How to Make Your Drinking Water Safe

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We should all be drinking lots of water every day, meaning it’s crucial that it is as clean and pure as possible. Here’s information about how to make your tap water safe plus my choice for water filtration.

How to make tap water safe

In yesterday’s post, I gave you a lot of information showing that the drinking water coming out of your tap may not be as safe as you thought.

Today I am going to talk about water filtration choices and will share my Current Recommendation for purifying your drinking water and doing so on a budget.

Our history with water filtration is a long one.  It started years ago when my husband and I first married.

Note: Read to the end of this post. I have tried a lot of methods, and I’m so happy with where I am now. There are pros and cons to all of these systems–what you choose is up to you.

I phoned the manufacturers of various pitcher-type and faucet-mount water filtration systems to determine what to buy.  Since we were renting at the time, the cost of installing a unit didn’t make sense at the time. We later ventured out to other installed options, which I’ll cover here too.

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Water Filters We Tried

1.  Faucet Mount Water Filter

When we were living in IL, soon after marrying, my research eventually led me to purchase PUR brand’s faucet mount filter.  It brought with it a nice set of credentials as it apparently had been endorsed and was used at the time by the U.S. Navy if memory serves me correctly.

My husband was a part time youth minister at the time and one of the youth volunteers was married to a man who was a chemical engineer.  When I shared with him the conclusion that I had come to about purchasing our PUR filter, he echoed with enthusiasm what a great filter it was, stating that he had seen the research and thought it was the best filter on the market.

2.  PUR Counter Top

When my husband and I lived with his parents for a two-year period just before our oldest son was born, we recommended that they buy PUR’s counter-top model instead of the faucet mount.  The faucet-mount filter unit had proven itself to be heavy for some faucets, causing problems with leakage and other issues, and additionally the counter-top model was less expensive to use.

We bought the PUR Counter Top Model and loved it. Looks like they don’t make it any longer….

3.  Multi-Pure Carbon Filter

However, after moving to Oklahoma for my husband’s first tenure-track job as a professor, I became aware of Multi-Pure carbon filters.  They were more expensive initially, but the cost per gallon analysis showed that the Multi-Pure was a clear winner.

So, after again doing extensive research into the amount of and types of contaminants that various filters on the market, we made a change.

And Multi-Pure had a great deal at the time wherein one pre-purchases 10 filters (10 years’ worth) and the filter housing is then provided for free, resulting in significant savings.  We were then locked in for 10 years, but I felt confident in our choice.

Three years later, our eldest had then been diagnosed with autism and I was having some troubling health issues.  I had been reading on and off about reverse osmosis, distillation and alkaline water, but was really confused.

So I spoke with “experts” in field and perused the internet and researched a TON.

I already felt that I was a bit excessive in taking my “super-duper carbon-filtered water” with me everywhere, but I really wanted to get the fluoride and other “undesirables” out of my family’s water.

There are many articles and resources that I could point you to, but here is the “distilled version” (pun intended).

This is all about water filtration choices and what my recommendations are for purifying your drinking water and doing so on a budget. Making your tap water safe is important for your health!

4.  Reverse Osmosis

At this stage in our Water Filtration journey, we made the decision to get a reverse osmosis filter but we still had to decide which type.  They are sold all over the place and there are different types and different prices.

We looked at the pros and cons of his system versus the others that I had been contemplating and well, his reasoning was easy to follow, he made a lot of sense and he was not pressuring me into anything.  In fact, I was considering a salt-free water softener as well, but he talked me out of it! 🙂

We purchased a reverse osmosis system that uses our multi-pure carbon filter as one of its filters (we had already pre-paid for these and Gene said that they were a great filter and we should save money and keep them) and then we put a remineralizing cartridge on the filter as well.  We additionally purchased a whole house filter to remove chlorine and sediment as the negative health effects of chlorine in water are something that I wanted to avoid.

Costco also carries some reverse osmosis units that Mr. Franks said were worth considering, but some of those have expensive replacement cartridges.

Anyhow, you would have thought that at this point we had reached the final conclusion in our “Search for the Best Water Filter”, however the journey wasn’t over yet. Read on….

5.  Berkey Filters

Berkey is the choice for a lot of frugal natural-minded people and for good reason. It’s inexpensive and retains minerals in the water. However, it doesn’t come without reservations.

We moved to the Berkey after reading about reverse osmosis systems removing beneficial minerals from the water. We had a remineralizing cartridge on our RO system, which puts some minerals back into the water, but felt I wanted to go more in the natural direction and just not remove the minerals, to begin with.

Berkey Concerns — Fluoride, Bacterial Contamination, and More

Do Berkey Filters Remove Fluoride?

Berkey became my choice for a portable water filtration system and can be great in-home if you have monitored the pH of your water.  Unfortunately, Berkey’s fluoride filtration system isn’t dependable unless your pH is in the optimal range.  The problem is that I have read varying reports about what that optimal range is, so I encourage you to do your own research.

Bacterial Growth in Berkey Filters?

Furthermore, you really need to clean the reservoir out regularly. This is the case with any filtration system that holds the filtered water.

Standing water grows bacteria and when it stands in your filter, that is no exception.

We did end up going with Berkey for awhile, and it’s a great portable option for water filtration that apparently can even filter really dirty water (think emergency situations).  I love that you can take this with you easily on a trip or camping and you can easily bring it with you if you move. This smaller unit is a great size for camping. And for a REALLY portable option, these Sport Berkeys filter right as you drink!

Heavy Metals in Berkey Filters?

In 2021, there was a report made by a consumer about heavy metals being detected in Berkey filtered water. The report seems to be legitimate, but of course anyone can report anything. It’s important to keep an open mind and find out the real data as much as possible.

If you feel still would like a Berkey after reading this (and a lot of people do trust them), here’s where you can likely get the best deal on Berkey filters (better than I can offer as they give a lifetime warranty).

You can also find Berkey here.

Berkey Buying Tips

  1. If you still wish to use the Berkey anyhow, I highly recommend that if you go with a Berkey, you purchase at least 1 size larger than you think you need. That’s the #1 complaint I hear from people–that they wish they’d bought a larger unit.
  2. If you’re going to get a Berkey despite my concerns, Irecommend the sight spigot and the Berkey primer. The sight spigot allows you to see the water level in the filter without removing the top. The primer allows you to prime the filters without using a water faucet. The priming can be pretty messy so it’s a great idea to get this.

Concerns About Removing Minerals from Water

One of the factors to consider when choosing a water filter is, do you want to remove minerals or not?

It’s a very complicated topic. I prefer to leave the minerals intact, but here are some opposing viewpoints on this issue.

1.  One is here and mentions the dangers of drinking distilled water.  In a nutshell, the article mentions that distillation removes all minerals from the water, and removing these minerals can lead to health concerns and imbalances.

2.  The second article is written by Gene Franks, the owner of Pure Water Products.  He discusses reverse osmosis technology and compares it with distilled water in a no-nonsense manner. His thinking is that removing minerals isn’t such a big problem.

My Favorite Water Filter

I Recommend
PureEffect Water Filters

PureEffect Water Filters

PureEffect Water Filters are possibly the BEST filters out there. They raise alkalinity and remove: Radiation, Fluoride, Pharmaceuticals, Microorganisms, Heavy Metals - VOC's, Chloramine/Chlorine, THM's, HAA's, NDMA, PFAS, Pesticides/Herbicides, Sediment/Particulate, Nano and Micro Particles/Plastics, Bad Tastes/Odors

I LOVE PureEffect filters. We’ve been using them for quite a few years and the water tastes amazing and the owner is extremely detail oriented. He set out to make the best water filter possible, and he might have done just that.

What These Filters Remove

  • Radiation
  • Fluoride
  • Pharmaceuticals (Drug Residues)
  • Microorganisms (Bacteria, Viruses, etc.)
  • Heavy Metals
  • VOC’s (petrochemical byproducts)
  • Chloramine/Chlorine
  • Disinfection Byproducts (THM’s, HAA’s, NDMA)
  • PFAS (PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, etc.)
  • Pesticides/Herbicides
  • Sediment/Particulate
  • Nano and Micro Particles/Plastics
  • Bad Tastes/Odors & More!

You can get extra UV protection as well.  

The owner can walk you through installation if needed, doesn’t try to “upsell” you, and the filters are very reasonable.

We chose an under the counter model, but you can go with the countertop as well.

My husband isn’t that handy (sorry, honey–well, he’d tell you that himself), but he and my son installed the PureEffect Filter by themselves.

No Minerals Removed

No minerals are removed using the PureEffect filters. You can read more about the potential health problems from removing minerals from your drinking water here.

Radiation Removal

You can even get a radiation filter with this unit–amazing and very helpful especially for people on the West Coast of the US (in the wake of Fukushima).

With PureEffect, you can get either an over or under the counter filter that removes just about everything — but it does leave the natural minerals intact.

Update March 2016

When I originally I published this post, I was using Berkey, but later did a lot more research and decided on the PureEffect Filter.  You can read more about my concerns regarding Berkey outlined above.

Can You Filter Softened Water with PureEffect Filters?

The answer is yes. Sodium is naturally occurring so it bypasses the filter.

What PureEffect Filter Should You Buy?

We bought the Under the Counter Ultra UC Disinfect.  We actually haven’t used the UV light yet but wanted it in case we needed it. If you need to save money, I would go without that.

I really love this filter system and if we didn’t have a whole house chlorine filter already, I would be purchasing one of those as well.

Do You Need a Shower Filter?

The answer is–YES!

Who wants things like chlorine running all over your body?

I mean, you can use a Swim Spray, but why do that when you can just get a great water filter for your shower?

PureEffect has great filters and they have a new shower filter too.

I haven’t bought it since we have a whole house filter, but their technology is great so I know you can trust this one too.

It removes Chlorine, Chlorination Byproducts, VOCs, Hydrogen Sulfide, Radon and more, and at a great price.

Where to Buy a Tub Filter

This Bath Ball Water Filter is great quality and pretty affordable per gallon. It filters out:

  • chlorine / chloramine
  • chlorine and chloramine byproducts
  • odors
  • perfluoroalkyl polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • iron oxides / rust
  • sediment and more

and filters up to 2500 gallons before needing to be replaced.

So–while there is a lot of stuff you really don’t want in your water, there are a lot of great options to address it. Enjoy truly clean water for your whole family!

How have you chosen to make your tap water safe?
If you haven’t already, what do you think you will do?

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  1. Hi. I haven’t any testing done with other filters. That’s not good to hear about what you’ve seen as far as results with testing with Berkey. Were the results consistent or were there positive results, too? I don’t know what Berkey claims and there’s the issue of some of us having more things in our water than other areas, and how people do the testing, for example, I watched someone do testing of different water bottles to see the pH and they used the same PEN to stir each glass of water without cleaning it between.

    1. I haven’t tested. I saw others’ test results. I mentioned the results in the post. It was dependent on the pH of the water and people have had bacteria contamination as well–apparently from not cleaning the reservoir out enough / sufficiently.

      1. speaking of pH, have u looked into water ionizers? I saw a MD. saying pH doesn’t matter cuz once it hits your stomach (or some part of your body) it becomes the pH it needs to and our bodies deal with it but I was looking at a unit that supplies the drinker with antioxidants. With water it’s so hard to know! I haven’t looked to see if this is tested…

        1. Yes, and I think they are a waste of money. If you need antioxidants, get more fruits and veggies :).

          1. they seem pricey and I haven’t even looked into seeing how good they filter water. Come to think of it, I got tested once for my antioxidant levels from my biological dentist and I came out super high so they didn’t even try to sell me their vitamin! Thx, I won’t bother with that, then.

            I’m starting to research “filters that remove flouride.” One thing I see on Pure Effect’s website is that their flouride filter is “alumina free.” Are you familiar with why they don’t use alumina? I haven’t heard about it until now and am surprised multi-pure still doesn’t offer a flouride filter is there is a solution. I’ll let u know what I find and if you aren’t aware I can always email Pure Effect. Sounds like alumina is a synthetic product. Are there side effects…? More to learn than I care to but here I go…

            1. On PureEffect’s site it states this: “which usually remove only about 50% of Fluoride, and are questionable due to the fact that they’re sourced from aluminum”

              It’s debatable. Many say that alumina is safe and non reactive.

              There is no multi pure solution for fluoride.

        1. You may. It’s much easier for me to keep track of comments etc here, but you may. I’m at adrienne {at} wholenewmom {dot} com.

  2. NSF told me they go out to the facility, even if they’re in China! The problem I have is that no one who’s been tested by NSF has been able to use their best filters to take out fluoride since no other filter has taken out RO (that’s been tested by NSF) so it makes it sound impossible to do with carbon-type methods. If the big companies can’t do it, how can a small company? I might call NSF to see if they’ll tell me about the testing of fluoride and the process… I’m not sure if they’ll share the $40k #, too…

    I think it’s a great idea for you to test your water on video! You show the filter under sink, the water coming out of the faucet, and then the readings as you go. I think most people who follow you would trust without a video because at least for me, the way I see it is that you’re trying to do the best for your family as well and you post what you’ve researched and we’re benefiting off of your research as you are very thorough. The video would of course give you more credibility and is a great idea, too! I’m going to look at filters right now. The one I sent has great ratings and from what I skim has 100 test strips for $20. I’ll let u know what I find!

    1. They can go, but are they announced?

      Sorry I don’t know what you mean by not taking out fluoride — and no other filter has taken out RO?

      The $40K info has to do with the type of testing done. Apparently that is a quote that PureEffect got for the testing they wanted done.

      If I were to do that kind of a test, I think I would have to send it into a lab to have it done – I have never looked into testing in house – are you saying to just test for fluoride?

      1. I know what u mean about NSF going announced, but I’m wondering what they would be able to do to be on their best behavior other than having a brand new filter set up. Maybe filters don’t last as long as they say and they don’t test that, other than that I’m not sure how they’d rig anything unless they are using a different media in the ones they actually sell the public. I guess for some reason I’m not as worried about that as I just can’t imagine what they could do to make it seem like it takes things out if it really didn’t. I could see in the restaurant industry they are more clean… when they are being watched. yuk.

        I would like to see testing for many things but I’m mostly concerned with testing for flouride since I haven’t found another carbon-type filter that removes flouride and according to NSF, neither have they. I haven’t looked too much and when I bought my multi-pure years ago they told me there wasn’t anything on the market that could take out flouride accept for RO systems but then they handed me the same paper that you had posted about the dangers of demineralized water, including cancer (it’s in there-towards the middle or end).

        1. Bingo on the new filter. They could alter the water coming in too I would think. People can be really sneaky when money and other things are involved.

          Literally our dishwasher had quit and waitresses were taking silverware off the tables, wiping it clean, and replacing it on the tables. I was sooo disgusted!

          1. for some reason the other comment didn’t have a reply box so i’ll reply to both here. interesting idea about figuring out how to put H20 that is already purified in the system or something to rig the tests.

            Another comment that makes me glad i don’t eat at restaurants too often!

            I’m finding a lot of filters that filter flouride! I’ve been upset for years that we’ve been drinking flouride in the water and didn’t think I had another choice other than RO which I didn’t feel good about, due to the convo I had with the multipure rep 9 years or so ago, I think. He told me there was nothing that removed flouride but RO and that’s what multipure said more than once when I called. I don’t know how long there have been filters that remove flouride but I wish I knew! I feel a little jipped and wish I had done more research again sooner. “doing autism” for years and all the other things to try to heal my son…

            Now, here I am and at least I’m encouraged to see that there are so many filters claiming they can remove flouride and with the info of the high markers of NSF that makes sense. I guess at some point u have to trust someone, too…

            It’s so overwhelming with all the different kinds over filtration systems that then seem to get debunked like structured water or I was looking up electrolyzed water… Then there are whole house systems of whatever we choose….

            I’m so relieved that I will be able to find something that’s not RO that will remove flouride and other chemicals and I also found another good website to share: EWG tap water database. They show u the contaminates in your area and how much over the EWG’s guidelines. For example, we have 1,372 xs the arsenic we should have in our area and it tells us what it can cause-cancer in the case of arsenic. I am trying to match a filter that has the items I’m trying to remove. I will have to look again but I don’t recall the list for pure effect being that long. I realize that that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take them out.

            For now I want to quick get a water pitcher to pour my already filtered water in and at least that will take out flouride and more for now and I imagine we’ll be without a filtration system potentially for some time with the remodel so that will be a back-up. I know, it’s in plastic, but I’m eager to stop getting flouride into our bodies. In the meantime I”ll keep researching a whole house or under the sink filter. Propure is looking pretty good for pitcher filter for now but I couldn’t find Uranium or Radiume have too much of in my area. thx!

            1. I am looking into the electrolyzed water. That might be legit on some levels but not sure that the structured water seems legit.

              What do you mean that the list on PureEffect isn’t that long?

              Not sure what you mean by a water pitcher to pour your already filtered water in?

              Why wouldn’t you use a PureEffect now? What is your concern?

  3. Haha, you are right that someone would question the authenticity. But I personally wouldn’t because what do you as a mother have to lose or gain? I think legit companies should welcome transparency questions. It is our right as a consumer to know exactly what we are getting. Conundrum indeed. Also, I think you solely doing the test with your specific water would be hard because each of our water is different. What are we exactly looking for with these test? That they are filtering stuff out, that the results are better then our local municipal’s water report? Well, I am open to testing mine, I have to find a trustworthy lab. I am also open to donating to your test. Which system do you own?

    1. Well, I’m an affiliate so I could get more affiliate income. Or maybe the owner paid me to do it. I’m just proposing options. I actually don’t make much income from PureEffect but it could increase if my traffic goes back up (it’s been decimated in recent years).

      They are welcoming questions. Many don’t. I have had people block me on FB, and have been threatened with legal action by companies that I have discovered are lying.

      I assure you that I ask more questions than most bloggers and rather than just writing posts that aren’t researched to get clicks, I spend way too much time on things like that. Maybe I need to change :).

      Water being different wouldn’t matter really–you have to decide on the safety parameters that you care about and test for that.

      I own the below sink best filter –pretty sure it’s the UC Disinfect but I haven’t used the UV light part yet.

      1. Wasn’t aware you were an affiliate. Might have read it but didn’t pay attention. Yes- that would cause doubt to some if you did the test. I think it’s smart to test the water no matter what filter company one chooses. That’s the only way to know for sure I suppose? And yes, Igor has always been open to questions- I’ve called and emailed on a few occasions. We have used his filters, 3 and 4 cartridge units minus uv for at least 4 years.

        1. Yes, I am. I am also a Berkey Dealer and have affiliate links in the post to other filters so I’m a little more unbiased perhaps??

          I would say go ahead and test if you want but testing will vary depending on how you do it. Here’s an example from Igor:

          “There are basics tests, and then there are more involved tests. In order to test properly, “Real-Life” conditions as close as possible to those experienced by the end user need to be replicated, as one example:

          The water flowing through the filter has to be tuned on and off over a long period of time, to replicate conditions of in-home use. No one at home just turns the system on and lets it run non stop for 500 gallons until the cartridge run out. So cycle testing is needed, which means ALOT of lab time, space and effort is taken up just to test in cycles of say 5 gallons an hour, etc. This is what costs the most, lab time.

          Even if we were to run 500 gallons through the system non stop, it would take about 8 hours of a dedicated lab time and staff to do, also a very expensive task.

          Being well aware of this, I did my own testing with real life usage over a period of 12 months. We have our own testing equipment, etc. So I can see that my testing done internally is much more realistic than a lab test, but I know, that’s not sufficient for skeptics, so I recommend they do their own test, else, they may never be satisfied.”

          I think you can see how complicated this can be.

          1. Right where we started! ?A conundrum!! We use and eat and drink plenty of stuff without testing. Do you have any desire to test or are you satisfied with his explanations? Has anyone visited his boutique or met him physically or did a live video where you could see him and not a photo?

            1. I have found him to be incredibly thorough. I typically find that people will run away from me when I start asking a lot of questions (did I mention someone from another company on FB blocked me this past week when I asked a bunch of questions??—). Igor hasn’t done that.

              You could find him on Facebook if you look :). Does that help?

      2. we definitely thank you for what you do! If what u are saying is that some could think that u’re not bias, I thought that, too, but in the end, if no one does it then we’re where we started. Maybe it’s all good and I’m worrying you or others for nothing, but I’d like to know and I’d hate to buy it and then test to find out it wasn’t the best option, especially now that I have to make a decision about having contractor install RO or not. I felt I went with flouride for all these years and hated that and now I’d balance it out with RO but if this is a better solution it’s ideal. I don’t want to continue feeding flouride to my kids but how could it be this is the only company or one of the few that can take flouride out without RO?

        I went to the home show this weekend and H20 concepts said they take flouride and a list of stuff out by water conditioning and the company had really mixed review. It didn’t take all of it out and $ but other than that it all sounded too good to be true. They had other testing behind their name…
        Pure effect doesn’t like those canister filters at all and didn’t like a few things about what I told him about the system.

          1. What I meant when I said we went with flouride is that I knew we had flouride in our water for all these years but when we decided to go with multipure carbon filtration instead of RO we were deciding between 2 evils according to the multi pure rep: 1) flouride not being excreted with carbon filter (which is what we chose) or 2) cancer or other issues that drinking demineralized water can cause. It sounded far fetched but he gave us the study/chapter out of a book that talked about it and I figured we could always upgrade to RO/add RO if we decided differently later, but it’s been so many years I’ve researched and meaning to research water again we haven’t done it until now that we’re going to remodel and will have plumber over would could install RO or whatever system…

            (long answer to your question). 🙂

    2. I’d donate, too. When I called the NSF to see if I could go “straight to the source” and find a water filtration system through them it wasn’t that easy. I also learned that not even every RO system takes out flouride. The woman said she could compile a list of filters that take out the chemicals that I was looking for but I had to tell her what i wanted it to take out. I wouldn’t know where to start. That’s where you go to your city water and see what’s in it. Some things are tested like pharmaceuticals, I believe, typically. Pure Effect said that’s easy to filter out and it’s so diluted cuz the city isn’t actually putting it in the water so that’s good…

      I’m assuming that his filter is probably good for many things that other filters are good for, at least better than filter u could buy off the shelf at home depot but I haven’t researched that much, but carbon is carbon and he adds other media to his filters…. The part that makes me doubt more than any is flouride since I haven’t seen any other company say they can remove it besides through RO. Not that they’re not out there…

  4. Hi Adrienne, Have you ever gotten the water tested yourself from pureeffect filter? It sounds great but if they don’t have testing done by the NSF they could send in any water to get tested and how would we know if it was coming from the water that goes through their filter? I’m looking on amazon and there are some test kits available but not as good as the labs, I think. It seems like it’d be a great idea to test our water that comes out of the filter so that way we know for sure. thx!

    1. Hi there. I have not, but these are good questions that you bring up. Here are the responses from the company. Let me know what you think:

      Because we’re a small business, we choose not to pay NSF the exorbitant and unreasonable $40,000+ (per filter) they want for their label, which is primarily priced to keep competition low for their multimillion mainstream filter companies. As such, we invest this money in new technologies, quality parts and independent testing by other labs that do same testing as NSF, just at much more reasonable costs.

      That being said, each cartridge has media that has been already certified by our bulk suppliers before we manufacture and put it inside the cartridges:

      1. The Carbon in SuperBlock has NSF42 and 61 Cert
      2. The Media in FluorSorb is NSF61
      3. The Filter housings are NSF Pressure tested and certified for material safety.
      4. The heavy metal reduction media is KDF55 and is NSF42 Certified.
      5. The Zeolite is a new innovation we made, and NSF doesn’t even certify that yet for radiation, however, it’s been used in the nuclear industry for 40 years.

      Also, here are some independent tests we’ve done with our systems using some of the most difficult to remove contaminants:

      1. Chloramine:

      2. Fluoride:

      3. Radioactive Uranium:

      4. Heavy Metals (Data from our KDF55 media supplier):

      5. Comprehensive Analysis showing no contaminants leaching from the system:

      1. Adrienne, thx for your detailed reply! I would like to have confidence in this company. Who wouldn’t want a reasonably priced filter that leaves in the good and takes out the bad?! I called NSF and they still have no filters that they certify to remove fluoride unless it’s RO. If the companies that have the big bucks to get tested can’t remove fluoride what are the chances that a small biz can? When I called Pure Effect he told me that the levels that the NSF require for testing are too high for any filter to pass but his filter still takes out the .7 that is most city waters. I hope that that’s the case with Pure Effect and others, that they are removing up to .7 of the fluoride

        I suppose they could still be a small biz even though they sell to over 30 countries and I get not wanting to spend the $40k+ on the testing but it’d be much more convincing if they had that label. They seem to have good testing/proof, but anyone can send off samples bottled water and send a sample of another filter. It’s not like someone is coming in and directly testing their equipment and water. With that, I’m thinking of testing my multi-pure before we get rid of it just to see (although I’m at the end of this filter’s life). It seems most of us should own a testing kit so if for nothing else we know when to change out the filters, anyway. I haven’t looked to thoroughly, but this test is $20 and even measures fluoride: We are doing a big remodel and now is the time we were going to get RO due to all of these years of using Multi-pure and upset that we were getting the fluoride with it, but if this system truly removes fluoride I’d love to buy this filter, although I’d love to hear about anyone’s personal results to testing their drinking water. If you test your water and post results here I think that would be a powerful way to help convince many of us since so many of us trust the research that you have already done.

        I’m not sure how to go about looking up the media to verify it’s testing. NSF website is somewhat complicated, I think, especially if product isn’t listed under a particular manufacturer.

        Any thoughts? I haven’t looked through their website very thoroughly yet but wanted to get this out there for now. Thx!!

        1. Hi there. Can you tell me what you mean by “When I called Pure Effect he told me that the levels that the NSF require for testing are too high for any filter to pass” – the levels of what, please?

          1. If I’m relaying Pure Effect’s msg correctly, he told me that NSF has a requirement of 2 (not sure if it’s measured in ppms or what…) for fluoride which would be too high for his or anyone’s filter to take out. He said that now a days some cities are lowering their amount of fluoride they put in the water like Phoenix has .7, where it used to be higher. It seems like what he did was send in a sample of tap water with .71 flouride and a sample of filtered water and the filtered water was shown to not have fluoride.

            I’ve always wondered about the water at the filtered water stores where you can pick up water and my own water (I use Multi-pure) and now that I’m considering buying a new filter it only seems to make sense to buy a $20 kit or send water off somewhere to get tested. I think I’ll feel better about testing my water when I think it’s coming near time to change the filter if it’s only $20 for so many tests… It might save money in the long run or protect our health if we aren’t changing it often enough! I was wondering if you’ve ever tested your water or if that’s something you’d consider. I’d love to hear the results if you did. I’d hate to purchase the filter and then test. It’d be nice to hear from a separate trusted source who has tested it before purchasing. I haven’t found reviews or anything on the company either. Thx!

            1. Hi there. I got clarification on this from the owner of PureEffect:

              “For a filter to pass NSF testing requirements for Fluoride, it has to be able to remove 8mg/L of Fluoride for the rated capacity of the filter. NSF uses an unusually high amount of Fluoride in their test which causes the filter cartridges to become exhausted much sooner then they would in real life setting, where Fluoride level added by the city is most often (0.7mg/L), which is the Federally Recommended Fluoride level in city water, which is what our filter is tested and geared for. ”

              Hope that helps.

              There are reviews in several places. I really trust him. I think he’s been more than transparent and thorough. If you have another option I can consider looking at it.

        2. I think you’re inquires are fair. I just did a quick google search for lab testing water and they run $150 and up. I personally would like to test both sources of my water, tap and filtered. I’m not sure I would trust the test strips. JMO. I don’t drink solely my filtered water- I also buy mountain springs water in the glass bottles. I’m a firm believer in multiple sources- vs one stand alone. It’s a sad day when we can’t trust our own water. A realization and mini nervous breakdown I had years ago? Your not alone in your search for truth!

          1. It’s a conundrum. If it really is $40K to test water w/ NSF then that’s exorbitant. How would we know that the water that someone got tested by NSF is, in fact, the water that came out of the filter? Does NSF come to the company and see it coming out of the filter? I would hope so. How do we know that the company doesn’t use their “best” filter for the times that NSF visit?

            I used to work in a restaurant over summer breaks during college. Corporate would visit on occasions. The restaurant knew when they were coming and I assure you that things were very differently done when they were coming to check up on things.

            I also know that some essential oils companies use falsified test results to show the purity of their oils.

            In some countries you can buy off testing officials to give out “pass” results.

            It’s a scary world out there.

            That is one idea to buy from multiple sources. Or we can do our best to find a trustworthy source and buy from there.

            If you all want me to test my water I guess we would have to find out what kind of testing would be satisfactory and then we could find out the cost. But then again, I could pay for it (or raise funds to do so) and you all could say that I sent in some other water…..even if I provided videos of the whole process. I could figure out a way to rig things to get around it.

          2. yes, I hear u with the test strips and testing from multiple sources, but potentially better than nothing (I’d hope). It’d be interesting to see the before and after if it’s only $20. I’d be curious how accurate. I use drops to test our salt water pool, not strips. I’d like to at least have an idea and see if there’s a change in the before and after.

            Pure Effect told me some people do testing on their water but it’d at least be nice to see their reviews somewhere. I know it could be made up but still…

            1. Have you seen testing that others have done on their own water w/ other filters? I saw some with Berkey and they weren’t great.

  5. Hi there. I just now purchased the pure effect using your link. I told them too in my order that you were the referrer so just make sure you get it. Thank you.

      1. So far so good. First few days we all tasted baking soda but it’s dissipated and we’re very please. Thank you.

        1. I just changed my filters and I know what you are talking about. The cloudy slightly salty taste are normal minerals. I will run mine a few min each day the first week I change them out to speed it up. If you check their website they can explain more about it! Happy you purchased one!

          1. Interesting on the taste. We just ran the water til it wasn’t cloudy–I don’t recall him mentioning a salty taste. Was that on their site? I can’t find it now. Thanks!

          2. I don’t think it says anything about taste- that’s just my personal experience. But he does say it will be cloudy.

  6. Our biomedical practitioner also recommended to us the PureEffect filter to help with heavy metals.

      1. Have you found a bath tub filter? Our practitioner recommended using their shower filter and using that to fill the tub, but the thought of my daughter filling the tub using the shower head makes me nervous.

        1. Hi there. This is the only one I can find easily. I would want to really find out the capabilities but it seems to be a legitimate filter. This is an affiliate link: . Does that look like it would help?

        2. Not sure what to ask here. If it was up to me, I’d just buy the filter you recommended, but my husband is the skeptic and wants data showing it is significantly better. I can only think that the best starting point is to test our filtered water and see what contaminants remain.

          1. What data is he looking for — as compared to what? I would make sure to look at the information on the PureEffects site to see what they remove and of course make sure to test for those things.

          2. He’d be looking for data showing that the $200ish filter he bought is significantly less effective at filtering out heavy metals and other contaminants.

        3. Hello! I buy their shower filter and use it to fill the bath tub- I purchased a solid stainless steel handheld. I just remove the hand held part and fill with the extension hose. Not ideal but better then swimming in toxins! We rent so a whole house is not a option. Just wanted to share it can be done!

  7. Well water does not seem to be addressed in any water purification information I have read. Have you come across any? Fluoride and chlorine are not a concern. Thank you for any direction you can provide.

    1. Hi there. There are many contaminants of private wells and they should be tested and the issues addressed of course. Things like Hepatitis A, Giaria, Campylobacter, E. coli, Shigella, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, Arsenic, Gasoline, Nitrate, Phenol, Selenium. There is a big controversy going on in Michigan where PFAS has been found to have contaminated well water. You might have heard about this.

  8. Hi there! I have been researching water filters for years but have felt too paralyzed to make a decision. I’m so thankful for this post because it made me calm down and realize I can only do my best for my family, and at this point, something is better than nothing :).
    On that note, I decided to make the leap and purchase the Pure Effect UC system and their whole house system (especially for chloramine), only to find out the WH system has been discontinued (major bummer!). Igor said the company is focusing on drinking and shower filters instead for now. If you were in this position, would you consider another company’s WH system to pair with the Pure Effect UC system? Or would you settle on the Pure Effect shower filter instead? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi there. I understand how confusing it is! We obviously have gone through many types trying to find the best thing and I’m really happy where I am.

      Did you make the purchase of the Pure Effect? Just asking b/c typically I get a notification if someone did so through my link.

      About the whole house–that’s tough. I thought his product looked really good. I think it’s up to you. We have a whole house to remove Cl and sediment and it has a non salt softener on it just to help w/ appliances, etc. I guess you could do that. This company has some reputable whole house systems (this is my affiliate link):

      Let me know what you think!

      1. Thanks for the reply! I have not purchased it yet because we’re still trying to figure out if we can drill a hole for the UC one, or if we’ll have to get the counter one. But I will be sure to use your link :). I can’t wait to get it!
        Yes, the Radiant Life one looks amazing; it was a top contender on my list. Because our water is treated with chloramine, I’d really feel more comfortable with a filter that can remove that. We’ll have to save up for it since it’s a bit more than the Pure Effect would have been.
        Thanks again, Adrienne!

        1. You are so welcome! I am not sure that there will be a different whole house option that I would recommend but perhaps you start w/ the PureEffect shower filter and do the whole house when you can afford it?

          I hope you enjoy the water!

          1. That’s a good idea, thank you!
            I also just came across the Propur Whole House filter. I think it’s brand new because there’s no reviews (which i have a hard time with, but everyone has to start somewhere, I guess!) According to their website, their system removes/reduces so much that you don’t need a separate drinking filter. They provide lab results, but I’m going to look into them more to make sure they’re from a certified laboratory.

            1. Hi there. Sorry for the delay. Weeding my way through a ton of comments here. Looks like they don’t have that filter any longer. I wonder what happened. What did you end up doing?

  9. Thanks for the great article. I am considering switching from RO to Berkey because of the lack of minerals issue and found your article. Now I am interested in the PureEffect under the counter system. With my RO I only replaced the filter between every 6 mos and a year and it was about $60. The PE filters are quite a bit more and need replacing more often (or at least it seems that way). Do you find the cost to be much more than your RO system? Are you still pleased with the PE system if there was a cost increase? Thanks!

    1. Thank you! So we did the same thing, but I ended up reading about how the Berkey doesn’t really remove enough fluoride unless the pH is right, and the water in the reservoir tends to get contaminated. We also had clogged filters pretty often and I don’t know why. So I do like the pricing of the Berkey, but the convenience (once it’s in) of the PureEffect is wonderful and I feel really good about the water that we are drinking. We decided how often to replace based on the amount of fluoride in our water. I figure since water is the thing we consume the most of, it’s pretty important. What do you think?

      1. Well, we don’t have city water so flouride isn’t my biggest concern. I am more interested in how well it filters glyphosate (from Round Up) but there haven’t been tests for that in particular. I think RO removes it and I am wondering if I should use the RO I have and just remineralize the water either with a solution made from quality celtic sea salt or from the Concentrace drops (less sodium). Did you consider that as an option? What are your thoughts?

        1. Hi Theresa

          So I ended up emailing the owner last night and we figured out that you were talking w/ both of us. That’s fine, but just wanted you to know that I don’t think I have any other info than he does about glyphosate removal. It seems to me that RO might not completely remove it either from what I am reading. Did you happen to see the info about Purium’s Biome Medic at the bottom of this post? It removes glyphosate from the gut:

          I personally think that it’s better to have the original minerals but that’s just my thinking for right now. Did you happen to ask the owner about that? I used to have a remineralization cartridge on our RO but I was concerned about water waste and the interior of the RO reservoir not being clean. Did you happen to see the comparison chart on his site? It had some very interesting points.

          1. Thank you for all your help. Yes, the owner was very helpful. I just like to also hear from people who are using the product and your progression was very similar to mine so I am interested in your opinion. Thanks for the link to the Biome Medic. We are dealing with those issues in our family and I had never heard of that before. And thanks for more of your reasons for choosing the Pure Effect system. It does seem ideal. Just a bit nervous about the maintenance costs and was hoping something cheaper would work 🙂 I’ll have to weigh it out some more. Do you know your monthly cost for replacement filters?

            1. Sure! Yes, he’s very smart. I plan to do more posts w/ him in the future. The Biome Medic is a very interesting supplement and they just came out w/ a very reasonable CBD oil that we love.

              I know about wanting cheaper. I can just say that I really like the convenience and the knowledge that I think I have the best. Cost all depends on how much fluoride you have, etc. We change ours out every 500 gallons so it’s about 25 cents a gallon.

      2. I have been thinking about it further and I don’t think RO is a good choice because of bacterial growth and such. What are your thoughts on using the Berkey if flouride isn’t an issue? And do you think flouride is an issue for those on well water and not city water? Thanks!

        1. Hi again. So the Berkey has the same issue, just not as much if you are cleaning it. I have read that some wells can have fluoride levels above municipal water so it would be best to test your water regularly. As for the Berkey’s other issues, as I mentioned we had clogging of the filters often. It made no sense to me and was very very frustrating. I also prefer the smaller footprint of the Pure Effect, the fact that you can put a pitcher under the PureEffect filter and let it fill up, whereas w/ the Berkey you have to stand there the whole time while it’s refilling, and you have to fill up the Berkey yourself.

  10. Adrienne,

    Thanks for the story line. It helps to see how you progressed from RO to Berkey to PureEffect now. My questions would be is, how do you know it removes contaminants and keep the beneficial minerals? Have you had your water sent in for tests? It would be even more beneficial to see/read your experience with testing as well.


    1. Hi there.

      I will be doing more posts on these filters–working on it now. I can share w/ you 2 sets of testing from their site. Yes, I could do my own, but I haven’t looked into how expensive that is. Are you aware of a reputable lab? I have thought about doing all kinds of testing–on essential oils and personal care products (many of the latter I think are not labeled accurately). I know that testing the personal care and EOs are about $250 a test. I don’t know how to proceed b/c it would soon become totally exorbitant. Thoughts?

      Here are the mineral tests:

      and here are the fluoride:

      Happy to keep talking about this.

  11. I said a prayer. Googled “research based essential oils” and your blog came up as an option. My son has Alopecia Arreata, The Hubby has Asperger’s and I am a Nurse. You have provided me with information I have been looking for. Thank you. Here’s my question…..I thought it was “bad” not to have flouride in the water because it can weaken teeth. Is this not a true statment? I know I was originally looking for oil information, but I was also looking for a water purification system, and you happened to write about that as well. 🙂

    1. Hi Carmen and welcome! I can tell you that this filter is amazing – there is a LOT of information on Fl in water not doing ANYTHING to help and possibly even causing harm. Fluoride is a toxin and is very bad for the thyroid!

  12. Any updates on if your still using the Pure effects? I’m hunting for a drinking water system. Just decided on a whole house filter but also looking for a separate drinking water system and caught wind of your journey/article. I had not heard of Pure effects and am so glad I say this. So i was wondering if you still are happy with your PE filtering system and prefer it to your RO. Since that’s what I’m deciding between…


    1. Hi Julie – YES I love it. I definitely prefer it to RO b/c of the cleanliness and retaining of minerals, amongst other things. 🙂

  13. Hello I love your website and the vast amount of information especially about the water. I am licensed cosmetologist for the past 20 years in San Diego, California. Which happens to be one of the top ten cities and states for worst water. I found that there were tons of “filtering” showerheads made for the home but none for the salon. One of the best ways to purify your water is with Vitamin C. Our atomizer infuses your tap water with Marine Collagen and Vitamin C and has double filtration system to catch things like lead, rust, arsenic, sand, and debris. Since I started not only filtering my water but also Purifying my water at the salon my clients scalp issues have declined drastically. Their hair is softer, shiner, less frizzy, and their color is no longer destroyed by the chlorine and chloramine that is used to treat our water. The great thing about our atomizer is that it saves us so much money on product because we no longer have to combat what is in our water, not only that it gives you 400% more pressure and we use less water because it only uses 1 to 1.5 gallons a minute instead 4-6. When I researched water filtration and water softening systems is most of them were ok to drink but would kill your plants, this atomizer can be used on plants and your animals. I would love to send you a sample of the water. If you are interested please contact me.

    1. Hi there – thanks for your comment. I’m not sure about getting a sample of the water, but you are welcome to email me with information about the filter – wholenewmom {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks for reading and sorry for the delay in responding–I got behind on comments and then we had a glitch on the blog where I lost a bunch but we got them back finally :).

  14. Also, does the shower filter change the water pressure in the shower? Or the under sink change the sink water pressure? Same question for the whole house… if you are using that.

    1. There has been no change in our water pressure using the under sink filter. I would not think that the whole house would do that either since we have had one for years and haven’t noticed anything.

      However, this is the official response from the company:

      All our systems are designed to keep pressure issues to a minimum, however, if the plumbing pressure is already on the low end (below 55PSI) and/or they have high-pressure showers, or several high flow appliances are running at the same time (e.g. 2 showers, etc.), then naturally, you may experience more of a pressure drop.

      If pressure drop issues need to be addressed, a booster pump can be installed.

      Please have your reader contact us if they would like a more detailed discussion that is less general and more pertinent to their situation.

  15. Hi Adrienne! Are you still using the Pure Effect? Have you gotten the whole house system yet or just doing the under the sink? Do you use their shower filters as well?

    1. Hi Cindi!

      YES and I LOVE it. I got one of their new digital water gauges too and love it. I had a whole house system prior to getting the Pure Effect so I’m not sure if we’ll be changing over any time soon. I have to do a lot of calculations to see if the changeover would be worth it. Ours only removes Cl and sediment so that’s another thing I need to consider. Hope that helps!

  16. I live in a small house with very old pipes, I was using an Omnifilter-type whole house filter that was carbon and plastic mesh. After a while my water turned rusty and icky. The plumber told me that the filter was taking out the chemicals that protect the pipes so that the pipes were disintegrating into the water – yechh. Total fail. So I only use an undersink and shower filter now. I guess I ma doing the best I can do.

    1. Hi Jules.

      I have never heard of anything like that…so we are supposed to drink water that has chemicals in it that protect the pipes? Please ask him what they are.