Many homeowners simply assume that their tap water is clean and healthful, but that’s not always the case. Tap water often contains impurities, even when it looks and tastes just fine. Some impurities are relatively harmless, but some are toxic or can wreak havoc on appliances and fixtures.
Filtration needs vary from home to home, depending on the types of contaminants found in the water and the way members of the household consume water. “If the water is relatively pure and there are relatively few fixtures used for human consumption, inexpensive, under-sink carbon filters should be fine,” says Daniel O’Brian, a technical specialist for online plumbing retailer SupplyHouse.com. On the other hand, if toxins are present or if the water contains a high level of minerals, a filtration system designed to treat water throughout the house may be necessary.
To determine your household's water filtration needs, start by reviewing the five scenarios below. If any of these describe your household's water situation, it's possible that your family—or your appliances—could benefit from filtering your water. Before you purchase a filtration system, however, have a professional water test conducted by a local provider, or call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) to find a state-certified laboratory near you. If it turns out that filtration is required, look into some of the systems recommended below, all available from SupplyHouse.