Photo: Water flowing from a tap
Follow the manufacturer's directions and do regular water tests to get the most out of your water filter.

Photograph by Péter Gudella/Shutterstock

Usage Tips

  • Change the filter cartridge regularly as recommended by the manufacturer. Infrequent maintenance of filters may give bacteria and other contaminants a chance to build up and spill into the water from the filter.
  • Lead or lead solder can enter drinking water through old residential pipes or water service lines. Pregnant women and parents of young children should have their water tested for lead. Tests run from free to $15. For a list of state-certified lead-testing labs, visit the EPA’s Web site or contact your county health department.
  • If your water comes from a private well, the EPA recommends that you have it tested annually by a state-certified lab. If you live near farms or factories, the wells should be tested more regularly for nitrate and coliform bacteria. For more information, call the Water Systems Council’s Wellcare Hotline or contact your local health department.

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