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How Pure Is Your Tap Water?

Old 08-12-19, 04:38 PM
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KraneXL
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How Pure Is Your Tap Water?

I've suspected mine wasn't too good ever since they replaced the 88 year old lead pipes leading to my building. Anyway, I bought a new Zerowater pitcher with the water tester and my cold tap measured 130 before filtration and 000 ppm after.

According to the requirement the filter should be I've suspected mine wasn't too good ever since they replaced the 88 year old pipes leading to my building. Anyway, I bought a new Zerowater pitcher with the water tester and my cold tap measured 130 before filtration and 000 ppm after. According to the requirement the filter should be replaced once the meter measure 006ppm.

In any event, I had been buying bottled water before but figured I'd just go ahead and filter it myself. Unfortunately, its not really much cheaper than bottled water according to my rough estimates. The supermarket filtered water is 99 cents/gal., and the Zerowater is approx. 78 cents/gal. -- adding in the cost of the filters which are very high.

Of course gauging price can vary depending on if you buy the filter by the bundle and how contaminated your tap water is. If its really dirty, you could be spending a fortune on replacement filters.

In case you're interested, the taste of the water after filtration was magnificent and only gets better when its cold. Such a strange phrase "water tasting good" since pure water has no taste. But there is a clean palatable feeling on the tongue that you will clearly notice.

The filter measure total dissolved solid, but can't distinguish what those solid are (lead or beneficial minerals)replaced once the meter measure 0006ppm.





Last edited by KraneXL; 08-12-19 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:25 PM
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I drink tap water.

Question for you - do you live in Los Angeles (the City), and have you checked the annual water quality report the DWP puts out? They measure lead levels 'at the tap', and their 2018 report shows the average lead levels at 5ug/l (the state-required safe level is 15 ug/l); your testing only goes to mg/l range which is 1000 times more than what the DWPs testing shows. I wonder how accurate the test kit you are using really is if there's an order of magnitude difference in the test results. Also, do you realize a filtration device won't filter out dissolved ionic particles of lead?

FWIW: California state law requires all public utilities to provide an annual water quality report that shows the average concentrations of contaminates in the drinking water water they supply to the public.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:31 PM
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Is your water tester telling you precisely what each particle is or is it just giving you a total count of all particles?

Some minerals in your water is good for you. Water without any mineral content at all is NOT good for you because when you drink absolutely pure water what happens is that this "pure" water ends up absorbing minerals from YOU.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I drink tap water.

Question for you - do you live in Los Angeles (the City), and have you checked the annual water quality report the DWP puts out? They measure lead levels 'at the tap', and their 2018 report shows the average lead levels at 5ug/l (the state-required safe level is 15 ug/l); your testing only goes to mg/l range which is 1000 times more than what the DWPs testing shows. I wonder how accurate the test kit you are using really is if there's an order of magnitude difference in the test results. Also, do you realize a filtration device won't filter out dissolved ionic particles of lead?

FWIW: California state law requires all public utilities to provide an annual water quality report that shows the average concentrations of contaminates in the drinking water water they supply to the public.
Ditto here in A2. Sadly, not all Michigan cities have had this reporting requirement, think Flint.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:43 PM
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https://www.tempe.gov/home/showdocument?id=73893
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Old 08-12-19, 08:45 PM
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According to the tests the local govt. runs on its own water, everything is fiiiiiine. It's hard as rocks (leave a drop of water on the counter and you'll get a calcium ring,) usually really fizzy because of air in the wellheads (and that pesky calcium carbonate,) and sometimes tastes a little... dusty? but it's safe to drink.
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Old 08-12-19, 10:37 PM
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Do you think that 130 I measured in my tap water were added mineral good for you? If you has a choice between to 130 before or 000 after it was filtered which would you choose? No answer necessary, just think about it.

Anyway, this wasn't about acceptable quality, this was about getting the best tasting and healthy water possible. Remember, the government allows for a certain amount of carcinogens to be present in tap water and still be considered safe. So when someone asks is it safe, you need to consider by what standard.



Californians all Americans, rather should be rightfully concerned with the quality of drinking water coming from their taps. For many years, there has been the public perception that LA tap water is unfit for drinking. Many Angelinos believed the water coming from their taps was nasty, unsafe, and to avoid drinking it at all costs.

In recent years, a total of ten contaminants have been found in LA tap water sourced from the California State Polytechnical University utility.

Once again, the majority are known carcinogenics, with the exception of chlorate.
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Old 08-12-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Remember, the government allows for a certain amount of carcinogens to be present in tap water and still be considered safe.
To put this into perspective: sunshine is a carcinogen, and pretty much everybody considers having a picnic on a nice day to be safe.
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Old 08-13-19, 03:46 AM
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I've been drinking my tap water here for 36 years and I'm normally messed up.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:11 AM
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I have well water. I run it through a 50 micron whole house filter and an undersink 1-5 micron to reduce silt and floaties. Been drinking it for decades.

Last edited by u235; 08-13-19 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:14 AM
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Haven't found the need to filter the well water here. It definitely tastes better than city water.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:26 AM
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You can make your filter with sand, gravel, etc. and design it more specifically for whatever is in your water.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:38 AM
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My apologies if I sounded too critical. I filter my tap water myself yet my filter system has an additional cartridge on the end that remineralises the water post RO (reverse osmosis) filtration. I was just making the point that REALLY clean water isn't quite as good as it seems and its not recommended to drink straight RO water.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:55 AM
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Pure as the driven slush.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:19 AM
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I wouldn't know. I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol.
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Old 08-13-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Do you think that 130 I measured in my tap water were added mineral good for you? If you has a choice between to 130 before or 000 after it was filtered which would you choose? No answer necessary, just think about it.

Anyway, this wasn't about acceptable quality, this was about getting the best tasting and healthy water possible. Remember, the government allows for a certain amount of carcinogens to be present in tap water and still be considered safe. So when someone asks is it safe, you need to consider by what standard.



Californians all Americans, rather should be rightfully concerned with the quality of drinking water coming from their taps. For many years, there has been the public perception that LA tap water is unfit for drinking. Many Angelinos believed the water coming from their taps was nasty, unsafe, and to avoid drinking it at all costs.

In recent years, a total of ten contaminants have been found in LA tap water sourced from the California State Polytechnical University utility.

Once again, the majority are known carcinogenics, with the exception of chlorate.
Not sure whats in the test kit they gave you, but I'd guess its measuring 'water hardness', which is primarily calcium and magnesium ions. Hardness will effect water's taste quality, but its considered a subjective parameter than a health threat parameter.

And the statement about ten contaminates in LA Tap water - it says 'sourced from California Poly Technical University. There are two Cal-Poly universities, one in Pomona (30 miles from Los Angeles) and the other in San Luis Obispo (100 miles away). That alone should trigger a 'bogus' claim on this product.

And the 'Known carcinogens' - yep, probably are some, but they are well below the drinking water standards. Please realize that chemical analysis machinery is always becoming more and more accurate, able to detect smaller and smaller amounts of just about anything, and some companies use any detection as a scare-tactic level in their marketing.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:44 AM
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The tester that comes with the pitcher (or one you can purchase separately) is not that sophisticated. It only measure dissolved particles (there shouldn't be any) in the water. Nevertheless, if you want to believe those particles are mineral graciously included from your municipal water supply, that's your prerogative.

One more thing, you should also keep in mind that the quality of the water measured at the plant is different than that you get from your tap. If you truly want to know the quality of your drinking water, that's the place to sample it.
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Old 08-14-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I wouldn't know. I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol.
You gotta be careful what ends up in your PBF
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Old 08-14-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
You gotta be careful what ends up in your PBF
Pretty Boy Floyd?
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Old 08-14-19, 04:09 PM
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I've been using pure spring water as drinking water for a couple of years now.

It tastes CLEAN, but I know I get a few floaties in it (above ground collection). My spring gets a bit low on flow by early September, and I don't want to mess with the underground source.

I'm not particularly worried about human pathogens in the water. I suppose I should worry a bit more about the possibility of Cyanobacteria.

Hmmm... seeing notes that I might be able to differentiate Algae from Cyanobacteria by taste.
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Old 08-14-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Pretty Boy Floyd?
Precious Bodily Fluids. I thought he was riffing on Dr Strangelove
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Old 08-14-19, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
[size=+2][color=brown]I've been using pure spring water as drinking water for a couple of years now.[/

It tastes CLEAN, but I know I get a few floaties in it (above ground collection). My spring gets a bit low on flow by early September, and I don't want to mess with the underground source.

I'm not particularly worried about human pathogens in the water. I suppose I should worry a bit more about the possibility of Cyanobacteria.

Hmmm... seeing notes that I might be able to differentiate Algae from Cyanobacteria by taste.
Spring water does naturally contains minerals if you use it solely for drinking. But sometimes pure water is necessary for other uses.

As to the pathogens, that is where the municipal water plants in the developed world excel. It getting rid of the bleach before you drink it, that the filter is intended.
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Precious Bodily Fluids. I thought he was riffing on Dr Strangelove
I'm glad you clear that up for those of us that aren't as trendy. Although I do know who Strangelove is.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:06 PM
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I drink water straight out of the Edwards Aquifer in the San Antonio area. Lots of limestone but very clean and tasty water. I have a water softener then another system I think a reverse osmosis or something like that. Basically the softened water keeps the water heaters and dishwasher clear and working for years. In my poorer days my dang appliances would build up with limestone and die prematurely. Don’t ask how many water heaters died This is from my own water well not a chlorinated municipal supply so I’m not sure if it is contaminated.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Spring water does naturally contains minerals if you use it solely for drinking. But sometimes pure water is necessary for other uses.
Actually, my well (which I need to fix the pump) has much more calcium in it than the spring water.

I'm not sure about other minerals, but I'd call the well water "hard water", and the spring water "soft water".

Perhaps the well water is healthier. But, makes a mess of everything else. I very much dislike ion exchange water softeners.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:05 AM
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Sometimes I drink directly out of creeks. That's the best water, especially when it's coming right out of the snow.

Glacier water is beautiful to look at, but if you filter it first it'll clog your filter pretty quickly. Don't know how much of it you need to see the firoza, more than a bottle full.

Last edited by Seattle Forrest; 08-15-19 at 12:09 AM.
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