Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is Your Drinking Water Safe For Your Family?

How to Get the Most Out of Your Tap Water:

1.     Learn about your water: If your home is on a public water supply, contact the local water utility to request a copy of their Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).   More information on these reports can be found at

2.       Review NSF’s Water Contaminant Guide: All sources of drinking water can potentially contain impurities. Some may be naturally occurring such as arsenic, while others occur from manmade sources such as pesticides. NSF’s Water Contaminant Guide and explains many of the common contaminants that can be found in drinking water and provides options for treating your water for these contaminants if needed.  

3.       Check your plumbing and fixtures: Some faucets, pipe and plumbing fixtures can contribute small amounts of lead into drinking water, especially if produced and installed before 1998.  There are treatments systems that can be installed in the home including home filters, reverse osmosis units, and distillers certified for lead reduction.

4.       Decide what needs to be changed: Most people treat their water for three primary reasons: taste or odor (mostly to reduce the taste/smell of chlorine or the “rotten egg” smell commonly associated with well water); to reduce naturally occurring contaminants (arsenic, radium) or to reduce manmade contaminants (lead or pesticides).

5.       Chose a water treatment filter: No system can protect the user against all contaminants. As a result, it is important to identify what contaminants should be treated before shopping for a water treatment system. Below are five types of water filtration systems available for home water treatment:

6.       Buy Smart: Before you purchase consumer water products, search for products that have been tested and certified by an independent third party such as NSF. A list of NSF certified products can be found at

7.       Replace your filters: Filter cartridges should be changed on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer.  While cartridges may look similar in size and even appear to fit inside the housing of a water treatment system, even the smallest size difference could allow water to go around the cartridge rather than through it.  Make sure you purchase the correct replacement filters for your system.

8.       For more information on drinking water check out the NSF Fact Kits at

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