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Filtering tap water: does it need filtering and (if yes) what kind of filter?  RSS feed

 
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Location: Spain
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Hi,
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this, but could not find any other related to water issues. If anyone know another forum is better please let me know so I'll repost.

So, I live in big city in Spain and our tap water is not very nice, both chlorine and other chemical, non natural substances, are to be found in the water the water agency sends us every day. High levels of chlorine make the taste disgusting, the other substances although in very small quantities (there are apparently over 500 chemical compounds in our water) are probably no good to be drank over a long time, despite the agency saying the contrary.
I was looking for a water filter to put in line but I am not sure which one would do the job. There are carbon filters, ceramic filters and reverse osmosis filters.
Reverse osmosis filters are probably the best with respect to filtering power but they discard a lot of water and leave the water almost like distilled water. On the other hand
other hand all resellers I have consulted say that their filter is the best (on the same price scale) no matter what, so it is not easy to make an informed decision unless one knows a lot on the topic it seems to me.

So does anyone have ideas on what parameters are worth checking in order to choose which filter is more appropriate and sufficient for my situation? Or even if it is actually worth considering having any filter at all (may be just a simple one for removing chlorine)
For sure I don't need any sanitation services done by the filter since the water is already sanitized because of chlorine.
Actually I will need one that removes it. But this is the easy part I guess. The filter has to screen out chemicals such as trialomethanes to say one, which I know are present in the municipal water of the city where I live and may be what remains of heavy metals or other chemical compounds.
Cheers
 
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I don't trust municipal water supplies (remember Flint Michigan or further back, Washington D.C.?) and I choose to filter my tap water with reverse osmosis filter so there's no question as to whether it removes something or not and add minerals back to it with a tiny pinch of unrefined sea salt. It's delicious
 
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After looking around online for a quite a while trying to avoid disposable filters that would envariably end up in landfill I eventually found an inline empty 'filter'. This enables me to fill it with any media I wish I simply put in some activated carbon every six months or so along with some sterling silver bits and pieces to discourage bacterial growth. After the intial cost it's few pence a year to replace and I spread the used carbon on the garden.

I still haven't got round to refixing it properly (after another plumbing job) so it looks a bit dodgy right now, but the carbon gets rid of most of the nasty stuff and the taste of the water has improved considerably.

It may not filter everything out (e.g flouride-which I dont think they add to the water in Spain) but its a cheap good solution and you could always add to it at a later date.
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Antonio Scotti wrote:Hi,
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this, but could not find any other related to water issues. If anyone know another forum is better please let me know so I'll repost.

So, I live in big city in Spain and our tap water is not very nice, both chlorine and other chemical, non natural substances, are to be found in the water the water agency sends us every day. High levels of chlorine make the taste disgusting, the other substances although in very small quantities (there are apparently over 500 chemical compounds in our water) are probably no good to be drank over a long time, despite the agency saying the contrary.
I was looking for a water filter to put in line but I am not sure which one would do the job. There are carbon filters, ceramic filters and reverse osmosis filters.
Reverse osmosis filters are probably the best with respect to filtering power but they discard a lot of water and leave the water almost like distilled water. On the other hand
other hand all resellers I have consulted say that their filter is the best (on the same price scale) no matter what, so it is not easy to make an informed decision unless one knows a lot on the topic it seems to me.

So does anyone have ideas on what parameters are worth checking in order to choose which filter is more appropriate and sufficient for my situation? Or even if it is actually worth considering having any filter at all (may be just a simple one for removing chlorine)
For sure I don't need any sanitation services done by the filter since the water is already sanitized because of chlorine.
Actually I will need one that removes it. But this is the easy part I guess. The filter has to screen out chemicals such as trialomethanes to say one, which I know are present in the municipal water of the city where I live and may be what remains of heavy metals or other chemical compounds.
Cheers



If your tap water is so bad, than you really need a good filtrating system in your home... In my case the tap water isn't so awful, however I don't like its taste and I'm also not sure for its safety for the body in general so I started to filtrate it several years ago too
There are really many types of water filters, I was so confused at the beginning too so I recommend you to read this article the first of all https://www.waterscoaustralia.com.au/water-filter-technology/filters-summarised/common-types-of-water-filter-systems , there's a list of the most popular filtering systems and a short description of the each one in it
When I was choosing a filter for my house, I decided that the best ones are definetely RO systems and UV ones, however I've chose the first one because they're more widespread and checked by more people than UV ones )) At the current time I use this Apec model, it's really good and I like the taste of water after it



I can also recommend Homemaster and Ispring models, they're considered as the best ones together with Apec, here's a nice list with some examples of their models )
UV filters are often criticized as the ones which leave water without almost all useful minerals but I think in fact that it's a common thing for almost all filtering systems and besides many minerals can be gotten from food and other drinks so I see no such problem in this
So my opinion is a Ro or an UV one
 
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Hearing the early podcasts were sponsored by Pantry Paratus, I checked them out and I'm considering one of the Berkey systems they offer: http://pantryparatus.com/water-systems/ since it's portable and I can take it with me from the current place when I move. Also seems you can clean the filters to extend their life. I was thinking that if the place I move to has well water, I could use one of these to ensure good drinking water, without needing power or water pressure.

I had a RO system in my last place and it worked well too, but the filters were a bit more expensive from what I recall.
 
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I really want to get a Berkey, those seem like a nice medium between plumbed in-line filters and disposable cheapo ones, particularly for someone not confident in their plumbing skills or with concerns about their rental situation.

That being said, Henry any idea where I could find that filter system? Looks simple, easy to use and like it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

If your water has a high chlorine content I would also look into filters for your bathtub/shower head. Many chemicals including chlorine, flouride and carcinogenic 'disinfection byproducts' (DBP's) are absorbed through the skin and the lungs (steam) when you bathe.
 
Henry Jabel
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Cody DeBaun wrote:I really want to get a Berkey, those seem like a nice medium between plumbed in-line filters and disposable cheapo ones, particularly for someone not confident in their plumbing skills or with concerns about their rental situation.

That being said, Henry any idea where I could find that filter system? Looks simple, easy to use and like it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

If your water has a high chlorine content I would also look into filters for your bathtub/shower head. Many chemicals including chlorine, flouride and carcinogenic 'disinfection byproducts' (DBP's) are absorbed through the skin and the lungs (steam) when you bathe.



Have a look on Ebay, I had to buy it from someone in the U.S because no one was selling them here a few years ago. This link is U.K based but it will help you with search words: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Inline-refillable-clear-cartridge-RO-Phosphate-DI-GAC-Cataly-Carbon-EMPTY-/162210736813?hash=item25c4836aad:g:49wAAOSwYIxX4bC5

The rest of the fittings, tap etc were standard fittings from a hardware store, so I am sure you could do the same for that. I used push fittings so it was quick and easy to fit.

We already had a shower head filter before installing this. It was harder to find a replaceable version of the shower head filter (without throwing away the housing with it) but we got there in the end.
 
Cody DeBaun
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Hey Henry,

That's exactly what I'm looking for! And as you said that seems like a pretty straightforward plumbing job. Thanks for the info!

I'm also looking into replacing the disposable filters in my showerhead with something I can fill myself; I really want to create a simple, two stage cartridge system to filter then dose with ascorbic acid (we're in fracking country, and on top of that the city loves their chloramine).
 
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The first thing anyone should check is the pipe from the main supply line to the house,  what material is that made of? how long has it been in use? have any changes been made at the pump station and if so what were they?
These are important questions to ask and know the answers to before you invest in a filter system (My belief is that everyone should have a filter system).

Flint MI and DC were both set up with lead pipes from the main to the homes, this is Ancient Rome tech and unacceptable today (or it should be).
The berkey system for water filtration is a good one and not overly expensive.

If you have your water tested and you find any heavy metals (lead is a heavy metal) then I would recommend properly disposing of any filter materials instead of add those heavy metals to your garden soil.
Heavy metals are not just poison to humans, plants will take in Pb ions and use them in the tissues they construct, the end result is that you are now ingesting the very material you filtered the water to get rid of.

We are on city water and I use a dual filter set up for all water coming past the water meter. If I don't want extra materials in my drinking water, I don't want my plants drinking those materials either.

Redhawk
 
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