The water coming into your home from a public reservoir should be safe, clean, and contaminate-free.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for some homeowners. There are also a percentage of homeowners, nearly half, who just want to purify tap water, no matter how safe it is.

For those looking to purify tap water at home, here are some methods, pros, and cons to consider.

How Safe is Your Tap Water?

We’ve heard horror stories across the United States about how bad tap water can be. For those of us who live in Southern California, we’re incredibly lucky to have safe drinking water. However, there are times when we want to make it cleaner and safer than it already is.

Tap water down here is hard. Meaning, it has a lot of mineral deposits, mostly calcium and magnesium. These minerals are not unhealthy, in fact calcium and magnesium are beneficial to overall health and wellness.

Despite this, there are more contaminates in your water. All tap water in the United States is treated with chlorine to keep it clean. The amount of chlorine is very small, but it’s still there.

Also, water impurities in your home could be coming directly from your plumbing system. Older homes without updated plumbing are susceptible to corrosion, rot, and other issues that come with aging pipes.

A Simple Filter Won’t Cut It

We see a vast majority of Southern California homeowners rely on pitchers or other receptacles with a built in water filter. Though these can clean a small amount of water at a time, what about the water in the rest of your house?

Can you purify tap water? Yes, but a simple water filter won’t do the job.

When it comes to purifying your water, a filter only lives up to its name. It filters the water. To actually purify your water, there are some other things you can do. Just know that filtering alone won’t cut it.

Pros and Cons of Sink Filters

Keep in mind that a vast majority of homeowners will not need to purify their water. In many cases, a filter or softener will get the job done.

Most homes opt for a water filter or water purifier because they don’t like the way their water tastes. Home water can taste a bit off from cleaning methods put in place by the city or municipality. Some cities use chlorine to keep their water clean, and some homeowners can taste that chorine.

There are a number of reasons why homeowners would want to choose a sink filter. We get it. Sink filters are inexpensive, easy to install, and great for cooking and drinking water.
However, they come with a few drawbacks. Sink filters may not fit on all faucets and they need a lot of maintenance. Filters should be changed every 2-3 months. They can also take away from the overall look of your kitchen.

Tried and True Water Filtration Methods

The good news is that there are other water purification or filtration options for homeowners. We’ll go over some of the most common below.

Water Softener

Water softeners do exactly as their name implies. They take some of the minerals out of hard water and soften it up. Southern California has some of the state’s hardest water and a common fix is with a water softener system.

Pros: Hard water can do some serious damage to your household appliances. Think dishwasher, water heater, even your coffee maker can be damaged by hard water. A water softener helps reduce the number of mineral deposits in your water, meaning your appliances will last longer and stay cleaner.
Hard water can also leave white stains on freshly cleaned dishes. A water softener helps stop this from happening. Water softeners also make it easier to clean and ensure you use less soap.

Cons: The biggest drawback of water softeners are cost and maintenance. You need to pay for installation and water softeners require salt. That means you would need to add more salt about once per month.

Another con of water softeners is that salt water can pose some environmental issues. For example, dumping water softened with salts means that salt water is going into lakes and streams with only freshwater. In essence, threating and hurting the native wildlife.

Also, water softeners do not purify or disinfect water. They only help with the taste and smell of tap water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is another common water filtering technique. Notice, we said filtering, not purification. Just like water softener systems, reverse osmosis is a style of filtration. The reverse osmosis process sifts water with what is essentially a mosquito net for sediments, bacteria, fluorite and even lead particulates.

Pros: Reverse osmosis has several benefits. One of our favorites is that reverse osmosis filters out more contaminates than a water softener. Also, because of the way the osmosis system works, it can purify the water you use for cooking and cleaning. Which leaves everything a bit fresher and cleaner.

Cons: However, just like everything else, there are a few drawbacks. Just like a water softener system, wastewater created by reverse osmosis can have lasting effects on the local ecosystem. There is also a noticeable drop in water pressure after a reverse osmosis system is installed.

Consider a Whole House water Filter

There are items on the market that help purify tap water, but there’s only one we fully recommend. At Service Champions, our choice method is the whole house water filter.

A whole house water filter makes sure all the water in your home is clean. From the bathroom tap to the laundry washer, it keeps all your water clean. And unlike water softeners or osmosis systems, there is no maintenance required.

The biggest drawback is cost. Whole house water filters can be quite expensive, so you’ll need to decide if it’s the right choice for your home.

Want to learn more about your tap water? Contact our team, the plumbing experts at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air.

Updated: March 23, 2024

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