Growing concerns about the nation's drinking water are prompting the federal government to look at overhauling regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency says it wants to tighten rules on chemicals used by industry and also beef up the monitoring of U.S. drinking water.
Today's water filters promise to remove certain contaminants. Consumer Reports just tested several types to see how well they do.
They tested less-expensive carafes and faucet-mounted ones, to more expensive countertop and under-the-sink filters.
Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports says, "Well, today's filters promise to do more than remove just bad tastes and odors. These days many claim to remove contaminants like lead and chloroform, which is a surrogate for pesticides and other harmful organics."
Consumer Reports' testers set up an elaborate rig and ran water spiked with lead and chloroform through it to evaluate the filters.
DiClerico says, "Ideally, you want a filter that will catch the most contaminants and maintain a good flow rate, without clogging."
Not all delivered. A Crystal Quest faucet water filter did a poor job at removing lead and chloroform.
DiClerico says, "We had several filters clog, including an under-the-sink model that cost over $400."
It's the Everpure H-1200.
If you don't need to filter large amounts of water at a time, your best bet is an inexpensive carafe or faucet-mounted filter.
The Clear Two-"O" #CWS100A carafe filter for $30 is a Consumer Reports Best Buy. So is the $15 Culligan faucet-mounter filter, Model FM-15A.
If you need to filter larger amounts of water, Consumer Reports says a countertop filter might do the trick, and no plumbing modifications are needed. Consumer Reports recommends a $100 one from Aquasana, model number AQ-4000.
Be aware, if you have a whole house filter, they do not remove contaminants-just rust, sediment, and chloroform.