Questioning the quality of filtered water may seem odd given that filtered water is often offered as a solution to improving the safety and quality of tap water and reducing or eliminating bottled water consumption. Depending on the type of water filter you have installed in your home, the filtration process that your tap water goes through is responsible for removing a significant proportion of the contaminants present in it.  But there can be a mismatch between the type of contaminants present in your tap water and the type of water filter system that you have. Because not all filters are created equal and not all filters remove every type of water contaminant, there can be differences in filtered water quality as well. So when can the quality of filtered water be less than what’s desirable? And is filtered water ever unsafe to drink?

Safe to Drink Faucet Pouring Water in Glass

Here are some of the most common situations that have an influence on the safety and quality of the filtered water produced by your system:

Filter mismatch

Sometimes, not knowing which contaminants you need to target in your tap water can result in purchasing a water filter that may be good at removing some contaminants and fail to remove others. If your water filter removes chlorine or sediments for example, but it’s not designed to remove bacteria or heavy metals, and your tap water contains any of the latter contaminants, your filter may not provide the adequate protection you need against these. This is why, getting your water tested before choosing a water filter can help you in selecting the filter that will match your exact water filtration requirements. You can test your water either by purchasing a home water testing kit or by opting for the water testing services of a laboratory.

Lack of filter maintenance

If you’ve managed to get the right type of filter, but you don’t observe the necessary maintenance requirements (e.g. replacing the filter cartridges at the required intervals), you risk not getting the quality filtered water that you’d expect or that the filter is designed to produce. The capacity of water filter cartridges to remove contaminants is finite, so you need to replace them whenever they reach the end of their service life.

Lack of water quality monitoring

Even if you have a water filter, you still need to monitor the quality of your tap water. If you notice changes in the taste, appearance or the odour of your tap water, you should test it for contaminants to see what may be causing these changes.

Although filtered water is safer than tap water, if you want the best quality filtered water, you need to take notice of the issues discussed above and make sure you purchase the right filter for your home, maintain it properly and continue to monitor the quality of your filtered water.