Choosing the Right Water Filter For You
If you have just read our blog on water contaminants in Chicago’s tap water and you are ready to purchase a water filter, read our recommendations first:
It doesn’t matter where you live anymore; your tap water is polluted with something. Ideally, the filtration system you choose should filter out all or as many contaminants as possible – you can cross reference the EWG guide on water filters to make sure that the filter you choose filters out the contaminants in your areas’ drinking water. For Chicago, we have done the work for you and have created the following recommendations.
Your best choice to remove most of the pollutants in Chicago’s drinking water is The Eco water ER0-375 Reverse Osmosis Water filter and of the one’s listed in the EWG Guide, it has the best reviews in Consumer Reports as of 2017.
If you live in an apartment or other living situation where you are unable to install a reverse osmosis water filter, check out the following options. These are not as likely to get out all pollutants, but are still good choices:
- Countertop Water Filter: Shaklee Best Water MTS2000 #82300
- Under sink Water filter; Aqua pure by Cuno AP-DWS1000
- Faucet Mounted water Filters: mulligan FM 15A or FM 25
- Carafe Water Filter: Clear20 CWS100
- Bottled Water: Dasani Brand since it is purified with Reverse osmosis
Water and Ice Machine
Most of the time, you can run a ¼ inch silicone tube from your reverse osmosis filtration unit to your refrigerator, however, be sure to check your owner’s manual or with an authorized installer first as the reverse osmosis units have only about 2/3 incoming water pressure as regular lines and may not be compatible with some systems. Once your reverse osmosis system is hooked up to your fridge, use your fridge filter as recommended (it should get dirty less often since water is pre-filtered).
Do I need to use filtered water for cooking?
Yes. Cooking at extreme temperatures kills most but not necessarily all harmful organisms. It does not remove lead, heavy metals, or other toxic pollutants. This is an especially important consideration for recipes such as soups which contain a lot of water and also for pasta which absorb a lot of water (and contaminants). For these reasons, we recommend a healthy practice of using filtered water for all of your cooking.
Do I need a Shower Filter?
While lead doesn’t get absorbed by the skin, other pollutants do and can also be inhaled in a steamy shower. We recommend a shower filter or whole House Reverse Osmosis water filtration system.
Do I need a Whole House Water Filtration System?
It is possible to filter your drinking water, cooking water, and shower water separately. Hand washing, teeth brushing and clothes washing would only expose you to a minimal amount of pollutants. If you are in a position to get a whole house reverse osmosis water filtration system, or have a sensitivity to chemicals or multiple chemicals, then I would recommend it. Otherwise, you can reduce your exposure by implementing some or all of the filtration recommendations above.
- Choose only NSF certified filters
- Change your filter regularly according to manufacturer’s recommendations (set up reminders in your calendar as soon as you unpack your filter)
- Always have a spare filter around. Events like construction that disrupt water service can clog filters sooner than expected.
For more information on how much clean water to drink: check out our guide to hydration