Tap water filter – should you buy one?
If you’ve been drinking tap water your whole life and you’re suddenly told that it may not be the safest option, or if you’ve been an avid consumer of bottled water, but you’re told to ditch bottled water in favour of tap, you may be a little confused as to which option makes more sense. There is an ever-increasing consensus that bottled water isn’t necessarily healthier than tap, and it’s an absolute drain on the environment. Tap water on the other hand, is gaining more attention, and advocates for tap water argue that it’s safer and a more ecological choice compared to bottled water.
While it’s true that water quality regulations and standards have increased in the last decade, and that tap water is overall a safe alternative to bottled water, the presence of certain contaminants may make it necessary for you to filter your tap water. But how can you tell if you need a tap water filter? And when is it ok to drink unfiltered tap water?
Signs you need a tap water filter
Here are the most common sings that indicate that you may need to install a water filter in your home:
- Your tap water has a peculiar appearance
The first visible sign that something may be wrong with your tap water is its appearance. If your tap water is cloudy and has a rusty colour, something is definitely off with it. It may be that your pipes are old or that your water is high in sediments.
- Your tap water smells and/or tastes bad
Bad-tasting and bad-smelling water are also signs that are worth investigating further as they may indicate the presence of potentially harmful contaminants. Bad tastes in tap water may be caused by a number of factors and getting to the root of the problem is necessary to decide these changes in the smell and taste of tap water are harmful or harmless.
- Water testing reveals the presence of harmful contaminants
If a routine water test reveals harmful levels of contaminants in your tap water (e.g. chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, arsenic, etc.) or the presence of disease-causing bacteria, you need to find a water filter that filters the contaminants prevalent in your tap water. The best course of action is to find a multi-stage tap water filter that combines the filtration efficiency of multiple filter cartridges for a more in-depth filtration. If water testing doesn’t return any alarming results, you may continue to drink unfiltered tap water, however, you need to keep monitoring your water for any changes that may occur in its quality.
Whether you’re thinking of installing a water filter to improve the taste and odour of tap water or to remove harmful contaminants, make sure you read our water filter buying guides to help you through the process of choosing the right filter for your home.