sediment-filtrationWe have many challenges in the Treasure Valley to create the perfect filter. We have about 83 neighborhood wells and each has its own unique signature. This means having to contact the water department for specific reports for your neighborhood. Now we have someone to help us discover the perfect filter for our households.

We have the following local elements that need filtration:

Uranium, chlorine, fluoride and arsenic.

Boise, Eagle, Nampa and Meridian have uranium in the water, Caldwell does not.

This uranium is from natural deposits in the rock.

Chlorine is present in all publically shared wells. Chlorine molecules can break down into toxic carcinogenic byproducts. All chlorine needs filtration. A Britta filter, while affordable, does not filter enough chlorine. The Britta Company makes no claims except to enhance the taste of the water. Even reverse osmosis filters do not have a carbon filter for chlorine removal. If a carbon filter is not hooked up before the RO unit, the chlorine will use up the RO filters quickly.

Chloramine is an ammonia derivative with chlorine atoms attached. Chloramine is used instead of chlorine because it has longer lasting disinfectant properties. There have been health risks associated with chloramine use including intestinal complaints (stomach cramps, acid reflux and IBS), respiratory symptoms (wheezing, cough, and asthma) and skin problems (rashes, blistering, dry skin, cracking, peeling, bleeding, burning sensations, mouth ulcers). Also, people on chemotherapy are warned to not drink chloramine water. The good news: we don’t have chloramine in our drinking water in Idaho. There are no plans to use chloramine.

The level of fluoride in Idaho water is approximately what is in the water in cities which fluoridate their water. It is thought that the fluoride salts (calcium fluoride for example) is probably not as toxic as the chemical fluoride used to treat water. Luckily the filter to take out fluoride also takes out arsenic and lead. The arsenic in Idaho comes from the silver mine tailing in the foothills. The lead could come from old lead pipes, or the soldering of the metal water pipes. Arsenic levels should be less than 10 ppb, and the Boise area registers at 7 ppb. I still recommend filtering.

Aluminum concentrations are very low in our area. Allowable levels range from 1 – 120 ppb, and we register on average at 2 ppb. It does not need to be filtered.

To get a filter without having a personalized water analysis is like buying shoes without trying them on. Steve Lett at Earthwise will help you get a filtration system that can suit your specific needs. I don’t get a kickback for recommending him. I am telling you about him because he is an extremely ethical businessman who will work diligently to make sure you get what you need. His phone number: (415) 381-0352.

Finally, Steve says that the industry standard is to change your filters every year but is not based on rigorous testing. He has tested his filtered water at 12 months and it was filtering fluoride at 50%. He and other filtration experts recommend changing water filters every 4 to 6 months if you want excellent filtration.