Should We Be Using Water Filters?

By Taylor Mclamb

It’s officially summer which means more time spent outside, and, of course, wading through sweltering Florida heat and thick humidity. Due to the rising temperatures, it’s important that we remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! According to experts at The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, men should be getting 3.7 liters of water a day and about 2.7 liters for women. But what about the cleanliness of the water we are drinking? Enter: water filters and purifiers

The US Environmental Protection Agency, who sets the standards for national drinking water, regulates over 80 contaminants to help secure your water’s safety. In 2011, the EPA made modifications to the Safe Drinking Water Act to reduce the maximum allowable lead content to be a weighted average of 0.25% calculated across the wetted surface of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures. However, the purity of your water also depends on the source and the number of chemicals and bacteria it’s exposed to in its journey through the pipes to your kitchen sink. For example, with the case of Flint, Michigan, due to the lack of federal action, lead from old pipes and pollution from nearby lumber, paper and chemical plants got into the water. A group of Virginia Tech researchers found some lead levels to meet the EPA’s definition of toxic waste.

The EPA says that 90% of U.S. public water systems meet its standards and their Public Notification Rule requires public water systems to alert you if there is a problem with the drinking water. If you’re curious about the quality of Gainesville’s water, you can visit the website which allows you to view the quality of your water supply. According to the EWG database, all 15 of Alachua County’s water plants are in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

In addition to the water filtration processes already in place for your drinking water, there are also water filters and purifiers you can purchase for your home.



Aquagear Water Filter


This filter, which contains a pitcher that is BPA- free and recyclable, has been tested to remove contaminants such as fluoride, lead, chromium 6, mercury and chlorine, while keeping healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. This pitcher was tested in Flint, Michigan for lead and copper reduction.

ZeroWater 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher


ZeroWater is unique in that it uses five stages of filtration, which makes it certified to remove impurities like chromium and lead. This pitcher also comes with a free water quality meter, which lets you test the water quality yourself.

Brita 18-Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser


This water filter is great if you have a large family, as it holds 18 cups of water. Similar to the Brita Everyday Filter, this filter reduces the taste of chlorine, copper, mercury, zinc and cadmium impurities. This is perfect if you drink a lot of water and don’t want to constantly refill a pitcher.

UR Classic Faucet Mount Filter


This filter is praised as a best seller item on Amazon and for a good reason. This affordable and easy to use filter simply attaches to your sink faucet to eliminate any contaminants. A sink filter is perfect if you don’t have enough room in your sink for a pitcher filter. According to the PUR website, their filter reduces over 70 contaminants by using activated carbon and ion exchange. The PUR filter also comes in a variety of colors, like black, gray and chrome.

LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Water Bottle


Having filtered water doesn’t just have to be limited to your kitchen. Ditch the plastic and use a reusable filtered water bottle – the environment will thank you. LifeStraw’s water bottle has a two-stage activated carbon filter, which according to its website, removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. If you’re a hiker, this is the perfect bottle to have on hand, as it also removes bacteria and protozoa from lakes and streams.


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