Here are the main things you need to find out before buying a filter:
1) What substances do you want to filter out of your water?
Some of the most important and most prevalent ones are arsenic, mercury, asbestos, PCB's and chlordane. For example, some cities have tap water that has more than 1,000 times the amount of arsenic considered optimal by the EPA! Read more about arsenic below!
2) How do you find out which filter does what?
Figuring this out can seem a little intimidating but it's really not too hard, it just takes time to research it. I have done that research and will show you the facts and issues I ran across in my searches.
I am going to tell you exactly which filter I decided to buy and why, so if you want to know my answer, right now, feel free to skip ahead to the bottom of the page and find out. (This is not a Mystery novel!)
But if you have a minute, please read the following explanation as to why and how I made my choice, so you will understand that what I am sharing with you here is based on extensive research and sound reasoning.
1) What do you want to filter out of your water? And how do you know what to filter out?
One way to deal with this question is to just take the "shotgun" approach and buy a filter that filters most all of the potentially cancer or disease causing chemicals, and leave it at that. If this is the approach you want to take (and there's nothing wrong with that!), then please skip down to #2, below. If, however, you want to find out more about which bad stuff is in your water, read on.
There are two ways you can find out what specific contaminants you want to filter out:
A) If you live in a city you can use this widget to find out about the water in your city from the Environmental Working Group:
B) If you live in the country and get your water from a well, it is highly advised that you pay someone to run a test so you know what exactly is in your water. You can find a testing company by clicking here. Once you know which bad things are in your water, you can then choose the appropriate filter system.
Now, if you live in a city, when you look at your water company's Water Quality Report, it will inevitably say that your water quality is well "within the legal requirements" and so it is completely safe to drink. While it is no doubt within the legal guidelines, sometimes those guidelines are far from ideal and if you read your Water Quality Report carefully you will see that they admit it falls short of the state or federal goals.
What your water company does not tell you is that often the law allows a level of contaminants that many scientists and doctors consider unhealthy even though the government says it is safe.
"Safe" is a relative term. Potentially dangerous contaminants such as arsenic, trihalomethanes, asbestos, lead, mercury, chlordane, toxaphene, and PCB's and many others are still in many cities' water - the water that is said to be safe from the tap. So many health experts agree that you should filter tap water using a water filter in order to virtually eliminate these unhealthy chemicals. The government almost always says these levels are safe, until people start getting sick or dying, then finally, they may admit there was a problem. The White House Cancer Panel also recently recommended that everyone use a water filter!
Don't be surprised if someone at the water company or at the EPA or etc. tells you that you don't really need to filter your water for health. Of course it is your choice, but since you are here I assume you agree with me, that it is best to be safe, not sorry, and filter your tap water. Note that bottled water is often no safer and sometimes worse than tap water.
While the water at the water plant may have contaminants under the legal limit, the water may pick up more contaminants as it works its way through miles of pipes on its way to your drinking glass!
2) How do you find out which filter does what?
The NSF or National Sanitation Foundation is a non-profit pro-consumer group that does the job of examining water filtration systems and determining what they truly filter out and making sure the manufacturer is not misrepresenting its claims. This is important to us as consumers because otherwise any company can say their filter "removes all contaminants".
But only the NSF independently checks the company's products periodically and examines the company's manufacturing facilities to make sure they are up to standards deserving of NSF Certification.
NSF International is widely recognized as representing the highest standards of excellence. They are even recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which says:""If you use a filter to remove lead, be sure you get one that is certified to remove lead by NSF International."
Water filter reviews and charts that show the specific differences between Multipure, Aquasana and Brita, for example, can be done here at our page on Comparing Water FIlters.
Now, the bottom line:
WHAT'S THE BEST WATER FILTER? And why?
Quite simply, the best filter - the filter that filters the widest range of contaminants, as certified by the NSF, is made byMultipure.
It is a carbon block filter, which is generally accepted by experts as being the best type of filter for home use, it is NSF Certified and alsocertified by the States of California, Wisconsin, Iowa and Massachussetts.And it is certified by NSF to reduce the widest range of contaminants, of any filter on the market.
Note that "Certified to NSF Standards" is not the same as "NSF Certified". "NSF Certified" is what it should say, and there should be a logo proudly displayed, like this:
If not, the company is just using the good NSF name to push their product and mislead you. Look for the NSF logo above! If you have any doubt about any company's water filter, ask to see their certification from NSF or look for it at the NSF site linked above. Here is Multipure's NSF Certificate.
Multipure has been in business for over 40 years and are the world's largest manufacturer of compressed solid carbon block filters and are leaders in the development of carbon block filters. Their water filter systems are backed by a 90 day Money Back Guarantee and and their filter housing is guaranteed FOR LIFE!
Multipure filters are used throughout the world by hospitals, major universities and schools; laboratories; restaurants; the U.S. military; foreign embassies; major airlines; and over two million consumers.
Then there are 4 more very important reasons to use a Multipure water filter:
1) Multipure water tastes good! This will encourage you and your family to drink more water, which in turn will add to you and your family's health. You'll probably notice how much better your coffee tastes with MultiPure filtered water, too!
2) Most Multipure filter systems will give you clean fresh tap water for only 8 cents a gallon!* Few cost less than this and certainly none that are Certified to filter as many contaminants as Multipure does. Since it is so inexpensive, now you can do all your cooking with clean healthy water! We even water our plants with it! *The Multipure arsenic filters cost about 18 cents a gallon but they are the ONLY filters NSF-Certified to reduce Arsenic V!
3) Multipure will get you "off the bottle"! You can help our planet and future generations by Going Green with Multipure!
Plastic bottles are a major problem for our planet and the plastic in landfills leads to a vicious cycle where more and more toxins are released through the plastic into the soil and water.
4) You will not have to worry about BPA (Bisphenol A), phthalates, or any other chemicals and hormone disruptors leaching from plastic water bottles into your body, potentially contributing to cancer or other diseases. You can fill and carry water in a re-usable stainless steel bottle (also sold by Multipure) to take to work and recreational activities! And filling stainless steel bottles from your filtered tap at home is much cheaper than buying water in plastic bottles at the store!
I hope I have been able to illuminate and clarify many of the issues surrounding buying a water filter. Please look at my other pages as listed on the MENU at the top left of this page for further or more detailed information. But if you are already convinced that Multipure is the best filter system for your tap water, as I am, then you can click the link below to get a substantial discount on a Multipure Water Filter system.
"WHICH MULTIPURE SYSTEM DO YOU RECOMMEND?" is a question I am often asked.
Any of the Multipure Systems are great. They are ALL NSF CERTIFIED and all are backed up by our 90 Day Money Back Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty!
If you live in an apartment and want something that does not involve any real plumbing and you can install yourself in 15 minutes, I recommend either of these two:
For more information click on: Multipure Aquadome.
This is our lowest priced system but with the same warranty and money back guarantee as the others, and NSF Certified to reduce over 60 contaminants - the same as all our other models except for the 880 series which also filters Arsenic V. This one retails for $259.95 but you get the lowest price Multipure allows - guaranteed - by using my Coupon Code: 424611-disc
Or the Aquaperform :
For more information click on Multipure Aquaperform
This filter retails for $524.95 but you get a subtantial discount using my Coupon Code: 424611-disc2 or you can get it free with a Filter Mania purchase - where you buy replacement filters in advance.
WHAT ABOUT ARSENIC?
The Aquaperform line is the ultimate Multipure carbon filter system. It is the ONLY carbon block filter available anywhere that is certified by the NSF to reduce Arsenic! With many cities now having levels of arsenic much higher than the State and Federal goals, this is the best filter for you if you want to provide your family with the healthiest, safest filtered water. It filters everything our other carbon block filters do, but with the added ability to filter Arsenic V.
It is also available in below-the-counter models.
Here is an example of arsenic content in water from the DWP's Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant which provides water to residents of Los Angeles:
Average Arsenic level = 4 ug/L.
But the State Public Health Goal (set by the California Environmental Protection Agency) for this dangerous contaminant is .004 ug/L. *
The other Los Angeles area water plants' arsenic averages range from 2-3 ug/L so these other water systems in Los Angeles "only" contain 500 to 666 TIMES THE AMOUNT of arsenic as compared to the CA EPA's Public Health Goal.*
So... Do YOU need a filter certified by the NSF to filter Arsenic V? If so, your only choice is one of Multipure's several Aquaperform models because currently, Multipure is the only manufacturer with a filter system NSF certified to reduce levels of Arsenic V.
I would advise you to check your city's Water Quality Report very carefully, paying particular attention to the State PHG (Public Health Goal) or the Federal MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal). These can be found online at your municipal water dept.'s web site.
If you have determined that your water has too much Fluoride, Trivalent Or Hexavalent Chromium, Nitrates or Radium, then REVERSE OSMOSIS is the only filtration system that will reduce these contaminants, and it also filters Arsenic and virtually every other contaminant from your water. Multipure has the best Reverse Osmosis system on the market as it can be configured to waste less water than others:
Multipure Drinking Water Systems are tested and certified by NSF International to reduce the widest range of contaminants of health concern.
If you have any questions, please contact me here. It is my hope that everyone will get off the plastic bottle habit and Go Green by using a filter that is certified by NSF to reduce the widest range of contaminants!