Point-of-use water purifiers remove contaminants from the water at a specific point of use. They feature multiple technologies such as filtering, hollow fiber or reverse osmosis.
They are installed at the point where your incoming tap water connects to your home’s plumbing system. The filtered water is then delivered to all faucets, showers and appliances throughout the house.
Reduces or Removes Waterborne Contaminants
Waterborne contaminants like bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses enter our local water supply through sewage and septic system contamination, animal manure leaching into wells, and stormwater runoff. Once in the water supply, these pathogens can pose serious health risks for vulnerable populations such as immunocompromised patients or children. A point-of-use water filtration system can reduce or remove these harmful contaminants in your home’s drinking water.
These systems typically use large carbon filters or other technologies to address chemicals, remove odors, neutralize aggressive water, or eliminate dirt and sediment. They can also prevent the reintroduction of pathogens into your household water by providing a barrier between the pathogens and the water entering the faucet.
These systems are often installed on the outside of a home near the main water line or on the inside near a single water connection, such as under the sink in your kitchen. These systems are often called Whole House Water Filters and can treat all of the water in your household for cooking, washing, bathing, showering and other uses. They can even reduce or remove arsenic from your home’s tap water, a common contaminant found in many private wells and public water supplies that use groundwater as their source. They may also be used in hospitals, clinics or other locations that require high-purity water.
Reduces Infection Risks
A point-of-use water purifier filters your tap water close to the source, so you consume only pure, clean drinking water. This is especially important for homes with immunocompromised individuals (those with weakened immune systems due to illness or treatments like chemotherapy, radiation or solid organ transplantation); babies; the elderly; and anyone who could contract waterborne illnesses from contaminated tap water.
POU filters may use physical filtration, which removes pathogens by trapping them inside a filter media or reverse osmosis, which creates a barrier that blocks them from entering the water. They also might feature prefiltration to reduce the size of the pathogens before they enter the filter, which extends the filter’s life and improves water filtration efficiency.
In addition to physical filtration, some POU filters utilize an electrostatic charge or ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and reduce the presence of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) that can form when chlorine, ozone or chloramine are used for treating your local drinking water supply. These contaminants are not always regulated by the EPA and can pose significant health risks, including cancer, birth defects and other serious conditions.
However, a POU system does not protect your pipes and appliances. They don’t address the toxins that can clog your pipes and cause damage to water-using appliances, and they don’t prevent harmful chlorine and other chemicals from leaching into your shower water as they turn to water vapor.
Reduces Lead Exposure
A point-of-use lead filter filters your water close to the source to reduce your exposure to lead. It’s typically used in kitchens to produce drinking water. POU systems include carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and distillation. They must be regularly replaced to prevent the exhaustion of their lead reduction capacities.
You should purchase a kit to test your home’s tap water for its lead concentrations before buying a POU system. Some kits only test for one or two water analytes while others can check several contaminants, including lead.
Lead in drinking water originates from corrosion of galvanized iron pipes and lead-containing brass solder and piping in your premise plumbing. It’s also caused by the dissolving of soluble lead in the water due to corrosive and abrasive well waters and from the evaporation of surface contaminated by particulate lead from household faucets, fixtures and appliances.
KDF filtration, carbon filtration and reverse osmosis are the most common methods for reducing lead at home. These filtration techniques are certified by NSF to meet the standard for reducing lead in drinking water, NSF/ANSI 53. These systems are available as under-sink and countertop models, faucet units, pitchers, gravity-fed and freestanding mineral tank systems and a few other designs. Using these systems with your existing kitchen fixtures will greatly increase the efficiency of your plumbing and help you avoid the costly replacement costs of pipes and plumbing parts.
Water filtration systems save you money by reducing the need for buying bottled water. It takes over 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to break down, so if you buy a point-of-use (POU) filter for your home, you’ll be saving on the cost of hundreds of thousands of these bottles each year.
POU systems are less expensive than whole house water filters because they only treat a single water connection, typically under the sink. This allows you to have filtered, high quality drinking water on demand.
A POU system can include any of a wide variety of technologies that can remove many types of contaminants including hardness levels, iron, sulfur and bacteria. However, most are geared towards improving the taste, clarity and overall safety of your drinking water. POU systems are the most durable and easy to maintain with larger units requiring only filter replacements every 5-7 years.
Most municipal water sources use a variety of chemicals to kill pathogens and make the water clear. These chemicals can leave residues in your pipes and on utensils. A POU system can target specific contaminants you want to address such as chlorine and fluoride, or hardness levels that cause stains and residues on clothing, utensils, showerheads and bathtubs. They are also great for addressing other issues such as a strong odor or the presence of heavy metals in your water.