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To Filter or Not to Filter?
Consumers can buy purified water. They also have the option of doing it at home.
Numerous companies sell filtration systems. Some attach to the faucet and filter the water as it comes through the tap. Others are containers that filter the water in them. Among the best-known manufacturers are PUR and Brita.
Water purified with these products typically cost less than buying bottled water. According to Brita, its high-end faucet filter system provides water for 18 cents a gallon, a considerable saving from $1 or more typically charged for an 8- to 12-ounce bottle of water.
John B. Ferguson, communications manager/executive editor with the Water Quality Association, says that consumers can feel confident about the water quality provided by brand name home-filtration systems.
Stew Thornley of the Minnesota Department of Health agrees that home filtration systems can improve the taste or appearance of tap water at a minimal cost. However, Thornley points out that consumers need to be careful about maintaining these filters. Typically, specific instructions are included with the purchase of the product. Without proper maintenance, he says, it's possible bacteria or other contaminants can build up in the products.
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