What Questions Should I Ask About Water Treatment Equipment?
As you determine the perfect water treatment equipment for you and your family, write down the questions that come to mind. That list will help you look for the best device for you. Here are some ideas for building that list of questions.
The most important question that you will need to ask yourself starts before you even begin to look at water treatment equipment. What contaminants are in your drinking water? These types of contaminants will depend on where you get your water from and what your water treatment plant does to treat contaminants.
Generally there are six types of contaminants that you will want to remove from your water. You can use this general list as you do the next steps. You don’t want…
- achlorine and chloramines
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- heavy metals
- bacteria and viruses
- excessive fluoride
Chlorine is usually added into tap water as it passes through water treatment plants. These plants use the chemical to disinfect the water. Chlorine is known to remove bacteria and many other compounds from the water so that those toxic forms of water contamination won’t hurt anyone who drinks the water. Unfortunately, chlorine can mix with other organic compounds and create dangerous byproducts.
VOCs are pesticides and herbicides. Heavy metals include lead, mercury, aluminum, and copper. You’ll want to make sure that you are protected against bacteria and viruses like giardia and cryptosporidium.
Another question that you’ll want to ask when looking at water treatment equipment is, “What does this filtration device do?” Does it remove contaminants that you know are in your water? You can find out what your water quality is by requesting a consumer report that your water treatment plant is required by law to produce.
Take that question one step further by learning how much of a single contaminant the water filter removes. If a filtration device says it removes 50% of chlorine and another says it removes 99.7%, go with the higher percentage. Equipment that doesn’t almost completely get rid of a contaminant isn’t worth purchasing. You’ll also want to know how long a particular device guarantees it will remove contaminants.
You should also learn if the device that you are looking into purchasing is rated by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This foundation and other third party organizations establish standards and methods used to test everything about a product and its manufacturer. Another organization that you can look into is the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL). Usually these foundations will test the product against contaminants that it says it removes. This is a way for people to know that what they are purchasing actually does what it promises. The NSF establishes standards that the other organizations follow. It is important to know that a device could have one part of a filter NSF approved but not the whole filter. Check with the NSF and UL’s websites for more information about systems and manufacturers who are certified.
You’ll want to ask yourself how much the filtration device costs. Another question to ponder is about any other maintenance the device will require after purchasing. This could include complexities that you will have with installation. Will you need to hire a professional to install it like most whole-water filters or can you install it yourself?
Does the device cause any hidden costs, such as using more water than normal like reverse osmosis devices do? You’ll want to know if you need to purchase a replacement cartridge and how many times a year it needs to be changed. Knowing that cost is just as important as knowing the cost of the equipment. Aquasana gives you all of these answers on their website, in their brochures, and on video.