8 City Drinking Water Contaminants

It’s easy to tell that something is not right with your tap water when you can see, taste or smell something unpleasant. But not all contaminants are easily identifiable. For instance, some microbial, organic contaminants, and dissolved solids can’t be detected by human senses alone, meaning your water may look and taste the same while secretly containing materials that could harm your health. 

It’s good to keep in mind, however, that all city tap water does contain some trace contaminants and not all of them are things you have to worry about. Before you panic over what might be in your water, let’s take a look at some of the most common contaminants and whether or not you need to be concerned.

1. Chloramine

Concern Level: Medium

The presence of certain chemicals is not necessarily a bad thing. Chloramine is a disinfectant used to treat water and kill germs and is becoming the chemical treatment of choice over chlorine for many high-population areas. Though this chemical is known to produce less trihalomethanes (which have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals), it can be harsh on metal pipes, and leach metals if buffers were not added to prevent the leaching. Chloramines are also known to degrade common gaskets and hoses, leading to leaks or flooding. Changing your toilet and dish/clothes washer hoses to a compatible material such as stainless steel and making sure your renter’s or homeowners insurance policy covers water damage is recommended if you live in an area serviced with chloraminated water.  

2. Chlorine

Concern Level: Medium

Like chloramine, chlorine is used as a treatment option to kill germs in water. However, chlorine byproducts may be linked to diseases like cancer and reproductive issues if consumed in high enough quantities. Most city water treatment plants typically keep these at safe levels for consumption and in accordance with the EPA, but cities have been known to raise chlorine levels in the summertime to account for higher chlorine consumption rates. 

3. Arsenic

Concern Level: High

Although arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, arsenic contamination in city ground water is more often a result of manmade sources such as wood preservative, petroleum production, semi-conductor manufacturing or pesticides. Even low amounts of arsenic exposure can affect your health, and over time, those issues can become much worse.

4. Pharmaceuticals

Concern Level: Unknown

This is an emerging area of concern that has only recently been subject to investigation and formal study to monitor possible health effects. Nearly 60 percent of Americans are taking prescription drugs, and remnants of these medications find their way back into city water systems through expulsion and people flushing medications. While no major issues have resulted yet, researchers have detected anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety, heart failure, high blood pressure and a multitude of pain medications in water supplies across the country

5. Lead

Concern Level: High

The Flint water crisis gained national attention and turned our collective focus to the dangers of lead. The metal is especially dangerous for children. It tends to build up in the bloodstream over time and can have significant negative implications on brain development. The damage done by lead is often irreversible.

6. Perchlorate

Concern Level: Medium

Perchlorate used to be a commonly used chemical in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, and flares, and can sometimes be found in bleach and fertilizers. The chemical cannot only leach into groundwater, but has also been found in different lettuces and leafy greens. 

Because it can affect the endocrine and reproductive systems, the EPA considers this a likely human carcinogen and states have begun to regulate and remove the chemical when deemed necessary. 

7. Fluoride

Concern Level: Medium-High

It’s important to understand that there are different types of fluoride, both naturally occurring and man-made, each affecting humans differently. While organizations like the American Dental Association and the EPA deem this element safe, it has been found to cause neurotoxicity in adults and neurodevelopment issues in children. Fluoridation has been banned in many Asian and European countries and U.S. cities are starting to follow suit. The EPA now recognizes there have been new developments in possible health effects related to fluoride, but the revision of its classification remains a low priority. We’ll be exploring more on this compound-dissolved solid in a follow-up post, so be sure to check it out.

8. Microorganisms

Concern Level: Low

Deceased microorganisms are the most common origin of musty or earthy smelling treated municipal drinking water. When microorganisms are killed by chlorine, they can decay and cause these foul odors. These organisms are typically not an issue for healthy adults, but can sometimes cause illness in those with immunodeficiency, and are certainly unpleasant to drink. 

Concerns over drinking water are common and valid. While many contaminants appear in low quantities and are not of immediate concern, for peace of mind, check with your local water board. These organizations can provide specifics on drinking water coming directly from your tap. For optimal safety and the best flavor, it’s worth investing in a filtration system to keep your family hydrated and healthy all year round.

Does Your Water Pass the Smell Test?

There’s nothing more unpleasant than drinking, cooking or bathing with foul-smelling water. So, how do you know if the water you smell is safe to use?

There are a number of reasons why water may have a strange smell. From earthy, sulfer scents to chlorine or gasoline, some smells aren’t anything to worry about, while others should be addressed immediately for your family’s health and safety. In this latest article, we address some of the most common water smells, what they mean and how to remedy them.

Read the full article by Jon Sigona here to learn more about the most common odors in tap water and the solutions you need to get back the freshest smelling and tasting water.  

Countertop Water Solutions, Ideal for Rentals & Small Spaces

There’s something about returning to a college dorm or apartment after a holiday break that makes you realize the things taken for granted at home. One common complaint is the quality of water – or the lack thereof – available in most dorms and apartments. Showering with tap water may be cutting it for temporary housing situations, but living off bottled water is neither cost- or eco-efficient.

Municipal tap water can contain all sorts of chemicals, including chlorine and chloramine, dissolved solids like sulfur, aluminum and even heavy metals like mercury and lead. These can give tap water a foul taste or smell and are less than ideal for daily consumption.  

Filtered water is the obvious solution, but for many living in dorms, apartments or other small, shared or even short-term dwellings, a whole-house filter isn’t practical.

The solution? Countertop filters. These filters provide clean water precisely where you need it – your sink. Not only do sink top dispensers remove up to 99 percent of chemicals, metals and other impurities found in tap water, they are ideal for these common dorm and apartment dilemmas, including:

Small spaces

Small living quarters means little room, even for the essentials. With every nook-and-cranny of a kitchen cabinet split among multiple roommates, there is simply no space for bulky water filters or stacks of bottled water. Our Home Master ® Jr., sink top filter only uses a few inches of counter space, nestled next to your existing faucet. Plus, no need to worry about overturning heavy five-gallon jugs or a difficult installation process.

Shared water

Packaging utilities can be a pretty sweet deal, and usually a logistical must for dorms or apartments. But this sort of setup leaves little room for customization. Since buildings must only provide access to basic needs, municipal tap water is what you can expect to find. With a sink top filter, you can easily transform your water supply into clean, filtered H2O for your personal needs and enjoyment.

On the move

Dorms aren’t typically long-term living situations, and most people aren’t prepared to invest additional funds in a place they may only be leasing for a short time. Most sink top dispensers are easy to install and can be removed in minutes, so you can easily take it with you to your next residence. Our model, the Home Master ® Jr., even comes with a limited three-year warranty as an added bonus.

Inexpensive and cost-effective

At well under $100, sink top dispensers are not only a less expensive alternative to whole-house filters, they are also more cost-effective in the long run. The average American drinks 167 water bottles per year, and one could guess more for on-the-go college students. That could equal more than $500 per year! With a sink top filter, you’ll have better-than-bottled water right at your faucet, ready to refill at a moment’s notice at no additional cost.

Eco-friendly

Money isn’t the only thing wasted on water bottles. Of the hundreds of bottles consumed by individuals each year, only about 20 percent are recycled. Additionally, many dorms don’t offer recycling services, causing more plastic bottles to end up in landfills. By reducing the amount of bottled water usage (and investing in a quality reusable bottle), you do your part in reducing your carbon footprint.

 Find out more about our countertop filters here

4 Simple Hard Water Hacks

It’s a busy time of year and the last thing we want to be dealing with is dingy laundry or hard-to-remove mineral stains in kitchens and baths. Hard water is something that requires a water softener or scale prevention system to remove long term, but with little time to install a system like this before the holidays there are short-term tips to solve your specific hard water concerns.

Here are five common hard water problems and quick solutions to get your home ready for hosting family and friends.

Use vinegar for stain removal in the kitchen.

To keep glassware and silverware spot- and stain-free for the holiday table, wash dishes in a mixture of warm water, soap and a half-cup of vinegar. The soap and water helps to loosen stains while vinegar removes difficult mineral deposits as well as tough stains like coffee and lipstick without a ton of scrubbing.

Incorporate a water conditioner in your next load of laundry.

Hard water can wreak havoc on laundry. Stiffness or yellowing of clothing can be the result of washing your clothes with hard water. To remedy this issue, try adding a water conditioner to a load of laundry just once to see if it helps. The conditioner actually boosts the power of the laundry detergent, removing harsh minerals caused by hard water and prevents detergent residue from building up on your clothes, which is typically the cause of stiffness and dingy colored clothing.

Baking soda is for more than baking.

Baking soda has a great deal of household uses including removing grimy mineral buildup in toilet bowls. Start by pouring one cup of vinegar into the toilet. Let it sit for about one minute, then add one cup of baking soda and one more cup of vinegar. Let this concoction stand for 10 minutes before cleaning with a bowl brush. You’ll see that it lifts those pesky mineral stains immediately. (Tip: this will work in your bathroom sinks too.)

Improve the look and function of faucets and showerheads.

Fill a plastic freezer bag with hot water and vinegar. Next, place the bag over the faucet or showerhead, holding it in place by tying it with a rubber band. After two to three hours, remove the bag of water and vinegar to reveal a shiny new fixture. This solution will also clear out most mineral deposits that build up in the tiny holes of showerheads and faucets. For stainless steel or ceramic fixtures, the hot water and vinegar mixture will do the trick, however, if you have a large amount of buildup, use straight vinegar.

For more remedies to solve bothersome hard water issues, check out the Home Master Filter blog or view our FAQs

10 Water-Related Gifts for the Holiday Season

Updated: 11/09/18

Water is an essential part our everyday lives; it’s necessary for drinking, cleaning, hygiene and our overall health. At Perfect Water Technologies, we strive to provide the purest water in homes across the country. So while we take water a bit more seriously, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it. And what better way to spread the joys of water than with some holiday cheer?

This gift-giving season, consider a few H20-related items for everyone in your life. From the practical to the playful, here is our guide to the top water-related gifts.

1.     Shot Glass Ice Molds by KOVAT ($11.99)

In a previous blog post, we highlighted the importance of quality ice for your cocktails, but this takes ice to a whole new level of party utility. Fill the silicone mold up with filtered water, freeze and you have an instant party for eight – just add a beverage of choice! What’s more, you can spare yourself the cleanup (and party evidence) by letting these bad boys melt away when done.

2.     Hydro Flask Bottles ($29.95 and up)

A home filtration system can save you big bucks, so of course you would want to protect that investment by taking your tasty filtered water with you while you’re out and about. A Hydro Flask is the best way to ensure your water stays as crisp and cool as the moment it was filtered thanks to its revolutionary TempeShield™ protection. The double walled, vacuum insulated technology means the Hydro Flask keeps cold up to 24 hours. Plus, the ultra-lightweight stainless steel is BPA-free and phthalate-free unlike some plastic bottles.

3.     Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch by JOTO ($6.31)

Despite our mutual love for water and electronics, they can be a dangerous combination. Protect your precious smartphone (as well as credit cards and other valuables) from water damage with this handy waterproof pouch. The universal design fits most phones up to 6 inches, plus the clear material allows you to use the touchscreen and still easily take photos. Great for trips to the beach or lounging by the pool.

4.     Home Master Jr. F2 Elite Sinktop Water Filter by Perfect Water Technologies ($92.50)

Great for apartments, condos, dorms or rentals, a sinktop water filter is the perfect solution for anyone in need of filtered water without the ability to install a whole-house system. This lightweight and discreet counter top water filter is simple to install and removes up to 93 percent of dirt, soluble metals and chemicals that cause foul tastes and odors in tap water. It is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

5.     Showerheads for everyone on your list

From the fanatic to the fancy, everyone needs a showerhead that reflects their personal style. Star Wars continues to top gift lists this year, and home goods are no exception. Try the Darth Vader Handheld Showerhead by Oxygenics ($14.99) and feel the force with this pressure-boosting handheld showerhead.

For those looking to escape the reign of the Dark Lord, the 35-Spray 3-in-1 Rainfall Luxury Showerhead Combo by Rain Spa ($29.99) provides more of a spa-like shower experience with not one, but two powerful showerheads each with six different settings featuring the advanced high-performance 3-zone PrecisionFlo™ dial for more powerful flow even with low water pressure. The stationary spout has a 4.25-inch diameter, and the 35 spray settings offer 10 single and 25 combined water patterns for a truly luxurious feel.

6.     Aqua Glow Underwater Light Show ($29.99)

Finally – a dramatic backyard light show without the dramatic cost. This floating disco light covers your pool in multicolored patterns, making for a fun addition for any gathering. This product goes into action with the simple flip of a switch. Plus, the battery-powered Aqua Glow has an auto shut-off feature.

7.     Hot Water Bottle Cozy ($29.99)

Stay warm with this wool fleece hot water bottle cozy. Simply put, it covers your favorite rubber water bottle (not included) for hours of toasty toes, snuggly sheets or heated hands. Not only are hot water bottle heaters a safer alternative to electric heating pads, they’re great year round to relieve pain, muscle tension, cramps and headaches.

8.     Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker by JBL ($119.95)

Turn your pool party up a notch and take shower karaoke to the next level with a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. The JBL Charge 3 portable waterproof speaker can go just about anywhere and is made of rugged rubber that can be totally submerged. What’s more, the Bluetooth allows for connecting with other JBL speakers for an amplified sound-system experience, and the rechargeable Li-ion battery supports up to 20 hours of playtime on top of charging smartphones and other devices via USB.

9.     Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser by OliveTech ($26.34)

Who says oil and water don’t mix? Combine a few drops of your favorite essential oils with the power of a fine mist for the ultimate in relaxation. Soothe your senses and give any room in your home or office a fresh, clean scent with this decorative diffuser that is as appealing to the eye as it is your nose. With added mist strength controls, the boost in moisture can help soften dry and chapped winter skin and make it easier to breath. Plus, the seven customizable LED Light settings add ambiance, and the classic wood grain finish makes it a statement piece in any home.

10.  Donation to a water relief organization

Let’s not forget the true meaning of the holiday season and give back to those in need. For many – in fact, more than 633 million people around the world – that need is daily access to safe drinking water. Water.org or charity: water are two great non-profit organizations helping to bring clean water to people in developing countries and empowering their communities for financially and environmentally sustainable solutions. In addition to accepting online donations, you can send a holiday e-card honoring your gift of water through Water.org. Or, check out charity: water’s shop full of fun water-loving gifts with proceeds going directly to its cause. 

Most Common Water Myths Debunked

A lot of what we think about water comes from conventional wisdom, but we don’t spend a lot of time looking into where that wisdom comes from—or if it’s even as wise as it claims to be. Once you start digging around, however, you might be surprised to discover the real story.

Let’s take a look at the truth behind five common assumptions about water.

1. Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

Interestingly, no one is really sure where this myth comes from. The prevailing theory is that someone turned a report that stated people generally drink eight cups of fluids a day into some sort of daily water intake mandate.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t drink a lot of water, but remember that fluid intake can come from water dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Consider this common notion a guide to base your own personal water intake levels on and factor in activity levels and health, among other things. Hydrate in advance of exercise, otherwise drink water when thirsty or hungry since hunger pains are also a sign of dehydration.

2. Water Gives You Energy

This one is actually a bit tricky. It’s not exactly wrong—it’s just that most people misinterpret the reasons behind it. You see, water itself cannot provide energy; only calories can give you energy, and water doesn’t provide calories.

The source of this myth comes from the results of recovering from dehydration. If you’re dehydrated, you might feel sluggish, tired, dizzy and confused. Drinking water will alleviate these symptoms and make you feel a lot better. So it’s not water giving you the energy burst—it’s a result of your body feeling rehydrated and rejuvenated.

3. Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

This is another one that has some truth to it, but only if you understand the reasoning behind it. Water itself does nothing to promote weight loss, given its lack of nutritional value. But it can be a useful tool for people trying to drop a few pounds, in a few ways.

One, by sticking with water, you’re likely eliminating other beverage options such as sugary sodas or coffee with flavored creamer. Cutting those beverages out of your daily intake can have a significant impact on your total caloric intake. Second, continuously drinking water throughout the day can help boost your metabolic rate, which plays a large role in weight loss. Third, water makes you feel full, especially if you drink a couple of glasses before sitting down to a meal.

4. Any Plastic Container Will Do

Here’s a myth that is flat-out false. We recently published a post about reusable water bottles and tips for finding the best option for you. And if you’re thinking about reusing old milk jugs or soda bottles, think again:

  • Milk jugs are biodegradable and will break down over time. Also, any live cultures in the milk that remain in your jug could make you ill if you store drinking/cooking water in milk jugs.
  • Disposable water bottles are not great for long-term storage. Water can be stored for long-term use in re-useable Nalgene bottles.
  • Soda bottles and sports drink bottles can be used for more short-term water storage if you don’t have other options. However, it’s important to remember that plastics absorb flavors and are capable of leeching chemicals. For those reasons, it’s best to choose food-grade glass and keep water bottles out of the heat and direct sunlight.

 5. Water Helps With Detox

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out and eliminating toxins. Dehydration can hamper waste elimination, but excess water consumption over a short time period can lead to hypernatremia – a dilution of sodium levels in your blood. Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a kidney expert at the University of Pennsylvania, warns that drinking large amounts of water may actually hinder your kidneys’ ability to act as a filter. Lesson here is to not to overdo it; consider things like your weight, activity levels, environment, medical conditions and your physician’s advice when deciding on your daily water intake. 

How to Stay Healthy & Hydrated This Holiday Season

“Stay hydrated” is a mantra we usually associate with summer. It makes sense, of course—as we sweat, we lose much of our body’s precious water. But staying well hydrated is just as important, if not more so, to your health during the chilly winter months ahead. Cold air contains less humidity than warm air, so our bodies lose more water. On top of that, the dry air coming from heaters doesn’t help us much either.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of staying hydrated as we approach the holidays.

Cold & Flu Recovery

Cooler temperatures are synonymous with the holiday season for so many. Unfortunately, this same time of year is prime cold and flu season. Hydration is critical for preventing and recovering from illness. Water helps avoid dehydration when you’re feverish, increases blood flow, flushes toxins from your body and even works to keep your sinuses clear. 

Overall Health

Interestingly, studies show that we drink less water as temperatures drop. Because our blood vessels constrict when we’re cold in order to maintain body heat closer to our core, our bodies are fooled into not feeling as thirsty even when hydration is desperately needed. Additionally, we tend to reach for a hot cup of joe (or other festive beverages) over a glass of ice water. And while coffee is brewed with water, you don’t get the same level of hydration. In fact, caffeine is a diuretic and can dehydrate you further, so opt for an extra glass of water for every cup.

Staying hydrated also helps you avoid feelings of fatigue and sleepiness as well as keep headaches at bay. Keep the water flowing throughout the holidays to ensure you don’t nod off before sampling that juicy turkey or have to pass on holiday festivities to nurse a fierce headache. 

Weight Control

For those of us who worry about gaining a few extra pounds over the holidays, water can be your best friend. Water helps promote a healthy metabolism, and drinking a full glass of water can actually help you feel fuller so you’ll be less inclined to overstuff on mom’s famous pumpkin cheesecake.

Of course, the type of water you drink to stay hydrated is just as important as how much of it you consume. Make sure you’re pouring clean, filtered water instead of that funky tap water.

 

This was Part 3 of our series on holiday water usage. Read Part 2 and keep coming back for tips on how to better manage your water during the holidays.

Top Tips for Cleaning Reusable Water Bottles

We recently told you about 4 types of reusable water bottles that are the best way to save money and reduce waste while still enjoying great-tasting filtered water. But, even the fanciest of canteens won’t do you much good if you don’t clean your bottle properly.

Used water bottles can harbor a plethora of germs if not cleaned out on a regular basis. Bacteria loves to collect in moist environments. Some studies have even shown the presence of E.coli and salmonella in unwashed water bottles.

Never fear – we’re here to offer some simple cleaning tips that will keep your health in-check and preserve the integrity of your filtered water so you can hydrate confidently and safely.

While dishwashing works well for glass water bottles, we recommend hand washing for metal, plastic or mixed-medium bottles as it will help extend the life of the colors and designs. Handwashing is also best for bottles with smaller mouths or more intricate tops to ensure all areas are properly cleaned.

What you’ll need:

  • Your bottle
  • Cleaning Tools: Pipe cleaners, bottle brushes, soft bristle toothbrushes, or standard sponges work best. Make sure your tool is small enough to get in all your bottle’s hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Hot water
  • Cleaning Solutions
    • White vinegar and baking soda is a highly recommended option.
    • Cleansing tablets, denture cleaner and mild dish soap are also good options.
    • Some companies even make specialty bottle cleaning products, but these aren’t typically necessary.

NOTE: While bleach is sometimes recommended, this harsh chemical can be dangerous to work wit, plus it can damage colors and designs. Also, NEVER mix vinegar with bleach.

Steps:

1. Pour the cleaning solution of choice into your water bottle with hot water

  • If using white vinegar and baking soda, dilute 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar per cup of hot water and add a few tablespoons of baking soda, depending on the size of your bottle. 

2. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

  • Don’t seal and shake, especially if using vinegar and baking soda (remember your baking soda volcano at the science fair!) but do soak the bottle’s cap.

3. Use the cleaning tool of your choice to clean out all your bottle’s nooks and crannies, including in the threading if the bottle has a twist top. This is where the most germs can collect so don’t forget this part.

Tips for Metal:

Non-abrasive pipe cleaners or a soft bristle brush work best on metal bottles. Anything too abrasive can scratch off colors or coatings, especially for colored aluminum or stainless steel bottles.

Tips for Plastic:

Plastic – no matter if BPA/BPS free - retains stronger smells than metal bottles. Try soaking the bottle overnight to eliminate any unpleasant odors. 

Be sure to clean your bottles a minimum of once per week, as well as empty, rinse and dry after daily use to keep you and your wallet and body healthy and happy!

3 Reasons to Cook with Filtered Water

Whether you’re bringing your favorite dish to a family gathering or creating a feast for your loved ones this holiday season, chances are the majority of what you’ll eat during the holidays requires water. From chicken broth and mashed potatoes to pies and cookies, water is a key component to many holiday dishes. 

So, how do you keep your meals and drinks tasting as planned?

While some people think boiling water can help remove the source of unpleasant water tastes and smells, the real culprits are typically common water treatment chemicals, including chlorine, chloramine and dissolved solids like sulfur. Filtered water is a must to draw out these elements and maintain a flavorful menu; alternatively - buy bottled water for meal prep.

Here are a few important reasons why cooking with filtered water is a must: 

Permeable foods

It’s important to know that unpleasant tastes and smells can be easily absorbed by food, especially foods cooked in hot water, like potatoes and pastas. Then there are vegetables and fruits that need a thorough wash, including leafy greens or berries. These can all take on the flavor of your water.

To avoid ruining holiday dishes and salads use filtered or bottled water to cook and rinse ingredients. A thorough filtration process, not only removes the contaminants, but any unpleasant tastes or smells too. 

Baked goods

You’ve probably heard someone say that baking is a science. Well, it’s true. When it comes to baking and water, the type of water can heavily impact the end result. 

Hardness minerals and water treatment chemicals added to tap water by some municipalities can sometimes make it nearly impossible to get the perfect dough for dinner rolls, breads or cakes. Magnesium, calcium and chlorine can actually delay the yeast fermentation process, causing dough not to rise and breads and cakes to sink in. 

Holiday drinks

From cocktails to coffee and tea, holiday meals are full of festive drinks and after-dinner cappuccinos. Unfiltered tap water can oftentimes turn drinks bitter or metallic tasting. For your cold beverages, don’t forget water includes ice too. Ice cubes made with tap water can just as easily ruin a mixed drink. 

Before you start mixing things up in the kitchen, determine how you can ensure your water is fresh and pure for all your cooking needs. From bottled water, to a variety of filtration systems, there’s a solution for every chef.  

This was Part 2 of our series on holiday water usage. Keep coming back for tips on how to accommodate your guests’ water usage without breaking the bank.

Serve Perfect Water This Holiday Season

When setting the table, we may stop to think, “Does the water glass go on the left or the right?” But we often don’t consider what kind of water or ice we are filling those glasses with and what our guests might be used to drinking.

Tap water quality and taste ranges wildly from city to city, town to town, depending on its source and filtration methods. On your own, you may bypass that funky tap water by purchasing bottled water or using a water delivery service. But over time, the costs add up. 

Americans spend nearly $12 billion a year on bottled water, almost 2,000 times the cost of tap water. And when you have guests in town, you’re looking at purchasing A LOT of bottled water to ensure you have enough clean-tasting water to drink. 

So what can you do to avoid going broke on bottles or serving your important guests poor-quality tap water? Well, the good news is that tap water can be greatly improved by the use of a sinktop filtration system. Sinktop systems are simple to install compared to undersink systems, and their compact size means it won’t take up a lot of space. And at under $100, you’ll save a bundle on bottles. 

Something else to consider is the ice you’re using. With unfiltered ice, often you get cloudy, mineral filled cubes that when melted, taste just like your tap water defeating the purpose of serving up filtered water. In order to avoid this, you’re better off buying crystal clear filtered ice from the grocery store or fill ice-cube trays with filtered or bottled water. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, install a whole-home filter. Whole-home filters rid your water of common water treatment chemicals, foul tastes and unappealing smells. This solution will not only help with your water in your kitchen, but in every area of the home.   

So whichever side of the table you put your glasses on (hint: on the right, just above the knife), just make sure you’re filling it with water and ice that tastes as good as the meal you’re pairing.

This was Part 1 of our series on holiday water usage. Keep coming back for tips on how to accommodate your guests’ water usage without breaking the bank.