Bottled water is simply a huge waste of money. If you are concerned about water quality, the best thing you can do is invest in some form of filter system. There are several locations along your water supply chain where you can install a carbon filter. Consider your options to make the best choice for your life.
As you would expect, this type of filtration is installed near your water source. If you use well water, this may be a necessity since your water is otherwise untreated, but you might want to install one even in a municipal water supply. City water is usually extremely safe (unless there has been a recent outbreak of contamination), but it can still contain minerals and chemicals that make it unpleasant to use, especially chlorine. Some of these systems are even self cleaning, and most are extremely low maintenance—although all of them will require occasional maintenance.
Rather than going through the expense of filtering water that is only going to end up in the toilet or shower, another popular choice for homeowners is to install a filter under the kitchen sink. The advantage of doing this, rather than installing a filter on the tap itself, is that under-sink filters are more durable and can go longer without changing the filters. They are the only way to add a tap with reverse osmosis water to your sink. Reverse osmosis results in water that is extremely pure, but you are going to use a lot more water than the little bit coming out of your tap.
The basic carbon under-sink filters usually use two large filters and have a small, battery powered motor. These items will need to be replaced regularly, but the exact schedule will depend on your model and usage. They will also require a small amount of maintenance every few years. Contact a plumbing service for more information on this type of filter.
Refrigerator Pitcher Filter/ Faucet Filters
Both filtered pitchers and faucet filters use similar filters. The primary advantage of a faucet filter is that it is much easier to obtain filtered water for cooking. These two options are a quick and easy way to get filtered water right away, especially for renters who are not able to install a permanent solution. If you especially dislike the taste of your local water, then one of these in conjunction with a whole home unit will give you an additional layer of flavor removal. The cartridges for these systems are small, and usually need to be replaced every few months, but no additional maintenance is ever required.
Filtered Water Bottles
The newest product on the market is reusable water bottles that contain a small carbon filter. Because the filter is so small, it quickly loses its effectiveness, and you will have to change it quite often if you drink several bottles of water a day. However, this is the one filter choice that can easily leave your home. Rather than relying on commercial bottled water at work or at the gym, you can fill the filter bottle at any drinking fountain. Unfortunately, this type of water bottle will not allow you to safely drink from natural water sources such as lakes and streams.
When considering your filter options, you basically need to decide how much of your home's water you want to go through the filter, and how much maintenance you want to do. Whole home filters might take a bigger investment up front, but you can find models that require no filter changes. On the other hand, you can simply set a reminder on your calander to replace the filter in your pitcher if that is all the filtration you need.