Many of us take water for granted and don’t pay much attention to its quality. We know water flows into our homes, and we use it every day. But why, beyond just taste and ease, is a home water filtration system so important?
Just because the water got to your home doesn’t always mean it’s clean enough to drink unless you use a good water filtration system.
How Does Water Filtration Work?
It would be nice if the water that comes into your home was perfect, but that’s not the case. According to the Environmental Working Group’s report on tap water, your water could be contaminated with heavy metals, Chromium-6, cleaning agents like chlorine, or some 300 other chemicals and pollutants.
The EWG also reports, “Compared to adults, children drink more water per pound of body weight, resulting in greater exposure and greater risk. They’re also more vulnerable to harmful contaminants because their bodies are still growing and toxic chemicals cause more harm to developing organs and tissues.”
To check what’s in your tap water, enter your zip code at this water quality database.
Bottled Water Isn’t the Solution
Bottled water may seem like a logical way to avoid the contaminants found in tap water.
But it’s not.
One of the chemical additives used to “improve the taste” of Dasani’s bottled tap water (yes, tap water) is used in lethal injections. Another ingredient is known to cause birth defects.
Dasani (CocaCola) and Aquafina (Pepsi) have been forced to admit their branded bottles are filled with tap water. Dasani also contains magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt (a laxative and a drying agent) and also a known teratogen (can disturb the development of an embryo or fetus). It also contains Potassium Chloride (a commonly used fertilizer which is also used in lethal injections).
Bottled water is also a colossal problem for the environment. The production of plastic water bottles requires up to 17 million barrels of oil each year. Each bottle can take up to one thousand years to decompose, leaking dangerous and harmful chemicals during the process. Some toxins leaked could cause cancer and reproductive disabilities.
The argument of “but I recycle my water bottles” isn’t very convincing since only 12% of the annual thirty-five billion bottles used gets recycled, indicating that far less than half of what you place in a plastic recycle bin actually gets recycled (source).
Why is a Water Filtration System Important?
You already know why it’s important, but the following should help you see how you can use it at home:
For Healthier, Plastic-Free Drinking Water
One important reason you’ll want a filtration system at home is so that everyone can drink safely. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your family won’t be drinking water, tea, or coffee with harmful contaminants. (The same goes for ice. If your ice was made with contaminated water, it will melt into your drink.)
For Safer Cooking
It’s easy to forget that the water we consume throughout the day doesn’t always come from a glass. Our food should keep us hydrated as well. If you buy organic food, it’s counterintuitive to steam or cook it with chemical-infused water.
We keep a large capacity water filter from Berkey in the kitchen for drinking water and to fill up pots and pans for cooking, steaming, making soups, etc.
For Healthier Skin & Hair
Repeated exposure to water that might have heavy metals or some other type of contaminant isn’t ideal for your skin or hair. Some people with sensitive skin can experience irritation or rashes. Installing a good and safe water filtration system for your home can have enormous benefits for your overall health.
For Saving Money
If you’ve already been buying water in bottles or jugs, you may be overspending. On top of that, handling those water jugs can get challenging at times, and as we’ve covered above, bottled water is not a healthier alternative.
Why We Chose the Big Berkey Water Filter
After a decade of using filter pitchers, three years ago we decided to switch to the Berkey system. We were looking for an option that filtered out more contaminants and had filters that lasted far longer than the ones we kept throwing away (because no one locally would recycle them) from our pitchers.
Berkey filters remove sediment, rust, organic and inorganic contaminants; like bacteria, viruses, parasites, cysts, heavy metals, and chemicals (ie the chlorine used to treated municipal water). In total, Berkey filters remove 200+ contaminants from water, in addition to eliminating bad tastes and smells – significantly more than what other filters are capable of removing.
The Berkey uses the force of gravity to feed water through the filter from the top chamber to the bottom chamber, pulling unwanted particles from the water as it passes through. There are no moving parts or electricity required. The Big Berkey holds 2.25 gallons of water, so it’s perfect for keeping fresh water on hand during a storm or power outage.
Here are some other situations where the Berkey can be a much better option than filter pitchers (which typically don’t remove the same harmful pathogens:
- Your home uses well water or a cistern
- You collect rainwater for consumption
- Your city water quality is questionable
- You experience frequent boil water advisories
- You live in an area with known lead issues in the water
- You spend money on bottled water
- You need a source of safe water during a storm or power outage
Because drinking clean water is vital for your health, having a reliable water filter or a source of safe, clean water should be high on your natural living priority list.