I really wish we could have an expert guest post about all aspects of H20 because I am a passionate part-timer that learns new things every day. For now, it is likely best to get everyone on the same page with water treatment methods...
Water is filtered through a carbon trap that absorbs the contaminants. This reduces chlorine, herbicides, lead, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds ("VOCs"). Price ranges between $20 and $1,250 for faucet-mounted or pour-through unit versus a whole-house system.
Passes water through a charcoal or solid carbon block and captures contaminants. When carbon sites fill up, the filter cartridge is replaced. This reduces chlorine, organic chemicals, and pesticides. Price ranges from $25 to $300 and up for a faucet-mounted unit versus a under-counter unit.
Raises water temperature to boiling, leaving contaminants behind. Purified water vapor condenses to liquid. When the steam rises it leaves behind most of the bacteria, viruses, chemicals, minerals, and pollutants. For those concerned about the lost minerals, Concentrace mineral drops from Trace Minerals is a great option. Distillation reduces levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, orin, lead, giardia cysts, nitrates, and sulfate. The cost ranges between $99 and $4,500 for a countertop unit versus a whole-house system.
Forces pressurized water through a contamination-rejecting membrane; sends improved water to holding tank. This reduces levels of arsenic, cadmium, iron, chlorine, lead, giardia cysts, nitrate, radium, and sulfate. The price ranges from $150-$1,500 for a countertop unit versus a under-sink unit.
Replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium to "soften" the water. Also reduces the amount of iron and radium. A whole-house system can range in price from $950-$3,500.
It is great that many of the options above provide long-term solutions (investments) to home water treatment methods. In my dream world I would install a water softener, reverse osmosis, and a whole-house distillation unit next month.
Water is involved in nearly every bodily process from digestion and absorption to circulation. Nobody would wash dishes in a sink of dirty water...we should not have to "live" in dirty water!
There are other quick fixes that carry many of the same benefits listed above. The next H20 post will walk through some easy to execute ideas.
Source: Phyllis A. Balch. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. New York: Avery, 2000.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition