7 reasons not to installa kitchen water filter

7 Reasons you should not use a kitchen water filter

Thinking about buying a kitchen water filter? Do you have one today? It's important to be aware of both the pros and cons of installing a water filter in your kitchen.

While home water filtration systems have become popular in recent years due to their promises of providing clean, contaminant-free drinking water, some experts have raised concerns over their necessity and effectiveness, particularly in regions where tap water is already considered safe for consumption.

Here are 7 reasons why we might not want to use of water filters at home for drinkable public tap water:

1. Unnecessary for Treated Public Water

In many developed countries, public tap water is rigorously tested and treated to meet stringent health and safety standards (EPA, 2021). This means that the water supplied to your home has already undergone extensive purification processes that effectively eliminate harmful substances. Therefore, if your tap water comes from a reliable and monitored source and the water pipes are good then using a water filter might be unnecessary.

2. Potential for Contamination

Water filters, particularly activated carbon filters, can become a breeding ground for bacteria over time if not properly maintained (Barbeau et al., 1997). Neglecting to replace filters regularly can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can contaminate your filtered water and lead to health issues. In fact, more bacteria was found in the output than the input in a study of reverse osmosis filters in Dubai. Another study in Germany showed bacteria growth in all Brita Jug after a few weeks of use.

3. Waste Generation from kitchen water filters

The environmental impact of water filters is another cause for concern. Filters need to be replaced periodically, leading to the generation of plastic waste which can contribute to environmental pollution if not correctly recycled (Van Doorsselaer et al., 2019). Many filters use large amount of plastic for the refill cartridges and the parts cannot be separated and recycled.

4. Cost of kitchen water filters vs tap water

Water filters can represent a significant ongoing cost. The initial purchase price of a water filtration system can be high, and you also need to factor in the ongoing cost of replacement filters (Consumer Reports, 2020). If your tap water is already safe to drink, this expense might not be justifiable. On the other hand you will save money if you are buying bottled water today.

5. False Sense of Security

Filters can only remove certain contaminants, not all (NRDC, 2020). Relying solely on water filters may give a false sense of security, diverting attention away from addressing potential issues at the source or throughout the water supply system. Make sure the water filter you buy is independently tested and certified.

6. Removal of Healthy Minerals

One often overlooked aspect of home water filtration is that in the process of removing potential contaminants, beneficial minerals can also be eliminated from the water (Schwalfenberg et al., 2012). Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are commonly found in tap water, play critical roles in our body's overall health, contributing to bone strength, heart health, and proper metabolic function (National Institutes of Health, 2019).

Reverse osmosis filters, in particular, are known to demineralize water. A study published in the "Journal of Family Practice" found that consumption of demineralized water could potentially lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, due to the lack of essential minerals in the water (Sauvant & Pepin, 2002). While it's crucial to note that diet is the primary source of these minerals, water can contribute a significant proportion, especially in areas with hard water.

7. Environmental Impact of Kitchen Water Filters

When discussing the environmental impact of water filters, single-use water filters have been identified as particularly problematic. These filters, typically used in jug-style water filter systems, have a shorter lifespan compared to other types, requiring frequent replacements. The majority of these filters are composed of plastic and activated carbon, making them difficult to recycle (Van Doorsselaer et al., 2019). The result is an increase in non-biodegradable waste in landfills.

Moreover, the production of activated carbon, which is a key component of many water filters, has a significant environmental footprint. It's typically produced from wood, coconut shells, and other types of biomass. The process involves harvesting, transportation, and intense heat treatment, all of which contribute to CO2 emissions (Deuber et al., 2013).

The carbon footprint of shipping and manufacturing these filters, coupled with their disposal challenges, can have a significant environmental impact. Therefore, it's crucial to consider these factors when deciding whether to use a home water filtration system, especially if your tap water is already safe to drink.

Summary about you may want to avoid using a kitchen water filter

While these points critique the general use of water filters, it's essential to note that certain situations may warrant the use of water filtration systems at home. For example, in areas where water quality is poor, the water tastes bad or in homes with old, lead-containing pipes, using a water filter might be necessary. If you're buying bottled water today then a water filter is definitely a much better choice in terms of saving money, convenience, health and sustainability.

The important thing is that you consider the factors above when choosing a water filter. Check out our best water fiter guide for more.

Why you should still consider a TAPP Water Filter

Why people are choosing our products

Thankfully there are filters that tackle all the issues highlighted above. With a faucet or pitcher water filter by Tapp Water you will get all the benefits and none of the issues. Tappwater filters deliver better tasting water, independently certified and tested to remove contaminants, sustainable refills, costs less than €5 per month which is clearly cheaper than bottled water, doesn't remove the healthy minerals and doesn't have issues with bad bacteria growth.

Learn more about EcoPro, EcoPro Compact or the PitcherPro glass filter jug.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2021). Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems. https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo

Barbeau, B., Desjardins, R., & Prévost, M. (1997). Biofiltration of drinking water: Organic matter removal by biological activity in granular activated carbon filters. Water Science and Technology, 35(11-12), 55-62.

Van Doorsselaer, K., Fox, B., & O'Brien, S. (2019). The Environmental Cost of Misinformation: Why the Recommendation to Use Elevated Temperatures for Handwashing is Problematic. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 43(6), 558-569.

Consumer Reports. (2020). Do You Really Need a Water Filter?

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). (2020). What's In Your Water? https://www.nrdc.org/stories/whats-your-water-fluoride

Schwalfenberg, G. K., Genuis, S. J., & Hiltz, M. N. (2012). Addressing vitamin D deficiency in Canada: a public health innovation whose time has come. Public health, 126(6), 478-484.

National Institutes of Health. (2019). Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Sauvant, M. P., & Pepin, D. (2002). Drinking water and cardiovascular disease. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 40(11), 1311-1325.

Van Doorsselaer, K., Fox, B., & O'Brien, S. (2019). The Environmental Cost of Misinformation: Why the Recommendation to Use Elevated Temperatures for Handwashing is Problematic. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 43(6), 558-569.

Deuber, F., Weingarth, M., Drochner, K., & Brautsch, M. (2013). Preparation of activated carbon from cherry stones by chemical activation with ZnCl2. Biomass and Bioenergy, 49, 214-221

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