Water treatment plants distribute “drinking tap water” that is treated to the standards defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. But do the E.P.A. standards meet your family’s standards for drinking water?

Did you know 99% of your water is used to water lawns, flush toilets, take showers and baths, wash dishes, and other household applications? This 99% is known as “working water.” The other 1% is your drinking water.

For your drinking water, the Water Quality Association recommends final barrier water treatment. “Final barrier” is technology installed at the point where water is consumed.

It can be pour-through pitchers, faucet-attached devices, refrigerator filters, under the sink filters or state-of-the-art reverse osmosis systems.

Despite central treatment of tap water to EPA Safe Drinking Water Standards, contaminants, aesthetic issues and points of contamination can still be present in tap water when it reaches your home. Pharmaceuticals, disinfection by-products, pesticides, herbicides, leaching of pipe wall and biofilms are just a few of the possible contaminants.

So how can you focus on improving the 1% of the water your family consumes? First step, regardless of your tap water source, we recommend having it tested to ensure your family has high quality, safe water.

And when choosing a filter for your home, make sure the filter is certified to remove any contaminants found in your tap water.

There are many economical treatment solutions to increase the quality and safety level of your family’s water. Pitchers, refrigerator filters, faucet mounted filters and under-sink carbon filters are excellent starting filters to remove some contaminants.

But reverse osmosis technology with pre-filtration and thin film composite membranes are the most reliable final barrier to ensure the highest percentage of contaminant reduction and deliver great tasting, safe drinking water.

To learn more about final barrier, visit wqa.org or call a local water treatment professional.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Low Country, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. culliganhhi.com