Mothering Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have spent quite a bit of time searching here (have read the toxic water thread and every other thread I could find on this topic) and other places online, but I think I am even more confused now. I am trying to find an under counter water filter, but need help making sense of what exactly I need.<br><br>
I looked at my local water report, but I am not sure what I should be concerned about. We have alpha emitters (9.8), radium(1.5), uranium (2.6), beryllium (.24), fluoride (.73), nitrate (.03), nitrite(.002), chloramines (3.5), haloacetic acids (8.6), TTHM (21.1), copper, and lead in our water.<br><br>
I am looking at this website: <a href="http://thewaterexchange.net/" target="_blank">http://thewaterexchange.net/</a><br>
I'm leaning toward a double under counter filter, but I'm not sure if I should be looking at the fluoride filters, or if chloramines are a bigger concern for us. I thought that I definitely wanted to filter out any fluoride, but our levels don't look that high...maybe that shouldn't be my top priority? Could anyone help me figure this out? I really want to get one asap. We are only using a Brita pitcher at the moment and I'm barely drinking water because it still tastes nasty to me. The tap water smells like a swimming pool. When I give my girls baths, their hair smells like chlorine. I am also planning to get shower filters, but drinking water is a priority. Any help with this would be very much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
I think that the Berkey water filter is the best you can get! We use it and love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chakra</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15400105"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that the Berkey water filter is the best you can get! We use it and love it.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Thanks, Chakra! I was initially planning to get a Berkey filter, but then I started reading the other threads here and there was someone who didn't like hers, so I thought it might be better to go with an under counter system. Which Berkey do you have? Do you have the fluoride filter too?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
A regular filter won't filter out the radioactive elements. You'll need either RO or distillation(maybe?) to do that.<br><br>
The NSF contaminant list here: <a href="http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/dw_contaminant_guide.asp" target="_blank">http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking...nant_guide.asp</a><br><br>
can help you decide what kind of filter removes what.<br><br>
Ion exchange and water softeners also help reduce radioactivity.<br><a href="http://www.nj.gov/dep/rpp/download/radwater.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.nj.gov/dep/rpp/download/radwater.pdf</a> (see page 4)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KimPM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15400300"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A regular filter won't filter out the radioactive elements. You'll need either RO or distillation to do that.<br><br>
The NSF contaminant list here: <a href="http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/dw_contaminant_guide.asp" target="_blank">http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking...nant_guide.asp</a><br><br>
can help you decide what kind of filter removes what.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Thanks, Kim, I was wondering about that since none of the filters I was looking at mentioned it. I looked at RO systems, and the ones I found do not take out chloramines, which we also have in our water. I can't seem to find ONE product that removes everything I want it to. I was thinking a distiller might be the way to go, but on the NSF list, distillation isn't listed as a way to remove radium, only RO and cation exchange softener...but doesn't distillation remove everything??? I have been ready to buy like 5 different types of water filters, but the more I research, the more confused I am. What would you do?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Yeah, you may be looking at RO plus an extra filter to remove chloramine. I'd have to look at my notes to see about chloramine.<br><br>
You may be able to get an RO system with a postfilter that you can specify to get the chloramine. Like ours, for example, I have a carbon filter, then the RO, then an extra VOC filter before the water goes into the tank. And even then, I have a post filter from tank to faucet that is a GAC with a calcite filter to add calcium in.<br><br><a href="http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/contaminant_chloramine.asp?program=WaterTre" target="_blank">http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking...ogram=WaterTre</a><br>
This states that just a carbon filter that has a spec for chloramine should work...<br>
"Systems certified for reduction of chlorine will not automatically be effective for chloramines as well. Ensure the system you select is certified specifically for reduction of chloramines."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
I think I have the travel size berkey. It holds 2.5 gallons.<br><br>
It can be annoying at times because you have to refill it so much, but totally worth it! Yes we have the fluoride filters too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
I haven't looked at specific ion-exchange type filters, or whole house filters. You might consider looking at a whole house filter such as that type, since it would reduce the radioactivity for your showers, handwashing, and laundry. Then you could add an extra drinking water filter in the kitchen. The kitchen filter might not have to be so aggressive in this case.<br><br>
Somewhere to start looking for ion-exchange type filters (or any other type) is the NSF site. If a filtration system is listed there, it has been tested to meet specific NSF standards for removal of various contaminants.<br><br>
If you want more information on the types of filters, how they work, and some basic ideas of where to get filters, you can get this book: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FDrinking-Water-Book-Eliminate-Harmful%2Fdp%2F1587612577%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1273754586%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Drinking-Water...3754586&sr=8-1</a><br><br>
It may take you a little while of dedicated research to decide - this is how it worked for me. But I am glad I took the time. It is a big investment, and you want to get it right for your situation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Oh, and fluoride at 0.73 ppm is something I would look at to remove, if it were me. I have done a lot of looking at fluoride and have decided I want it as minimal as possible in my water. You should decide for yourself. If you go the route of activated aluminum filter for the fluoride, just make sure you also have another filter after that one to remove any aluminum that might escape the fluoride filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much! I was thinking about the whole house filter as well, but I can't afford that much right now. I think what I may do is invest in a good drinking water filter and possibly a couple shower filters right now, and then save up to buy a whole house filtration system. Considering that all we're using is a Brita pitcher right now, anything would be an improvement. So now I need to decide between an RO system like this one: ttp://<a href="http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/ro-45-detail.htm" target="_blank">www.freedrinkingwater.com/ro-45-detail.htm</a> or a Triple Under-counter Water Filter, KDF/GAC, Specialized Carbon GAC (high chloramines), Fluoride Filter--or something else from the water exchange. I'm a little concerned about the impact of an RO system on our septic tank, as well as the water waste, but I like the idea of of reducing the radioactive stuff, obviously. So, I'm still rather torn, but at least I have more direction now. Thanks so much for your help. Any opinions on RO vs. the other filter posted?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I wanted to share some information with you all about chloramine and filters. I am director of The Chloramine Information Center in Pennsylvania where we have been researching chloramine for the past 3 years. While there are filters out there that are certified to reduce monochloramine, there are NO filters available (according to NSF, the international filter certification firm) that will reduce or eliminate the highly toxic byproducts of chloramine known as NDMA, Hydrazine, Iodo Acids and DXAA. The worst of these is NDMA which is genotoxic (breaks DNA). If you ave chloramine in your water, I highly suggest you purchase spring water if you are pregnant and to give your children. The use of chloraminated water with baby formula can also cause Blue Baby Syndrome because it creates nitrates which rob the blood of oxygen. The byproducts are produced in the distribution line and no household filter or POU filter will remove them. Chloramine also leaches lead into the water which is particularly hazardous to pregnant women and children. If you want to know more about chloramine, you can visit our website at <a href="http://www.chloramineinfocenter.net" target="_blank">www.chloramineinfocenter.net</a>. We are not selling you anything just educating people on chloramine with information from the top scientists in the country. If you have qustions you can also contact me through that site. I wish you all happy and healthy babies...I so enjoyed mine and still do.<br><br>
Susan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Susan, wow, thanks so much for the chloramine info! I haven't done much research on chloramine, as that's not a concern for our water. Good to know though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
We got a reverse osmosis filter for under the kitchen sink. I LOVE it!!!!! I know it doesn't get out everything, but it does get out a lot. I make sure to cook with celtic sea salt whenever possible, to replace the good trace elements and minerals that we lose to filtering. We bought ours at Lowe's and have been very, very happy with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Wow, thanks for the info about chloramines! Ugh, scary stuff. I would love to get spring water, but haven't purchased it in years because of the plastic/BPA issue, plus we can't afford it. We used to get Crystal Springs water delivered, which was nice until I found out that their bottles are the WORST for BPA. I drank that all through both of my pregnancies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I'm about to buy the Apec RO system, but I can't bring myself to complete the purchase yet. There is so much conflicting info out there. I really need to do something NOW though...I can barely bring myself to drink water now, and I'm thirsty! Ack!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MellowMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402289"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks so much! I was thinking about the whole house filter as well, but I can't afford that much right now. I think what I may do is invest in a good drinking water filter and possibly a couple shower filters right now, and then save up to buy a whole house filtration system. Considering that all we're using is a Brita pitcher right now, anything would be an improvement. So now I need to decide between an RO system like this one: ttp://<a href="http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/ro-45-detail.htm" target="_blank">www.freedrinkingwater.com/ro-45-detail.htm</a> or a Triple Under-counter Water Filter, KDF/GAC, Specialized Carbon GAC (high chloramines), Fluoride Filter--or something else from the water exchange. I'm a little concerned about the impact of an RO system on our septic tank, as well as the water waste, but I like the idea of of reducing the radioactive stuff, obviously. So, I'm still rather torn, but at least I have more direction now. Thanks so much for your help. Any opinions on RO vs. the other filter posted?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I would do a head to head comparison...you already have a list here of your main concerns. Just find out what % of each of those each system removes.<br><br>
Well, the triple under counter filter won't do anything much for the radioactive elements. But it will reduce chlorine, fluoride, and you also have a specialized chloramine GAC. It also doesn't do anything for the nitrates and nitrites, does it? A quad housing unit could hold another filter for nitrates & nitrites. I would consider substituting a solid carbon block filter for the KDF/GAC if you can. GAC's are granular vs. solid carbon, and they can develop channels through it, so there's less filtering over time. You could also look into the doulton sterasyl with carbon filters for the first housing. I'm guessing you'd put either the solid carbon block or the doulton sterasyl or the KDF/GAC in the first housing, the fluoride in the second housing, and the chloramine GAC in the third housing. I'd also check to make sure the chloramine GAC can also trap aluminum from the fluoride filter.<br><br>
You'd have to check the specs on the RO system you're looking at. Mine removes about 75-80% of nitrates and nitrites, on average. I didn't check the spec on ours for chloramine...again, you'd have to check into yours. Mine removes 95% of the fluoride.<br><br>
Consider the replacement cost for the filters. No matter which filter setup you choose, and standard filter elements (NOT an RO membrane) are typically replaced at least every 6 months, to prevent bacterial overgrowth. Even if they say to stretch them to a year, it's highly recommended to do them every 6 months. One exception would be the doulton filters, if they are ceramic, you just scrub the outside to scrape a layer off every so often, and so they can last longer.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I literally typed out a huge spreadsheet for all the filter options I was considering vs. all the garbage found in our water (plus some other stuff not found). I wanted to capture all the different data on all the filters I was looking at. This is part of why it took me so long to make a decision. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Another thought I had is to look at ion exchange drinking water filters. I haven't done any research there, so I can't give you any leads. But at least the ion exchange would work on the radioactive parts, plus some of the other things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for your input, Kim! I talked to Apec and checked out their specs, which looked pretty good to me, so I went ahead and ordered their RO system. I am looking for shower/bath filters now. I'm thinking maybe the Vitashower? Anyway, I will invest in a whole house filter when I can afford it, but for now, I think this is the best option. I'll update after we get it!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top