In a recent survey by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), an independent food and water certification organization, researchers found that 71% of U.S. consumers drink tap water. And an alarming 42% of them are not concerned whether or not they have clean and safe water.
Table of Contents
- The Greener and Cheaper Way
- I already have a POU, why should I convert to POE?
- POE Water Filter Technologies
- Is it worth it?
The Greener and Cheaper Way
29% of Americans have opted to buy bottled water, out of convenience and the desire for clean and safe drinking water. This behavior creates approximately 400 million tons of plastic waste each year, which ultimately affects all of us. This raises the question of whether the price outweighs the benefits.
Is there another way to have clean and safe water while also protecting our planet? The simple answer to that is: YES! The greener and cheaper way is to use water filters.
There are two types of water filter systems available for your home:
- Point of Use (POU) water filters – filter type that is directly installed where it is intended to be used. You should have different filters for each water source.
- Point of Entry (POE) water filter – contrary to POU, only one filter system will be installed to filter the water for your whole house. That is why this type is also known as house water filter.
I already have a POU, why should I convert to POE?
Have you noticed a weird smell and color in your water while relaxing in the tub or taking a shower? How about dry and frizzy hair? Is your skin tight and flaky? Do you keep finding off-white scales on your bathroom tiles, shower heads, and toilet bowl? Does it keep coming back even though you regularly clean it?
Do your tap-water connected appliances keep on breaking? Do you have unexplained water leaks inside your home and visible stains on the walls and ceiling?
Consumers are mostly focused on having clean and safe drinking water. POU is commonly used as it is the cheaper option when you buy it upfront. But are you aware that unfiltered water flowing from your pipelines can also affect your home as well as you and your family even without ingestion? That is the gray area of POU water filters which a POE system solves.
When unfiltered water flows in your pipelines and is used in your home, it can cause some serious problems to the building itself and everyone living inside of it. Here are some common issues you may encounter or have already encountered:
– Cloudy and weird smelling water
In most cases, this is regarded an aesthetic problem but it may also indicate that there is something wrong with your water.
Limescale is that off-white staining you find in your bathroom. It can also build up inside your pipes if not treated immediately. Limescale may create cracks in your pipelines and cause great damage. Not only can buildup restrict water flow to pipes, appliances, faucets, and shower heads, it can even lead to breaking water lines and pipes and therefore flooding and leaks inside your home.
Another issue is that limescale can be a breeding ground for disease causing bacteria. Most common are legionella possibly causing a serious type of pneumonia or less serious diseases like mild influenza symptoms and Pontiac fever.
– Worsening skin conditions
Harmful compounds or elements present in the water can have a great impact on those with already existing skin conditions. People with sensitive skin may develop eczema as the unfiltered water acts as an irritant that causes skin irritation to increase.
If you are experiencing any one of these signs, your water supply may be the cause. POU water filters can help you achieve safe and clean drinking water, but it cannot help you with the rest of your water problems at home. And this is where house water filters come in.
A Point of Entry (POE) water filtration system gets installed at your main water line and then filters all water before it enters the various water lines for distribution. The filtered water will be send to each and every part of your house including bathrooms, the kitchen, your laundry room…
With this in mind, please don’t expect a POU water filter to cure all your problems magically. It can bring you safe and clean water; no more, no less.
How do I know if it is the one?
Most point entry water filters consist of different filter stages. Each filter or filter media type used in a stage can vary depending on what you need a.k.a. what contaminants are present in your water. That is why it is important to have your water tested. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages everyone to have their water tested especially those with private well supplies.
This testing can be conducted by your county’s health department or you may opt to have it tested by a state certified laboratory. Testing your water lets you know if there are bacteria, toxins, and other harmful substances present. It also helps you choose what filter is applicable for your needs.
If you already know what it is that’s in your water and you are planning to buy a POE system, see this guide to help you choose the best house water filter currently available in the market.
POE Water Filter Technologies
Here are different treatment technologies used by POE water filter systems:
Many house water filters use activated carbon or charcoal to attract suspended particles. Carbon acts like a magnet adsorbing all kinds of stuff that can be found in our water systems these days, such as lead, chloramine, chemicals, and drugs. Adsorption is often mistaken with absorption wherein the material acts like a sponge to filter out impurities.
2. Reverse osmosis
A high pressure pump pushes unfiltered water to pass through a semi-permeable RO membrane that filters different compounds, elements, and particles present in the water producing almost 100 percent pure water.
3. Water softening
Water softening balances compounds or element levels present, usually calcium and magnesium, to reduce hardness of water.
4. Ultraviolet treatment
UV light treatment uses ultraviolet rays to eradicate bacteria and virus present in the water. There are different certified intensity and saturation ratings accepted by NSF International.
There are a lot of water filters to choose from. Accessibility has increased with the use of the internet. Be certain that your purchases aren’t counterfeit. It may be more dangerous to have fake or faulty products for your everyday use than to use no filter at all.
What’s more, before buying a water filter you should make sure that it is certified. Look for a certifying mark or logo on the product and check if it is genuine. Each country has their own quality control mark. For our domestic market, the most popular is awarded by NSF International.
Is it worth it?
Some people are certainly intimidated with the price of POE water filters, especially when compared side by side with POU water filters. What you need to keep in mind is this: When you compare the two system types in terms of durability and filter replacement frequency, POU water filters could actually cost you more in the long run. That’s because most POU filters need replacement every 3-6 months, while POE filters have a 5-7-year lifespan on average.
Having clean and fresh drinking water will give you great peace of mind. Knowing that you and your family is safe is just priceless. Investing in a good POE water filter system does not only give you another layer of protection, it saves you from hospitalization bills, and utility bills for the repairs.
But most importantly, it saves you time in handling those stressful problems that may arise. And for a wonderful bonus, you protect the environment by decreasing plastic usage and thrown wastes.