Approximately 286 million Americans use a community water source to get their tap water. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 90 percent of United States public water systems meet its safety standards, some research suggests that it can still be beneficial to use a water filter to further ensure that your water is clean.
That said, sometimes it’s not necessarily clear whether you absolutely need a water filter. Below are some reasons why you may or may not want to filter the water in your apartment.
Filtering removes water contaminants
One study found that pollution and deteriorating water infrastructure and pipes have negatively impacted public water supplies for approximately 18 million Americans. Pollution and deteriorating public water systems often violate lead regulations or include other EPA-restricted contaminants. They may thus pose health risks for some residents.
Using a water filtration system to filter tap water can remove some of these contaminants. Doing so can be even more important if you are older or pregnant, have other health risks, or live with young children in your apartment.
Filtering is better for the environment
The EPA says that bottled water is not always safer than tap water. Although bottled water is seen as cleaner, the bottled water market is virtually unregulated.
Additionally, plastic water bottles are not sustainable or good for the environment. Due to the low recycling rates in the United States, approximately two-thirds of plastic bottles end up in landfills. Even worse, many eventually make their way to the ocean, polluting waters, harming wildlife, and polluting our food. Filtering your tap water involves none of these environmental harms.
Old water filters can be harmful
By using an old water filter, you can put yourself at risk for drinking contaminated water. When using an old filter, microbes can get trapped and flow into your water. The moist environment in the pitcher filter can lead to bacteria multiplying to reach higher concentrations, which can make you sick. If you do buy a water filter, make sure to replace the filter when necessary.
Filters may be needed based on your location’s water quality
If you decide to buy a water filter, the best way to buy an effective filter is to know your local water quality and contaminants. Water quality can vary from one local water utility to another.
To find out which contaminants are in your local water, you can request a copy of your water utility’s annual water quality report, also known as a right-to-know or consumer confidence report. Some utilities may also run a free lead test on the tap water in your apartment. After you get your information and results, you can then choose a water filter that is certified by NSF International, an independent public health organization.
Filtration methods differ
There are many kinds of water filters and filtration systems, so it may seem difficult to choose one at first. However, if you have information about your local water contaminants, you can narrow down your filter search by getting a water filter that can clean your water according to your needs.
Water filters can range from affordable pitch filters to faucet attachments and even whole-house filtration systems. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all water filter, but you can easily find an effective water filter based on your budget and space so you can enjoy clean water in your apartment.