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.”

For that other 1%, there’s 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.

Water treatment plants distribute “drinking tap water” that is treated to the standards defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

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 our home. Pharmaceuticals, disinfectant 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? 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, is the most reliable final barrier to ensure the highest percentage of contaminant reduction and deliver great tasting, safe drinking water.

Local public service districts’ annual tap water quality reports are public record and posted on their respective websites. We recommend every homeowner reads this report; also, you should research your tap water supply on the Environmental Working Groups National Tap Water Database at ewg.org/tapwater. 

Regardless of your tap water source, we recommend having it tested at the kitchen sink 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.

To learn more about final barrier, visit the Water Quality Association Website at wqa.org, or call a local water treatment professional.

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