DrWeil.com – Official Website of Andrew Weil, M.D. – Water Filter Review

This post was from http://www.drweil.com/ (I did not write it and I do not know the author) Although the author is obviously a satisfied customer, please note the clarifications I had to make at the end of the article. I will also post these clarifications on the response form on Dr. Weils website.

DrWeil.com – Official Website of Andrew Weil, M.D.

“I am sharing this info because it was one of the most difficult choices I ever made, and finding my way through the maze of water filtration devices and theories about what type of water one should drink required a lot of research.
Dr. Weil recommends distilled water. Okay, that is fine, but distillation systems are very expensive, may require a plumber to install, and I’ve heard about cases of them having major leaks which could damage a house or apartment and cost the user a lot of money to repair the damage. Of course a properly installed, well made distillation device should be fine but since I live in an apartment and have limited funds, I decided against Dr. Weil’s recommendation.

Also, while you can buy Distilled water, if you get it in the store it will be sold in plastic containers which are likely leaching dangerous BPA into your water which will in my opinion negate any of the health advantages distilled water may give you. And if you buy distilled water from a delivery service, it is relatively expensive. Even the government is now finally saying that BPA may be dangerous. Research will probably convince you that it is.

So I began looking into counter-top and under the counter water purifiers. When choosing a water purifying device, the experts say that you should first decide what it is you want to filter out of your water. You can either do testing (ideal, but again, expensive), or you can find the water report for your city and decide based on that.

1) I looked at our water report. You can do this by finding your city water report online or calling your water dept. and asking them for a copy. I believe they have to provide this. Look at the report and see which chemicals and contaminants are most prevalent. Now, the City report will say that your tap water is absolutely safe, and if it’s like ours it says that the water surpasses all federal and state regulations.

All I can say is: Every time there has been a major discovery of contaminants in water that cause cancer or other diseases, it was water that the government was saying was perfectly safe. Enough said.

You can see which things in your water report seem to be at or near the “allowable” threshold and choose those things to filter out. In our case we found pretty high levels of chemicals with long names so I began to look for filters that filtered those out.

2) There is one main Certification body for water purifiers and it is the National Science Foundation: http://www.nsf.org/certified/dwtu/

Also some states have Certifications. California also has very strict standards (not all states have standards for water purification systems; only Calif, Iowa, Wisconsin, Mass and Colorado.

What I learned is that there are 3 main highly recommended ways to purify water:

1) Distillation (discussed above)

2) Reverse osmosis

3) Carbon filtration

There are others such as ceramic filtration but the above are the most common which filter out most common contaminants.

I chose not to go with Reverse Osmosis because of many of the same issues as Distillation: it’s more expensive, it requires under-the-sink installation, and many such systems also waste a lot of water. Also, while this is somewhat controversial, many say that Reverse Osmosis systems can easily become contaminated with bacteria and then you’d be drinking more dangerous water, not safer water.

So I decided to look for a carbon filter.

Now, a carbon filter is what most modern purifiers use and so it becomes a matter of WHICH of the many available models is best. While they all filter out most of the common contaminants, some are said to do so better than others, and some filter out more than others. So then it becomes a question of benefit-to-cost ratio.

The cheapest carbon filter is something like the Brita counter top pitcher which works by simply pouring water into the pitcher, then pouring it through the filter in the pitcher, into your glass, bottle or pan. While these filter out some things, if you look at the NSF certification site above you will find that these do not filter out a lot of contaminants – they filter out only a short list.

I began looking at many filtration systems and one that seemed pretty impressive and cost effective was Aquasana. However, Aquasana is not NSF certified. One reason I did not choose them, also is because I don’t like their “sneaky” advertising. There is a site called “Water Filter Comparisons”. At first this seems like an answer to your problem of choosing a water filter. It compares Aquasana to about 9 other filters and in every case, Aquasana wins. But here’s the problem: This site is owned by Sun Water Systems, Inc. Who is Sun Water Systems, Inc.? THEY OWN AQUASANA but this is information is well hidden away in the fine print.

Frustrated by such trickery, I kept looking. I am not saying Aquasana is a bad filtration system. It does appear to be pretty good. It is just not NSF certified, and I dislike their marketing approach as per the above paragraph.

You can and should do your own research. I looked at Doulton, Aquasana, Pur, Everpure and so on. My friend recommended one they sell at CostCo by Watts. This is NSF certified and it was my 2nd choice, only because it is not also Calif. certified.

My choice was Multi-Pure and I chose the MPCT model which costs around $250 (look for an online coupon for $50 off) because it is both Calif. and NSF certified, easy to install (installs in about 15 min. with no plumbing necessary), and filters out a very long list of chemicals and heavy metals (see the list on the NSF site). Be sure to scroll down and read the NSF 053 Health Effects for all the things it is Certified by NSF to filter out of your water. They also have a plastic model which is even cheaper but I have an aversion to plastic even though the plastic used is NSF certified to be safe. In some ways the plastic may be better for some, as the stainless steel model does impart a slight metallic taste. However, I do like the taste of the water filtered through the MPCT in spite of this.

I swear I am not affiliated with Multi-Pure or in any way compensated for my recommendation of their filter(s). I am only writing this because it took me many hours of research to come to my decision and I want to help others avoid having to spend so much time deciding how to stop using bottled water.

Bottled water is bad for your health (BPA leeching from the plastic) AND bad for the environment! Whatever filter you choose, please do choose one and stop buying water in plastic bottles!

Hope this helps someone.”
Edited by: jimsocal on Mar 2, 2010 3:28:54 PM

Read more comments here…>

My Response:
I would like to thank jimsocal the author for this nice article about Multi-Pure, but as an independent distributor and representative for the Multi-Pure company, I need to make a few clarifications for the readers.
While it IS very interesting, unfortunately there are several bits of misinformation that I must clarify about Multi-Pure. This happens quite often, where people get a bit mixed up about this or that…for example, NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) is not the National Science Foundation…that’s a different group all together.

Multi-Pure is technically not a “purifier” (according to the EPA, purifiers are those devices that actually kill microorganisms). Multi-Pure is therefore a filter, a fine point but important since this is the EPA’s definition.

Also, Multi-Pure does not give the water a metallic taste in any way, at all. The thing about Multi-Pure’s stainless steel filter systems is that you can rest assured that there is no leaching of metal, hence no added taste. Multi-Pure housings are made of a high quality #304 surgical grade stainless steel. This is the same stuff they use in hospital insrtuments and food and beverage industry. MY educated guess is that it is the minerals in the water that you are tasting…a very different taste experience over distilled or R.O water.

The above points are minor mistakes, however One very important point that was entirely omitted was how to really look at certification. Just saying that a filter is NSF certified is not enough. You want to ask WHICH contaminants a filter is certified to address, that’s the key. Is it certified under 42 for aesthetics? only or also rated under 53?

This is the real reason why you would choose a Multi-Pure over distillers or any other option out there. And distillers are NOT tested and proven to address a wide range of contaminants, most notably VOCs. (volatile organic compounds) because the lighter ones simply evaporate back into the distilate. In this regard, the article is lacking and a bit misinforming, but I appreciate his help and diligence in his research.
Again, great to see Multi-Pure recommended, but in terms of educating the public to the facts, I felt the need for clarification on these points. If people get misinformed (even on minor issues) they will pass that misinformation on to other people, thinking that is is truth.

Thanks again jimsocal for thinking of us though and we appreciate the time you have taken to really research before making the choice to purchase your system from Multi-Pure. We have been reading Dr. Weil health materials since the 80s, so it’s good to see his site still being a lively center for discussion on such topics. He gets a lot of subjects going that are very interesting. Dr. Weil is a true pioneer of alternative health and bridging the gap with the AMA. he’s an american hero in a way.

(This Article may be republished with authors approval, as long as names and links are left in the post).