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THE WATER DOCTOR

It’s tempting, when buying a water treatment system for your home, to compare prices and choose the system that seems to be the best deal. The problem with this approach is that this system may or may not remove the contaminants in your water. The most highly rated water purification system may be the wrong one for your home.

Many American consumers are eager to make a purchase once they decide to do so. When considering the purchase of a water treatment system, whether for the whole house or a water purifier for the kitchen sink, it makes sense to do some research before you make your purchase.

I suggest that the first thing you do is to write down your goals. What is it that got you interested in the first place? Writing down your goals will help you make the right decision after you do the appropriate research. Do you want healthy water for drinking or soft water for bathing or do you simply want to remove chlorine and its carcinogenic byproducts?

Next you want to find and read you city’s water quality report. These are required by law to be provided to you annually, but you can obtain them at any time. Simply call your water provider and request it or you can often find them online with a search like ‘your city, sate water quality report’. If you have well water, you’ll have to purchase a water test kit. In either case, this is a critical step and one that must not be skipped.

Your water quality report will tell you the source of your water, what chemicals are added for treatment, and what contaminants are present naturally or as a result of pollution. Some cities will have perfectly good water and all you have to do is to remove the chlorine. Others will have naturally occurring levels of metals such as arsenic, nickel, or even mercury. Still others will have pesticides from local farming activities or chemicals from local industry discharges.

Once you know what’s in your water you can determine the treatment system that meets your needs. Water treatment can be all about tradeoffs. For instance I generally don’t recommend reverse osmosis because it removes the healthy minerals from water but if nickel, nitrates, or radioactive metals are present or if your water has high total dissolved solids, then reverse osmosis is the only option.

If your city water has a low tds and is contaminated with chlorine and its byproducts then a simpler system can be used that will leave the minerals in the water. Many cities are converting from chlorine to chloramine and this disinfectant is more difficult to remove. A special type of carbon must be used to remove chloramines. In any case, you may now shop for the water purification system that meets your goals by removing the contaminants that you’ve discovered are present in your water.

These steps will assure that you purchase the right water purification system for your family’s needs. Side step them and you won’t know if you’re protected or not. The discerning consumer will take the extra time to make sure that his or her investment is the right one.

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