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+.

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!

Tackle Thirst & Dehydration By Adding ZeroWater Filters To Your Tailgating Gear


Tackle Thirst & DehydrationThis past week and weekend was the kickoff of the NFL Pre-Season, an exciting four-week period where we spend our time arguing, jumping to conclusions and preparing mentally for the season ahead.

For many of us, this means that we lock down all of our tailgating gear so it’s ready to go every Sunday morning, afternoon, or evening – depending on the schedule that weekend.  Fortunately, our online store has just expanded its line of ZeroWater filters, perhaps the most powerful filtration products in the field today.

Here’s why ZeroWater filtration products, including water filter pitchers and filtered tumblers, need to be a part of your tailgating gear.  All products mentioned below may be found by visiting the ZeroWater category at our online store:

Runs Your Water Through Five Complex Filtration Stages
There’s only a handful of tailgating opportunities all year.  Why go half-way, whether that means the size of your RV or the spiciness of your wings?  Well, we feel the same way about keeping you hydrated.

All ZeroWater products, including pitchers and tumblers, run your water through five powerful filtration stages using activated carbon, ion exchange and more.  In the video posted below, you’ll even see ZeroWater filters taking the color out of red wine!  Bottom-line, if your drinking water needs to be powerful enough to stand up to a day of tailgating, it better run through a ZeroWater filter first.

Kick Out Unpleasant Taste & Odors
It’s one thing to filter drinking water, but sometimes, quite another to make sure that water still tastes great.  Fortunately, the use of high-powered activated carbon in ZeroWater filters will reduce virtually all unpleasant taste and odor, leaving you with the cleanest tasting drinking water imaginable.  In other words, ZeroWater products are heavy hitting filtration systems at a low-impact prices.  When it’s time to switch to a safer beverage on game day, you’ll be glad to have ZeroWater on-hand.

Block Nearly All Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) From Your Drinking Water
ZeroWater filters will block 99.99% of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) ranging from lead, to pharmaceuticals to fluoride.  ZeroWater can both make this claim and back it up – again and again.

ZeroWater Filtered Water Pitcher & Tumbler (ZB-626)Pass All Tests For Performance Enhancing Chemicals
BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an industrial epoxy that has been used in the production of plastic since the 60s.  While it can make plastic stronger, some research has shown that BPA (especially BPA used in plastic water bottles) can seep into beverages.  Over-exposure to this chemical, per the Mayo Clinic, can result possible health effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.

Unlike plastic water bottles or other types of portable drinking water containers, ZeroWater filtration products contain no performance enhancing BPA.

Build Your Ordinary Water Into A Championship Caliber Beverage
Every new season brings with it the promise that – if nothing else – you’ll see something remarkable you’ve never seen before.  (Think: our own Adrian Peterson coming 8 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s rushing record just one year recovered from a torn ACL and MCL.)

Similarly, the taste of drinking water filtered through a ZeroWater product will taste unlike any water you’ve ever had before.  If you don’t have the ability to enjoy this beverage all throughout the season, your tailgating experiences will simply not be built up to be all they can be.

If you need help getting the right ZeroWater filtration products to prepare for tailgating all throughout the NFL season, visit our online store or call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.  If you are a current ZeroWater user, I also invite you to leave your thoughts via a comment below.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to see exclusive new refrigerator water 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!

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!

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!

5 Drinking Water Week Add-Ons You Can Add-Into Your Cart For Less


WaterSafe Well Water Test KitWe are currently in the midst of Drinking Water Week, an occasion marked by the American Water Works Association as a time when water professionals forge closer connections with those they serve.  While this is undoubtedly an important occasion, our team at DiscountFilterStore.com already adheres to this idea every day.

So rather than using Drinking Water Week to remind you of what you likely already know, we’re instead taking this opportunity to bring you closer to some of the lesser known products you may not be aware that we offer.

Better yet, all through Drinking Water Week, we’re offering the products below – and all products on our site, in fact – for 5% off!  Just use the code ‘DrinkWater’ when you place your order online.

3M Filtrete Whole House Filtration System O-Rings1. Water Test Kits – if you are a well water user or have running water in a cabin, a water test kit should be in your hands at least twice per year.  We offer water filters that can deal with nearly any type of contaminant or impurity.  But unless we know exactly what you are dealing with in your water, there is only so much we can do.

On our site, we are happy to offer water test kits that range in price between around $20 (for quick DIY measurements) all the way up to kits that go for closer to $200 and include formal lab testing.  See our full selection of water test kits here.

Frigidaire PAULTRA Refrigerator Air Filter2. O-Rings and Lubricant – we can’t count the number of times that a leaky filter or filtration system we’ve troubleshot with a customer  has hinged on one simple and inexpensive part: the ubiquitous O-ring.

O-rings, O-ring lubricant and dozens of other types of critical yet affordable accessories are proudly offered on our site as a complement to each of the filters and systems that we offer.  If you are ever unsure of all the components you will need to properly install or maintain your system, please feel free to call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.  See our full list of parts and accessories, including O-rings and lubricant, here.

Rid O Rust Rust Stain Remover3. Refrigerator Air Filters – foul taste and odor coming from your refrigerator can come from more than just the water you dispense.  A refrigerator air filter, the most popular of which is the Frigidaire PAULTRA pictured, partners with your water filter to effectively manage the cleanliness of two major elements within your refrigerator.  See our full selection of refrigerator air filters here.

4. Rust Stain Remover – we offer a fairly comprehensive selection of cleaning products on our site, but Rid O Rust stain remover is by far one of the most popular.  Formulated to be biodegradable, Rid O Rust will quickly remove rust from nearly any surface, from the inside of your sink to the outside of your boat.  For well water users that live with water heavy in iron, this should always be beneath your sink or in your garage.  Buy Rid O Rust stain remover here.

5. Coffee Machine Water Filter – fact: you can’t have great coffee without great water.  Built for Bosch and Siemens automatic coffee machines, the Claris water filter cartridge we offer ensures only the cleanest water makes it through your coffee machine and into your cup.  A must have for anyone using an automatic coffee machine from one of these two brands.  Buy our Claris coffee machine water filter, for Bosch and Siemens automatic coffee machines, here.

Are there other water filters or filtration products that you know you need but have had trouble finding?  Connect with us directly, either via a comment below or by calling our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458, and we’ll help you find them!  And when we do, we’ll remind you to use discount code ‘DrinkWater’ so you can get what you need for 5% off!* (Through Monday, May 12th.)

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

How You Can Support Clean Water For Every Life On This Planet: Q&A With Safari Club International’s Dale Bruder


Large Cats Depend On Clean Drinking WaterClean water is critical to the sustainability of every life on our planet.  The awful truth, though, is that clean water is inaccessible by nearly one billion people, leading to more than three million deaths per year.  A silver lining to this fact is that there is also an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of up to one billion people, and in a very real sense, save millions of lives yearly.

Dale Bruder, President of the Lake Superior Chapter of the Safari Club International (SCI,) understands this fact implicitly.  Bruder knows that clean water shortages impact more than just our world’s human residents, but every life on our planet – large and small, two-legged and four-legged.  As such, his organization supports several humanitarian efforts that help to bring clean water to those people in need throughout the world, while also advocating for the protection of a spectacular array of wildlife.

This weekend, April 11-12, Bruder and his organization will be hosting their 16th Annual Hunter’s Banquet and fundraiser in Hinckley, MN.  While he worked to finalize preparations for this event, Bruder sat down with us to share how the humanitarian efforts of the SCI can help save countless lives – and countless species – throughout the world.

[At the bottom of this post is a link sharing how you can donate to the SCI’s mission, if you are unable to attend this weekend’s event.]

For our readers that are unfamiliar with the Safari Club International, could you please share a brief summary of your organization and its mission?

The Safari Club International (SCI) is the largest organization in the world dedicated to protecting hunters’ rights and traditions, preserving wildlife through good conservation practices, educating our youth and the non-hunting public, and doing humanitarian deeds for the less fortunate.

You mention the worldwide humanitarian efforts deployed by the SCI.  What types of projects have you seen deployed to date and what type of results have you seen these efforts achieve?

Our “Hunters Against Hunger” initiative has provided thousands of pounds of processed venison to the less fortunate so they can eat protein-rich meat.  We also have a very active “Make A Wish” type hunting program that is available for disabled and terminally ill children.  We support our wounded veterans by helping to fulfill their wishes to go on hunts that they aren’t able to do on their own.

Another initiative we are proud to support is the Blue Bag Drop program, where our members that are traveling overseas deliver blue bags filled with health aids for children and adults and items needed for the hungry.  Oftentimes these blue bags will include portable water filtration equipment to be brought into those areas where clean water is not always a given.

Our store has helped to support the SCI Blue Bag Drops, providing some of the portable water filtration equipment SCI members bring with them on their journeys.  How many Blue Bag Drops have been deployed to date – and overall – how many lives have been positively impacted through these efforts?

Safari Club International - Blue Bag DropI do not have the exact figure, but it is in the hundreds for the number of bags delivered and in the thousands of lives impacted.

[Ed. Note: DiscountFilterStore.com is proud to support the SCI Blue Bag Drops through the donation of portable water filtration equipment, including our Katadyn camping filters.  The photo to the left, from a story published in a recent SCI newsletter, shows one of the Blue Bag Drops we supported, in partnership with the Safari Club International, Safari Care Legacy Fund and Global Water Drops.  Look closely and you'll see the Katadyn Vario filter we donated, sitting atop the bag.

For those attending this weekend’s fundraiser in Hinckley, please look for a Blue Bag filled with water filtration equipment at the event's auction.]

Clean water is critical for every life on our planet, making it a natural cause for the SCI to align itself with.  From your perspective, how would you describe this alignment between protecting clean water and protecting wildlife?

They go hand in hand.  As you said, clean water is critical for humans and animals alike.  Both will drink contaminated water if thirst drives them to it.  Then they become ill and that spreads disease and death among their respective species.

What type of opportunities would our readers have to become involved with the SCI or to support its humanitarian missions?

Go to any local member or local chapter and ask how to become involved.  Go to any chapter’s fundraiser and join the organization.  There is also a National website to get more information: www.scifirstforhunters.org.

Of course, we would also love to see everyone at this weekend’s fundraiser in Hinckley where they can learn about our organization first-hand, in addition to offering the donations that will allow us to continue our good work.

For registration information for the 16th annual Hunter’s Banquet and fundraiser, hosted on April 11th – 12th in Hinckley, MN by the Lake Superior Chapter of the SCI, visit this page on the chapter’s website.  You may also donate to support the mission of the SCI by visiting their contribution page on their national website.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about more ways you can support clean water initiatives throughout the world, in addition to being the first to learn about exclusive new deals and 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!

Are You Prepared For A Drinking Water Emergency?


No Clean Drinking Water In West VirginiaWe’ve achieved the enviable distinction in this country of having safe drinking water whenever we turn on the tap.  While water filters will help to refine and improve taste, there are very few instances where we find our water to be undrinkable.

Until recently, of course.

Earlier this year, coverage of the MCHM chemical spill in West Virginia and E. Coli contamination of water tankers in New York has brought into shocking light just how unprepared most of us our for a drinking water emergency.  Thousands in these states are now learning just how upside down and difficult life can truly become when clean drinking water is no longer a given.

The question, then, is there anything that we can do to prepare ourselves for future drinking water emergencies?  Fortunately, yes.  Brought about in seemingly equal parts by camping fads, survival prepping movements and the need to provide clean drinking water to those in more impoverished parts of the world, there is seemingly no shortage on water filters and filtration products that can be trusted when a situation becomes a full-blown emergency.

Drinking Water Emergency Early Stages: Testing
As seen in both West Virginia and New York, the earliest stages of a drinking water emergency will be filled with instantly outdated news coverage, anger and confusion.  Perhaps the biggest unknown, seen particularly in West Virginia, will be just how far the emergency has spread.

In these instances, water test kits will be some of your strongest allies.

WaterWorks Handheld UV LightOn our site, we are happy to offer water test kits designed to test for bacteria, lead and more.  We are even happy to offer the Handheld Ultraviolet Light, shown to the left, that can instantly help detect the presence of coliform or E. Coli.

While these tests are by no means fool-proof, and should never take the place of having your water professionally tested if you feel as though there may be a significant risk to your health, these kits can help you to quickly identify some of the more major contamination issues.

As a note, if you pull your water from a private well, it is recommended that you test your drinking water once or twice per year, typically in spring and fall when organic contaminants become more common.

Drinking Water Emergency Middle Stages: A Run on Bottled Water
As confusion turns to panic, stores will see run on bottled water.  As the MCHM contamination incident in West Virginia grew worse, emergency shipments of bottled water needed to be trucked in and distributed by the National Guard.

W9330229 Doulton Undersink Filter HousingIn the case of the West Virginia situation, we do need to take time to indicate that any water filters or filtration product that we sell – even those designed for emergencies – are not certified to reduce MCHM, as so little is known about this chemical.  But there are several types of water filters and filtration systems that are certified to reduce more well known, but just as potentially dangerous, water contaminants.

Manufacturer Doulton offers ceramic water filters that are certified to reduce up to 99% of harmful bacteria, including the E. Coli bacteria that is currently plaguing New Yorkers, that fit compactly into an undersink filtration system housing like the one shown to the left.  Apart from the housing and filter, you’ll just need some O-rings and lubricant to get yourself set-up.

Another option is a filtration system from Katadyn, including a microfilter system, that has quickly become a go-to brand for campers and survival preppers.  Katadyn also offers the only water purification bottle registered by the EPA for complete anti-microbial protection.

Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier BottleFinally, there are purification systems offered by Berkey, including travel purification systems that are easy to pack and portable water purification bottles that are easy to grab and go, that are among the most advanced filtration systems on the market today.  Both types of systems have been tested to filter virtually contaminants from even the most stagnant sources of water.

Drinking Water Emergency Late Stages: Go Military
Fortunately, a long-term drinking water emergency where water is undrinkable for months is a fairly unlikely event.  Even the unprecedented chemical spill in West Virginia had cleared within a matter of weeks giving way to water once again safe to drink (though the definition of ‘safe’ is still under debate.)

In the event that we do find ourselves in a long-term drinking water emergency, the types of systems recommended above will remain some of your best friends and strongest allies.  But another ally you could call upon, provided you acquired them in advance, are water purification tablets, like the military grade tablets from Aquamira below.

Aquamira Water Purification TabletsWater purification tablets have a long shelf life, are light and small enough to fit into nearly any pack, and in the case of  Aquamira, are EPA certified to reduce bacteria, cysts and viruses.  They can even help your water to taste better, which will be a welcome creature comfort should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Have you prepared yourself, your home or your family for a drinking water emergency?  If so, we’d love to hear more about what steps you’ve taken via a comment below.

If you are interested in buying emergency water filtration products, or building a water filtration system in your home, we would encourage you to call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

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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!

5 Reasons Clean Water Beats Out Diamonds As A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift


Clean Water For Valentine's DayWhen she opens her eyes, she will be overcome by pure, untouched quality.

When he opens his eyes, he will know that he has received something that will change his life forever.

Together, the gifts they have given each other will represent small tokens of a love that will last throughout a lifetime, full of happiness – and just as important – full of healthiness.

Of course, we’re talking about clean water – this year’s top Valentine’s Day gift.  Don’t believe us?  Check out five ways that clean water beats out diamonds as the best way to tell someone special just how much they mean to you this year.

[Quick hint:  All products below qualify for rush one or two day shipping!]

Clean Spa Water Is The Perfect Valentine's Day Beverage1. Turns Tap Water Into A Spa Quality Beverage
The Huffington Post recently shared more on the trend of ‘spa water,’ or water floating with fruit, citrus or cucumber.  It’s just such a beverage that may be served to you in a romantic spa, hence the name.  Just as nothing can spark romance more quickly than the right sparkling beverage, nothing can kill the mood like spa water that smells like it was scooped up poolside.   Surprising your significant other with a glass of clean spa water, poured from your new faucet filter, is the perfect way to kick off a romantic Valentine’s Day evening.

Clean Water Makes For A Romantic Pool2. Ensures Bacteria Does Not Kill The Inherent Romance of A Pool or Spa
Of course, chlorine does have its purpose.  After all, who would want to take a dip in a pool or spa unless they were reasonably certain that it was full of clean water, and that they would not emerge covered in an excess of bacteria or other scary water-based contaminants?  If a pool or spa is part of your Valentine’s Day or evening plans, we would highly recommend checking your chlorine levels and ensuring your pool or spa filter is up to date.

Culligan Handheld Filtered Shower Head with Massage3. Transforms A Shower Into A Romantic Sauna Complete With Massage
On Valentine’s Day, your shower can magically transform into a romantic sauna built just for two.  But if your shower water isn’t properly filtered, that pleasing mist you are creating may be full of unpleasant odors and vapors from either chlorine (if you use municipal water) or sulfur (if you use well water.)  The Culligan shower filter to the left helps to significantly reduce foul odors from your shower water, and as an added perk that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, even includes a massage feature!

4. Helps Bath Water Become A Luxury Bubble Bath For Two
Tap water containing impurities, especially chlorine, can have a difficult time working with Bath-3000 Rainshow'r Bath Filtersoap to create a lather.  As the best bubble baths are just as full of romantic bubbles and lather as they are clean water, this simply won’t do on Valentine’s Day.  A bath dechlorinator, like the one from Rainshow’r to the left, helps significantly reduce chlorine from bath water, giving those bubbles a chance to thrive!

5. Provides The Hydration You Need To Make It Through The Day…And Through The Night
If you’re doing Valentine’s Day right, hydration will be critical.  May we kindly recommend that you keep the 64 oz. Klean Kanteen water bottle full of clean water – and close by?

Klean Kanteen 64 Oz Water BottleWhat do you think?

Will clean water become the new go-to Valentine’s Day gift, knocking diamonds off their gilded perch?

Or more importantly, what do you think makes for a perfect Valentine’s Day gift?

Please share your thoughts in 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!

5 Scary Contaminants Easy & Affordable To Filter From Your Drinking Water


Scared of Drinking Water ContaminantsWhether you live in a larger city and pull your drinking water from a municipal source, or further out in well water country, you are undoubtedly being exposed to some form of contaminants.

Some of these contaminants are mad-made, such as chlorine, and are designed to clean and disinfect your drinking water.  Other contaminants, including rust and iron, are naturally occurring in the environment.  These contaminants are clever enough to sneak themselves into your drinking water before you turn on your faucet.

Bottom-line, many of these contaminants will make your water taste awful.  If these contaminants occur in heavy enough levels, they can pose significant risk for both short- and long-term health issues.

Fortunately, the most common drinking water contaminants are also among the easiest and most affordable to reduce, including:

ZD-010 ZeroWater Water Pitcher
ZeroWater Filtered Water Pitcher – reduces chlorine, lead and more for $34

1. Chlorine – perhaps the most common contaminant for those that live in the city and the most common reason many will complain that their water tastes ‘like a swimming pool.’  Livestrong quotes research indicating that most cities within the US treat their water with two to four parts per million to kill off any pesky bacteria.

While we can’t argue with chlorine’s ability to kill bacteria, we do take issue with some of the harmful effects of both short-term and long-term exposure, from dry skin and split ends from shower water at best, to risk of cancer and premature aging at worst.

Fortunately, most water filters are designed to reduce chlorine, including our new line of Tier1 refrigerator water filters – built for all major refrigerator brands – and as low as $20 per filter, dependent on your needs.  And if you have a fridge without a water dispenser, an affordable water filter pitcher from ZeroWater or faucet filter from Instapure will do the trick, without forcing you to exceed a $20-30 budget.

One more point on chlorine – as 50% of chlorine exposure comes from bathing – a good shower filter also makes for a wise investment.

F8-CHROME Instapure Ultra Faucet Filter System - Chrome
Instapure F8 Faucet Filter – reduces chlorine, lead and more for $27

2. Lead – Lead must have seemed like a really good idea at one time, as most lead in tap water comes from the corrosion of older pipes and fixtures, per the CDC.  Today, congress’s involvement is needed to keep this junk out of our water, via the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act that went into play earlier this month.

Lead cannot be smelled, tasted or boiled out of water, and the only way to know for sure if your drinking water supply contains this contaminant is with a water test kit.  Higher levels of lead can cause health risks including elevated blood levels, and these risks are significantly enhanced for the sick, young or vulnerable.

Like chlorine, many refrigerator water filters will help to reduce lead, including our Tier1 line.  More advanced faucet filters, including the Instapure F8 pictured, will also help to reduce lead while running just slightly higher in cost than entry level models.

Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter
Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter – reduces asbestos, lead, chlorine and more for as low as $36

3. Asbestos – while naturally occurring, the unique ability of asbestos to be resistant to heat and most other chemicals has historically led to its use in thousands of products, including cement pipe used to distribute drinking water.  Asbestos also has the unique ability to, over time, increase someone’s risk for developing intestinal polyps per the EPA.

As frightening as asbestos can be, it is also a fairly straight-forward contaminant to reduce.  One of the most popular refrigerator water filters on the market, the Maytag UKF8001, has been shown to reduce up to 99% of asbestos while setting you back just over $35 per filter.  And for those without refrigerator water dispensers, several undersink water filter systems, including the Pentek US-1000 system pictured, have been shown to reduce this contaminant before it makes it anywhere near your glass.

4. Iron – iron is naturally occurring in both groundwater and oxygen free reservoirs.  When exposed to oxygen, it is commonly responsible for drinking water discoloration.

Per the EPA, iron is not directly associated with adverse health effects.  That said, it will lead to water quality effects, from the aforementioned discoloration to an unpleasant metallic taste.

US-1000 Pentek Undersink Filter System
Pentek US-1000 Pentek Undersink Filter System – reduces asbestos, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and lead for $128

If you have heavy doses of iron in your water, chances are, you are already well aware.  Fortunately, a small investment in a countertop water filter system by Doulton, including their W9331032 UltraCarb, can get the taste and coloring of your water back on track.

5. Sulfur – rotten eggs.  If you smell it or taste it in your water, you’ve got sulfur.  Common in well water, the smell of sulfur does not always indicate a problem with the sanitation of your water. If left unchecked, however, sulfur can cause all manner of issues, including promoting the growth of other types of bacteria in your water supply.

Dealing with sulfur is a little bit trickier and pricier, so before making a filter decision, determine first where you are experiencing the biggest issues.  Because so much of the unpleasantness inherent with sulfur is with the smell, many are satisfied if the smell is reduced in their shower or bath.  If you fall into this category, a Culligan shower filter will meet most of your needs.  The shower filter pictured to the left is hand-held and even includes a massage feature!

Culligan Handheld Filtered Shower Head with Massage
Culligan HSH-C135 Handheld Filtered Shower Head with Massage – reduces sulfur odor and chlorine for $48

On the other hand, if you have sulfur issues throughout your home, you may be looking at an investment in a new system set-up.  If you fall into this category, take care to ensure that your new system will accommodate filters built for sulfur, like the HydroLogic Big Boy.  We would also recommend that you call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458 to ensure you get the most affordable custom set-up possible.

What other contaminants have you dealt with in your drinking water, and more importantly, how did you handle them?  We invite you to leave a comment below.

We also 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!