Water filters: do you need one?

A water filter may improve the taste or smell of your tap water, but be aware of the problems and cost involved.
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  • Updated:19 Oct 2008

03.Health concerns

If there’s a health concern, it shouldn’t be up to individual households to fix it. In a water treatment plant there are engineers, chemists and other experts who make water safe to drink. Talk to your neighbours and your water supplier to find a solution that tackles the source — the treatment plant, the distribution pipes or your home’s plumbing.

However, that may not always be possible — for example, if your supplier doesn’t fix the problem, if you get your water from a small supplier without the resources to do so, or if you have your own supply. In these cases, installing a filter may be your only feasible option. Choose the system that’s best suited for your specific problem. And look for a model that’s certified according to a relevant performance standard.

Look for certification

There may be models that claim to meet these performance standards but aren’t certified (certification costs money, which can be an obstacle for smaller businesses). However, how can you be sure? If you’re treating a potential health threat you have to be able to rely on the filter’s performance — and certification is the best available guarantee.

If you’re not happy with the aesthetics of your tap water (its taste, look or smell), looking for a certified product is still a good idea, but may not be as important. In any case, be aware that a filter can make your water’s quality worse if you don’t use it properly.


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