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This post, written by Aaron Brandt, comes to us from our partner site QuickenLoans.com.
In order to survive, we need water. However, the water we drink could actually harm us. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tap water can contain contamination from natural chemicals and minerals, viruses, bacteria, parasites, pesticides and even sewage overflow. That sure doesn’t sound like something you’d want to pour into a tall glass to quench your thirst.
The popular alternative to tap water is bottled water, but this might not be the best option. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, there are actually fewer regulations on bottled water than tap water. And in many cases, bottling companies are just filling their containers with tap water anyway. Those non-biodegradable bottles are also very harmful to the environment as well as expensive. If a person drinks an average of three bottles a day, this can run you anywhere from $3 to $10, depending on the brand. That’s $1095 to $3650 per year on water alone. So maybe tap water is worth a second glance.
While tap water may contain some harmful contaminants, it still can be very useful and cost effective if paired with a filtration system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the national average cost of tap water is just $2 per 1,000 gallons. That’s $.002 cents per gallon! In order to take advantage of this tremendously cheap resource, there are several tools at your disposal.
- Faucet-mounted filters: These filters attach directly to your faucet. The replaceable filter captures all of the contaminants. The filter will slow down the flow of water from your faucet. The assembly costs around $30, and replacement filters (which usually last about a month) cost around $20.
- Carafe filters: These are basically pitchers of water with a filter mounted in the lid. Every time you pour water in through the top, it gets filtered. It can take some time to fill the container, and might not be enough to satisfy your water needs if you drink lots of water. They typically cost from $20 to $40, and replacement filters can cost from $15 to $30.
- Countertop filters: These filters run from your faucet, through a standalone filter and out a separate faucet head. They also will not impede the flow of water from your regular faucet, if you don’t want the water to be filtered. These can be costly, running from $50 on the low end, all the way to $200. Replacement filters can run from $50 to $150.
- Undersink filters: These filters are installed out of sight, and let you get filtered water right out of your faucet. Depending on your sink’s plumbing set up, the filter may require additional pluming work, such as connecting to the water line or drilling a hole in your counter top. The filters can cost from $100 to $300, with replacement cartridges costing from $10 to $80.
- Whole-house filters: These filters help remove dirt and rust, but won’t filter out much else. They are best paired with another filter, to remove the remaining contaminants. They are placed on the main water line going into your house. These can cost from $40 to $300.
No matter what you choose, do some research to learn about each filter’s effectiveness, lifespan and maintenance requirements. Spending a little money on a system up front can save you big bucks in the long run and protect from harmful contaminants. If you already have a filter, let us know which works the best for you in the comments section below!
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