How You Can Battle Algae Blooms In The Back Half Of Water Quality Month


Toxic Algae Bloom In Lake Erie As Captured By NASA
Toxic Algae Bloom In Lake Erie As Captured By NASA

Earlier this month, an algae bloom in Lake Erie contaminated the water of more than 500,000 Toledo, Ohio residents, leading to a drinking water ban lasting several days.

On a smaller but no less heartbreaking scale, a family living just down the road from our headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota experienced the passing away of their beloved pet dog, after it had found its way into a blue-green algae bloom in a nearby pond.

With stories like these, the issue of algae blooms continues to occupy the news cycles, with information regarding what is causing these blooms, what to do if you encounter one and, most troublingly, future risks.

As we reach the mid-way point of August, we also find ourselves mid-way through National Water Quality Month – a month set aside by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for us all to recognize the impact we have on this resource – and think about what more we can do to protect it for future generations.  Unfortunately, with drinking water shortages, pollution and distribution challenges present on such a global scale, it can sometimes be difficult to find that one perfect niche in which we can make a difference.  Fortunately, battling back against the creation and spread of algae blooms just happens to be one of those niches.

What Are Algae Blooms?

Algae can exist as anything from single-celled bacteria to large seaweeds with little to no root structure.  These types of life-forms produce their own food using energy from sunlight, a process called photosynthesis, which you just may remember from science class.

When weather conditions are just right, from warmer temperatures to stronger wind patterns, nasty looking algae will grow and spread rapidly giving a distinctly mucky look to bodies of water.  A form of algae, cyanobacteria – more commonly referred to as ‘blue-green algae’ – poses perhaps the greatest threat as this variety can be blamed for both the recent issues in Toledo and the passing of the family dog in St. Paul.

Toledo Ohio Residents Impacted By Drinking Water Ban
Toledo, Ohio residents, impacted by a recent drinking water ban caused by a toxic algae bloom, line up for clean water

Dogs, farm animals and small children, in fact, are most at risk for exposure and sickness from algae blooms by virtue of the very behaviors that make them unique.  Farm animals and pets are not the most discerning when it comes to their drinking water source.  Children are not the most discerning when it comes to the bodies of water in which they play.  And dogs double-down, by drinking anything, playing anywhere – and in the case of Labradors, especially – frantically licking their fur.

For parents and pet-owners, this resource from the California Department of Public Health is an invaluable bookmark as it provides detailed instructions regarding what you will need to do in the event that your child or pet is exposed.

Is Human Activity Solely To Blame?

Not entirely.  These types of organisms are primitive forms of life that have no trouble surviving and spreading through purely natural conditions.  That said, human activity can be held responsible for some of the rapid spread we are seeing.

Some types of activity called out by Nate Drag of Buffalo Rising include:

  • Fertilization by commercial farms and residential lawns that can result in the runoff  that helps to feed these organisms
  • Reduction in wetlands that act as a natural filter for the chemicals that contribute to these blooms, through any activities that increase our footprint (carbon or otherwise)
  • Pollution of plastic debris that can act as a vector helping algae blooms to spread

While the causes may be known, the global solutions are not quite as simple as they may seem.  Commercial industries depend on fertilization in order to sustain crops, while also depending on clean water.  This balance can be seen played out in many of the debates happening around the country over the Clean Water Act.  In regards to the protection of wetlands, reduction in greenhouse gases and end of plastic pollution, well, if these were easy issues they would have already been solved.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman - Champion of Bipartisan Algae Bloom Bill
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio Championed A Recent Bipartisan Algae Bloom Control Bill, Signed Into Law by President Obama

What Individual Actions Are Most Effective Against Such A Global Issue?

As with anything else, one immediate action we can all take is to ensure we are as educated about this issue as possible.  If you are reading this post, you are taking a huge step in the right direction.  The more we know about what’s causing algae blooms, the more we can do to support initiatives meant to battle them back, and the more we can do in our daily lives to encourage global change.

As algae blooms have become more common in the some of our Great Lakes, many politicians on both sides of the aisle have supported legislation to help control this issue.

In July, President Obama signed the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014, proposed by Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R.)  This Republican proposed bill was championed by those on the other side, including Democratic Senator Bill Nelson from Florida and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici from Oregon.  This legislation authorizes $20.5 million per year to the algae bloom battle, with a specific focus on the Great Lakes.  Actively supporting this type of legislation, by contacting your elected officials or attending any local meetings where new ideas are shared, can help ensure these initiatives continue to receive support.

Support can also be provided through monetary donations to political action groups or charities that support algae bloom control, including Ocean Champions and Water Defense, an organization led by actor Mark Ruffalo and founder of OPFLEX water purification technology, Scott Smith.

There is also a great deal you can do in your personal life to help in the battle against algae blooms, few of which will have any noticeable impact on your day to day activities and many of which will seem like common sense.

Body Glove Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
Using An Eco-Friendly Filtered Water Bottle, Including This 20 Ounce Bottle From Body Glove, Can Reduce Your Dependence On Plastic

First and perhaps most easily, commit to not adding to the plastic pollution problem through littering.  You can even go one step further and replace your plastic water bottle with one of the eco-friendly water bottles available at our online store.

When you use lawn fertilizer, select a blend that does not use phosphorous.  You can even help to support a reduction in the amount of fertilizer needed by commercial farms by choosing to buy more of your fruits and vegetables from local organic farms.

Finally, if you have the opportunity and ability, riding a bike or carpooling to work can help lessen the types of conditions that nurture the growth and spread of algae blooms.  Thanks go out again to Nate Drag of Buffalo Rising, for sharing many of these ideas in his post linked above.

What Else?

This is where I would love to hear your ideas regarding your experience with algae blooms, whether that means supporting legislation or making simple changes to your daily activities.  I also encourage you to share any advice based on experiences you’ve had dealing with algae blooms, whether that means contamination issues with your drinking water or exposure issues with your pets or kids.

Finally, I always invite your comments sharing more about how you are helping to recognize and minimize the impact you have on water – whether during National Water Quality Month – or any other time of the year! All comments are always invited and always welcome below.

To stay up to date on the latest water quality information, or our latest filters sales on discounts, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+.

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10 Things You Should Do After Any Drinking Water Ban


Toledo, Ohio Mayor D. Michael Collins After Drinking Water Ban Is Lifted
Toledo, Ohio Mayor D. Michael Collins takes a big sip, as the drinking water ban in his city is lifted, in this photo from the Daily News

In January, a spill of MCHM left the drinking water of nearly 300,000 residents in West Virginia undrinkable and unusable.

This past weekend, 400,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio experienced a similar drinking water ban, this time brought about by an algae bloom in Lake Erie that carried dangerous levels of microcystin and cyanotoxin into the water supply.

On the surface, these two drinking water bans are quite different, as West Virginia residents lived through weeks of uncertainty due to a spill of a man-made chemical, while Ohio residents – fortunately – were dealing with more of a known, natural entity.  That said, the end result remained the same.

Similarly, the next recommend steps for residents of West Virginia, Ohio, or any future region that lives through such an occurrence also remain the same.  With thanks to WXYZ in Detroit, WTVG in Toledo, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia, please find below a list of ten steps you should take after living through a drinking water ban.  It is recommended that you follow the steps below in order, skipping any step that is not applicable to your home or business:

1. Regenerate Your Water Softener
Fundamentally, what you will be doing after any drinking water ban is flushing your plumbing system and cleaning or replacing anything that has come into contact with contaminated water.  If a water softener is in use in your home or business, it should be manually regenerated before you begin the flushing and cleaning processes, detailed more below.  Your water softener’s manual or an equipment supplier can offer assistance, if you have never completed a manual regeneration.  If there is not a water softener in use in your home or business, go directly to the next applicable step.

Flush Indoor Taps After Drinking Water Ban Ends2. Backwash Your Sediment Filter
If a sediment filter is in use in your home, completing a manual backwash will ensure the next steps you take to flush your plumbing system will be more effective.  In fact, it is recommended that you backwash your sediment filter both before and after you flush your plumbing system. 

3. Flush Hot & Cold Water Taps
A simple and effective way to ensure that final bit of contamination flows through your pipes and down your drain, rather than into your glass, is to allow your taps to run continuously for five to fifteen minutes.

Start with the hot water taps and leave on for fifteen minutes.  This will help free your hot water heater from dangerous levels of contamination.  Next, do the same for any cold water taps for five minutes.  Note that this includes your refrigerator water dispenser.  Before flushing, you may also remove any filter in use from taps that do not depend on these being attached in order to serve water.  This can help the flushing process move a bit more efficiently and give you a head-start on step six below.

4. Flush & Clean Every Toilet
Once you’ve flushed your taps, simply give each toilet in your home a quick flush and a clean.  This step is more critical for dog owners, as a toilet represents little more than a great big bowl of clean drinking water, regardless of what contaminants may be lurking.
Flush Outdoor Taps After Any Drinking Water Ban Ends
5. Flush Any Remaining Faucets
From external faucets and hose bibs, to the sink in your laundry room, all faucets in your home should be flushed.  After you’ve opened every hot and cold water tap, and flushed every toilet, walkabout your home to ensure every tap has an opportunity to run and rid itself of contamination.

6. Change All Water Filters Currently In Use
This direction comes directly from the CDC, in regards to what residents should do after a boil water alert ends (ie a different type of drinking water ban, where water may be used if boiled first.)  Changing out water filters is an important part of the flushing process as any filter currently in use is at risk for trapping some of the contaminants that led to the ban in the first place.

To minimize risk of exposure, change your inline water filters, sediment filters, refrigerator water filters, shower filters, filters used in your water pitchers – literally – every filter serving water in your home.  If you need help finding your filters, just visit our online store, use our filter finder, or call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.

Cerama Bryte Dishwasher CleanerNote that in the event of any drinking water ban, boil water alert or other type of emergency, we do offer the option of next day shipping.

7. Discard of Anything Made With Water
From Kool-Aid to baby formula, and from iced tea to lemonade, if you made it with water poured during the time of the drinking water ban – dump it.  (And then make some more, because everything we mentioned above is delicious!)

8. Flush Icemaker & Discard Ice
After flushing and sanitizing your icemaker, make and discard three batches of ice, to ensure any ice you use or serve is as free as possible from any contaminants.  While this may feel like overkill, the instruction comes directly from the CDC.

Clean All Pet Bowls After A Drinking Water Ban9. Sanitize Dishwasher
This step does more than help free your appliance of any lingering contaminants – it helps improve both the lifespan and performance of your dishwasher by lifting away scale, scum and grease.  Our online store offers two powerful dishwasher cleaners that can help, including a version from Cerama Bryte (pictured above) and the enhanced Pro Products Magic Dishwasher Cleaner which helps clean and sanitize, while reducing bacteria, E. Coli and Salmonella.

10. Clean & Sanitize All Pet Bowls
For pet owners, keeping contaminated water out of reach is an absolute necessity.  Simply put, your pet (especially if your pet is a big, slobbery dog) will drink just about anything that’s put out there.  During a drinking water ban, ensure your pet drinks only bottled water or water that has been declared safe – and use a fresh bowl.  After the drinking water ban ends, ensure that any bowl that came into contact with contaminated water is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.  If you’re following these steps in order, you should have a clean and sanitary dishwasher that can help.

Complete the steps above after any drinking water ban, in order, and everyday life in your home will be back to normal before you know it.  If you’ve been through a drinking water ban, and recommend adding more steps to this list, I invite you to share via a comment below.  I also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to see news and instruction regarding any future drinking water bans, alerts or emergencies.

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

Why A Camping Filter Needs To Be In Your Gear Bag


Clean Looking Water
Just because it looks clean and tastes clean doesn’t mean it IS clean…

Just because you’ve found a source of fresh water is no guarantee that you are safe from dehydration.  This is both a critical piece of insight to take to heart before venturing into the great outdoors and a hard lesson learned for thousands of campers throughout the world.

At our online store, we specialize in filters and filtration products that make your water taste better, fresher and cleaner.  But when it comes to our selection of camping filters, the benefits go much deeper than better taste.

Quite simply, any source of untreated water in the wild is a potential home to a number of bacteria and viruses, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

The CDC offers this resource for backpackers sharing more about where these bacteria derive from and what they do to your body.  Those more curious about these down and dirty details are welcome to click on the link above.

67005 Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter SystemThose accustomed to reading between the lines need to know only this: when your body comes into contact with these contaminants, it will expel them in every way possible.  In the process, your body will also lose a ton of water, very quickly transforming that source of drinking water you found into the root cause of your dehydration.

So how does a camping filter help if the job of a water filter is primarily to improve taste?  This is where the deeper benefits come into play.

Take for example the Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System, pictured to the left, in use below and available for purchase here. Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System In UseThis is a basic, $10 camping filter that is, essentially, a straw.  For up to 20 gallons of use, this straw will reduce 99% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, in addition to unpleasant taste and odor, from virtually any water source.   For anyone embarking on a short hike or backpacking trip, this is a lightweight addition to your bag that will do more to keep you safe than just about anything else you carry with you.

While this $10 filter is an ideal camping filter for shorter backpacking journeys, longer or medium length trips may need a little bit more in terms of filter life.  For those preparing for longer camping trips, we’re happy to offer everything from water pumps in the $30 range to mini-microfiltration systems from Katadyn in the $100 range.  While larger in size than a simple filter straw, these types of systems will still tuck nicely into a gear bag and be ready to provide you with anywhere from 100 to 500 gallons of drinking water, all virtually free of the contaminants that can result in dehydration. 8014931 Katadyn Vario Backcountry Series Microfilter Water Filter(Several of these Katadyn microfilters pictured, in fact, were donated by our store to members of Safari Club International as they embarked on humanitarian Blue Bag Drops in Costa Rica.  Each drop delivered portable water filtration equipment, like the Katadyn camping filter systems, to families in areas suffering from extreme water contamination issues.)

Finally, for those going on longer excursions with larger groups or families, we are also happy to offer surprisingly portable countertop ceramic filtration systems from Doulton (pictured below) and larger Expedition Systems.  Before clicking through to these products, note that these are in the price range of $200 – $1,500.  These are hard-core systems for hard-core journeys.

As our purpose in sharing this information is to educate you on the risks of untreated water and share potential solutions, rather than simply trying to sell you camping filters, it’s important to note that a great deal of the water you’ll find in the great outdoors is safe to drink – especially at higher elevations.  W9361122 Doulton Countertop Water Filter SystemREI shares this information in its article on understanding the risks you’ll face when backpacking.  That said, this same article also informs readers that even if the risk of infection from contaminated drinking water is small, it is a risk that should be avoided.  As Steven Bower of North Country Canoe Outfitters reminds us, when deep in the great outdoors, you are your own primary care physician.  And as every primary care physician has said since the beginning of time, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

‘Be Prepared’ is a simple, two-word mission statement that’s been shared with virtually every Boy Scout.  Barring any copyright issues, it’s a statement that could also find itself at home on virtually any type of camping filter, from a gravity pump to a filter straw.  If you are about ready to hit up the great outdoors for one last summer excursion, I urge you to let us help you be prepared with a camping filter both perfectly suited for your gear bag and perfectly priced for your wallet.

See our full selection of camping filters, most of which will ship FREE same day, by visiting our online store.  If you need help or have any questions, I invite you to leave a comment below or to call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.

I also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to see exclusive new filter sales and discounts.

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

Stay Hydrated & Stay In School: Your Back To School Hydration Checklist


Back To School Hydration ChecklistAs you close out the summer with the kids, and get ready for those first few sweet weeks of silence around your home, ensuring your kids stay hydrated is critical to ensuring they don’t just go back to school – but stay back in school.

Everything from concentration to cognitive ability relies on your child’s ability to stay hydrated.  This post by Philippa Norman, MD  shares some of the reasons why.  Plus, when your child stays hydrated, they are more certain to stay healthy, stay at level moods and even stay freer of acne.  In other words, they’ll stay freer of those issues that cause them to miss school in the first place.

With that said, here’s a quick 5-step checklist that you can use to help your child stay hydrated every day of the school year, along with some products from our online store (shared when appropriate) that can help you complete each item:

1. Serve Clean Drinking Water With Breakfast (and Lunch & Dinner)
A big part of the reason kids (not to mention adults) wake up with low energy levels is simply mild dehydration.

During the time we spend sleeping, our body uses up the hydration it has stored, meaning it needs to be replaced. ZD-010 ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher Serving a tall glass of water, along with juice, milk or coffee during breakfast, is a great way to get this hydration back into the body.  And just so lunch and dinner don’t feel left out, we’d advise a tall glass of water accompanying every meal.

A filtered water pitcher, including those we offer from Brita, PUR or ZeroWater (pictured,) can ensure the drinking water you serve at meal-time always tastes clean, fresh and cool.  Many of these pitchers are even sharp enough looking to deserve their own place at your table!

2. Send Them Off With An Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
What’s great about the explosion in bottled water sales is that it means we are starting to understand the importance of staying hydrated and having a source of hydration close-by.  Many schools, in fact, will now even offer bottled water in vending machines.  The downside, though, is that plastic water bottles account for a significant percentage of plastic waste.  In other words, great for your body, not so great for the planet.

Fortunately, we offer several eco-friendly water bottles, including many that will fit into lunch boxes, that can help keep your son or daughter hydrated without contributing to plastic waste.

Klean Kanteen 12-Ounce Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Sport-Top3. Provide The Right Drinking Water Containers For The Right Time
Before sending your son or daughter off to school with a water bottle, one important task it to be sure that you send them with the right type of bottle, both in terms of when they’ll be using it and what the school approves.

If your son or daughter’s school does not allow beverages in the classroom,  a smaller bottle – like the 12 ounce Klean Kanteen water bottle to the left – will fit easily into most lunchboxes and take up little space in a locker.  This type of bottle is great for younger kids!

Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifier BottleOn the other hand, if your son or daughter will be using a water bottle primarily in after-school athletics, a sturdier bottle with a longer spout, straw and mouthpiece cover would be more ideal as it will stand up to more while remaining a more sanitary source of hydration – even when shoved into a dirty gear bag.  The Katadyn MyBottle to the right is a great option.

4. Keep A Source of Great Tasting Drinking Water On Hand At Home
Once the kids arrive home, be sure that they remain hydrated throughout the evening by ensuring there’s a great source of hydration on hand, especially during meal time.

As noted above, many of the filtered water pitchers we offer look great on a dining table, while our selection of faucet filters, countertop or undersink filters help to ensure your children get great tasting drinking water from virtually any tap in your home.

5. Manage Drinking Water Intake (Softly, If Necessary)
“How many glasses of water have you had today?”

This simple question is perhaps the easiest way to get your kids to drink more water.  Honestly, whether they’ve only had one glass or whether they’ve had six glasses, asking this question will likely prompt kids of any age to drink another – which is great from a hydration stand-point.  After all, any other response would simply lead to a battle that just about any child would know not to pick, in favor of something of far greater importance to them.  Sometimes, the predictability of kid behavior can be a great thing!

How else do you help your kids stay hydrated, both when it’s time to go back to school and all throughout the year?  I invite you to share your thoughts via a comment below.

I also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to see exclusive new filter sales and discounts.

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

Why A New Brondell Countertop Filter Is The Perfect Last Minute Father’s Day Gift


H2O Brondell Cypress Countertop Water Filtration SystemWhy do we wait until the last minute to find the perfect Father’s Day gift?

Is it because dads are so much more difficult to shop for, or is it simply that late season exhaustion, as everything from Mother’s Day to graduation parties have sapped our gift giving energy?

While we can’t answer this question definitively, we can say that in reading between the lines, there are an awful lot of dads that settle for tacky ties and antiquated aprons as a thank you for all their hard work. Continue reading

How Often Should I Change My Maytag Refrigerator Water Filter?


Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter
Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter

[Need help finding the right Maytag refrigerator water filter? 

Call our customer service team for help at 1-800-277-3458 or enter your filter model number, refrigerator model number or refrigerator style into our Filter Finder. ]

For up to six months, or 750 gallons of water usage, the Maytag UKF8001 refrigerator water filter will give you clean tasting water and ice.

The Maytag UKF7003 refrigerator water filter will also last for six months, but only for 416 gallons of water usage.

The Whirlpool 4396841 and Kenmore 4396710 water filters, ideal for use in several Maytag refrigerator models, will last for six months and 200 gallons of water usage.

The four models listed above are four of our most popular Maytag refrigerator water filter offerings, and a great example of just how difficult it can be to accurately predict a filter’s lifespan.  At DiscountFilterStore.com, we send a reminder to our customers every six months that it’s time to replace their filters – but honestly – this is a bit of an educated assumption based on typical water usage and consumption in American homes.  As we’re well aware, American homes are anything but typical.

Maytag UKF7003 Refrigerator Water Filter
Maytag UKF7003 Refrigerator Water Filter

According to the EPA, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home with 70 percent of this use occurring indoors.  While the amount of water consumed per day from a refrigerator dispenser is a bit harder to determine, we can share some typical water consumption data that can help us make a rough determination:

  • Percent of adults that drink the recommended 8 glasses per day – 22%
  • Percent of adults that drink 0 glasses per day – 7%
  • Percent of adults that drink 1 – 3 cups – 36%
  • Percent of adults that drink 4 – 7 cups – 35%

Based on the data above, courtesy of the CDC, it seems safe to assume that most adults drink about four glasses of water per day, sized at about 8 oz.  Let’s assume that two of those glasses of water are consumed at home, courtesy of the water dispensed by their Maytag refrigerator.

If we look back at the water capacity of the filters in our example, anywhere from 200 to more than 700 gallons, it can be tempting to say that a single Maytag filter has enough capacity to last for several years based on its capacity.  So why the six month guideline – rather than say – 12 or even 24 months offered by more industrial models?

4396841 Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter
Whirlpool 4396841 Refrigerator Water Filter – For Use In Many Maytag Refrigerator Models

To put it in scientific terms, after a fair amount of use, refrigerator water filters just get gross. You don’t really want to be drinking water from a filter that has had stuff sitting in it for months, especially since carbon – the media used in most refrigerator water filters – is not designed to filter out the tiniest of particles, bacteria and viruses.

So if six months is simply a guideline, and water capacity is more of a lab exercise, what is the best way to determine when it’s time to change your Maytag refrigerator water filter?  One simple word – taste.

Quite simply, the job of your refrigerator water filter – whether manufactured by Maytag or any other brand – is to improve the taste and clarity of your water and ice.

4396710 Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter
Whirlpool 4396710 Refrigerator Water Filter – For Use In Many Maytag Refrigerator Models

If after three months, sediment or off-flavors return to the water dispensed by your refrigerator, it’s time for a change – regardless of how far off you are from the six month lifespan.  Note that for homes with water quality issues, or homes that depend on well water, this is not an uncommon scenario.

On the other hand, if your filter has been performing for well over a year without incident or change in water quality, there may be little or no reason for you to replace the current filter you are using.  Though, we may suggest a water test kit, just to ensure you know what contaminants may be in your water that are impossible to taste or sniff out, including lead or bacteria.

If you are looking for more information on the lifespan of your Maytag refrigerator water filter, or need to reorder, please call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

To keep up on the latest refrigerator water filter replacement tips like those shared in this post, we invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+.

Need help finding the right Maytag refrigerator water filter? 

Call our customer service team for help at 1-800-277-3458 or enter your filter model number, refrigerator model number or refrigerator style into our Filter Finder.

Dirty Drinking Water In Sochi Highlights Need For Portable Water Purification Solutions


Dirty Drinking Water In Sochi“My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.” #Sochi2014

The Tweet above – currently going viral – was posted by Stacy St. Clair, a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, currently in Sochi, Russia to cover the Winter Olympics.  When arriving at her hotel, no doubt thirsting for a glass of clean drinking water to combat travel dehydration, she was given the warning above – best described as ‘ominous’ by CBS Chicago writer John Dodge.

Even when ‘clean drinking water’ was restored in St. Clair’s hotel room, it looked less than desirable.  The photos above show the drinking water that St. Clair was eventually able to pour from her hotel faucet.  We’ll let you speculate on just how to define that color.

The issue St. Clair is facing is not a unique one.  Portable water purification is a critical factor whether you are traveling overseas or traveling just over yonder.  Below, find some of the more common instances where you’ll need a good portable water purification solution – and some products we offer that can help:

When Camping, Hiking or Backpacking:Aquamira Water Purification Tablets
There is perhaps no time when you’ll run into more dirty drinking water than when in the great outdoors.  The CDC, in fact, dedicates an entire resource section to ensuring you are aware of the very real risks posed by drinking water found in lakes, streams and rivers while camping – as contamination by algae blooms, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella and more are frighteningly common.

Fortunately, there are dozens of water purification, treatment and filtration products geared towards outdoors enthusiasts – from those that go on short hiking or backpacking excursions to those that embark on weeks long camping expeditions.

One of the more popular forms of portable water purification are water purification tablets.  Water purification tablets from AquaMira, offered on our site in sizes ranging from 10-packs to bulk 50-packs pictured and linked to above, are registered by the EPA to remove all sorts of nasties ranging from bacteria to viruses.  AquaMira water purification tablets even make your water taste better!

8014931 Katadyn Vario Backcountry Series Microfilter Water FilterAbove and beyond water purification tablets, a popular water treatment option to help purify drinking water while camping is the Katadyn portable water filter, pictured to the left.  Designed to pump fast, this filtration system will reduce up to 99.9% of common bacteria.

If you are just hiking or backpacking, water treatment tablets and basic portable water filtration bottles make for a clean water system that is easy to use, carry – and of course – trust.  The Ultralight Katadyn Green Deer Bottle is one such bottle we recommend for light camping, backpacking or hiking packages.

When Traveling Abroad or Out of State:
Different travel scenarios will have different needs and be governed by different rules.  For instance, a filtered water bottle is great for nearly any trip, but can be a bit of a burden to pack into your carry-on.  If full of water, you won’t get past security, in fact.

If you are traveling to any state or country, we would recommend that you first check-out the water quality in your destination.  The EPA offers a great page sharing Local Drinking Water Information by state while the CDC offers a comprehensive resource sharing health information for international travelers.

Nubo Bottle Filtered Water BottleA basic package we would recommend to nearly anyone that travels in-country or abroad is similar to what we recommend for campers above: a few water purification tablets and a good, eco-friendly filtered water bottle – like the Nubo filtered water bottle to the left.  Combined, these make for a good, affordable water treatment option perfect for nearly any traveler.

When Motor Homing:
Not all camping takes places in a tent and not all travelers wind up in hotels.  For the motor homers and RV enthusiasts out there, there are numerous solutions to ensure you drink only the cleanest water, without ever needing to leave your home on wheels!

We are happy to offer a dozen options worth of RV water filters, including the inline filter from Culligan below.  If you are about to embark on an RV adventure and need help finding the right RV water filter, I would encourage you to call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

RV-EZ-3 Culligan Level 3 Easy-Change RV Inline Water Filter SystemIf you are looking for any other portable water purification options for your next trip or excursion – whether your destination is deep in the heart of Russia or just on the outskirts of California’s Redwood Forest, we would encourage you to call our customer service department at the number above.

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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!

 

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.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

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!

Clean Drinking Water & Fresh Indoor Air For Less: Introducing Tier1 Filters


Maytag UKF8001 - Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter by Tier1

Maytag UKF8001 – Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter by Tier1

When did clean drinking water become a luxury, instead of a right?

When did fresh indoor air become something only the stuffy can truly afford?

When did a healthy home become such a burden to all but only the most privileged few?

At DiscountFilterStore.com, we are happy to start bucking this trend and put the healthy home back into reach for all, with our latest offerings: Tier1 refrigerator water filters and Tier1 air filters.

Tier1 refrigerator water filters are comparable to filters offered by original equipment manufacturers, including Maytag, Whirlpool, Samsung and LG.  They are built according to the same rigid specs to ensure you get maximum performance – or in plainer words – the cleanest tasting drinking water possible, virtually free of stated contaminants.

In regards to price, many of our more popular refrigerator water filter offerings – including the Maytag UKF8001 that fits into dozens of models by Maytag, Whirlpool, Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid and Kenmore – are available from Tier1 for $5 less per filter.  Another popular offering, the LG 5231JA2006B/LT600P is available for greater than $20 less per filter.

5231JA2006B LT600P LG Refrigerator Water Filter - Comparable Replacement by Tier1

LG 5231JA2006B /LT600P Refrigerator Water Filter – Comparable Replacement by Tier1

Low price point, combined with maximum performance, even helped make it possible for us to bring some normalcy back into the lives of our West Virginia customers this week that are still recovering from a recent chemical spill and corresponding water contamination incident.  Each is being shipped a Tier1 refrigerator water filter, from DiscountFilterStore.com, free of charge.

Tier1 air filters, meanwhile, help to reduce the same type of indoor air contaminants – including dust, mold, smoke, pet dander and pollen – as more expensive offerings.   Like air filters from larger brands, Tier1 air filters are offered in 1” and 4” sizes.  Unlike air filters from major brands, Tier1 air filters are affordable for all – making it rare that you will put off swapping out an air filter until you are forced to by a thick layer of accumulated dust.

We encourage you to try Tier1 refrigerator water filters and air filters so you can see for yourself how easily clean tasting drinking water and fresh air can fit into your budget.  We are even happy to extend you 5% off on your order, by sharing a coupon code previously offered only to our Facebook followers.  Simply use the code ‘Facebook5’ when checking out.

We at DiscountFilterStore.com thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to helping you build a healthy home for less, for years to come.

For help finding the refrigerator water filters or air filters you need, from Tier1 or any other brand that we carry, please 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+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

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+.