To Filter or Not To Filter, That is the Question

I've gotten into many different discussions about people about whether or not you should have filtered water in your homes. Don't expect this to be a scientifically based post, because I'm not doing or sharing research about it, I'm just sharing my story.

Growing up, we drank tap water. That was our beverage of choice. Tap water, usually with ice cubes in it, or occasionally refrigerated. Sometimes we'd mix in Lipton's iced tea powder, but the rest of the time it was tap water.

I don't think I was even aware that people drank anything but tap water until I moved abroad. They say that when traveling abroad, sometimes you get stomach aches from the bacterias in the local water until you get used to it, so it's best to use bottled water for the first few weeks.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up with a filter in his house, and he was shocked that I drank tap water. He learned that it was unhealthy to drink everything that came out of the tap. Additionally, he was able to taste the difference between tap water and filtered water.

So, because of that, in our first home, we installed an under the sink filter. It cost us a decent chunk of money to install as well as the replacement filters. Because it was removing everything from the water, including important minerals, there was another thing we added to add necessary minerals back into the water, which made it taste like tap water, in my opinion.

When we moved to our next apartment, our landlord didn't allow us to drill a hole in the counter for the filter's tap, so we installed the filter, and just reached under the sink to be able to fill things from the filter.

It was very inconvenient, and on top of that, I really got impatient with how long it took for the water to fill up from the filter. I usually fill up my cups with the largest stream of water possible from the tap so I don't have to wait as long, and I find the time it takes for filtered water to come out really frustrating.

Lastly, because of the moisture under the sink, especially with the filter down there, we ended up getting a mold issue, covering the entire filtration system, so when we moved to our new house, we didn't bring the filter with us, but just tossed it in the garbage.

Now we don't have a water filter, but I keep having guests over who tell me how bad tap water is. And I have guests that refuse to drink water in my house and insist that I buy bottled water for them because of how terrible tap water it is.

In theory I'm not opposed to water filtration systems. I just don't want a headache or a mess or need to wait so long to be able to fill up a cup or a bottle of water. The solution for us probably is to get a water filtration pitcher. They get filled up from the tap into the upper part of the pitcher, and then go through a filtration system into the lower part of the pitcher. Yes, it does take time for it to go through the filter, but you can do that in advance and just pour yourself a drink once its already been filtered. And it's not slow at all. I think I'll read some water filter pitcher reviews first, and then order one for our family.

Here's to clean drinking water!

Do you drink tap water, bottled water, filtered water, or something else? Why do you use what you do? What are your thoughts on tap water vs filtering?

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. We use a charcoal stick that we keep in a pitcher in the fridge. It's low-cost and absorbs heavy metals and chlorine. Charcoal is used in almost every water filtration system so using a stick itself is a simple way to filter water without the pricey plastic or hassle of an elaborate system. Also after the charcoal stick is "spent" it can be used to deodorize the fridge, tossed in the compost, or burned safely in the fireplace.

  2. I have always drank tap water and consider it unnecessary to have it filtered. I think fluoride is good for my teeth, and wouldn't want that eliminated. This is just my personal opinion, and I will probably be shot down.

    1. Agreed about health. Personally, I find the taste to be problematic. Keeping it very cold or adding lemon slices or lemon juice help with the flavor.

      Our fridge has a filter and ice maker, so we use that. Fridge itself was wicked expensive, but the filters are $20-30 yearly, so long term sustainable

  3. I always drank tap water, and when we moved here 30 years ago, we got (and still get) our water from a spring. (The water's fine, just high in minerals.) My husband uses a filter pitcher now, since it helps him drink more water. I still drink out of the tap.

  4. We have a water filter, but it's not the world's most important thing to me. The tap water in our city exceeds standards, so I have no problem drinking or cooking with it, but it's nice to have a backup for...just in case, you know? So I am glad we have it, but it's not something I'm necessarily too worried about.

  5. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized people regularly drink sodas and juice, and don't drink water. We grew up drinking tap water. Juice and soda were very special occasion treats. Now we have a water filter system in our fridge that fills the water quickly because the water in our area is so gross tasting it makes me gag.

  6. We have the Pur filter pitcher and it works well for us. It's the large 11 cup pitcher but even so sometimes we use the water faster than the pitcher can filter so it's mainly for drinking. For things like boiling pasta I tend to use tap water, but where we are the tap water is pretty good quality and there is no fluoride in it (per the comment below, fluoride is terrible for your health!) so I feel okay about it. If I lived elsewhere I'd probably get something like a Berkey or, a whole house filter system.

  7. I have always drunk tap water, but have lived where there was good tap water. Perhaps you only need a filter if the water does not taste nice.

  8. We currently filter our water, our refrigerator has a filter. In the past I have used the type that is attached to the faucet. If I am boiling pasta or something like that I do not bother filtering the water. My husband makes coffee without filtering the water first but I do not. Matter of preference. Depends on where you live too, we have lived places where the water was pretty bad, sometimes smelled of sulphur, so this stuff is just habit really.

  9. I have in the past used a fixed in filter. At other timesI have used a filter jug. For meany years now, I have just filled bottles and put them in the fridge. However, I have good quality water coming out of my taps. If your authorities can prove to you that your tap water is good, then fridged water is fine to drink in my opinion.

  10. Grew up on tap. 1st house I bought came with a fridge with a built in filter system. Never used it. Now I do. Cost about $50 a year for 2 filters, change them whenever the fridge tells me to, about every 6 months. Can't tell the difference in tap or filtered because I use those water enhancers, like MIO to flavor my water. I do know I like spring water, but not FIJI which is too mineral tasting. Most of the time I just drink Diet Coke.

  11. We live in a city with exceptional water quality because we have protected catchments. Our water tastes great and it is all we drink. Some people use filters and others buy bottled water but its all unnecessary. During drought periods we do tend to have more chlorine in the water but that is easily removed by bringing the water to boil or just letting it sit to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

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