What Is the Best Water Filtration System For My Florida Home?
December 15, 2021
Florida’s public water systems follow meticulous standards to provide clean drinking water to residents all over the state. However, it’s still possible for contaminants to enter the water supply, leading to short- and long-term health problems.
If you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water, you may be considering a water filtration system for your home. Water filtration systems vary in design, depending on the contaminants they remove.
There’s not a single “best” water filtration system. Ultimately, the best water filtration system for you will depend on the contaminants in your water and the contaminants you want to remove.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- Harmful contaminants found in Florida water
- How to tell which contaminants are present in your water
- Four popular types of water filtration systems
Want a professional to help you choose a water filter for your home? Contact Red Cap Plumbing today. Our highly-trained plumbers can recommend an effective water filter and install it for you.
Harmful Contaminants Found in Florida Water
All drinking water contains at least a small amount of contaminants, some of which enter the water supply during the water treatment process. Some contaminants pose no health risk, while others can be hazardous, especially in high concentrations.
Some of the most harmful contaminants found in Florida water include:
- Lead: Service lines and pipe connections can contain lead. Because water gradually corrodes pipes, lead can enter the water supply, leading to adverse health effects like anemia and kidney/brain damage.
- Copper: In high doses, copper is harmful to humans. Some homes and businesses have copper piping, which corrodes and rusts with time. When that happens, pinhole leaks occur and increase the copper concentrations in the water supply.
- Nitrates: Nitrates are naturally-occurring or synthetically-produced compounds found in soil and water. Rain, floods, and soil erosion can cause nitrates to enter the water supply. In high concentrations, nitrates can cause severe sickness because they affect how our blood carries oxygen.
- Bacteria: Harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, can enter the water via leaking septic tanks and runoff from feedlots. Private wells are most at risk for bacteria exposure.
- Arsenic: Arsenic is a chemical element that can lead to serious health problems like skin lesions and cancer. Arsenic can enter the groundwater when certain rock formations erode. Private wells may have high arsenic levels because of certain fertilizers or industrial waste around the well.
Approximately 80% of Floridians receive water from public systems that follow regulations outlined in the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Regular testing and water treatment typically clean contaminants out of the water before they reach your home. The exceptions are copper and lead, which could enter your water through your home’s piping.
The remaining 20% of Florida residents get water from private well sources which do not require regular testing. As a result, these residents have a higher exposure risk to the contaminants listed above.
How To Tell Which Contaminants Are Present in Your Water
You can check the quality of your home’s water in one of two ways:
- Obtain a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR): A CCR lists the contaminants found in the water supplied by your public water provider. You can obtain a CCR by searching for your water supplier on the Environmental Protection Agency CCR search portal.
- Get an in-home water quality test: If you want to test your home’s water quality (which we highly recommend if you get water from a private well source), you can contact your local county health department for more information. They will provide you with instructions on collecting the water samples and getting the samples tested by a state-certified laboratory.
Based on the results of these tests, you can consult with a water quality expert to find the right filtration system for your home.
Four Popular Types of Water Filtration Systems
Activated Carbon Filter
You can think of an activated carbon filter as a magnetic sponge that absorbs water-based contaminants. As water passes through the beads of activated carbon, pollutants in the water get trapped in the pores of the carbon, removing them from the water supply.
Activated carbon filters can remove lead, phosphate, and chlorine from the water. However, they do not remove bacteria, copper, or arsenic.
UV Water Purifier
A UV water purifier uses ultraviolet light to neutralize harmful organisms in the water, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. However, a UV purifier does not work on non-living contaminants, making it ineffective against chemical-based contaminants like arsenic or fluoride. For this reason, homeowners usually pair UV water purifiers with another type of filtration system.
Reverse Osmosis Filter
A reverse osmosis system uses pressure to direct water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane contains tiny pores that block contaminants but allow water molecules to flow through, resulting in purified drinking water.
Reverse osmosis filters can remove chlorine, salts, and arsenic, but not viruses or bacteria. We recommend installing a UV purifier with a reverse osmosis filter to remove those kinds of organic contaminants.
A water softener is technically not a filter, but it helps to reduce hard water. Hard water contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can cause problems for your water heater and plumbing system. A water softener reduces calcium and magnesium buildup in your water to reduce the adverse effects of hard water.
Florida has especially hard water, so we often recommend that homeowners install a water softener in addition to a water filter.
Want a Free Quote To Install a Whole-Home Water Filtration System? Contact Red Cap.
Call Red Cap Plumbing today or schedule an appointment online. Our highly-trained plumbers can help you find the perfect water filtration system for your home based on the contaminants you want to remove.
When you hire Red Cap Plumbing to install your water filter, you can count on us to provide honest pricing and equipment recommendations and 5-star customer service during every step of the project. Visit our water filter installation page for more information about our installation process.
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