If you’ve ever heard about water filtration systems for your home, it was most likely in the form of reverse osmosis systems. While these are popular for an important reason (which we’ll get into below), you should know that there are actually multiple different water filtration options. Which one you need depends on you and your household, and the way to find out is through a water test. Among the many things a water test can reveal, it can tell you about two major issues: the amount of contaminants in the water, and the hardness of the water.
Why You Need Water Testing
We don’t recommend just buying any kind of filter or treatment system without doing your research. And we don’t just mean about buying the best system for your money’s worth. It’s just as important to know that you’re buying the right system based on what makes sense for your water. The way you find out is by having a proper water test performed.
Water carries contaminants and minerals that we can’t always avoid, especially if we rely on the municipal water supply. Chemicals like pesticides and chlorine can find their way in our waters, even after being treated by the city. Depending on the region we live in, as well, water may be more hard or less hard. But without a proper measure of your water, you can’t know what kind of filter or treatment system to buy.
Your city may release an annual water quality report, and this should be enough to help a professional plumber recommend the right system for you. However, we suggest getting a water test, because then you’ll be able to confirm the quality of the water for your own home. Water tests only need to be performed once or when you suspect the water quality has suddenly changed, but it will go a long way in helping you choose a water treatment system.
If the Water Test Says Your Water Is Dirty…
You’ll want to get a purifier or filter, much like the reverse osmosis system. These are the most popular systems on the market. Why? They remove everything so that your water is as clean and as safe as possible.
To explain it in the simplest terms, reverse osmosis systems push the tap water through a semipermeable membrane, thus leaving behind impurities like fluoride, chlorine, lead, pesticides, and much more. One of the drawbacks of these systems is that they actually remove minerals that are considered healthy. However, the health benefits of these minerals in the water is negligible.
If the Water Test Says Your Water Is Too Hard…
You’ll want to invest in a water softener. Hard water is defined by having large traces of minerals like magnesium and calcium. These minerals don’t dissolve easily, meaning they find their final resting place in the joints of your plumbing pipes, in your appliances, and in your faucets.
Homes with high concentrations of hard water can collect this mineral buildup for many years until it starts to affect the plumbing. If it gets bad enough, you may be forced to replace various sections of piping.