Choose certified whole house water filters and feel assured of getting good quality water as claimed by manufacturers
There are several types of filters; point of use filters as well as whole house systems. When there are contaminants like chlorine, iron, manganese that may damage your plumbing system and leads to staining and scaling throughout the home and even the laundry, a whole house water filter is what you need. When you choose the whole house water filter, you may be taking into consideration different criteria. A major factor in your decision would be its ability to remove different contaminants. Similarly, you should also ensure that your filter is certified by the appropriate organization.
Whole house water filters ensure clean and purified water throughout the household. EPA does not certify any water filters. However there are several independent organizations like NSF international, Water Quality association (WQA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) which inspect and certify water filters.
WQA and UL mostly follow the NSF/ANSI standards for certification. Water filters are mostly certified according to contaminants they can reduce. Most water treatment devices are certified NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53 and 58. Under various standards they would be able to treat water containing Lead, Arsenic, Cysts, PCB, Asbestos, VOCs, Chloramines and several other harmful contaminants.
Though it is not compulsory, make it a general rule to look for filters that meet NSF/ ANSI standard 53. The certification does not make your filter flawless but it does provide some assurance to the claims of manufacturers. Typically NSF certified filters are tested to find if they reduce the pollutants they claim to remove or reduce. Filters that meet standard 53 are considered to be with an ability to treat and provide healthy water.
If you consider an activated carbon filter with NSF standard 53 certification, then it would be able to substantially reduce harmful contaminates like heavy metals, copper, lead, mercury and parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. They would also have the ability to reduce volatile organic chemicals like methyltert-butyl ether (MTBE), trichloroethylene (TCE), radon and pesticides as well. Most filters would have performance sheet that would be able to provide you specification on its capability to remove various contaminants.
Consider the filter from Aquasana; Rhino EQ-300. It has 99% UL certified chlorine reduction capacity. Laboratory conditions for testing showed that the filter could reduce water to permissible limit as per NSF/ ANSI standard 42. It has been given class 1 certification by UL and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Similarly the whole house arsenic reduction filter from Culligan also has certification from WQA against standard 53 for reduction of total arsenic. It claims to be the only system with ability to reduce below EPA minimum contaminant level.
Before you choose a water filter get the water tested. As whole house water filters are a long term investment with health benefits in mind, you should be able to choose the best one that can remove contaminants present. Review the performance sheet that accompanies most filters. Ensure that the filter removes the harmful contaminants in water that you use.
Certification is not necessary but buying certified whole house water filter is a safer choice. You can feel assured of getting good quality water for all purposes.