One of the advantages of having a private well is that it saves you from a costly water bill. However, how sure are you when it comes to the safety of your water?
Having access to clean and filtered water protects you and your family from harmful diseases and contaminants. Here are six tips that you can help you find a great well water filter for your home.
1. Check the quality of your water source
According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), private wells should be tested annually to check for harmful bacteria, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and other dangerous substances. Contaminated water can affect everyone especially children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who are immunocompromised.
These are the top diseases and contaminants commonly found in private wells:
- Hepatitis A
2. Choose the right well water filter
Not all well water filters are created equal. Each has different functions, varying from removing harmful bacteria and toxic chemicals to improving taste. Your water quality results will help you determine the best water filter system for your home.
Different kinds of filters exist in the market:
This type uses a filter mesh or cartridge to trap suspended particles like sand, clay, silt and organic matter but cannot remove dissolved chemicals and other very small particles.
Adsorption filters commonly use activated carbon that traps chemical impurities and removes unwanted taste, smell, and chlorine.
Ion Exchange Filters
Ion exchange can be used to remove calcium and magnesium ions to soften hard well water. Other ion exchange filter media are great for removing harmful contaminants including heavy metals.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis systems push water through a semipermeable membrane that has small pores to block all kinds of compounds and produce almost pure water. RO can be used together with other filters types to remove both organic and inorganic substances.
3. Determine where you want your system installed
Do you have extra space in your home to fit your filtration system? There are filters that are bulky and heavy while some are compact and light. Knowing the type of water filtrations system you need can help you plan for the space required.
There are two system set-ups:
This kind installs at a single point of usage and is commonly found under the kitchen sink or on a countertop.
Point-of-entry systems are installed at the main water line which produces clean water for very faucet in the whole house.
Type of Installation
4. Determining flow rate and filter size
If you want your shower uninterrupted when someone is doing the dishes then you need to properly asses the size of your well water filter. This directly affects water pressure.
In a normal household, a range of 8 to 15 gallons per minute flow rate is needed for whole house applications.
5. Maintenance is the key
Every water filter has its expiration date. It degrades over time and may no longer have the capacity to work effectively. Check its packaging and look for manufacturer’s recommendations on how long you can use it before it needs replacement.
Some water filters are easy to replace and can be installed on your own. Some on the other hand are better set up by a professional. Planning your maintenance needs can save you tons in the future.
You may also want to check if a filter or its parts are readily available. Also, check if it’s interchangeable with other brands. If a part needs replacement, you do not want to be waiting weeks until they arrive. It is also not a bad idea to stock up on parts. (Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s storage guidelines.)
6. Make sure you are buying certified products
For the average person, searching for the right well water filtration system may seem overwhelming, but have no fear. All you need to remember is that institutions such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) have already pre-determined which filters are good enough for the public.
NSF is an independent organization that tests, audits, and certifies food and water products and services. Each country has its own quality control mark. Make sure that your filter is certified.
Keep Your Well Water Clean!
Private wells are often unregulated. You are responsible for keeping the water clean and safe. One filter alone may not be enough to remove all the impurities and contaminants present in the water. Often, it is best to mix and match filters in a system to target a wide range of toxins. Once your well water filter is installed, keep in mind that it should be properly maintained to remain effective.
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- Environmental Protection Agency. Contact Information for Certification Programs and Certified Laboratories for Drinking Water. Retrieved March 29, 2021, from https://www.epa.gov/dwlabcert/contact-information-certification-programs-and-certified-laboratories-drinking-water
- Minnesota Rural Water Association. Iron and Manganese removal. Retrieved March 2021 from https://www.mrwa.com/WaterWorksMnl/Chapter%2014%20Iron%20and%20Manganese.pdf
- National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) mark. Digital image. NSF. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.org/about-nsf/nsf-mark
- Overview of water-related diseases and contaminants in private wells. (2021, January 27). Retrieved March 27, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/diseases.html
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- Saha, U. (2020, October 01). Household Water Treatment: Mechanical Filtration Methods and Devices. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1523&title=Household+Water+Treatment%3A+Mechanical+Filtration+Methods+and+Devices%3B
- Saha, U. (2020, June 20). Water Quality and Common Treatments for Private Drinking Water Systems. Retrieved March 28, 2021, from https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B939&title=Water%20Quality%20and%20Common%20Treatments%20for%20Private%20Drinking%20Water%20Systems
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