Our clients often mention their interest in purchasing a good water filter for their home. We believe that they are a great investment in your health—especially since we teach our clients the importance of drinking adequate water for their body’s needs!
According to research from the Environmental Working Group, tap water can contain 300+ chemicals and pollutants, including heavy metals, Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) such as pesticides, herbicides and other endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals.
For many years, we owned an under-sink solid carbon block water filter and our research showed that it was one of the most comprehensive water filters available at that time to remove contaminants.
Then we were both diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis within a year of each other (crazy, right?!) and we began to learn more about Fluoride. Fluoride has been added to water since the 1950’s and is hypothesized to be a factor in the increase in autoimmune thyroid disease. Read more from our amazing friend Dr. Izabella Wentz: Fluoride & Your Thyroid.
After our diagnosis, we decided to rent a reverse osmosis (RO) system for our home. Although an RO system does remove fluoride, it also removes all minerals and trace minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese) in the process.
To be honest, we felt conflicted about this—which is why we rented the RO system instead of purchasing it. And to be even more honest, neither of us were great at re-mineralizing our water, as is generally recommended with an RO system.
Additionally, our RO systems took up A LOT of space under our sink, had a limit to how much filtered water the tank could hold, and we learned that it wasted several gallons of water for every gallon filtered.
We recently decided to do some more research, talk to some friends and colleagues, and learn about the newer water filtration systems on the market.
This is when we made the switch to Clearly Filtered.
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We now use their 3-Stage under the sink water filtration system. It removes up to 99.9% of 232 contaminants including heavy metals, pollutants, and chemicals from your water—while also recognizing beneficial minerals and nutrients and intentionally letting them remain.
So, what this meant for us is that the fluoride we didn’t want in our water was gone, but other healthful minerals and trace minerals were not being removed in the process. Problem solved 😊
Clearly Filtered works through a 3-stage filtering process:
Stage 1: Advanced Priming Filter – coconut carbon prefilter minimizes sediment and particles with various micron sizes to improve the water’s color, odor, and taste.
Stage 2: Heavy Metal & VOC’s Filter – eliminates heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, lead, chromium, radiation, and more.
Stage 3: Fluoride Filter – removes 90%+ of fluoride without removing other minerals.
A Few More Reasons Why We Chose Clearly Filtered
We have piloted out our system for about five months now and couldn’t be any happier with it! Here’s what we like:
Easy installation process. You do not need a plumber – you can install the system yourself in about 15 minutes, which is exactly what Roy did. The system can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or simply leaned up against the wall. This enables both renters and homeowners to use the system, because it doesn’t have to be mounted and can go with you when you move.
Compatible with any existing faucet. You can connect the system directly to your cold-water line. This means that cold water will automatically get filtered, while hot water (such as, for washing hands and dishes) is not filtered.
We personally already had a water filter faucet installed from our previous two systems and so Roy hooked ours up this way, instead of to our main sink faucet, and it works great!
This would always be our personal preference; however, we do have friends who have the same system and they run it though their sink faucet and enjoy the ease of that option.
We did pilot out using it through our sink and found it decreased our water pressure a bit, which the company says is to be expected.
Space-saving. This system is so much smaller than our RO system because it does not require a tank! It takes up only 3” of depth and 11” width at the back of our cabinet (yes, I measured!), while our previous system took up almost half of our under-sink cabinet!
Filtered water on-demand & no wastewater. With our previous system, the tank would be empty if we made a large pot of bone broth and we would have to wait some time for it to replenish to use any additional filtered water. Additionally, our previous system wasted several gallons of water for every gallon filtered.
What If a Water Filtration System Is Not in Your Budget?
While Clearly Filtered is very reasonably priced—approximately $500 to purchase the under-sink system and $396 annually (or $33 a month) for filter replacements—this may not be within everyone’s budget.
Filtered Water Pitcher. Clearly Filtered also offers a Filtered Water Pitcher which surpasses all other pitchers in what it takes out of your water—removing 99.9% of 365+ contaminants*!
Pitcher water filters usually use granulated activated charcoal (as opposed to solid carbon) which is only able to remove a few contaminants, namely chlorine, which helps improve the water’s taste.
However, their Affinity technology uses specialized activated coconut carbon filters with a unique structure which forces water to pass through the filtration media at different angles, instead of just passing straight down. This gives the water a longer contact time, which allows for a more thorough removal of impurities.
Pitchers are certainly less expensive than other filter options, but only filter a small amount of water with each filling. This would never work for our family of five but may be a good option for one or two people in a household.
With Debbie now working solely from home and Roy having a smaller staff at the office, Roy has recently switched to using this pitcher for our filtered water needs at the office.
*As you can see, the pitcher is certified to remove even more contaminants (365) than the under-sink unit (232). I spoke with Clearly Filtered and they have not yet updated the testing on the under-sink unit as recently as the newest testing on their pitcher. They expect the under-sink unit to perform as well or better in their updated testing.
Water Bottles. Clearly filtered also offers a line of stainless steel and glass water bottles. These bottles use the same Affinity Technology mentioned above and remove 99.9% of 220+ contaminants. We have yet to try these personally, but plan to do so in the future.
These filtered water bottles look like great options for anyone who has travel planned to other countries – on in the backcountry – where water can be more suspect.
Choosing the Best Filter for Your Needs
How do you know what filter is right for you? After doing our own research, I believe it comes down to asking yourself four questions:
1. What do you need to remove from your water? Removing contaminants is the main goal of any water filter. The question becomes how many contaminants and which ones. As I mentioned, besides finding a filter that removed as many contaminants as possible, removing fluoride became increasingly important to us so that was on our list of priorities.
2. What is the filtration rate? The filtration rate is the amount of filtered water a filter can produce each day. A pitcher would not work for our family of five and an RO system (with its limited tank of filtered water) was not a huge problem but was also not ideal for us with all the cooking we do. We knew that wanted an on-demand system for our next water filter.
3. What are the installation and maintenance costs? Like most things for our health, water filters are an investment. There are a few factors that may influence the type of water filter you purchase. Understand the upfront cost, the frequency and cost of filter replacements, and if plumbing, other equipment or additional labor are necessary.
4. Is the Filter NSF certified? NSF International is an independent organization that develops public health standards for products. One way to determine what a water filter does is to look for an NSF certification on the label. For example, all Clearly Filtered’s products have been independently tested and verified by EPA-accredited laboratories at levels exceeding NSF standards, and they post the results for you to view on their website.
We hope all this information, and hearing about our personal experience, saves you a ton of time and research of your own!
If you decide to purchase any Clearly Filtered water filtration system, we hope you love yours as much as we do. Please let us know!