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Determining the best drinking water filter is one of the most commonly asked questions of our H2O pros. There are a number of things to consider prior to making a recommendation and it all comes down to, quite simply–what’s in your water. This is precisely why a reputable water filtration company will offer free water testing, and the expertise of a certified water professional to ensure the proper solution is applied, based on the water chemistry and the concerns of the client. Also understanding the differences in price, performance, routine maintenance and operating cost, play a key role in the process.

There are several fundamental factors to be considered before purchasing a drinking water solution:

The Nature of Your Water Source–is your home supplied by ground or surface water? Municipal or Private? A majority of cities in Oregon use surface water such as rivers and reservoirs. If your city/community water system/private well uses ground water, remember that a generic filter may not provide the taste improvement nor contaminant reduction desired. More often than not, purification is required for ground water to have that better-than-bottled water quality taste and peace of mind.

Understanding any/all known contaminants–has the water tested positive, and/or what are the most probable contaminants? Not all contaminants are regulated or tested for even in municipal water; therefore, it is wise to choose a filter that will offer protection against not only the known contaminants, but the unknown as well. Type and location of the water source also influences what drinking water solution is applied. Case in point, consider the robust agricultural industry here in the Willamette Valley. Any source, ground or surface, that might have exposure to agricultural contaminants such as pesticide/herbicides or nitrates will factor in what drinking water system will truly protect the healthfulness of the water. Regulated water system users beware; not all VOC’s (pesticides, herbicides, industrial cleaners/solvents) are required to be tested for by the EPA. Even regulated chemicals are still found in municipal water due to the lax standards the EPA holds for frequency and timing of the testing. According to a representative from the WQA, several cities here in Oregon have been exposed for testing agricultural contaminants outside of the agricultural cycle, rendering the standards for the contaminant pointless.

Then simply ask yourself–what level of water quality do you want for you and your family? Are you looking for basic protection in general, or the best possible drinking water for your family? Simply stated, filters by their very nature are limited. They do not purify the water, they target specific contaminants. For example, a basic granular activated carbon filter is great for reducing chlorine and lead, but it won’t remove contaminants such as chloramine, arsenic, fluoride, nitrates or trace pharmaceuticals. Purification or specialty filtration is often necessary to remove the more serious contaminants.

In summery, the question of filtration versus purification, and what standard is desired for the home’s drinking water will ultimately reveal the appropriate water solution. Generally speaking, even on city water there is no absolute list of contaminants. Treating drinking water is truly an assessment of probability. So, what are the most probable contaminants in my water and which treatment will address the most likely contaminants you ask? Purification offers the most comprehensive protection. Reverse osmosis, the modern form of under sink purification is a must should the consumer wish to have the healthiest and best tasting water possible. Basic filtration is a good solution if the water already has a great taste or low level of solids and the consumer is not concerned about probable contaminants, but rather the known contaminants.

A majority of the time our water quality professionals recommend purification. It is typically the most comprehensive drinking water solution. After all, what exactly do you want in your water besides H2O, and maybe some good/natural minerals? In case you are wondering, all of our employees as well as the majority of our clients choose purification for their drinking water. So what are you waiting for? Contact Shiloh Water Systems today for a free professional consultation and in-home analysis. At the very least you’ll learn about your water and get the best possible recommendation for treatment.