According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group in 2009, there are more than 300 chemicals and pollutants in tap water. These contaminants can include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from agricultural run-off. Heavy metals like lead, endocrine disrupting chemicals and fluoride can also be found in some water sources.

To avoid drinking these chemicals, a lot of people trust bottled water. However, chemicals from the plastic bottle can make their way into the water, making it no different than tap water. Bottled water also costs more than tap and is worse for the environment. For the best solution to ridding your home of water pollutants, we advise purchasing a water filtration system. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s Warner Service’s comprehensive list of how different water filters work for your home:

Carbon filters: Water flows through the positively charged, highly absorbent carbon (charcoal) and is filtered by a process called adsorption. Pollutants in the water are trapped inside the tiny pores of the carbon filter. It’s best for removing VOCs, pesticides, herbicides and chlorine taste and odor.

Deionization and ion exchange filters: These filters remove or exchange ions in order to remove sodium, calcium and magnesium.

Distillation filters: Water is heated to create steam, which then condenses, leaving behind contaminants. It’s best for removing asbestos and heavy metals, such as copper and mercury.

Mechanical and ceramic filters: Small holes in these filters trap contaminants and are often used in conjunction with other water filters to remove chemical contaminants.

Ozone filters: These filters use oxidation, which pushes oxygen through ultraviolet light, creating ozone. The ozone is added to water in the form of bubbles. The ozone molecules release toxic oxygen atoms that disinfect the water, removing microorganisms. Oxidation doesn’t remove many chemical contaminants, so using other water filters in conjunction with this system is recommended.

Reverse-osmosis filters: Water is pushed through a membrane that prevents particles that are larger than water molecules from passing through. The residue held by the membrane is flushed away by additional water. It’s best for removing calcium, sodium, magnesium, inorganic materials, nitrates, arsenic, fluoride, viruses and filtrates.

Sediment filters: These filters are like nets that capture and hold larger particles like microorganisms, dirt, rust and sand that can’t dissolve in water. Different sediment filters include depth filters and surface filters.

Ultraviolet filters: There are two types of ultraviolet filters: Class A and Class B. Class A filters protect against hazardous bacteria and viruses. Class B filters make non-disease-causing bacteria inactive.

Water softening filters: These filters add salts to the water and employ an ion exchange process to reduce water hardness, remove barium and lower calcium and magnesium levels. These filters don’t remove many contaminants, so the addition of a reverse-osmosis filter is recommended.

Before you buy any of the water filters we mentioned, find out what’s in your tap water. If there’s no agricultural run-off, you don’t need a heavy-duty filter to get rid of herbicides and pesticides. If there’s no fluoride, you can spend less money on a smaller filter. Once you find out what’s in your water, figure out what type of filter you need (and make sure it’s NSF-certified), where you’ll put it, and how to maintain the system.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a professional about your water pipes, contact Warner Service today.

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