Water Filters for Living in an Apartment

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated March 07, 2021
Many people who live in an apartment as renters struggle to access safe drinking water. Because the water treatment systems on the market have complicated installation processes where drilling is often required.
“My landlord would not like that.” I bet this has crossed many people’s mind.
Though there may be restrictions, living in a rented place does not necessarily mean giving up the quality of your drinking water. In this buying guide, we will list out things you need to aware of when choosing a water filtration for your apartment, and also give recommendations on popular water filteration options for apartments in the U.S.

Removing Harmful Substances

The No.1 thing you should look at when choosing a water filter is the capability of removing harmful substances. In recent years, infrastructures around the United States have aged. Those systems remain in place, and rather than replacing them, they are often repaired and not necessarily to a satisfactory level.
As a result, people are drinking water that is filled with chemicals and other substances that present real risks of harm when humans are exposed to them for a long period of time.
Let’s take just two examples of two cities in the United States: Los Angeles, California and Wichita, Kansas. The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has a free resource available that allows users to enter their zip codes and find out what’s in their local public water supply. We’re going to start with downtown Los Angeles, zip code 90012.

Substances Exceeding EWG’s Guidelines and By How Much:

Arsenic – 520x
Bromate – 13x
Chromium – 43x
Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – 105x
Nitrate – 13x
Nitrate and Nitrite – 8.8x
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) – 189x
Uranium – 7x
For those thinking that this may be at least partially because Los Angeles is an enormous city, we’re going to post the results of the same analysis for Wichita, Kansas below, along with by how much those substances exceed EWG’s guidelines:

Wichita – Zip Code 67204:

Arsenic – 292x
Atrazine – 2.7x
Bromate – 22x
Bromodichloromethane – 147x
Bromoform – 4.8x
Chloroform – 20x
Chromium (hexavalent) – 2.3x
Dibromoacetic acid – 72x
Dibromochloromethane – 91x
Dichloroacetic acid – 26x
Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – 105x
Nitrate – 4.5x
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) – 189x
Trichloroacetic acid – 18x
As you can see, while some of the substances are different, the results almost represent a distinction without a difference. Therefore, it is very important to check your local water and figure out the substances you’d like to remove, as water filters have different filtration performances.

The Taste and Smell

More and more these days, tap water is earning a reputation for its less-than-fantastic smell and taste, and yes, it’s likely because of substances that are in the water that change these qualities in that public water. For more information on what those substances could be, please see above.
If you’ve checked the water quality and simply want to improve the water taste and smell, then look for filters that use activated carbon as the filtration media, which has been tested as a very effective material to remove bad taste and odor.

The Convenience

This is an essential point for our topic today: simplicity and easiness. We are looking for water filters that require no holes being drilled or permanent installation components. We also think about the time when you decide to move on from your existing space. We want filters that can easily be uninstalled and taken with you to your next home.

The Cost

Yes, a water filtration system sometimes is going to cost more than a case of bottled water or a month of water delivery service. However, the ongoing costs of a water filtration system are much smaller than years of the other alternatives.
"I don't want to spend that money only to leave it behind when I move."
Therefore, we must take both the price and maintenance cost into consideration.

Different types of water filters for an apartment

The Big Berkey is a good solutions for easy, thorough water filtration. Rely solely on gravity to work, the system requires no electricity or plumbing connections. Its large 2.25 gallon effortlessly purifies water for about 1-4 people each day. The Berkey system can remove more than 200 contaminants including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic and bacteria.
The Waterdrop Chubby water filter pitcher is another good choice for apartment water filtration. It is easy to carry around. The fridge door design allows you to place it in the refrigerator to get cold tasty drinking water.
The water filter pitcher works by the principle of adsorption, i.e., drawing the contaminant molecules with great force and keeping them stuck to the carbon. It ensures that these contaminants are removed from the tap water passing through it.
The filter is NSF 42 certified to reduce chlorine, taste and odor and NSF 372 certified for lead-free material. The activated carbon filtration media effectively removes mercury, copper, lead, and other metals; pesticides, chlorine, and other chemicals; and organic compounds that contribute to the unpleasant taste and odor of your water.
One highlight of this water filter pitcher is the extended filter life for 200 gallons, which is 5 times longer than that of the normal water filter pitchers. Based on your water conditions, normally you would only need to replace the filter every three months. Therefore, you can save much in terms of replacement efforts and maintenance cost.
Most of the apartment rent policies would allow you to install a water treatment product at the very end of the waterline: the kitchen sink faucet. As the name suggests, these types of countertop water filters connect to a water line. They are the most common types of countertop filters out there.
The installation is seamless, and you can DIY just by checking the instruction manual. You can easily connect them to an existing faucet in your kitchen sink. Another reason you should choose them is their ability to offer an unlimited amount of filtered water.
We recommend three types of faucet filters here with different filtration performances to meet various water needs. Each of these filters is tested against standards ensuring the quality of your drinking water.
The Waterdrop Countertop Faucet Water Filter System offers better filtration performance with its six-stage filter design. The stand-alone faucet lets you switch tap water to purified water at any time.
The service life of this countertop water filtration system can last up to 8,000 gallons, meaning you only need to replace a new filter once a year. It is worth mentioning that this countertop filtration system has four types of mineral filtration materials that naturally add beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium to your drinking water.
For many people who live in an apartment, the refrigerator with a water dispenser is a easy and economical ways to get clean drinking water. The refrigerator filters have three major advantages:
1. Simplicity of the product – One prominent advantage of refrigerator filters is that they are generally simpler products to deal with once they are in place. There is no plumbing or equipment to manage or maintain. You simply draw water from your refrigerator, and that’s that.
2. Convenience – If you experienced water filtration systems with a tank and that tank was empty, it may have taken minutes to get yourself a drink, and most people don’t want to wait that long. Refrigerator filters fill your glass quickly every time, so you won’t waste time standing there with an empty glass.
3. Effectiveness – While different products vary in their specific levels of effectiveness, most fridge filters on the market are highly effective when it comes to doing what you want them to do, which is filter out the impurities and potentially problematic substances that are present in the tap water in the first place.
Please refer to the refrigerator review guide to choose the refrigerator filter for your home.
The Waterdrop Under Sink Water Filter has been a trendy water filtration system in recent years. The product is popular among both tenants and homeowners. Similar to the water filters we have talked about above, this system requires no electricity and no countertop drilling work. It is a super compact under sink filtration system that needs the minimum amount of work to install.
The easy installation takes only 3 minutes where replacing the filter also takes only 3 seconds.
The push-to-connect fittings make installation easier than ever, saving you time and effort.
The system comes in different sizes representing different filter life. When used with municipal water, this under sink water filter serves a life of 8,000, 16,000, 19,000 gallons or 12, 24, 36 months.
The only downside of the system is that you do need to fix it onto the under sink cabinet, which you can choose to use with tape to minimize the damage to the cabinet surface. The system is very easy to uninstall and you can take it with you when moving on from your existing place.

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