1. You’ll drink more water: It’s easier to drink filtered than unfiltered water. Unfiltered water often tastes kind of funny, depending on where you live and what your water source is. So you drink soda or bottled water (which we will discuss in a minute), or possibly turn to tea and coffee as an alternative. Filtering does two things: it removes contamination that makes your water taste funny and maintains the healthy minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) that your body craves along with its water. If you’ve ever tasted distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis system, you may notice that it tastes kind of flat. Drab. Almost dry. That’s the lack of minerals. Often drinking this water fails to quench your thirst, so even if you’re full, you still have a craving for something wet. Why do people turn to sports drinks and soda? They both contain minerals your body needs—that’s both their value proposition and the mechanism that satisfies your thirst when you drink. By drinking filtered water that maintains healthy minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, you feel more satisfied and less thirsty, and won’t hanker so much for a soda, either.
2. Your water will be cleaner: Filtration gets rid of the majority of your water’s contamination while preserving the healthy minerals that hydrate you better and relieve thirst better than some of your other options. Tap water is all right: It generally contains all the minerals in it you need, along with a good dose of contamination that you don’t. Some cities are better than others—get your local water report to learn where your city ranks—but even after treatment, the city pipes and water delivery system most likely contains some kind of contamination that gets back into the water before it gets to you. Heck, the pipes in your house are probably not all that clean, either! To be sure, a point-of-use system that attaches to your faucet goes a long way to easing your mind about the quality of water you consume.
3. You’ll have more control: Filtration gives you more control and insight into what’s in your water. It’s just always better to KNOW what you’re eating or drinking. Look no further than the spate of governmental rules and regulations food and beverage manufacturers must comply with to see that not only is it good to know what’s in there, but you have the legal right to know what’s in there. Filtering your own water once it enters your house offers a fine level of control over the quality of your drinking, cooking and bathing water.
4. It’s convenient: Really, what all the above reasons amount to is a higher level of convenience in your life. One more thing you don’t have to worry about, you don’t have to think about or wonder when you’re shopping in the grocery store. “Do I need to stock up on bottled water? Oh, no—I have better at home!”
5. It’s cheaper: Filtering is cheaper than bottled water by a mile. It’s even cheaper than pitcher filters. With Aquasana drinking filters specifically, you get almost twice as much bang for your buck than many pitcher filters, and over thirty times more than from bottled water. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, quitting the bottled water habit and choosing to filter is a long step in the right direction.
6. It’s green/sustainable: Going along with cheaper, filtering is also a very sustainable method of treating your water. Reverse osmosis wastes quite a bit of water, especially as a household solution (as opposed to a larger scale operation). Basically, you get a bit of clean water, but concentrate the contaminated water and send it back into the environment. Distillation requires electricity and also wastes water. Bottled water, aside from its health concerns, fills landfills with tons of plastic waste each day. Most bottles are not recycled (up to 80% are simply tossed in the garbage), despite their eligibility for recycling, and end up clogging rivers and land when they’re not actually disposed of “properly” in a landfill. Filtering can remove up to 4,000 bottles a year from landfills. Also, filtering is removing contamination from water—meaning less ambient contamination in general (not just for your drinking pleasure). And carbon—the chief material used in filtration—is good for the environment even once you’re done with using it to filter your water.
Have another great reason to filter your water? Let us know in the comments!
It’s not JUST water
We can all remember the days of high school chemistry class and learning the basic components of water, H2O: 2 hydrogen molecules attached to 1 oxygen molecule. You may also remember that our bodies are composed of 70%-80% water and we must drink enough of it to survive. Today we face major problems regarding safe drinking water, not only because of mass contamination from environmental and synthetic chemicals, but an even bigger problem is growing due to corporate and governmental control of our bottled water system. We are being forced to buy more bottled water than ever and the only people who benefit are the big corporations who mass produce this highly consumed product. It’s not easy to find clean, affordable drinking water but there are things that we can do.
The EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. The EPA claims its standards protect the health of everybody, including vulnerable groups like children. Is there really a safe standard when it comes to drinking toxins? And, what happened to the countless other contaminants found in our drinking water? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation, tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards. In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.
According to the EPA, contaminants fall into two groups based on the health effects that they cause. Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards for many years. The drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects are chemicals (such as disinfection by-products, solvents, and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of the chronic effects of drinking water contaminants are cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.
Go here for more information.
The bottled water scam
With so many of us becoming aware of our contaminated tap water, the world is embracing the bottled water industry like never before. In 1999 the sales of bottled water in the US was around $6 billion in one year. By 2007 the sales of bottled water jumped to over $11 billion. Some believe that drinking bottled water is no more pure or better for your health, nor is it safer than community or municipal water. The purity standards for bottled water are no higher than those applied to tap water — in some instances they are lower or less rigorous. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. There are no regulatory standards limiting phthalates in bottled water. The bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.
Go here for more information.
What can you do?
The majority of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to improper or excessive use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals, gasoline, cleaning products and even prescription drugs. As a consumer, you might consider buying eco-friendly cleaners, avoid using toxic toiletries, and dispose of your medications properly. By doing your part in creating a less toxic environment, we will be able to create safer water for generations to come.
The benefits of bottled water are convenience and novelty. Instead of buying bottled water you can carry a canteen or a reusable athletic bottle. My personal favorite is to use a glass bottle and filter the water at home using a water filter. It is good for the environment and lowers the risk of chemical exposure such as BPA, a common toxic chemical in plastics. This change will save you a lot of money and will help the environment because water bottles are one of the major sources of plastic going into landfills today. Shipping billions of gallons of water every year also uses a lot of fuel.
Lastly, recycle empty water bottles, EVERYTIME! And don’t WASTE your water by letting the shower or faucet run. Use old water for things like watering plants and invest in water saving devices for you home. Be a responsible and conscious water consumer. We will all benefit from it.
—Dr. Wendy Norman, D.C.
And for more information on how to dispose of your pharmaceuticals:
You recycle. You turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You started doing the laundry in cold water. But despite taking steps to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save the planet, you still feel slightly guilty about not doing enough.
Sound familiar? It’s called Green Guilt: the anxiety and self-doubt that we are not doing enough (or that our efforts mean nothing) to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve global resources. Green Guilt is becoming less of a problem in today’s tighter and more stressful economy, since the overriding concern is “Will I have a job in three months?” not “How can I reduce my environmental impact?”, but it still occurs and adds unnecessarily to your stress level.
Don’t beat yourself up
What can you do to avoid feeling this way? Well, for starters, understanding goes a long way. Do your part, do more when you can, and don’t beat yourself up too much if you choose paper towels over cloth for the sake of convenience once in a while. To help you along, I’ve gathered a few extra tips to help you save time and money and get a little greener at the same time:
1) Use a water filter and refillable water bottles. You know how we feel about disposable plastic water bottles. They aren’t really that much safer than tap water in a lot of instances, water leaches plastic molecules, and when we’re done with them they often as not pollute landfills and oceans. Not a lot to love there. But there is an upside to drinking filtered water: not as many of those bottles. I know it’s often a quick decision to make your life easier to just grab some water bottles to toss in the cooler when you go camping, but during the rest of your life, make a concerted effort to use refillable bottles and fill them with filtered water.
2) Walk your neighborhood, not a treadmill. Gyms are all the rage, but are they really worth it? They’re noisy, crowded at all the wrong times, expensive, and they guzzle energy. Plus, those fancy elliptical machines lie about how many calories you’re burning. Try finding a place to walk near where you live—a trail or park that has some good hills. Or just walk or jog through your neighborhood. Do some pushups and sit-ups when you get home. The world will thank you!
3) Carpool. Seriously. I know it’s hardly appealing and takes trust, coordination and sacrifice, but if you can be one fewer car on the road, even once in a while, then you’ll be responsible for cutting down pollution, fossil fuel addiction and household expenditures. Gold star for you!
4) Ask your boss about telecommuting options. Save fuel altogether and work at home a day or two a week, if your job type allows it. Not all jobs lend themselves to working at home, and I am a staunch believer in the value of a tight-knit team, but since a lot of the work that occurs in an information economy happens in your head regardless of where your bottom is, this is becoming an increasingly viable option for many companies.
Detoxing your life means more than just losing that holiday weight or nixing the caffeine. It’s a good idea to examine all aspects of your life to uncover places you can cut down on the number of harmful chemicals and contaminants that affect you every day. Here are some places to get the ball rolling.
Filter your water: You know how we feel about this one! I won’t go into all the detail so well covered on the rest of our site, but suffice it to say that filtering both your drinking and bathing water can do wonders for your health and well-being (and peace of mind).
-Did you know that in 2010, one of the top five recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel for the prevention of environmentally caused cancer is to filter the water you drink? Every water source is different, even in taps from home to home. Variability is driven by local pollutants, water treatment techniques, the age and material composition of the pipes that deliver your water, and the faucet that you use. Even if you have the purest water being delivered to you by your municipal water source, your pipes may leach unwanted contaminants into the water in transport. Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides and cysts, and what’s in your water varies by your geographic location and municipal water supply.
-Sodium tri-poly-what? Anything containing an ingredient you cannot pronounce has got to go. I’m not necessarily advocating a return to the hunter/gatherer diet regimen, but it’s a safe bet that all those complex chemical formulas for extending the shelf life of food is not doing a heck of a lot of good for your body.
-Sell by 1997: Whoops! Check your sell-by dates and toss/recycle the stuff that has expired. If it’s just a bit past the date and you feel comfortable eating it, that’s all right: what I’m going for here is to get rid of items that may have been named in an FDA recall sometime in the mid-90s.
-Green/Yellow/Red: Categorize your cabinet and fridge contents into Green, Yellow, and Red categories. Green being healthy: can eat whenever I want; Yellow being okay in moderation; Red being SPECIAL OCCASION ONLY. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I strive for a mix of 50% Green category foods, 35% Yellow, and no more than 15% Red. (Hey, I never said I was perfect!)
Trash harsh chemical cleaning supplies: Some of the airborne toxins and residues of popular cleaning supplies can do more harm than good to you and your families. And my suggestion for an alternative is… vinegar. That’s right, plain and simple old white distilled vinegar, which is natural, non-toxic, and friendly to the Earth. It’s mildly acidic, which allows it to clean effectively and help keep your family healthy and safe. See www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for our lovely (inexpensive) friend.
Check your clothing: The word for health these days is organic, and when it comes to clothing, the story is no different.
-Holy cotton! There’s new and trending research out there that states that the pesticides used to grow that cotton that makes it into our clothing can be deadly. The manufacturing processes add in more chemicals and toxins, and some dyes and ink are also highly toxic.
-Detergent degenerates: And check what you wash your clothes in, too! Those fragrant and ultra-whitening detergents can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and wreak havoc on people who suffer from allergies, which says nothing about the possible toxins seeping in through your pores. I know some of those organic and non-toxic detergents don’t have the same “get it whiter and brighter” promises that the Big Brands do, but I think I could buy a new blouse a little more often or be more careful if it meant remaining healthy for a few more years.
You may have heard the reports of the 60,000 chemicals from our industries that sometimes make their way into our drinking water supplies; the press keeps us abreast on what contaminants affect your water. You’ve no doubt heard all the dramatic warnings concerning the dangers of heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, cow pee and fairy dust. Depending on the amount of unfiltered tap water you consume and the specific contaminants, you and your family’s health may be at risk.
The Gulf Oil Spill. Lead and giardiasis in city water. Water boiling warnings. You’ve seen this stuff all over the news, especially when the media run stories on local water supplies showing that this or that contaminant has been found. In these circumstances, your concern is probably justified. You may begin to worry, sniff the water that comes out of your taps, run water for 30 seconds before using it to cook or drink, or even make plans to buy bottled water or a water filter. Get the facts before you act. Consider the following:
1) Contact your municipal water supplier. You have the right to review their annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for ongoing water quality issues. If there is a widespread, short-term problem, your municipal water supplier will have some sort of statement prepared, and will likely have it posted on their website along with instructions on what to do.
2) Contact local news and media outlets. If there’s a problem, they will more than likely know what’s going on. And if you are the first to bring it to their attention, they will probably investigate it!
3) Contact local hospitals or a trusted doctor. If there’s been a spike in recent cases of water-borne illnesses or sickness related to contamination, they will know about it and be able to tell you what the danger is to you and your family, what symptoms to look out for and how to avoid it.
4) Check the EPA’s website for information on contaminants that are prevalent in your area. This can be a good guide, but is rarely specific enough to really tell you enough information on your home or neighborhood. (Or try the Water Quality Association’s Interactive Problem Solver.)
5) Have your water tested. This is only applicable if the problem persists and the local water treatment supplier is unable to correct the levels of contamination. Find out what, exactly, the problem is so you can take steps to correct the problem yourself.
Now, what to do if there is a problem? And worse yet, what if the problem is persistent? You can go the bottled water route, but that leaves you vulnerable while bathing. I’d go with a water filter, for both drinking and bathing water, with a carbon filter that is certified by one of the two main independent certification organizations: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Also, check out this guide for how to choose a water filter.
Treat the problem, not the symptoms
We all have to work together to keep the federal, state, and local government accountable for how they treat the nation’s water supply. This is not an issue that lobbyists should be deciding, but sadly it does come to that from time to time. Make your voice and your opinions known. Write your regional and state representatives, let them know you feel water contamination needs more attention, help set the agenda and get out there and vote on Election Day.
Tap water contamination isn’t a hoax, and it’s no laughing matter. There really are contaminants in your drinking water. Small amounts of those pollutants aren’t usually harmful, but exposure to large portions of impurities affects your health.
For more information, check out some of the stories out there on water quality and the issues that surround it.
Reverse osmosis water purifiers seem to be top-selling type of water purification system. Many people have heard that they are the best way to help eliminate contamination in their water supply. However, it is important to understand that many of these products don’t deliver what they lead you to believe they are offering.
Consumers are often led to believe that reverse osmosis water purifiers are high tech and do an amazing job, yet their advertisers fail to tell you what they can do versus what they cannot do. Those facts leave people with the wrong idea about how much this type of product can change the quality of their drinking water.
There are many more types of contamination entering our sources of drinking water today than in the past. As a result, you may need something more advanced to take care of the problem. Reverse osmosis water purifiers often are not as effective as the newer technology in the water filtration niche. That technology offers ways of combating the risks of contaminants in your water with the most power available.
It is important to first identify the source of your household water. From there you can find out from the reports and water samples taken by local authorities what kind of water contamination problems you are up against. The types of contamination and the levels of them are very important. Not all reverse osmosis water purifiers are going to be able to help you. Many of them won’t be able to successfully take on the removal of all the types of contamination that you have.
The other issue with reserve osmosis water purifiers is that they don’t do anything about the levels of chlorine in your water. You definitely want to tackle that issue, especially if you have children in your household. Chlorine is used by most municipal water processing facilities to combat bacteria in your drinking water. Chlorine is a very powerful and harmful chemical for adults, too. In fact, chlorine was originally developed to be used as a method of chemical warfare, so don’t underestimate the risk of chlorine in your drinking water.
The main item that reverse osmosis water purifiers remove from your drinking water is sediment. Sediment is large particles of water contamination. Most people have the false belief that reverse osmosis will remove a wide variety of contamination from their drinking water. Sadly, it doesn’t, and that means thousands of contaminants that can make you sick may still be getting into what you drink. The majority of bacterial or chemical water contamination is too small to be caught by a sediment water filter. Many of those contaminants that are not caught by reverse osmosis water filters have been linked to some serious health issues,including cancer.
Don’t assume you can get quality water with reverse osmosis water purifiers. You have to do your homework to make sure what you put in place is going to work. Aquasana offers you a chance to put an affordable and highly effective water-filtering system in place for your home.
With a quality home water purification system, you will be taking the appropriate steps for everyone in your home to benefit from healthy water. You don’t want to take a risk with something so serious. The contamination levels out there continue to be a problem, and a great deal passes through the water treatment facility. Instead, turn to a water filtration company like Aquasana that can show you the technologies of water purification that can handle all of your water purity needs. You will be glad you did.
Selling your home can be a difficult process in this economy. Consumers are looking for a lot of value for their home buying investment. That includes knowing they will be able to get quality drinking water if they buy your home. That is why it is smart to have a home water filter investment in place when you begin to show the home for sale. This could be the selling point that turns a looker into one that places an offer on your home.
You can’t depend on only the water treatment facility in your area to offer you quality water. That is where the job starts, but the rest is up to you. There are just too many forms of chemicals and contaminants out there for the public water processing facility to take care of all of them.
You need to be careful with your home water filter investment, though. The market is full of water filter systems for you to choose from but unfortunately some of them aren’t really going to help you. You have to do some shopping to find the right water filter system for you to gain quality water. Unfortunately, there are water filter makers who are simply trying to make money. They realize there is a market for such products and they want their share of the profits without providing you a water filtration investment you can depend on.
Ironically, many of the overpriced water filters out there don’t work better than those you will pay less for. Yet the companies know consumers will often buy them and pay more, thinking they are getting a quality product in return simply because of the high price tag. Keep in mind that the type of home water filter you need may be very different from the needs of someone else.
You don’t need to spend lots of money to have a great value added to the property. A home water filter investment shows that you care about your home and that you took care of it. That is encouraging to the potential buyer who may wish to buy your home. They want to know that they can have a dream life in that home, and that includes living a healthy life there because the water that comes out of the faucet is healthy and clean.
Always go for a combination of quality, installation ease, and value when it comes to your home water filter investment. Pay attention to how you need to put them in place so you can decide if it is something you can do on your own or not. It shouldn’t be complex and you shouldn’t need to hire a professional for the installation.
You want to feel like you have really gained value with your home water filter investment. You will never feel like you didn’t get that value when you buy one that Aquasana offers. They continue to set the bar very high for other brands to follow as they are dedicated to helping households everywhere have the best possible drinking water. A reliable Aquasana water investment for your home is good for your family and it makes your home more attractive when it is time to sell it as well.
Check out this demonstration of how effective Aquasana water filters are at removing contaminants from your drinking water. Putting his own health on the line, our VP of Marketing shows you how confident we are that our water filter systems remove chlorine and sediment from municipal water supplies. No humans were harmed in the making of this video.
Making sure that great water comes out of your tap is one of the big reasons most people invest in a water filter system. What is sometimes overlooked is how often you or your family gets your drinking water from the dispenser in the door of the refrigerator. There is a water intake hose that provides the water for those faucets and to provide the raw material for the ice that your automatic ice maker produces. If the water for those functions is not properly filtered, you could be getting contaminated water even if you have an outstanding water filter on your kitchen faucets.
If you bought your home with your water filters in place, it could be that the refrigerator water filter is not something you think about very often. Just as you must put replacement water filters in the faucet filters you have around the house, you should have it in your schedule to put a replacement water filter in your refrigerator water filtration system on a regular basis as well.
A good rule of thumb is that you should plan to put a replacement water filter in your refrigerator water line about twice a year. If you don’t know when the last time a replacement water filter was put in that particular water source, then now is the time to take care of it. The first step is to find where in the water line the water filter is placed and to get some model numbers from it so you can buy the replacement water filter you need. Generally the refrigerator water filter is between the water source hose coming in from the house and the housing of the refrigerator.
When you find a source that will sell you the right replacement water filter for your refrigerator, buy two or three. A good water filter provider like Aquasana can make sure you have a regular supply of the replacement water filters you need. Keep them on hand so you don’t have to go looking for one the when the time to put in a replacement water filter comes around.
The two precautions to take when you put in a replacement water filter in your refrigerator are to unplug the refrigerator and to turn off the water going to the unit. You may have to trace the water line back to find the cut off valve for that water feed to your refrigerator unit and turn it until you cut it off. Often it is the same valve system that controls the water that goes to your sink faucets. Securely seal that water off so you don’t have water shooting out when you disconnect the water filter to put in the replacement water filter.
Be sure you put a towel under the water filter housing before you open it to catch residue water that will come out. The filter will open by turning it counterclockwise until the housing opens to reveal where to put in the replacement water filter. These units are made to be replaced by a homeowner so it should not be difficult to open the filter and swap out the old filter with the replacement water filter that you bought.
Before you put the assembly back together, take a few moments and inspect the water filter itself for damage and excess build up. You can use a small rag to clean inside the water filter before you put the replacement water filter in place and reassemble the housing.
Now just turn the water back on, plug your refrigerator back in, and put everything back in place. When the water begins to flow, test the faucet in the door and engage the ice maker. You should hear the water flowing to it when it goes through its natural cycle. Discard the old water filter and save the packaging along with your receipt so you know where to get another replacement water filter when the next six months goes by. Meanwhile, enjoy fresh and great-tasting water and ice from your refrigerator because you took the time to keep your water filter in good repair on schedule each year.
Our water supply originates in the form of rain. It falls from the sky, becoming part of the earth in oceans, streams, and lakes, and is absorbed into land, settling in the water underground. Through this process it absorbs many minerals that are essential to human life. Unfortunately, it also absorbs many harmful contaminants. While some of the contaminants have natural sources, most are chemicals introduced into the water and air by humans. Some are introduced through the products we use, manufacturing, and farming. Most are put into the water through water treatment plants as a means to disinfect and clean the water. This makes truly natural water a rarity.
Filtration systems are a way to get the water that enters our home as close to its safe and natural state as possible. The simplest and most effective way is the carbon water filter, according to HeartSpring.net. These carbon filters are made from coconut husks and absorb the contaminants from your drinking water as it passes through. They are easy to install and will filter out all the major contaminants that are still left in your drinking water after it is treated by your water treatment facility. These filters still allow the minerals that are essential to your health through, however.
To use drinking water filters you simply install them on your water faucets, either on the countertop or below. The water from the faucet is first pulled through the filtration system and then back out of the spout. Aquasana manufacturers the best filtration systems on the market. Their systems not only use carbon filters but ion exchange, where lead is exchanged with potassium ions that enhance the pH of the water. They also use sub-micron filtration, which removes cysts from your water.