#8 Choosing the right water filter
Do I need a water filter?
Each residential home and commercial property is different in age and design and people are built biologically differently which means some may require extra levels of filtration of their drinking water.
Throughout this article we will look at the water makeup, some possible dangers in our water systems, different scenarios where a water filter maybe a good idea, and also touch on different water filter types.
What is our water made from?
Your council mains water contains a variety of impurities – both from natural and artificial sources. Some of these contaminants are harmless and may only affect the waters smell, whereas others are more sinister contaminants and may give you immediate symptoms or affect you long term.
These natural sources have plenty of time to enter our drinking water as they come from the rivers flowing to the reservoirs, on to the treatment plants, then into our homes.
Safe drinking water requires additives you can often smell or taste. These can be things such as chlorine or a disinfectant, or fluoride which is used to fight teeth decay.
One of the main concerns from our water authority providers is that they provide consistent good quality, safe drinking water to consumers. These are free from pathogens and other nasty germs which could make us sick. There are many examples in parts of the world where people who only have access to dirty drinking water get sick and die. This shows us just how important clean drinking water is.
Below are a list of concerns:
- Bacteria: Most pathogenic bacteria found in water come from contamination by human or animal faeces. Disinfection (for example, with chlorine) usually kills all bacteria.
- Protozoa: This group includes cryptosporidium and giardia. These can cause severe illness, and their cysts can often resist disinfection. Protozoa are found everywhere. They can live on their own as free-living organisms in the environment, often in the soil, water, or moss.
- Viruses: Some viruses that can be found in water are potentially harmful. While disinfecting the water usually kills most viruses, some may survive and make you sick.
- Pesticides and herbicides: These have the potential to leak into our water ways, kill our fish and potentially make us sick. Constant testing of our water at the treatment plants is designed to identify such tests and remove them before transporting to his homes. Sources of such chemicals can be traced to their source area and sometimes stopped.
- Nitrate/nitrite: The main sources for these chemicals in waterways are sewage and fertiliser run-off. When nitrate is found to be at too high a level, the local authorities will usually advise the public to buy bottled water for young children.
- Chlorine and chlorination by-products: Chlorine or chloramine is usually added to kill bugs in the water that passes through the treatment plant and to protect against recontamination while the water’s travelling through the distribution system.
- Fluoride: This has been added to drinking water since the 1960s and 1970s as it has a proven record of reducing tooth decay.
- Aluminium: Chemicals containing aluminium are used in a process called flocculation which removes suspended particles from the water, making it clearer.
Do you have noticeable problems with your tap water?
Common problems with tap water include:
Discoloured water, quite often a rusty colour
If your water is constantly discoloured then I would get a plumber to check the quality, type of water pipes, and hot water system.
Quite often the discolouration will happen if the water sits for a week or two when you go on holiday. This is because when you turn the water back on, it stirs up any rust and sends this rusty water to your taps.
A filter will capture this rust but if it is quite bad, the filters will need changing more often and it will not resolve the underlying problem.
Chemical taste to the water
This is quite common in new homes and is caused by the plastic pipes leaking a chemical taste into the water. Again, a filter can help here. If this happens, action can be action taken by your plumber or builder to fix the problem.
In the past, we have tried a new supplier out and on the first house which I installed the new pipe, I just happened to try a drink of water before I left. The taste almost made me vomit. The next day I ripped it out and installed a new water system.
The water just tastes different
Our water has many factors that help shapes its taste, a major contributor being its origins. A prime example is the bore water in Roma which smells like rotten eggs and is hard to get used to. This is because of the presence of sulphur bacteria and hydrogen sulphide gas.
It really shows us that a tasteless fluid does infact have a lot of different tastes.
The water has higher than normal particular density.
Common causes here include:
- Old pipe work, usually galvanised pipe.
- Old rusted out hot water system
- Old filter that needs to be changed
- With rain water supply, dirty holding tanks can be the cause
- Dirt in the line from a plumber doing maintenance and not cleaning out line before reconnecting.
Categories of Water Filter
Water filters generally fall into the following sun categories:
- Under sink mount
- Bench mounted/t
- Reverse osmosis (typical small under sink unit)
Link – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0KapNZG6MLw&feature=youtu.be
- UV filtration (typical under sink uv filter)
Link – https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=QBincZzKgQs
- Water softeners
Link – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Es5aTYQlIq0
I have also provided a hand full of links below for some great water filter expert suppliers. Their websites are extremely detailed and the pricing is there for all to see.
You can also find a good quantity of water filter brands at;
If there are any more questions on water filters please post below and we will endeavour to answer as quick as we can.
If you need any further assistance, feel free to reach out to Yates Plumbing and Gas. We are local Brisbane plumbers, with a passion for excellence. Our friendly qualified team can help you with all of your plumbing and gas needs.
If you require more information or would like to book our service, please email on [email protected] or call us on 0437 827 502
We service the following areas:
Birkdale – Wellington Point- Alexandra hills- Capalaba – Wynnum – Thorneside – Lota- Manly – Cleveland- Ormiston – Morningside – Cannon Hill- Camp Hill- Chandler – Carindale – Gumdale – Wakerley – Bulimba – Belmont – Tingalpa