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What’s in Your Drinking Water Part 2


Lead and Other Contaminants in Your drinking Water

Part 2

     In our second post, we will explore why reverse osmosis water filters would be the most practical option for home water filtration.

     How they work:

     Reverse osmosis filters force water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure, leaving contaminants behind. Reverse osmosis units use as much as three times  as they treat but they are effective in eliminating all disease causing organisms and most chemical contaminants.

     The practical downsides to these types of filters, whether installed as a whole house solution or point of use (under the kitchen sink, typically) is a reduction in water pressure. If you have poor water pressure in the house, you may want to consider a point of use filter. Another issue is the ease of changing the filter and its longevity. Most manufacturers are making improvements on both of these fronts. While we will make our recommendations in part three of this series, we encourage you to read all reviews carefully before making your decision.

     Not all reverse osmosis filtration systems filter out everything. Let’s explore what might be filtered out. This will help in determining your expectations.

     What they filter:

     Giardia and Cryptosporidium:

            -Distillation, reverse osmosis, absolute one micron filters, ultraviolet light and filters certified for cyst removal.

     Bacteria and viruses:

            -Distillation, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light,  and disinfection.


            -Absorptive media.

     Disinfection Byproducts:

            -Point-of-entry adsorptive media systems distillation, aeration, carbon filtration and reverse osmosis.


               -Distillation, reverse osmosis and some carbon filters.


                  -Distillation,  reverse osmosis or ion exchange.


                  -Some carbon filters.


                 -Ion exchange,  distillation or reverse osmosis.


                 -Activated carbon filter,  and aeration.

            As we can see here, there is not one filter that can do everything, particularly in the form of a whole house filtration system. The common theme is reverse osmosis. This is the type of filter most often installed by the plumbing department of Verne & Ellsworth Hann.

            A few thoughts about the certification of filters:

            1.) Make sure the unit you intend to purchase can address your concerns.

            2.) There are three different certifications to look for on the label.

            3.) These organizations can also assist you in selecting a device that meets your needs.

            If a home water treatment isn’t certified by one of these organizations,  contact the manufacturer directly and ask for proof of the manufactures’ claims.

            Three organizations are accredited by the National Standards Institute (ANSI), and they each certify units (filters) using ANSI/NSF standards. Each ANSI/NSF standards requires certification of contaminant reduction performance claims, an evaluation of the unit, including its materials and structural integrity, and a review of the product labels and sales literature.

            Each certifies that home water treatment units perform to meet or exceed ANSI/NSF and EPA drinking standards. ANSI/NSF are issued in two different sets, one for health concerns (such as removal of specific contaminants) and one for aesthetic concerns (such as improving taste or appearance of the water). Certification from these organizations will be ties to one or both of these specific standards.

     The three notable certification organizations are:

            NSF International. (877) 867-3435

            Underwriters Laboratories. (877) 854-3577

            Water Quality association. (630) 505-0160

            In our final installment of this three-part series, we will make some recommendations on which filter is a practical choice for your home based on water quality, serviceability and price. To schedule an appointment to have a water filter system installed, call our service department at Verne & Ellsworth Hann at 216-932-9755.



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