Answer Man filter

Q: If I wanted to get a whole house water filter, where would I begin to look?

A: Home improvement stores and other retailers carry a variety of whole house water filtration systems, but first you need to determine what kind you need.

Government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have information on their websites about water treatment systems. The first thing to consider is your water source.

If you get your water from a private well or cistern, the CDC recommends having your water tested by a state-certified lab at least once a year. The lab should test for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, pH levels and other contaminants common in your area.

If you get your water from a public system, EPA requires all public water systems to send an annual report about the quality of drinking water, as well as contaminant levels, to people whose water comes from public sources.

After you determine what contaminants you want to reduce in your water, you can narrow down the type of filtration system you need.

If you plan to have the system installed by a plumber, ask for recommendations when you call for an estimate. Plumbers know how filters work and can offer suggestions on which kind will provide the results you want.

The EPA says Americans spend billions of dollars each year on home water treatment units. Drinking water can reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants, according to one EPA publication.

“As long as those contaminants are at levels no higher than EPA standards, the water is considered safe to drink for healthy people,” it said. People with severely weakened immune systems or other specific health conditions, or those concerned about specific contaminants, may wish to further treat their water.

Angie Akos, water operations superintendent for Dothan Utilities, said in an email that Dothan Utilities does not regulate water filters placed on the customer’s side of the water service.

“However, depending on the type of water filter system installed, additional backflow devices may be needed to protect the City’s water supply system,” she wrote. “The customer needs to be aware that certain filters may remove the chlorine disinfectant residual from the water.”

Chlorine is added to water to kill germs.

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Original Date: March 25 2018