, which have been found in most municipal water sources. They are also widely found in well and other sources because of agricultural run-off and contamination. VOCs are harmful to our liver, kidneys, reproductive system and other systems.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – Chemicals which may mimic or interfere with our normal hormones are called as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. These harmful chemicals can disturb our endocrine systems. In recent years, these chemicals are discovered in increasing amounts in our water sources. This is not a good sign. The endocrine disorder can cause numerous serious diseases like diabetes mellitus.
So we must find the best options for drinking water healthily. Well, which filtration option is the best option for drinking water?
Someone likes drinking bottled water, because they think bottled water is very pure. However, according to some research, bottled water is not as good as a good option. Here are the reasons:
- The bottle of bottled water is made of plastic, so chemicals from the plastic may leech into the water. These chemicals are harmful to the health.
- The quality of bottled water is very poor. In some degrees, there is no difference between tap water and bottled water.
- Bottled water is costly. You may think one bottle of water is cheap, but if you drink bottled water every day, it will cost you much in a long run.
- The bottles themselves are useless for consumers, so they become a major source of consumer waste every year.
In a word, I don’t recommend you to buy bottled water to drink every day. It is not the best option on health, price and taste. I basically don’t drink bottled water at all. Even if I have to drink bottled water, I would like to choose glass and steel water bottles.
Pitcher Water Filters
Pitcher water filters use Granulated Activated Charcoal to remove some pollutants. They are generally very inexpensive. You can buy some famous brands like Brita Pitcher Water filters, which only costs you 20-30 dollars. Although they are less expensive, they need frequent filling and you need to buy the cartridge replacement frequently, which will cost you a lot of money in the long run. These filters are effective to improve the taste, but they aren’t able to remove all toxins. They are effective to reduce chlorine, but they cannot remove VOCs, fluoride, endocrine disruptors and heavy metals. If the quality of your tap water is good, you can use them to get improved water for better smell and taste. And they cannot provide you plenty of pure water to drink, cook, washing and garden. They are ideal for students and bachelors who live in a small apartment.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Reverse Osmosis systems use a membrane to remove plenty of contaminants. A Granulated Activated Charcoal filter is also firstly used to remove chemicals like chlorine. Generally, a RO system is mounted under the sink and has a holding tank. The key part is the membrane, because it only allows water molecules to pass through but leave other large molecules on the other side. This process can separate the water from the contaminants and you can get plenty of purified water to cook, drink and wash. However, some useful minerals are also removed by the membrane, so some filters use a post-filter to add these healthy minerals back into the water. They can remove a wide range of contaminants, but you are required to pay much more to get one and the cartridge replacement filters will cost you much.
- Removes a wide range of contaminants
- Mounted under the sink and doesn’t take up the under top space
- Has a simple faucet over the counter to get the water
- Effectively reduces asbestos, arsenic and heavy metals
- Fluoride is removed
- Waste water is more than RO water
- VOCs as well as endocrine disruptors cannot be reduced
- Adequate water pressure is needed to ensure to work, so if the water supply is cut off, the system cannot work
- Filters needs to be replaced every 6 months
- Useful minerals are removed
- Takes an hour to filter 1 gallon water
The process of distillation is very simple. First the water is heated to 100 centigrades and then it becomes steam. The steam rises and is lead to a cooling chamber to become liquid again. When heating the water, the contaminants cannot rise in such a low temperature, so they are separated from the water. This process can remove large particles, like heavy metal and minerals, but doesn’t remove VOCs or endocrine disruptors, because they also vaporized as water does in a low temperature. All the bacteria are killed.
- Removes so many kinds of contaminants
- Reduces asbestos, arsenic and heavy metals
- Fluoride can be removed
- VOCs or endocrine disruptors are not reduced.
- A home water distiller is often large and expensive
- Takes up 4 hours to produce 1 gallon distilled water
- Uses a large amount of electricity
- All the minerals are removed, even the healthy minerals
Solid Block Carbon Filters
Solid block carbon filters can effectively remove pesticides, chemicals, fluoride, bacteria, heavy metals, nitrites, nitrate and parasites. Most of them are gravity based, so you don’t need to worry about the water pressure. Tap water, rain water, rever water, pond water and even sea water can be filtered. To avoid clogging the filer, tap water and rain water are better and pond water or sea water.
I highly recommend you to use it and we use it now. The only complaint is that this system takes up my counter space. The advantage is also very obvious. Even without electricity or running water, it can work. However, this type of system seems much more expensive than other types of filtration systems. In the long run, it cost us less because it doesn’t require frequent filter replacements. What’s more, necessary natural minerals are not removed by this system.
When I bought this system, I use a filter calculator to help me find the right one which I won’t need to replace the filter for the coming 2o years. My system is the Berkey which comes in various sizes according to your different uses. You also can use it filter water to drink while camping.