From Tap Water To Healthy Water
By Rowena Gonzales
Founder, Principal Interior Designer, LEED AP ID+C
Water is one of the key components of human survival yet we know so little about it – up to 70% of the human body is water. So what does water actually do for us? Just to name a few of why we should be drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day:
These days water purification for the home and office is the norm however it is often hard to understand what to look for when purchasing a water filter and what types of water are optimal for one’s health.
It is also important not to spoil your elegantly designed kitchen or office pantry with a poorly selected water filter dispenser. In this blog I’ll talk not only about how to choose your filter but also give tips for elegant installation methods.
It helps form saliva and improve digestion
It regulates body temperature
It gives us clearer skin
It help with weight loss, especially if dunk before a meal
It helps our liver function better
Reduces muscle pain
Builds your immune system and in general puts you in a better mood
So lets start with what type of water filtration system is right for you?
Start by checking what are the ingredients your water tap water contains thus this will give you and idea as to what type of filter is necessary. A good way to check your area’s water quality information is by checking on government websites. You may also test your water with an at-home test kit or ask your local water filter supplier to provide the test for you.
At Liquid Interiors our suggestion for a permanent solution for renovations is an under counter filter. Best-reviewed models for 2016 can be found here.
Activated Carbon Filter
This is the type found in many water pitcher filters and under the sink models, it can remove heavy metals (like copper, mercury and lead), chlorine, pesticides, parasites (like giardia) and some VOCs all while keeping healthy trace minerals in the water. To rate the quality of activated carbon filters, check to see if they are NSF certified. NSF International is an independent, accredited organization that helps set standards for water safety. It also tests and certifies the systems, here you will find a comprehensive chart that specifies the type of filter you’ll need to remove the contaminants in your water. (1)
Activated Carbon filters are best when installed under the sink with a dispenser, either combined with the regular tap water or separately. When specifying a filter, it is also possible to specify whether you would like room temperature, hot or cold water dispensed.
Zip Hydro Tap Water filter dispensers come in various finishes
Dornbracht Focus Dispenser for Room Temperature / Hot & Cold Filtered Water
Reverse Osmosis Filter
A reverse osmosis system reverses the natural flow of water, passing the water through a semipermeable membrane. Contaminants such as perchlorates (the chemicals used in dry cleaning) can be removed only by reverse osmosis. This process is more powerful than activated carbon filters and can remove up to 99.5% of containments. However, many of the necessary trace minerals needed for health area also removed during this process. Studies have shown that drinking water without trace minerals can actually be unhealthy for the body. If using a reverse osmosis filter then re-mineralizing is necessary. Be aware that this method also does waste water, for every liter of water filtered; a RO system wastes 2 liters.
Reverse Osmosis water filters are installed under the sink and can be dispensed either at the counter top or with a wall dispenser. Options to deliver water in various temperatures are also available.
Wall type RO dispenser
Alkaline Water Filter
Water Ionizer systems normally have a built in activated carbon filters; after which they proceed with a second treatment that produces ionized alkaline and acidic waters through electrolysis. This water can be used for various purposes including drinking, cooking, beauty and cleaning. For drinking purposes, the PH level of the water is changed to 8.5-9 and is believed to detoxify, encourage longevity, prevent cancer and help with weight loss. Alkaline water also claims to make food more flavorful for cooking so that the need for additives are less necessary.
An example of this type of filter is the Kangen Water dispenser which can be installed over the counter or under the counter. The control system is complex and is necessary to be in a visible and easily accessible location. Although this is believed to be the healthiest type of water on the market the drawback is that the machine control pads are less desirable looking.
SD501 Platinum Kangen Water Machine
Leveluk SD501U Remote control and filter tap
Be sure to select a filter from a local supplier that includes regular water tests and maintenance to ensure your water quality is maintained. Or else be sure to follow a strict filter replacement schedule if your plan to service your filter on your own. An unchanged filter can cause more harm than good.
When working with an interior designer or kitchen consultants you could ask them to refer you to water filter suppliers directly thus asking to give you a demonstration. This would allow you to fully see the benefits and features before you decide which to use.
And remember since our bodies are made of 70% water, the choices that you make in terms of your water quality affect can have considerable affects on your optimal health.
For more information on how to integrate filtered water into your home or office design feel free to speak to a healthy and eco conscious interior design consultant today.