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Your Guide To Perfect Tap Water - Water Filtration Systems
Your Guide To Perfect Tap Water – Water Filtration Systems
This blog post will focus on how important your water quality is, to be healthy physically, sharper mentally, and happier emotionally.
Those three things mentioned are not what comes to mind when we pour a glass from the tap. If anything, all we’ve got ringing in the back of our mind when we think of water and its relation to health is the well known “8 cups a day”.
However there’s so much more to it.
Most of us have also heard that on average our bodies are about 60% water, which varies depending on our gender, age, and body composition.
So yes, it would make sense to drink enough of it every day.
It would also make sense to ensure the water we drink daily is of high quality and full of vital nutrients, as opposed to slowly poisoning us. …What would seemingly be an obvious statement.
So what could possibly be so bad about our water? It’s clear, clean, usually tastes and smells alright, what’s the problem?
If you are one of our neighbors in the Tampa Bay Metro, the water coming out of the tap in your home or apartment, is coming from the municipal water supply.
Here’s a brief overview of our waters life before it gets to the faucet in our sink, or dispenser in our fridge.
Here in Tampa our water comes from three sources. The first is groundwater. This is where rain falls, seeps through topsoil, sand, clay, and eventually into the limestone, before it’s then pumped out of one of our many wells, headed straight to our treatment plant.
Second is called surface water. This is water from rivers and lakes, and in Tampa, comes exclusively from the Alafia River, Hillsborough River and the Tampa Bypass Canal, where a precise amount is skimmed off the top and sent to the treatment plant.
Third is sea water desalination. Less than 8% of Tampa’s water is supplied from desalination. This method is drought proof, and therefore a great asset to our counties. The process starts with filtering the seawater of debris, then adding in chemicals to help remove the finer contaminants, then going through a sand filtration system, then getting treated via reverse osmosis (you will hear more about this) then having chemicals added to it again before the water is reading for drinking.
These solutions produce tap water with microplastics and added chemicals, that’s usually high in unwanted minerals and low in the most necessary and vital ones.
Here are some examples of what can be found in our drinking water:
100’s of unwanted chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, radium, aluminum, copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, and barium.
Hormones such as estrogen and other pharmaceutical drugs. nitrates, pesticides, fertilizers and industrial pollutants.
Urban runoff chemicals such as car emissions, road surfaces, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, flame retardants, water treatment chemicals of course, and more.
Which is why you need to treat it as it comes into your home. …If you want the job done well, you’ve got to do it yourself. In fact…
The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) has two different “goals” for contaminant levels in drinking water. One is for healthy, clean water, and the other – “acceptable considering the cost of removing those contaminants”.
What this means is you can have a certain amount of arsenic (or any other toxic chemical) in your water, and the EPA will put a stamp of approval on it. Personally, I don’t care what their standards for health say, I don’t want to drink any amount of arsenic on a daily basis. And on top of that, the EPA only regulates around 30% of pollutants found in our tap water. The rest are unknown, and unregulated.
Between the EPA, our local treatment plant, and then the actual pipes our water takes to get to our houses, there is a whole lot of room for error, and therefore, contamination.
So now you’ve got the opportunity to remove these chemicals with your own, in-home water treatment.
And then, if desired, you have the option to add in a mineral concentrate to your now clean water to get the trace minerals you want for their numerous known health benefits.
In fact, drinking, bathing, and showering in mineral spring water is a “health hack” that has been around long before the term was ever used.
Native Americans worshiped the hot springs and claimed the healing powers they brought were gifts from the gods.
Now we happen to be on the wrong side of the country if we want a hot spring in our backyard, and unless you’ve got a second home in Colorado, frequent visits to any mineral spring is going to be pretty out of the way for most of us.
However we can still reap many of these health benefits by changing the quality of what comes out of our taps.
So What Are Our Options?
Bottled Water. Well, the downsides to using bottled water are pretty obvious.
A) You have to buy it.
B) It’s usually expensive (especially if you want high quality mineral water).
C) If it comes in a plastic bottle, you are ingesting plastic particles, which contain many chemicals that are not good for you.
D) It can take up a ton of space in the recycling/garbage, and is wasteful.
E) It just treats the water you drink. Bathing and usually cooking will still be done in tap water.
The benefits however, are lots of convenience if you are on the go often, and that you do not have to install anything in your home, therefore no upfront cost (though over time it will be more expensive).
Stand Alone Filters. We’ve all seen these, also known as counter-top filters. Brita filters, ZeroWater filters, or just any off brand plastic water filter. These are great options if you have a very slim budget. However, the downsides of these cheap filters are, they only filter your drinking water, they are not effective in removing chemicals like fluoride, PFA’s, micro plastics, estrogen, bacteria, and more. They do help improve the taste of your water, removing chlorine, and some have shown to significantly reduce your water’s PPM. However the list of benefits end there. In essence, you get what you pay for.
Faucet Filters. These are for the most part, the same as the Stand Alone Filters, usually using a carbon filter to reduce a broad number of chemicals in your water. These two are the easiest to install, however lack the ability to remove pollutants from your water. These filters will not be an option if you have a specialty faucet, and are therefore a fairly uncommon choice. (Plus they don’t look that attractive).
Both Stand Alone Filters and Faucet Filters will almost always use an activated charcoal filter. Charcoal (made from slow burning wood with a reduced oxygen level) is very porous, so they can be effective at removing a select few chemicals, however they will not be able to remove inorganic pollutants, which will result in a drinking water far from perfect.
Under the Counter Filtration Systems. These filters pack a whole lot more punch so to speak. They are plumbed into your kitchen, underneath the counter, connecting to your cold water line and getting directed to another spout/faucet. This means that you will have a “filtered water” tap, specifically for drinking and cooking. Some of the benefits are the look and out-of-the-wayness of this system. Compare this to a jug on your counter or in your fridge, or even an attachment to your faucet, you’ll definitely appreciate the design. And perhaps the biggest benefit compared to the last two is the size, capability, and options you have when it comes to filter choice. You have the freedom to choose whether you want to filter out everything with reverse osmosis, use just a simple charcoal or coconut shell carbon filter, or something to add in extra minerals that you do desire. The world is truly your oyster with under the counter filters.
Reverse Osmosis – as cool as it sounds? The answer is yes. Reverse Osmosis filtration systems do, arguably, the best job out of them all. The process looks like this: tap water is forced through an incredibly fine, almost solid looking mesh barrier. The barrier is semi-porous. (So think of an activated charcoal filter, with way tighter nooks and crannies for the water to run through. So much so that the water needs to literally be forced through it. This membrane/mesh removes particles in a couple stages. (Which can be repeated depending on how heavy duty your filter is).
First stage is a pre-filter, where chlorine, other volatile organic compounds, and heavy sediment is removed. This is done usually with both a Sediment Filter, and a Carbon Filter. This stage is important because it removes the larger and easier to catch particles, so that they don’t clog up the next filter.
The second is the more important, semi-permeable membrane, with the tiny pores, that trap everything but the water molecules. (Almost everything, it will remove up to 98% of total dissolved solids. After that, there is one last filter that “polishes” the water right before it comes out of your tap.
Because the filtration system is so fine, and done under pressure, producing filtered water this way takes time. Therefore, a holding tank will be needed. It’s also for this reason that it’s recommended you use your reverse osmosis system only in the kitchen, because nobody wants to be waiting for the tank to fill up again so that they can take their turn in the shower!
Now, one last thing to note, is that Reverse Osmosis systems use extra water. The water used to “clean” your drinking water is called wastewater, or brine, as it now contains all the contaminants. This can either be sent down the drain, or put to good work in an artificial lake, stored and used in your pressure washer, used to water the lawn, or anything that you are not swimming in or consuming directly. We suggest you install one of our systems that has an automatic shut off valve that senses when the holding tank is full, and therefore doesn’t waste any more water after that. Permeate pumps can be plumbed into your system and have shown to greatly reduce the amount of water wasted.
Whole House Filtration Systems. A whole house filtration system is going to ensure that the water you brush your teeth, shower, bathe and maybe even fill your pool with is free of contaminants, and if you choose so, full of the right minerals. This is especially useful if you have a large house, where people drink from multiple taps. As we mentioned previously, mineral springs were revered by Native Americans for their healing properties. One would guess this is because of our skin’s ability to absorb minerals (namely Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Phosphorus) through the water we soak in. The downside to this is that our skin can also absorb all the toxins, pollutants and chemicals we don’t want in our body. It’s a double edged sword. Filtering out the bad and adding in the good to your water when it enters your home is going to ensure you reap the benefits of high quality water everywhere.
If you would like to improve you and your family’s health, by removing toxins from the water you drink every day, then give us a call.
One of our friendly and professional plumbing technicians will be able to help find a water quality solution tailored to your very needs.
Here at B&B Professional Plumbing and Air, we’ve been providing our neighbors in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco county with high quality plumbing services for over 25 years.
We pride ourselves in our professionalism, transparency, and quality service.
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We offer a variety of plumbing and water filtration solutions. We have a system to suit each household’s needs, whether you’re on a budget or want to go above and beyond…
At B&B, we’ve got you covered.
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