If you’ve found that your drinking water isn’t actually safe to drink, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you have clean water. While bottled water may be the simplest short-term solution, there are hundreds of different filtration systems that can help provide you with clean drinking water without purchasing bottled water on a regular basis.
The most common type of water filter available today are carbon filters. These are used primarily to reduce bacteria and other organisms in your water. The well-known Brita water filters fall into this category. They also remove sediment and some metals. Most importantly, Brita filters remove lead, although not all carbon filters do the same.
Reverse osmosis filters remove nitrates, sodium and other compounds — all the stuff that creates foul tastes and smells in your water. These units were originally designed for submarines and remain relatively expensive, costing around $200 for a model capable of producing enough water for a whole family.
Distillation filters can remove a whole list of contaminants that can creep into your water, but if you opt for one of the models priced under $200, you won’t have very much drinking water on hand. Many distillation filtration systems can only produce one gallon of clean water every few hours. You can get your water almost as clean simply by boiling it.
Most of these systems are standalone water filtration systems. You can also get a water filter that attaches to your faucet. The Culligan systems are among the best known; for less than $20, you can add a filter to your kitchen faucet that reduces lead, bacteria and unpleasant tastes. However, it is important to remember that faucet-mounted filters do not remove as many contaminants as standalone systems.
While buying individual servings of bottled water may not be entirely practical, water delivery may provide a simple solution to your water needs. Most water delivery companies will rent you a water dispenser and deliver bottles on a regular schedule. Their cheapest plans are about $25 per month — you’ll get 15 gallons of water with that plan. While it gets more expensive the more water you need in a month, it can still be a reasonable option.