By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Recently we were wondering just how well our Brita filtered water protects us from lead, chlorine and parasites. I went looking for info and found that Brita filers do a pretty good job of protecting us from most contaminants. Check out Brita’s FAQ section for info on what each type of Brita filter removes. (Brita sells faucet filters as well as those ubiquitous pictures you see in many refrigerators. For info on what the Brita Faucet filters remove, click here.) AND, to learn about your very own Brita bottle to go for $9.99, click here. (Available at Bed Bath and Beyond and a host of other retailers. Click here for the list of stores that carry the to go filter bottle.) But is Brita the best filter for you? How do you know? I did some digging and found out what before you can select a filter you need to know what you types of pollutants may be in your water.
What Kind of Water Filter Do You Need?
The Natural Resource Defense Council is a decent source for info on what each type of water filter protects you from. The NRDC recommends that before you shop for a water filter, you find out what type of contaminants you may be exposed to. To find out what’s in your water, ask your water utility for a copy of their annual water quality report.
In Chicago, that would be the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago (MWRDC,), link here. If you want to know more about how our overall water is processed, click here for a description of how water is treated and processed before it gets to your home. For water quality reports current up through 2008, click here. If you want to tour any of the local water reclamation and treatment plants, go to this link for info on how to proceed.
But what about the pipes in your house or apartment? Even if the water coming to you from the city is relatively “safe,” what happens when that water goes through old pipes or copper pipes that have been soldered with lead? Can lead leak into your water? You betcha. How do you know if its’ a health hazard to you or your kids? NRDC recommends that you test your tap water for lead contamination. If you have young kids, are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant it’s even more important to check your water for lead, since lead levels can vary enormously from house to house.
Check out the NRDC website and their list of different types of filtering systems and what they filter here.
For info on when to test your water and what typical water inspection tests cost, click on this link to InspectAPedia here. Make sure the testing lab is licensed by the state!
What does a water inspection test cost? InspectAPedia says that if you are moving into a home and are testing water for the first time, use a more extensive test packages typically cost $200. to $300.If that test detects no problems, follow-up testing of your water supply annually, using a less costly minimum screen for bacteria or coliform bacteria, typically costing less than $50.
What is the NDRC?
An environmental action group, which uses the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists in addition to the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.
What is InspectAPedia?
An online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice – illustrated, detailed, in-depth research on finding, diagnosing, testing, correcting, & preventing building defects, energy conservation, & indoor environmental hazards.
- Clean H20 With Eye-Catching Water Filters (fitsugar.com)
- Improving your Water Filter (beast4romtheeast.wordpress.com)
- Water Quality: Do You Need a Water Filter? (everydayhealth.com)
- Q&A: Does Consumer Reports test whole-house water filters? (blogs.consumerreports.org)
- What’s in Your Water? (painreliefwithoutdrugs.wordpress.com)
- Berkey Water Filters Sales are up in Down Economy as Families Pinch Pennies and Prepare for Emergencies (prweb.com)