Drinking water contaminants are one place to start when evaluating your toxin load. What you put into your body is perhaps the most important aspect of living a greener lifestyle. You can’t survive without food and drinking water—so these should also be a starting point when considering eliminating toxic substances.
That’s why eliminating potential hazardous drinking water contaminants is a great first step. Let’s talk about the two gold-standard filtration systems that help remove them.
Eliminating Drinking Water Contaminants: Two Filtration Systems
The most common and effective water filtration / systems are reverse osmosis systems and activated carbon filtration. Let’s talk about what each can filter out and why you’d choose one over the other.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems are kind of the gold standard when it comes to detoxing your water supply. These systems remove:
- Hexavalent chromium
But they come at a bit more of a cost (literally and figuratively). The cons of a reverse osmosis system are:
- Price: They’re more expensive than other systems, especially if you’re looking at whole-house filtration (what comes from your showers, is in your washing machine or dishwasher, etc.)
- Sustainability: Reverse osmosis systems can waste 3 to 5 times the water it treats, which is not the most sustainable way to clean your water.
- Removal of good minerals: A reverse osmosis system is SO thorough, it’ll remove the good minerals (magnesium, calcium, you need to keep your body hydrated. RO removes minerals because they have larger molecules than water. This means you’ll need an additional remineralization system (more cost) or to add drops like ConcenTrace back into your water.
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon filters are another option when it comes to purifying your home water supply. They’re more affordable and they reduce:
- Disinfection byproducts
On the flip side, activated carbon filters are a bit clunkier than a reverse osmosis system. Cons of activated carbon filters:
- Less complete filtration: AC filters can’t remove arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, or perchlorate, which makes them less effective than an RO system.
- Consistency: AC filters vary in terms of performance and types of contaminants that they can remove. It’s necessary to do your research before buying to ensure the one you select has proven to remove what you want it to remove.
- Maintenance: These filters are only as good as the maintenance you put into them. They require priming of the filter upon changes, need to be monitored for usage to determine when they need replacing.
One other advantage to carbon filters is that they are versatile and can be used in multiple areas of your home—including showers, water bottles, and in the refrigerator.
On-the-counter brands such as Berkey Filters are one of our favorite carbon filters. They also have fluoride reduction filters you can add to the system for additional filtration.
A Caveat about Drinking Water Contaminants
The information in this post just scratches the surface of water quality. The truth is, there are hundreds of compounds, metals, chemicals and more found in our water that haven’t been studied for their effects on humans. Consider this a starting place to encourage you to do more research and make an informed decision about your home water supply.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.