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As we become more aware of things that can affect our health such as pollution, chemical sprays, and increasing uncertainty around the safety of our food sources, it’s only natural to ask the question – should you filter your tap water?

How do you know what’s in your tap water?

There are a few ways to determine exactly what’s in your tap water and whether there may be contaminants lurking beneath your pipes. Many homeware stores and specialty companies offer DIY water testing kits you can use to discover the exact contents of your tap water and whether or not it’s safe to drink.

Most water providers and area officials will also give you information on your local water testing levels when requested.

What chemicals may be added to your tap water?

Depending on the area you live in, your water provider may choose to treat your tap water with certain approved chemicals to filter and disinfect the water and ensure it’s safe for drinking.

Some of these chemicals can include fluoride (used to support dental health), chlorine (to kill off potentially harmful bacteria in the water), and ferric chloride and aluminium sulphate to filter particles from the water during treatment.

What can cause tap water contaminants?

There are some events which may bring an imbalance of chemicals or cause water to become contaminated by harmful microbes, and we may not be aware of all of them!

Water can become contaminated by events such as flooding, stagnant water sitting in pipes, older pipe systems with erosion, or an imbalance in chemicals used to treat tap water such as pesticides or toxic metals.

What do water filters do?

While different water filters often claim to do an impressive variety of things, their key function comes down to a couple of things:

Filtering particles

Filters away large particles and impurities in the water that may have bypassed filtration in the treatment facility.

Trapping impurities

Through the use of materials such as activated carbon which are incredibly dense, they can help trap chemicals in the water such as larger volumes of chlorine and other anti-bacterial substances used in water treatment.

Remove unwanted tastes and odours

The treatment of water using chemicals is necessary for avoiding largescale bacterial outbreaks and infections caused by things such as E. coli but can sometimes produce a ‘taste’ or ‘smell’ to water that can be off-putting.

Water filters can assist in stripping the chemical taste and odour, making tap water a lot more appealing to those with sensitive noses and tastes.

Should you use a water filter?

Water filters can be great for giving you that extra level of security when it comes to tap water and any potential contaminants hovering within. However, they aren’t a failsafe solution and rely on regular maintenance and diligent servicing to change over filtration parts and ensure they’re working to their best ability.

So, if you choose the filtered water route, make sure you’re committed to the upkeep!