Category Archives: Contaminants

New York City Tap Water: High Quality or E Coli?


New York City tap water quality holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many.

Described as one of the most pristine beverages on the planet – New York City’s drinking water is considered by most as more than just tasty – but also healthy and safe.  Many even consider it the primary reason that food ranging from Brooklyn Bagels to a slice of New York City pizza is so hard to replicate anywhere else.

So why is it that when drinking water was tested in twelve buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, eight buildings tested positive for coliform bacteria, and five tested positive for E. Coli – making the water unfit for human consumption?  The answer lies not in the water’s source, but in the journey that tap water must take before it pours through a faucet to become drinking water.

This week, The New York Times published the results of a troubling investigation, a video of which you can see above.  The investigation, which provided the results of drinking water tests from the aforementioned twelve buildings, shared the path that water must take before transforming into hydration for residents.

While New York City’s tap water may begin as a high quality beverage when it is gravity pumped from crystal clear waterways upstate, it still must travel through miles of pipes – some of which are the pipes in classic New York City apartment buildings.

“Lead is the most common reason that you run into a water problem in New York,” says occupational medicine specialist Marc Wilkenfeld, M.D., director of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola.  For those that live in older buildings, with plumbing to match, lead is a clear and present danger every time a water faucet is turned on.

WS-425W WaterSafe Water Test Kit
Tests tap water for lead, bacteria and more

Lead is one thing, but E. Coli is a completely different matter.  As shared in the video above, fecal matter from animals is the one and only way for E. Coli to exist.  Everything from deteriorated roofs on water tanks – the most common way for larger apartment buildings to store drinking water – to infestation by animals and even squatting by humans can all be contributors to this problem.

Here’s the frustrating part – to rid most New York City tap water from significant contamination risk would cost as little as a few hundred dollars.  This is the approximate cost of cleaning and disinfecting an apartment building’s water tank, which by regulation, should be happening at least once per year.

Instapure F8 Faucet Filter
Instapure F8 Faucet Filter – reduces lead

So what should New York City residents do?  It may seem like a small cost for the city to clean and disinfect water tanks (and it is) but demanding that the work be done is not something that will happen overnight.

Fortunately, there are several drinking water filtration options that are open to you – including faucet filters and refrigerator water filters – that we are happy to offer on our site.  And just so you don’t think we are veering into self-promotion, both types of solutions were endorsed in the article linked to above featuring Dr. Wilkenfeld’s insight.

Before you make a decision on the drinking water filtration system you need, we would recommend first investing a small amount in a Water Test Kit.  While Dr. Wilkenfeld suggests that the results of these tests can be inconclusive, the kit pictured above represents a small investment (under $25) that will provide you with, in the experience of our team and our customers, enough actionable data to guide your filter decision.

If the only element of concern in your drinking water is lead, perhaps the most common impurity in New York City tap water, either a faucet filter system – like the Instapure F8 faucet filter above – or even a consistently changed refrigerator water filter – a common Samsung replacement filter from our Tier1 line is pictured below – will meet most of your needs.

DA29-00003G Samsung Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1
DA29-00003G Samsung Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1 – reduces lead

On the other hand, if your drinking water comes back positive for bacteria – or just comes out of the tap yellow – a slightly bigger investment is strongly recommended.  The Doulton countertop water filter system below is proven to reduce all but the smallest trace of E. Coli, while sitting tucked away in its own small part of your counter.  If countertop space is at a premium, the right combination of undersink water filtration system and filter – including this ceramic filter cartridge and ceramic filter housing from Doulton – can also help to reduce this harmful contaminant.

When deciding on a water filtration system, remember that all systems – and even all water filters – are built differently.  Always read through all of the specs offered on a system or a filter before you purchase to ensure it helps to reduce the impurities found in your own drinking water supply.  All packaging will include details on these specs, as will product pages on DiscountFilterStore.com.  If you suspect that your water could be unsafe to drink – whether due to smell, taste or odd yellow coloring – we recommend that you have it tested before and after installing a drinking water filtration system or filter.

Of course, if you have trouble finding what you need, you are always welcome to call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458 with any questions.

W9361122 Doulton Countertop Water Filter System
Doulton Countertop Water Filter System – reduces E. Coli

If you live in New York City, we would love to hear your thoughts on the quality of your drinking water, especially in light of the recent investigation by The New York Times.  We would also welcome hearing any solutions you may have already implemented to combat some of the more common impurities in your drinking water.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you buying a gift for a veteran or soldier?  Use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 5% off your entire order!

West Virginia Customers: We’re Sending You Free Refrigerator Water Filters From Tier1


West Virginia Drinking Water Safety MapLast week’s chemical spill in West Virginia, and its corresponding impact on the drinking water of nearly 300,000 residents, was unprecedented on a ridiculous scale.

As an online store that focuses heavily on providing the water filters that help reduce contaminants from the water your family drinks, it was extremely frustrating to sit back and watch.  Today, as bottled water distribution sites remain open and stories emerge over more chemicals that may have leaked into West Virginia’s drinking water above and beyond MCHM, it’s simply too difficult for us to sit back and do nothing.

Starting today, we are doing what we can to hasten the water recovery of our customers in West Virginia.  If you’ve ordered a refrigerator water filter from us in the last three months, we will be sending you a free refrigerator water filter from Tier1.

LT700P LG Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1

LT700P LG Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter Replacement By Tier1

Tier1 refrigerator water filters are affordably priced and designed to fit into all major brands.  The Tier1 line of water filters provide you with the same great tasting drinking water, virtually free of stated contaminants, as the manufacturer models.  We are happy to be one of the exclusive distributors of this new line.

If you are a customer of ours, there is no catch and no action for you to take.  Your Tier1 refrigerator water filter is already on the way.

Replacing the water filters in your home, including your refrigerator water filters, is one of the last steps you will need to take to ensure the drinking water you serve is as safe as possible.  We are happy to help you finalize this last critical step and wish only that we could do more.

If you have friends and family that have been impacted by the chemical spill and water contamination incident in West Virginia who are not yet a customer of DiscountFilterStore.com, we invite you to share the coupon code ‘Facebook5.’  This code will give them 5% off on their entire order.

Thank you again for your continued loyalty, and if there is anything else we can do to help you through this event, please feel free to call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+.

West Virginia Water Contamination Situation: What You Need To Know


West Virginia Drinking Water Safety MapLate last week, a chemical spill rendered the drinking water supply of up to 300,000 residents in the Charleston, West Virginia area unusable.  This represents a massive water contamination situation that has had a steady place in news cycles for nearly a week.

With all the coverage and confusion, there is bound to be some misinformation about what is currently happening and regarding what West Virginia residents should do when the water contamination situation is given the relative all clear.

If you are a resident of the Charleston, West Virginia area, here is what you need to know. We encourage you to share this with anyone impacted:

1. Drinking Water Restrictions Will Not Be Fully Lifted For Days (As of Tuesday, Jan 14)
As of about 12:30pm EST today, drinking water has been restored to six zones in the Charleston, West Virginia area.  It could be days before all tap water is once again deemed safe.

Curtis Johnson HD covers breaking news for The Herald-Dispatch and is providing details regarding when new zones are being given the all clear via his Facebook and Twitter feed.

2. Why Is It Taking So Long For West Virginia Tap Water Restrictions to be Lifted?
The level of drinking water contamination in West Virginia is unprecedented.  West Virginia American Water is very methodically testing and turning water back on to ensure the greatest level of public safety.

Stocking Up On Safe Drinking Water In West VirginiaMore information and real-time updates can be found on the West Virginia American Water Facebook page.

3. What Will Happen If I Drink Any of the Contaminated Water?
Fortunately, while dozens have sought treatment from local hospitals for nausea and other relatively minor symptoms, no major illnesses have been reported.  Unfortunately, neither state nor West Virginia American Water officials are clear on exactly what the health implications are in regards to the contaminated water.

“Most people did not know a whole lot about this chemical [4-methylcyclohexane methanol or MCHM],” West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said Sunday. “We’ve had to do a lot of research.”

Freedom Industries, the company that stored the chemical indicated that is has a low toxicity.  However, Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water states that his agency cannot definitively say that drinking water is safe.

If you drank or were exposed to any tap water in West Virginia since Friday and are suffering from any symptoms including headaches or nausea, it is recommended that you call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and consult with a doctor or physician as soon as possible.

4. Where Can I Get Drinking Water While I Am Waiting For Restrictions To Be Lifted?
The National Guard is manning several drinking water drop-off and distribution sites, a listing of which can be found on the WCHS website.

Note that in order to receive water, you will need to bring your own containers, plastic water bottles or pitchers, per information provided by West Virginia American Water.

Water Flushing Instructions for West Virginia5. What Do I Do When My Drinking Water Is Turned Back On?
Once your water service is restored, it is recommended that you flush your water lines as soon as possible.  The Charleston Daily Mail provides instructions for how to flush drinking water systems while the Herald-Dispatch provides details on what other appliances should be flushed, including icemakers and dishwashers.

Both West Virginia American Water and the Center For Disease Control also urge all impacted residents to change all water filters currently in use as soon as possible after this contamination situation ends – including refrigerator and icemaker water filters, faucet water filters, filters used in water pitchers or dispensers, reverse osmosis filters and shower filters.

All products linked to above are available at DiscountFilterStore.com – and all orders will ship within one day of order placement.  Through this month, we are also offering free shipping to all West Virginia residents.  Just use the code WV at checkout.

6. My Water Is Back On But It Still Has A Funny Smell and Is Discolored.  Is it safe?
Per information provided by West Virginia American Water, the rapid increase in water flow – common when water restrictions are lifted – can stir sediment within the main lines and create discolored water conditions. Odors, meanwhile – (ie a distinct ‘licorice’ smell) can be detected at levels far below the level that the CDC determines is protective of public health.

If you have any additional questions regarding the chemical spill and drinking water contamination in West Virginia, we would encourage you to visit the West Virginia American Water website for real-time updates.

We will also continue to link to relevant updates from our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages.

The Great Mystery Revealed: Does Water Have a Taste?


What does water taste like? It’s a simple question, but a quick trip to Google tells me that everyone has a different idea of exactly what water tastes like. My search uncovered a wide range of responses from some of the internet’s top flavor detectives and included…

the expected:  “it tastes like water” and “it has no taste”

the more scientific: “the taste depends on what was dissolved in it”

the outright humorous: “Liquefied boring” and “Mundane in a glass”

and my personal favorite: “One Atom Hydrogen, Two Atoms Oxygen. Shaken Not Stirred”

Healthy-child-drinking-water

Obviously, there isn’t a clear consensus on what exactly water tastes like, but there is definitely a growing market for flavored water. In addition to bottles of flavored water like Aquafina’s Flavor Splash, many companies offer flavor packets that can be added to water anywhere you go to improve the taste. Kraft foods, the second largest food and Beverage Company in the world, recently launched their line of MiO flavor dispensers, hoping to break into what is now a billion dollar market for flavored water.

Floating-dollar-signDrinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and it should also be the cheapest, but when you add in the cost of adding flavor packets or buying fancy bottles with a hint of fruit flavoring it actually becomes more expensive than soda. Why are consumers paying more to add flavor to their water? The answer would seem to be that even though we aren’t really sure what water tastes like, we have decided that we don’t like the way water tastes.

This is primarily because most tap water is disinfected with chlorine, which adds an unpleasant taste and odor to the water, and often has dissolved minerals and organic material that can adversely affect the flavor of water. The unpleasant taste of tap water is one of the main reasons the bottled water industry grew so quickly and helps to explain the new fad for flavored water.

The easiest way to improve the quality of your tap water is by filtering out the chlorine and other contaminants that cause the poor taste. You would be amazed at how much better your tap water will taste with just a simple filter, like this GXULQ system from GE, installed under the kitchen sink.

Of course, variety is the spice of life and you may find you still want to add a little flavor to your water. Instead of spending a lot of hard earned cash on single-use packets why not try making your own flavored water. Adding a little mint or citrus is easy to do and is a fun way to enhance the flavor of filtered water.

Citrus-and-mint-flavored-drink

Once you have perfected your masterpiece, why not share your favorite flavor recipes with us on Facebook? We would love to hear what you do to make your water taste great!

DiscountFilterStore Real Customer Reviews : “Blown away at the customer service!”


We love to hear from our customers and this review from Brian T. of Liberty Township, OH was a particularly nice surprise! Thanks for the great feedback Brian!

5 star customer service

After receiving and installing two of the off-brand discount filters (I tried the inexpensive versions first) I was pretty disappointnted in the quality of the filtration. The water still smelled and tasted like chlorine, it was almost as bad as having no filter installed at all.

I wrote about it on a review. The store was not an issue, but the filter was less than good. To my amazement, a few days after the review was written, the store credited me for the purchase @ 100%!! I didn’t even ask for this!

I immediately went out and bought the more expensive PUR filters from them. They work great. This is the kind of great customer service that’s missing from most retailers in today’s internet world. They didn’t have to do this, but they did it because it was the right thing to do.

I’ll order my fridge filters from these folks from now on. Great store, good prices, and proactive customer focused support. What a breath of fresh air.

- Brian T.

How to find the best value on refrigerator filters


ukf8001 filter comparison

You knew it was time to replace that 10 year old refrigerator so you spent the time to look around at consumer reports and picked out the perfect fridge. Now 6 months later the light comes on telling you it’s time to replace your water filter. This is the part your refrigerator research did not prepare you for…buying a new fridge filter. Many of the top refrigerator models on the market use expensive filter cartridges for the ice and water dispenser.

The good news is that these premium quality water filters also tend to remove more impurities from your water, but that doesn’t make them any less expensive. A good example would be Maytag’s UKF8001 (formerly known as the PuriClean II) which is a great filter, but one that comes with a high price tag. If your refrigerator uses a UKF8001 filter you can save money and buy a compatible filter. A compatible off brand, like the EcoAqua EFF-6007A, is one of the best ways to save money when it’s time to replace your filter.

So if you are looking for a way to get the best value out of your water filter I recommend looking around to see if there is a compatible off brand for your fridge. At DiscountFilterStore you can find compatible filters to match a wide variety of refrigerator models. In most cases these filters will remove the same contaminants from your drinking water and last just as long. The only real difference is that you get to keep a little extra money in your pocket.

The best air filters on the market for less


Filtrete-elite

Spring is here and allergies are in full swing, but did you know that a quality air filter is more effective at blocking harmful allergens? As explained in this video by Tom Kraeutler of MoneyPit.com the new Filtrete Elite air filters are the best furnace filters on the market for your home. Why suffer with seasonal allergy symptoms in the comfort of your own home when you can block 94% of large particles with the Filtrete Elite series of air filters. The Elite filters have a 2200 MPR rating and trap 40 times more microparticles than other brands.

Right now Filtrete is running a rebate program for Elite filters purchased before June 30, 2011. You can get $6 back with a mail in rebate when you purchase 3 or more air filters with an MPR of 1500 or better.

The Elite series filters are available at DiscountFilterStore and come in 7 different sizes for as low as $18 per filter when you buy a full case.

Remember to change your filter every 3 months to ensure you are getting optimal air quality. You will most likely find that your new Filtrete Elite filters capture a lot more particles giving you cleaner, healthier air at home.

How an air filter saved the day


When I moved into my new apartment everything was going great. I got a good deal on the place and had all my stuff moved in and settled. Then my roommate moved in and things got bumpy. I have known my roommate since high school and we get along just fine, but when he moved in he started to wheeze and his allergies went crazy.

Pollen in the air

Of the two of us I am usually the one who has trouble with pet allergies and the like, so we were at a loss to figure out what was causing the trouble. I wasn’t experiencing any allergy related problems at all and he was a mess. He went to his doctor to try and find out what the problem was, but was still not getting any better. When the doctor could not come up with a solution I offered to let my roommate borrow the small Filtrete air purifier that I use in my bedroom. Within a few days he was showing signs of improvement.

FAP00-RS Ultra Quiet Air Purifier

Of course as soon as I realized how simple it was to solve his allergy problem I felt foolish for not suggesting it earlier. How did a simple air filter resolve his symptoms so quickly? When we moved my roommate into the apartment we stirred up a lot of dust and other allergens. By placing a single room air purifier in his bedroom we were able to filter out the allergens in the air that were causing him to wheeze.

Spring is a wonderful time of the year, but many people who suffer from allergy related symptoms know that it is also a very bad time of the year for allergies. This article at webmd offers some helpful tips to help you fight Spring allergies. Remember to change the filter in your AC unit and vents to help reduce the number of allergens floating around inside your home. Not all air filters are created equal! Cheaper furnace and air filters do not remove as many particles from the air. Air filters are rated with a Microparticle Performance Rating (or MPR). The higher the MPR on an air filter the more allergens and odor particles it can remove from the air. Currently the best air filters you can get for your home are the Filtrete Elite 2200 MPR air filters.