There are a number of chemicals and contaminants of concern in our nation’s water supply. Where we reside, one of the chemicals of concern found in our drinking water is chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium which has been deemed a likely carcinogen by the California EPA. To begin reviewing your water quality, request a quality report from your city’s water department. To determine the quality of water which then comes into your home, you can purchase water testing kits online for the most common chemicals. We used the following 2 water testing kits in our home:
We decided after reviewing our city’s water quality report and performing our own testing to install a reverse osmosis filter to remove the known chemicals and contaminants from our water. The reverse osmosis filter does remove all chemicals including fluoride which is not a concern for us, but may not be desirable for all.
We found a countertop model which does not have high output, but which we use for our child’s daily consumption. The countertop model is inexpensive and non-invasive to your current water supply/plumbing. The product came with a water tester to test the water quality before and after install to verify that the water filtration was occurring as expected. If you plan to use this for more than your child’s water intake, you will need to purchase an under the sink model that has a greater output flow.
If you are searching for a water filtration system, it is important to ensure that the system is NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified. Having this certification essentially means that the claims made by the product line have been independently tested and verified.
The Environmental Working Group published a Water Filter Buying Guide in 2013 which lists water filters for purchase by type of contaminant you are looking to eliminate. For each filter, they provide information on NSF and California Dept of Public Health Certification. This is a great resource but note that they only include filters that can be found on Amazon.com in their listing. The APEC water filter mentioned in this post that we are using is not included in their guide since it is not found on Amazon. Per EWG’s filter guide FAQs, they state:
EWG chose to include all filters that were both certified by the California Department of Public Health and were available on Amazon.com so we had confidence that they were both effective and widely available