Healthy Life Home Improvement

It’s Important to Consume Plenty of Water over The Winter Months

Most people believe that summertime is the most important time of year to ramp up drinking water. The days are hot, we lose water in our bodies so increasing water intake is very important. What you might not know, drinking water during the winter months is just as important. Please read the following reasons why you should pay attention to your water consumption in the winter.

How Much Water Should You Take In?

Our need for water does alter due to the temperature and level of activities. As an example, if you are an active athlete, your water intake is going to be higher than someone who is not active. Our water consumption is based on different reasons so please read on.
According to the Federal Institute of Medicine, women should take in 2.7 liters of water each day and men 3.7 liters. You might think that during the winter, that’s a lot of water but not so fast. Food contributes to approximately 20% of water each day. Therefore, women should drink 8 8-oz glasses of water and men 12 8-oz glasses of water.
What you might not realize, fruits and vegetables are made up of 90 to 95% water. Eating more of these foods will definitely keep you hydrated. Soup is a very popular food during the winter but just make sure you steer clear of soups loaded with sodium.
Experts highly recommend you keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Keep in mind, your body can only process so much water, so watch your intake.
Also, the fluid in tea and coffee will help keep you hydrated. On the other hand, even though juices contribute to you fluid intake, the level of sugar can be a problem.

Issues from Dehydration Caused When It’s Cold

There are several issues that will arise when you are dehydrated. One, your immune system will not be as strong as usual. You will come down with more colds and various illnesses.
Another problem during the winter from dehydration is fatigue. If you do not stay hydrated, you will become very tired and out of energy during the day. Cold weather will cause higher levels of dehydration forcing your body to burn out faster.
Colder weather also tricks your brain and body into believing you have plenty of fluids. The fact is, you are losing just as much fluid as you do during the summer months. Your blood is drawn toward the middle core of your body which is important to keep you warmer in the winter. You will also lose water because you urinate more often in the winter.

Why It’s Important to Drink Water in The Winter

In general, most people consume more water during the summer because of the high temperatures, blazing sun, and constant sweating. There’s is no doubt, you do need a lot of water in the summer but it’s not the only time of year. The winter is one of the most important times to make sure your water intake is high. If you are not treating water intake in the winter as a top priority, here are reasons you should rethink that attitude.
It’s really easy to overlook water in the winter months. You don’t feel particularly thirsty, you are not suffering from heat and not sweating. This is the time of year you think about hot drinks, making it very easy to overlook your consumption of water. Remember to bring a bottle of water with you during the day to ensure you are hydrated. Keep an eye out for dehydration such as suffering from cracked/chapped lips and dry skin. These are leading signs you are not taking in enough water.

How About Your Level of Concentration

Your level of concentration should always be at its peak no matter the time of year. During the wintertime, you are dealing with the holidays, gatherings of family and friends, and many winter and holiday activities. Keeping up with everything can be a challenge. Drinking plenty of water will improve your concentration as your brain needs plenty of water to operate correctly. If you feel focusing is becoming an issue, start drinking more water and see if that makes a difference.
The bottom line, water is a major necessity all year round. No one can live without water! Too many people overlook drinking enough water or making it a priority. During the winter, it’s critical you drink plenty of water even if you are not feeling particularly thirsty. You will enjoy winter much more when you feel good and your health is up. Your good health will be ready to welcome in the spring and summer months just around the corner.
Healthy Life Home Improvement

How Effective are Faucet Water Filters?

The majority of households across America, and other well developed countries, already enjoy a supply of treated tap water. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that as many as four in ten Americans prefer to utilize some form of water treatment within their home, in order to remove additional contaminants. Because they are easily accessible, and simple to use, faucet filters are a widely used form of water filtration. While they may be easy to buy, and simply to use, they may not be the best option for your family. If you find yourself doubting the effectiveness of your faucet filter, let’s explore a few questions:
  • Are Faucet Filters Effective?
  • Are Faucet Filters Worth the Investment?
  • Should I Purchase an Expensive Unit?

Understanding Filtering VS Purifying Water

Far too often, people unintentionally compromise their own health by putting less effort toward their drinking sources. Although some individuals consider the terms filtering and purifying to be the same thing, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is, filtration and purification differ greatly from one another.

Water Filtration

Removes large contaminants from water that has already been processed and treated. This is helpful with water that was treated with chemicals such as bleach, in order to remove unpleasant scents and tastes that may remain. Additionally, some treated water may still contain lead, and chlorine, which can carry serious health consequences. Faucet filters and pitcher filters are also capable of removing dirt, dust, cysts, germs, and even mercury, to name a few.

Water Purification

When water has been treated improperly, or left untreated, it will benefit from water purification through an RO system, or the like. This means that purification is capable of removing virtually everything that’s harmful to human health, even if they’re tiny – such as arsenic. This type of water treatment is extremely beneficial to areas where access to safe drinking water may be restricted or unavailable.

How Effective is Tap Water Filtration?

The method and means by which a faucet water filtration is utilized makes all the difference in overall effectiveness. In areas where treated tap water is available, you can expect effective filtration results, capable of removing lead and chlorine. Some forms of sediment might also be removed in small amounts. Overall smell and flavor will also improve, as many of the contaminants that affect taste quality are easily filtered out. Homeowners should expect a 20% improvement in their water quality through the use of a water faucet filtration device. However, for areas suffering from highly contaminated, or otherwise dangerous, water conditions, a tap water filter simply won’t cut it – turn to an RO system, instead.

How Do Faucet Filters Work?

Since we have now provided a full picture of what filtering vs purifying drinking water looks like, you can have a greater understanding of how faucet filters operate. Essentially, homeowners can rely on an affordable faucet filter to remove solid contaminants like sand and dirt, various chemicals like chlorine, and metals like lead. Overall, users will notice a marked improvement in taste and smell if they were initially cringing at the thought of drinking water laced with bleach.
These water filter devices are easy to install and use, requiring a simple mount directly onto your sink faucet. Typically they are comprised of metal, but may also utilize a plastic housing. The internal aspects feature a filter cartridge, which usually provides filtration through activated carbon. Depending on the manufacturer, style, and price, there may be one or more stages water is filtered through.

Sediment Removal

Water flows through a non-woven screen whenever a faucet is turned on. This screen is wrapped around a filter cartridge, typically filled with activated carbon. This provides the means to trap sand, sediment, and dirt, preventing it from flowing through to your cup.

Activated Carbon Block

After water has gone through the screen, it flows through activated carbon, and zeolite. Water contaminants are trapped as it passes through nooks and crannies of the carbon block, effectively removing various chemicals. On the downside, once these porous surfaces are filled, filtration effectiveness will drop before stopping completely.

Activated Carbon Filter (ACF)

This type of carbon filtration utilizes a microporous material in a fiber shape, with a structure that’s well-defined and particularly porous. This provides an absorption rate anywhere from 100 to 1000 times faster than other traditional methods for organic gases. ACF tends to cost more on the expensive side, due to the use of high quality material and input cost associated with newer tech. However, this type of filtration features a long service life, and costs under 10 centers each day for unlimited healthy, safe drinking water.

Ceramic Filter

Mainly used for filtration, ceramic filters are capable of removing pollutants, organic chemicals, chlorine, while improving odor and taste. Compared to other types of filtration, such as ACF or even CTO, the effect of a ceramic filter is poor. This is simply due to the fact that it is incapable of removing heavy metals and various inorganic salts.

Chemical Removal

While activated carbon performs well enough at removing some contaminants, it simply cannot do well against calcium and magnesium, to name a few. This is where the removal of chemicals is such an important aspect, especially if you smell chemicals out of your tap. One easy and affordable method for the removal of chemicals, is to allow water to trickle through slowly, thereby producing a higher removal rate.

Top Recommendations for Faucet Filtration

Waterdrop is a well-known professional water filtration brand. The ACF Faucet Filtration System is tested and certified by NSF International against NSF/ANSI standard 42 for the overall reduction of chlorine, foul tastes and odors, and to NSF/ANSI 372 for lead-free material.
With 6 stages of filtration, the Waterdrop ACF Faucet Filtration System has been proven to effectively reduce lead, fluoride, and chlorine commonly found in tap water. The activated carbon fiber in particular is efficient at removing up to 93% of chlorine, taste and odor, and many other contaminants. A simple design provides quality filtered water to your family, through the use of simple tap water. With leak-proof technology, the Waterdrop means you can fit this product to your faucet with any of the included adapters. The Waterdrop Facebook homepage also sends out coupons on a regular. Simply follow @waterdropdirect for more information in regard to discounts.

In Conclusion

Should you ever come into contact with someone wondering “how effective are the faucet filters?”, you will be prepared to explain the entire situation. Regardless of how clean they consider their tap water, they are sure to taste the difference in the overall reduction of lead and chlorine with the simple installation of a Waterdrop faucet water filter.
Healthy Life Home Improvement

Interesting Water Filter Facts You Should Know

Bottled water manufacturers’ major marketing point is that the water is “pure” and “sourced naturally,” making it safer than tap water. In essence, they are banking on dissuading people from tap water by making it look suspicious. That worked wonderfully – over 700% increase in bottled water sales was recorded between 1997 and 2005. The per capita bottled water consumption climbed from 16.2 gallons to 42.1 gallons between 1999 and 2017. Interestingly, these significant boosts in sales and consumption came with substantial adverse effects on the environment. There was a corresponding and unprecedented increase in environmental degradation, human rights abuses, and landfill waste.
Were the manufacturers right about their claims on the purity of bottled water? No, they weren’t. Scientific studies have confirmed that bottled water is no safer than tap water. According to the EPA, bottled water is still prone to contaminants. However, that does not threaten the health of anyone who drinks the water.
So how do we ensure the water we drink is very safe? The only way to get pure and safe drinking water is by using a water filter. This option is not only effective but also cheaper and more environment-friendly than using bottled water. All you have to do is choose the right water filter capable of getting rid of the contaminants of interest.
Read on to learn more about water filters and how they can help you.

Is Public Water Safe?

The Safe Water Drinking Act empowers the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set the drinking water standards for the entire nation. Therefore, the agency oversees over 80 water contaminants that may be present in public water systems. These include lead, chlorine, e-coli, arsenic, and cryptosporidia, among others. The EPA confirms that 90% of US public water has been evaluated and found to meet the standards. However, a water filter will offer you a guaranteed safety of your water.
According to a 2015 study undertaken by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – a nonprofit organization, about 18 million Americans have lead or other EPA-regulated impurities in their public water supply. This was attributed to environmental pollution and continuous degradation of the pipes. So, even if your tap water looks and tastes okay, you may have contaminants deposited in the water during transit. NRDC identified impurities like fecal waste, rocket fuel, lead, arsenic, and other byproducts produced during water treatment in the tap water studied. And the presence of these contaminants may cause serious health concerns.
The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) noted in its booklet, Drinking Water: What Health Care Providers Should Know, that “exposure to the contaminants (sometimes found in public and private drinking water) can cause many health problems, ranging from nausea and stomach pain to developmental problems and cancer.” The report mentioned that about 900,000 Americans suffered ill-health annually from contaminated private and public drinking water. Approximately 900 patients end up dying from the complications of their sicknesses.
While it is clear how unsafe public water can be, it is still almost as safe as bottled water. So, despite pumping billions of dollars into making water clean and healthy for drinking, bottled water manufacturers have not exactly achieved what they claim they have. Instead, they only sell the idea of bottled water being better and safer than tap water.

Going From Unsafe Water to Clean Water

Step 1 – Know what you are up against.

There is no universal water filter. Filters are designed to be effective against a specific set of contaminants. Knowing the contaminants in your water will help you choose the right filter, thus saving you money and time that could have been wasted on the wrong filter. This is why you must do a little research before anything else.
According to James P. McMahon, the owner of Sweetwater, LLC, a leading product consultant company on water and air purification, people end up with the wrong filter system skipping the research part of the process. “They skip this very important step, and then they’ve wasted money and resources on a system that isn’t making their water any safer.”
The annual “Consumer Confidence Report” from your water utility company often contains details like the source of your drinking water, the contaminants present, and their levels relative to the national standards. Suppose you don’t get a copy of this report by July 1. In that case, you can reach out to your utility and request a company or check if it is available online.
The report will give you insights into the state of the water in your area; you need something more specific to verify the safety of your tap water. This is where the water test comes in. A water test at a state-certified lab can provide such information. You can check the EPA’s drinking water website for the list of suitable labs. Note that these tests come at a fee.
The same is applicable if your water source is a private well. Do your well water test during late spring or whenever there is a change in color or taste.

Step 2 – Identify the safest type of water filter.

There are tons of water filters in the market, including under-the-sink filters, faucet filters, inbuilt refrigerator filters, pitcher filters, and even whole-house filters. Each filter type is different, especially in the media types adopted. So, you need to go for one that best suits your needs.
If your Consumer Confidence Reports show that your water is better than the EPA levels, you can go for a water filter that targets the chemicals used in treating your water at the municipal plants. If these chemicals are not listed in your report, reach out to your utility and ask. Chemicals like chlorine, which is used for treating microorganisms, may combine with organic elements to produce carcinogenic byproducts, causing neurological and respiratory problems in humans. Chloramine is another water treatment chemical that can cause respiratory and circulatory problems.
The most effective filter type against chlorine and its byproducts is a combination of carbon/KDF adsorption filters. They are available as sink filters, whole-house filters, and shower filters. Waterdrop are known manufacturers of such filters.
You can go for a countertop or under-the-sink filters if there are one or multiple contaminants in your water. The NSF online database can guide you on choosing filters that have been verified to be effective against the contaminants of interest.
Lastly, if you detect serious safety issues with your drinking water, the best solution would be a multi-stage filter. Such a filter can eliminate almost all contaminants in water, thanks to the variety of filter types it combines.

Step 3 – Check the labels.

What you are looking for on the labels is mainly the NSF certifications. The NSF International is a nonprofit organization that conducts standardized safety tests on products from the water and food industries. In the case of filters, NSF certifications signify that the filters have been tested and found to perform according to the manufacturer’s claims. Water Quality Association and Underwriters Laboratories are two other organizations that run similar certification tests in line with the NSF standards.
There are various NSF certifications. For instance, if a filter is NSF-certified to be effective against chlorine, it will not be effective against nitrates or lead. This is why you should check the filter labels and ensure that it is effective against your contaminants of interest. You should also check for either the Water Quality Association Gold Seal, the NSF seal, or the UL Water Quality mark on the label for additional assurance on the filter’s performance.

Safe Water For The Present And The Future

Filters are far from perfection. They come at a relatively high cost, in terms of money and energy, plus you cannot recycle the filter cartridge. However, you will only end up disposing of a few cartridges, which is better than disposing of billions of single-use water bottles. So, what can we do to ensure we get clean and safe drinking water for now and in the future?
We should start by avoiding bottled water. It is not safer than tap water, yet, it is expensive and harms the environment. Next is to demand that companies manufacturing water filters take back their cartridges for proper recycling. The best way to recycle filter cartridges is to dispose of them off in a sealed landfill, ensuring that the contaminants trapped in them do not escape back into the environment.
Brita is a popular water filtration brand with several refrigerator filters, faucet-mounted filters, and carbon adsorption pitcher filters to its name. The company accepts recycling shipments of its products once correctly sent by the consumer. You may want to check if your filter manufacturer offers a recycling option before purchase or have one in the works.
Lastly, America still relies on its old and tired water treatment and distribution systems. It is vital to repair and upgrade these systems to ensure the public gets safer and cleaner water. While such repairs and upgrades may be capital intensive, they are worth the investment. Fortunately, a few organizations are pressuring Congress to provide funding for these projects.
In the end, we cannot entirely run away from the use of water treatment chemicals, especially in the future. This is why we must take charge of our health and safety by putting adequate measures in place to make our water as safe and healthy as possible for drinking.