By Alexandria Beyer
Most of us already know that we’re mainly made of water – around 70%, in fact. That means that if our body were a glass of water, we would be full up to our shoulders! For this reason, it is vital for us to hydrate with the purest water possible for mind body and spirit alike.
This is easier said than done, however. Depending on where we live, when we turn on the tap we may find up to 300+ chemicals and pollutants in the water, according to research from the Environmental Working Group. Water can be contaminated with things like toxic heavy metals, additives like chlorine and fluoride, chlorination by-products, VOCs like pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals and fuels, bacteria and viruses (giardia, cryptosporidium, etc.), radioactive substances (radon and uranium), and even tiny fibres of plastics, thanks to all the microbeads and glitter in our cosmetics, and polyesters and plastics in our clothing. Obviously, all of these produce various negative effects on the body over our lifetime.
Water pollution is a very serious problem that affects the whole world – no matter how rich or poor a country may be. You might not even realise just how polluted your water is or what the causes of water pollution in your area are until you actually notice a change in your health or hair and skin.
It’s not just pollution that reduces water’s goodness for us; by storing it in containers that prevent movement, we’ve eliminated all that water does naturally – flow, evaporate, precipitate. The result is water that is sterile and sanitised, ‘lifeless’. Even the vibrational frequency of such water changes – although now there’s an app that can restore the frequency of flowing water (you can download it here, if that’s of interest – see how it works in the video below).
Bottled water is not the answer, and is often no better than tap water anyway – especially since brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi literally just bottle tap water and sell it back to us, anyway (yes, really – if it’s not spring or mineral water, it’s just bottled tap). And I don’t even need to mention the plastic waste that bottled water produces!
So what’s the solution?
Well, first test your water.
There are plenty of water testing kits that allow you to test for the most common water contaminants, such as these, below:
- TestAssured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit – This kit contains everything you need to test for eleven of the most common water concerns. The tests take only minutes to perform and you have results in under 10 minutes, with the exception of the bacteria test which takes two days to develop.
- First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit – With this kit you can test for nine water issues. This accurate at home test kit is an easy way to make sure your drinking water is safe.
- Health Metric Drinking Water Test Kit – These tests provide a simple, accurate, and low-cost way to screen your water for eight potentially harmful or damaging water problems.
- JNW Direct 9 in 1 Drinking Water Test Strips – Test for nine parameters using a single test strip. Includes 150 test strips, providing accurate and fast results for any water source. Comes with a downloadable e-book listing the EPA standards and an explanation of results.
- LabTech H2O OK Drinking Water Analysis Kit – This kit includes ten common water quality tests that can be easily performed in your home. Tests work on any drinking water including wells and outdoor water sources.
But then what happens if you do test your water and find it’s contaminated? Quite frankly, it’s up to us to buy a decent water filter now that we can’t rely on the state to do a good job of cleaning up what we drink.
Here are 11 of the best water filters for better health, pure and simple.
Eau So Good bottle boasts an elegant, eco friendly design that fits perfectly in your hand. It’s designed to be used when you’re out and about, and uses Binchotan activated charcoal, which has been used by the Japanese since the 17th century, to clean the water. Binchotan loves absorbing things like chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium and copper from tap water. It also releases useful minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphates and balances water’s pH. This makes for a clear and refreshing taste as well.
Just fill this beautiful glass bottle from the tap and let the charcoal work it’s magic! After 1 hour it will start to improve your water, and 8 hours is ideal. The charcoal will last 3 months, but is rechargeable – just boil it for ten minutes and let it dry in sunlight, and it’s good to go for 6 more months. After that, you’ll need to buy a new filter, and just stick the old one in the earth to enrich the soil.
Price: $19.99. Best for: Students, travellers, kids, taking with you every day
Propur’s easy to use pitcher uses a plant based, activated coconut shell carbon filter to remove all the nastiest – yet most common – toxins in your water. Their ProOne G filters get rid of fluoride and glyphosate, for example, whilst retaining beneficial minerals of the water.
Price: $69.95. Best for: Everyday household use.
This durable little steel straw weighs in at only 4.2 ounces, but filters up to 1,000 liters of water using a 2-stage filtration system that eliminates contaminants like water borne bacteria, protozoan parasites, chlorine, odours, and bad tastes, but not heavy metals, chemicals, viruses or salt water. However, it can filter and pathogens up to a size 0.2 microns. This little guy is incredibly easy to use, doesn’t need batteries, pumping, or chemicals, and is great for hikers, campers or travellers.
Price: $14.95 Best for: hikers, campers, travellers
Water quality is just as important for bathing as it is for drinking. Our skin is like a sponge for water and so is highly susceptible to quality as a result. Prolonged exposure to chlorine has ill effects on our health ranging from skin to thyroid conditions, but luckily, if you replace your shower head with AlkaVida, it will remove chlorine with its crystalline quartz and tourmaline filters. This reduces fading of colour treated hair and helps protect sensitive skin from damage. In fact, tourmaline also helps to help nourish the skin and hair, and offers relief from dry skin and scalp. The effects of quartz and tourmaline, as well as the massaging shower head, offer an energetic and mood boost.
Price: $156.00 Best for: Those looking for a beauty boost, those with sensitive skin
This powerful ceramic based microfilter is pocket sized, making it ideal for taking with you anywhere, even long stays abroad. The filter is a silver-impregnated ceramic and filters all microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns. Each cartridge can clean up to approx. 13,000 gallons (50,000 liters) of water, depending on its condition. The people behind the Katadyn are very confident in their product’s durability, and promise this through their 20 year warranty.
Price: $295.00. Best for: International travellers, outdoor enthusiasts
While most pitcher filters only reduce chlorine, they are not usually effective at removing organic chemicals, heavy metals, or fluoride.The Aquagear Filter Pitcher, however, is proven by independent and ISO 17025 accredited labs tests to remove the most harmful but common tap water contaminants, including lead, fluoride (90.1%), chlorine (99.99%), chromium 6 (99.4%), mercury (97.8%), and trihalomethanes (99%). The pitcher’s long-lasting filters (150 gallons) mean more savings over the long term as compared to other brands of pitcher filters, plus, this pitcher comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. The filter does all this without stripping the water of healthy trace minerals like calcium and magnesium. For a pitcher water filter, the Aquagear is outstanding.
Price: $70.00. Best for: those who live in areas with fluoridated water, those on a budget
The Propur Big drip filter use a combination of ceramic and carbon block filtration. This system stores is great for the home as it stores up to 2.75 gallons. This one is the favorite of Reviveolution’s Caroline Putnam, who donates these filters to indigenous families living in the cities of Peru. Propur come with a 1 year warranty for the filters and a lifetime warranty for the system, respectively. The Propur drip filter removes removes a whole host of contaminants from water including fluoride up to 96.3%, heavy metals, nitrate, nitrites, pathogenic bacteria, and parasites.
Price: $279.00. Best for: Those living in highly contaminated areas
A favourite with zero waste living star Rob Greenfield, the Big Berkey drip filter is great for a household of 1-4 people. It stores 2.25 gallons and filters efficiently at 3.5 gallons per hour. The filters themselves are made of a proprietary blend of carbon & 5 other media types that lasts anywhere from 3-5 years. These filters do require some priming, but are well worth it. The Big Berkey filters toxic heavy metals, pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, and unwanted chemicals without removing beneficial materials. It removes fluoride up to 99.9% with an additional filter attachment. It is great for areas where iron, manganese and sulfur are overwhelming the water quality.
Price: $285.00. Best for: Those who live in areas where there may be natural disasters or highly contaminated water.
Reverse Osmosis filters remove up to 99.5% of contaminants from water. They are usually paired with a Granulated Activated Charcoal filter to remove chlorine as well as a carbon block filter for the organic compounds and chemicals such as pesticides. Most reverse osmosis filters are installed under the sink and have a holding tank. This system is so effective that it will even strip the water of beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium, so you will need to re-mineralize it.
Price: $189.00. Best for: Those who live in places where the tap water is undrinkable
This is the water filter for those who are serious about drinking clean, healthy water! It begins with Reverse Osmosis, but goes on to move the water through a series of other filtration systems that actually restructure the water, making it alkaline and remineralised. It even has a built-in water testing kit so that you only need to replace the filters when needed. This filter is excellent if you’re looking to invest in a low maintenance, high output installation system. The price starts at $1,599 for the smallest 4 gallon tank, but keep in mind that this averages out to about .30 or .40 cents a day in the long run for a system that basically runs itself.
Price: $1,599.00. Best for: Those who believe living water is the best thing for your health.
Got dry skin and hair after a shower? Notice that your eczema or psoriasis is worse? This model is for you! It fits over your bathtub or shower spout to remove chlorine, chloramines, sulfur, heavy metals, dirt, sediment and other odours. through a 2-step filtration process. AquaCare will not only leave your hair and skin feeling smoother, but will leave you healthier overall , as your skin won’t be sucking up contaminants every time you wash. Plus, it has different settings like Rain, Mist or Massage, to give you the perfect shower experience.
Price: $19.95 Best for: Those seeking shinier hair and smoother skin