Mercury, lead in your home? What you need to know about your water filtration system

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 19:00:12-04

It’s a unsettling feeling thinking mercury or other potentially harmful contaminants are lurking in the water we drink.

So we wanted to know, how do we find out what’s flowing through our tap and how can we best treat it?

We took those questions to NSF International, a public health organization that does it’s own filtration testing.

"There’s not one silver bullet out there that’s going to take care of every problem," said Rick Andrew, a water treatment expert with the organization.

Andrew said, bottom line, you’ve got to know what contaminants are high before you buy.

"They can really have very different capabilities so it’s important to understand what’s in the water before you embark on a treatment solution," he said.

So to do that, NSF International says you should request a water quality report from your local water authority or get an in home test kit that gives a more tailored look at what your family could be ingesting.

From there, access the options: a home purification system, faucet or refrigerator filter are some of the possibilities.

Figuring out what you need can be overwhelming and intimidating, but Andrew said it’s important not to downplay the problem.

For example, some rely on boiling water to kill all contaminants, but experts tell 7 Action News, that in the case of mercury, it could actually cause the release of it into the air and then increase the chance that a more toxic form contaminates what your drink.

NSF International recommends using their website to check to see if a product is certified. Simply select the kind of filter, the contaminant you want to remove and get a full list of the brands that have been tested and approved.

That website can be found here.

If you still need help navigating or have any questions about what you need, NSF International has a hotline, operating during business hours, in which an environmental scientist is staffed and ready to answer your questions.

NSF International hotline is 1-800-673-8010.