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Monday, November 3, 2008

Find the right water filter

A flood of new water filters is making it easier than ever to remove impurities from your tap water. Here’s how to choose the right model for your home.

Analyze your water. Your first step is to review the Consumer Confidence Report, which your water system must provide to you each year. The CCR is usually mailed to you, printed in newspapers, or posted on the Web site of your local government. For help understanding the CCR, read “Deciphering your water report.”

But remember, this report tells you about the water in your municipality, not necessarily what’s coming out of your taps. The only way to know the quality of the water supply in your home is to test it. To find the names of state-certified testing labs or the state authority responsible for certifying these labs water, go to www.epa.gov/safewater/labs or call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). You might be able to get a test kit for free or at minimal cost.

You might also consider using the Watersafe All-In-One Drinking Water Test Kit, about $18, to check your water. In our tests, it provided quick, accurate results for chlorine, lead, nitrate, nitrite, two pesticides, pH, and total hardness. Results for bacteria were less reliable and took 48 hours.

Ultimately, you might find you don’t need a water filter.

Choose the right model. Read our analysis of the different filter types to find one that matches your lifestyle and water problems. For example, if your family consumes several gallons of water a day, a single carafe just won’t do.

Read the fine print. Even within a specific type, the claims of which contaminants a filter can remove vary. So match the filter to the contaminants in your water. And use our Ratings (available to subscribers) to gauge the efficacy of each device.

Add in the long-term costs. All but one of the 27 models we tested for our latest report have filters that you must replace periodically. Our Ratings include the yearly filter-replacement cost for each model; it ranges from $20 to $330 annually.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the useful information and hope to read more from you about Health tips.
    Pure water

    ReplyDelete

thanks for comments, criticisms, and suggestions

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