A tremendous number of home water treatment products are available on the market. Please review the purchase tips page for assistance in deciding what type of product is right for you.
Always begin by consulting your local water agency to get accurate information water quality information.
Simple home water treatment systems, such as a point-of-use filter, are available at many hardware, building supply, or plumbing stores. Larger and more expensive systems such as water softeners or reverse osmosis systems are available from specific dealers. Information on most water treatment technologies is available through web searches.
Be cautious of over-eager treatment system salesmen. Remember there is no single test to determine if water is safe. Though most water treatment dealers can provide free in-home or laboratory tests, the tests normally are for nuisance contaminants such as hardness, pH, iron, manganese, sulfur and total dissolved solids. Occasionally a dealer also may test for nitrate. Seldom does any test include all the contaminants covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards.
Some salespersons conduct on-site demonstrations they may refer to as “tests”. These demonstrations typically cause precipitates to form in the water, or cause color changes to occur. Though dramatic with hard water or iron, they are generally meaningless in quantifying how much contaminant is present. But the salespersons may try to convince potential buyers these are good reasons to purchase their water treatment equipment. Buyers should insist upon confirmation from an independent source before investing in equipment or water treatment services.