Whole house water filtration systems eliminate minerals that municipal water systems don’t address and filter out traces of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury. They can trap sediment and harmful contaminants from well water at the point it enters the home and before it is distributed through your pipes. Unlike “point of use” filters, like those you attach to your kitchen faucet, hide under the sink, or that filter water from your refrigerator’s dispenser, whole-house systems filter all the water you use in your home—not just drinking water. If you live in a hard water area, getting rid of the calcium, magnesium, and iron in your water can result in cleaner, less itchy skin, shinier hair, and little or no residue to clog and corrode your pipes. Filtered water will taste better and be free of odors.
Whole house water systems bring all the filtration to one point in the home, eliminating the need to change multiple filters at different times. They “soften” hard water by removing the calcium and magnesium that cause so much build-up within pipes. They can use reverse-osmosis to filter and clean the water, removing other contaminants such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Reverse osmosis works by forcing water through a fine membrane. The membrane lets the water molecules pass, but blocks contaminants such as lead, mercury, and sediment. Carbon or activated charcoal filters are better than reverse osmosis at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like pesticides and herbicides, and additives like chlorine. But the activated charcoal filters cannot remove bacteria, viruses, and tiny parasites as effectively as a reverse osmosis system. Some systems combine reverse osmosis with a carbon/activated charcoal filter to maximize the ability to remove both minerals, pathogens, and VOCs.
The benefits of a whole house water filtration system include cleaner, safer drinking water and softer water that leaves far less mineral build-up in appliances, showerheads, faucets, and pipes.
The best starting place for homeowners who want to improve their water quality is to have the water tested. Residents of the Yuba City area in Northern California can contact Fletchers Plumbing—a licensed, emergency commercial plumber experienced in providing water testing to find out what’s in your water and offer the best system to eliminate those particular contaminants.