Water filters are an easy short-term fix for many water quality concerns

Installation of a home water filter can be an easy way to protect your family from a number of drinking water threats. Make sure you pick the right filter.

Nathan Murphy

Earlier this week I installed a water filter under the kitchen sink at home. I have a lead service line connecting the house to the public water main, and that’s all too common in Michigan. We still have just over 400,000 lead service lines in use across the state. It was surprisingly easy in part because the plumbing inside the house had been recently updated. I installed the same filter at a friend’s house a couple weeks ago, and the older plumbing just meant a trip to the hardware store and some more knowledgeable help getting an adapter to join the old plumbing to the new plumbing fittings on the filter. 

The bottom line is it’s relatively easy to protect your family from risks in the water including lead. I’m only moderately handy at DIY stuff, and I got it done. 

If you’re interested in installing a filter be sure to check the ratings of the filter to ensure it removes lead and other contaminants and does more than just prevent microbial contamination and odor/taste issues. Look for at least NFS 53 if your primary concern is lead or other metals and some organic pollution. Consider NSF 401 ratings, which also covers a number of other possible threats. A lot of filters pass both.

Recognize that this is only a stop-gap measure. We need to protect our drinking water from contamination in the first place, which is one of the reasons Environment Michigan is working hard to Get The Lead Out, increase standards on the PFAS family of chemicals, and address a number of other threats to the water our families and our environment uses. Water is essential for life, and it’s absurd that the Great Lakes State is struggling to ensure safe water for all.


Nathan Murphy