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Which Water Do I Test? Source or Filtered?

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Today we received an inquiry from 'Nathaniel' who asked, " If I use a basic Brita sink attachment, would you suggest I get the water tested after or before the filter?  I wash my food and my body without the filter so knowing what is in the tap is important, but I drink tons of water through the Brita filter so that is very important as well.  I definitely don't want to buy 2x $200-testing kits to determine this information... If the Brita filter does good enough at providing safe drinking water then I'd like to keep it since I'm renting a condo and don't want to install a reverse osmosis filter if I don't have to.  Like I said, I drink about a gallon of water a day so I also don't want to remove any good minerals the water may provide either, however ingesting high levels of chlorine or fluoride is not acceptable.  Perhaps I get a less-expensive basic test for after the filter and use the extensive test I just bought to test the tap water?  Hopefully you understand my predicament."

Yes, Nate, we definitely understand your predicament and thank you for the inquiry.

We believe very strongly in testing the SOURCE water before anything else. Here's why: Testing the source water will give you an overall picture of your water's quality.  If testing detects no issues, then you may not need a filter at all.

If, on the other hand, testing detects 'issues' with your home's water, then you will know what type of filter you will need to correct the problems AND you will also know what sort of post-filtration testing you will need to do on a semi-regular basis to make certain the filter you installed still does its job correctly.

We suggest using certified and accredited water testing services for the initial testing.   National Testing Laboratories has an assortment of options ranging from basic to fully comprehensive.

As long as initial testing does not reveal any strange, unusual or unexpected drinking water contaminants (like VOC's, PCB's or other hard-to-test contaminants), for follow up testing we usually recommend either the  WaterSafe Well Water Test Kit, the SenSafe Water Quality Test Kit, the WaterSafe City Water Test Kit or the COMPLETE Test Kit.

WaterSafe Well Water Test Kit
WaterSafe Well Water Test Kit
COMPLETE Water Quality Test Kit
COMPLETE Water Quality
Test Kit - 13 Parameters
COMPLETE Kit w/ Lead and Pesticide Tests
COMPLETE Water Test Kit
w/ Lead & Pesticide Tests