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Water Testing and Purification


Water Quality Testing

Clean water is SO important.  Knowing what common contaminants are in your drinking water can help you form the most effective strategy for ensuring the water you drink is free from microbial and chemical contamination.


Water Quality Standards

The main organization that sets standards for water filters (and many other things) is NSF International (link is above)

There are 2 standards, NSF/ ANSI 42 screens for "aesthetic" effects (smell and taste).  NSF/ ANSI 53 screens for common chemical contaminants that affect health.


There is another standard:  NSF/ ANSI 401 that screens for "Emerging compounds" which is a different set of toxic chemicals that are also common in drinking water. 


Ideally you will look for drinking water purification systems that remove more than 90% of all contaminants contained in all 3 of these categories.    

Water Filters

Probably the very cleanest water is produced by a combination of tight carbon block filters and reverse osmosis (RO).  However, RO filters do waste a considerable amount of water (estimates range from 1-12 gallons waste water for every 1 gallon of drinking water produced). Clean water is a valuable resource (and can be quite scarce in some areas), for this reason I can't endorse the use of RO systems due to the waste issue. 

Carbon block filters are probably the best choice.  Look for solid carbon "block" technology.  Ideally with an "absolute" pore size of 0.5 micron.  This pore size is too small for viruses, bacteria or parasites to get through, so it is an effective biological filter. These tight carbon filters also remove heavy metals, pesticides, toxic chemicals, chlorine, plastics, and pharmaceuticals, as well as things that can cause odors or discoloration.  

  • Multipure

    • This is the brand I have used and recommended for 25 years. I have not ever found another filter that is better (I look every few years)

    • Multipure filters remove 95% or more of all contaminants in NSF categories 42, 53, and 401

    • Multipure filters have a solid carbon block, with an absolute pore size of 0.5 micron (this means they have no pores larger than 0.5 micron)

      • Most "good" water filters have a "relative" pore size of 0.5 microns which means they have a variety of pore sizes down to 0.5.

    • Multipure offers several models. The Aquaperform is certified to remove Arsenic (which is missed by most other systems and a common contaminant in municipal systems). 

    • At checkout (either phone or online order), please use the Distributor #:  432-851

Other highly rated companies:


Eye to the Future

Zero Mass Water 

I recently ran across this technology.  It is not a water filtration system, but a water production system.  I think this technology is going to be crucial moving forward as climate change, drought and deserts become the new normal.  Some experts say that drinkable water will be the most precious global resource in the future.  

Zero Mass Water is a solar technology that actually extracts clean water from the air.  It is capable of generating water even in extremely arid climates, and claims to produce clean water even from polluted air.  

Check it out, and breathe a sigh of relief

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