3 Ways to Filter Your Tap Water

Our tap water system may be good, but it’s far from flawless. There are many circumstances that might make you want extra protection. For instance: Water that’s perfectly drinkable at the treatment plant could be dirtied on its way to your sink. “If your pipes are old, a problem can start at the curb and come out the tap,” says EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “Lead and copper can leak out of old pipe solder. If you’re concerned, ask your local health department about testing.” It’s also possible that your water company is falling short. Request a consumer confidence report (each water utility is required to issue one annually), or check the Environmental Working Group’s tap water database at ewg.org/tap-water/whats-in-yourwater. If you’re on well water (more than 13 million U.S. homes are), the National Ground Water Association recommends annual testing by a certified groundwater contractor.

Thinking about filtering? Here are three options:
1. Cheap and easy
A basic carbon filter—the kind in Brita-style pitchers and faucet-mounted units—can improve taste and do a fair job of removing common contaminants, including lead and “disinfection by-products”—the cancer-causing toxins that can form when chlorinated water mixes with high levels of plant or animal debris. But if your family uses more than two gallons of water a day, you might find the approach too slow.

2. Works harder but is pricier
A filter that combines carbon and reverse-osmosis technology can remove perchlorate and many other toxins. These filters, typically mounted under the sink, process water faster, but they can cost several hundred dollars to install.

3. For the water worrier
If you want to drink your bathwater (or just brush your teeth with filtered water), consider getting a whole-house system. These systems treat all the water in the household and can be customized to target specific contaminants. Typical cost: several hundred to a fewthousand dollars.

For Best Results

  • Pick a filter or system certified by NSF International, which sets recognized standards in this field.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use.
  • Replace filters on schedule. Bacteria can grow on outdated filter elements and make you sick.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.