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We moved into our new house in October. Since we were first-time homebuyers, so we are still getting hit with all of those “fun” surprises, like appliances breaking down, and plumbing issues our inspector missed. We are also working on building up our collection of tools and appliances that homeowners need, like leaf blowers and monkey wrenches. There are a lot more issues and things we would like to buy, but we are slowly working our way down the list as we have money.
Something that is working its way to the top of the list is a water filtration system. Our city tap water doesn’t taste great, plus it has tested over the legal limit for several harmful substances. (You can check out your water quality here). We’ve been doing some investigating into our treatment options, and it was a bit overwhelming! So today I am going to share some of what I have learned and the options we considered to hopefully make your search a little easier.
Moat people think of pitchers for water purification. But in reality these mostly improve the taste and don’t actually filter out harmful chemicals or bacteria. After some research we decided that a reverse osmosis system was right for us. Reverse osmosis removes chlorine, lead, fluoride, pesticides, nitrates, sulfates, etc. Reverse osmosis systems run the gamut from whole house systems, to countertop filters. You can also get a water cooler and refill jugs at the grocery store.
We decided that a countertop filter was right for us. Berkey is probably the most popular of the countertop units, and the one that was most recommended by my friends. The pros of a Berkey are that it doesn’t require electricity, and it can be portable. You could literally filter pond water through this thing and it would be safe and drinkable! The cons are that the water is room temperature, unless you fill a pitcher or water bottle then transfer it to the fridge. It also sounds like setting
up the filters can be a bit complicated. I thought we had settled on purchasing a Big Berkey, then discovered they don’t ship to my state. Berkeys cannot ship to Iowa or California because those two states require more stringent proof of purification claims than what Berkey has furnished. Back to the drawing board!
Recently I have been seeing the AquaTru countertop filter advertised. This is also anRO filter, but has a much-smaller 1 gallon reservoir that is made from BPA-free plastic. This biggest pro to this system is that you can take the tank off and store it in the fridge for cold, RO water on demand. The cons for me were the small reservoir size – for a family our size we would be refilling several times a day. There were also some shipping issues when it first debuted that made me a little leery.
Finally I stumbled onto ProPur filters. These filters are very similar to Berkeys, but they have the proper certification to ship to my state. They also user ceramic filters, so no priming is necessary. You can see all of their independent testing here. I think we finally found a winner!
One issue with countertop systems is that the water is room temperature. That means you either need to fill a pitcher or water bottle, or find a way to make ice cubes out of the filtered water. This countertop ice maker is a great solution. You could also use regular ice cube trays.
There can be everything from lead to pharmaceuticals in our water, so finding a filtration system that works for your family is really important. I hope some of my trial and error has helped you to narrow down what system will work for you!