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How Much Water to Drink? 8 Water Facts and Questions Answered (Page 9)

Should I Filter My Tap Water?

“A filter will give you better water quality,” says Pauli Undesser, director of regulatory and technical affairs with the Water Quality Association. Filters remove chlorine added to disinfect the water and so it may taste better. A filter will also remove metals like lead and copper that may have entered the water supply via underground pipelines or your home’s plumbing, as well as pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other potentially harmful unregulated compounds. Look for a filter labeled with a gold seal by the Water Quality Association or the NSF International mark: both certify water-treatment products to ensure contaminant reduction and product integrity.

That said, American drinking water is quite safe. The EPA sets drinking-water standards for public water supplies and the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments require that all community water systems distribute to their customers an annual water-quality report listing contaminant levels detected in the water. If you are one of the 15 percent of Americans with a private well, the EPA has information on how to ensure your water is safe (epa.gov/safewater/privatewells). As for bottled water, the FDA requires that it meet the same standards as tap water.

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