Filters for Municipal Water

By the Care2 staff.

There are almost 170,000 public water systems in the United States. Water utilities treat nearly 34 billion gallons of water every day.

When shopping for a water purifier, it’s important to first research what your municipal water problems are. Different communities will have different contaminants in their water supply, and you want to get a water purifier that solves your specific water problems.

Water Authorities are required under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide a Consumer Confidence Report to consumers annually. The report allows consumers to know the quality of their drinking water, the contaminants in it, and the possible harmful effects. The report also allows consumers to decide whether or not a home water purifier is needed to make the water potable. Well water is not regulated.
The following US EPA link will allow you to get a copy of annual drinking water reports for your city.

However, not all contaminants are tested. In 2005, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested municipal water in 42 states and detected some 260 contaminants in public water supplies. Of those, 141 were unregulated chemicals for which public health officials have no safety standards, much less methods for removing them.

Another 119 regulated chemicals—a total of 260 contaminants altogether—were found by the environmental group in a two-and-a-half-year analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests. The tests, which are required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, were conducted at nearly 40,000 utilities that supply water to 231 million people.

According EWG, the top 10 states with the most contaminants in their drinking water were California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois—in that order. EWG said the biggest sources of contaminants were agriculture, industry and pollution from sprawl and urban runoff.

To find out which brands of filters remove which impurities, see this water filter comparisons chart.

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Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

I wish the Environmental Working Group would evaluate water filters.

I thought the web page was a fake immediately when the contaminants removed were shown as yes or no(green or red dot). All scientific evalutations indicate which product reduced the contaminant by what percent. Also, none of them have a UL or California certifications. UL and the California certifications have the most stringent requirements(California more so than UL) for water filters in the industry.

Robert P.
Robert P.3 years ago

We live in Concord Ca. where the main source of water is the Calif. delta where all the agriculture waste and pesticide runoff combine with the treated water from countless communities upstream in the entire central valley and sierra mountains comes down. Yuck!
When we moved here we were fortunate enough to find a water filtration expert/plumber who installed a whole house 5ft tall carbon filter that gets all the chlorine out and particles too. Then for our drinking water we also had installed a reverse osmosis filter for under the sink in the kitchen and it tastes great! And no worries about the source any more. It cost quite a bit but I look at it as cheap health insurance!

Lynn C.
Lynn c.3 years ago

Thank you for the comparison chart. Just in time for a friend who has been looking for a good water filter.

Ellyn S.
Ellyn S.5 years ago

Chinese Fluoride In Mass. Water Raises Concern
Team 5 Investigates After Amesbury Pulls Sodium Fluoride From Water Supply
POSTED: 6:12 pm EST March 11, 2010
UPDATED: 10:00 am EDT March 16, 2010

Comments (107)AMESBURY, Mass. -- Fluoride is added to the water most of us drink because the government believes it's a safe and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay.

However, Team 5 Investigates found the Amesbury Water Department pulled fluoride from its system amid concerns about its supply from China.

Department of Public Works Director Rob Desmarais said after he mixes the white powder with water, 40 percent of it will not dissolve.

"I don't know what it is," Desmarais said. "It's not soluble, and it doesn't appear to be sodium fluoride. So we are not quite sure what it is."

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Desmarais said the residue clogs his machines and makes it difficult to get a consistent level of fluoride in the town's water.

Since April the fluoride pumps in Amesbury have been turned off and they will stay that way until Desmarais can find out what's in the fluoride that's imported from China.

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Both state and federal health officials told Team 5 Investigates that Chinese fluoride is safe.

The Department of Public Health said it believes that more than 650,000 customers in 44 Massachuse

Ellyn S.
Ellyn S.6 years ago

The water filter MUST filter out the hazardous waste material, fluorosilicic acid, known as fluoride, in addition to all the other contaminants.

Anyone wanting to know just how harmful fluoride is to our bodies can go the the Web site, FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK at: Fluoridated Water is particularly harmful to infants and very young children and any who have kidney problems of any sort.

Here is some Web site information about water filters that remove fluoride:

How to Remore Fluoride from Drinking Water

Promolife Fluoride Removal Filters

Why I Oppose Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water

Chris L.
Chris L.6 years ago

No wonder listed an older version of the PUR Water filter. The 3-stage PUR water filter that I personally use now filters almost all of the items listed on that website. You can Google "Water Quality Report" along with the name of your city and that should give you an idea of what your local water issues are. There is also another article on this website; do a search for "Well Water" and you will find it.

Lernie T.
Lernie T.6 years ago

BUYER BEWARE! Per Annie B Bond above "To find out which brands of filters remove which impurities, see this water filter comparisons chart." the link brings you to, a Sun Water Systems website. Aquasana shows up the best in the comparison charts. Guess who owns Aquasana? You guessed it, Sun Water Systems. Annie B Bond mentions EPA & EWG throughout the article but then sends readers to a manufacturers website for comparisons?? WHAAAT? Now my only question is did Annie B Bond do this innocently or is she affiliated?
P.S. Laura: Per product manual, NSF certification is not valid on water treated with chloramines, so that certification is no silver bullet either (no matter how self-righteous and judgemental you sound). :)

Laura Newton
Past Member 7 years ago

After reading alot of the comments here, it absolutely surprises me how lazy and ignorant some people can be. Especially when it comes to the safety of their drinking water.
I am a distributor for multi-pure water filters, and I have done extensive (months)of research and worked for several unethical companies (who i will not name) Before I decided to go with a multi-pure water filter. After all the research I did, only then did I decide to spend my money. (and eventually join the company)but..
I always recommend to perspective customers to do your research! do not settle on the cheapest water filter, they are usually and most likely NOT the best. And ALWAYS make sure the filter you are purchasing is "Nsf Certified". But, most people do not know what Nsf is or what it stands for.. Nsf is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. For 60 years, NSF has been committed to public health, safety, and protection of the environment. While focusing on food, water, indoor air, and the environment. NSF is widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environmental sciences. Its professional staff includes engineers, chemists, toxicologists, and environmental health professionals with broad experience both in public and private organizations.
There are several water filters that are Nsf Certified, and if people would only take the time and research they will find the "right" filter.
Simply google "nsf certified water filters"

Joyce H.
Joyce H.7 years ago

hello everyone!!
look at the very bottom of the article:"SIMPLE SOLUTION:
To find out which brands of filters remove which impurities, see this water filter comparisons chart.
lots of great info on filters: whole house, shower, etc. just look on the pages for further links.


Melissa Baker
Melissa Baker7 years ago

I agree with Ruth Foster's comment - Where is the information to tell us which filters to use ?! That's what I was expecting when I selected this topic.