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Home Water Treatment Devices

What to know before you buy



Anaheim Public Utilities’ tap water quality consistently exceeds all state and federal standards. In fact, we conduct more than 44,000 tests annually to make sure it stays that way. As a result, Anaheim Public Utilities customers do not need to purchase home water treatment devices to make tap water safe to drink.


If you would like to learn more about Anaheim’s tap water quality, please obtain a copy of our Annual Water Quality Report by clicking here or contacting one of our experts at 714.765.4556.


Anaheim Public Utilities’ customers routinely ask questions about tap water and whether they need a home water treatment device. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive:

Q: Is Anaheim’s tap water safe even without additional home treatment?

A: Yes. Anaheim’s tap water quality exceeds all health standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and California Sate Department of Water Resources. Additional treatment is not needed prior to drinking Anaheim tap water.

Q: Should I be concerned about the taste and odor of my tap water?

A: Taste and odor variations in Anaheim’s water are most likely the result of the chlorine residual we maintain to keep bacteria out of the water supply and also due to naturally occurring minerals. As a whole, these substances do not pose a health concern. However, if you have hydrogen sulfide or rotten egg odors in your tap water, that could indicate the need for water heater maintenance.

Q: Should I be concerned about hard water?

A: We receive many questions on this subject. Anaheim’s water, like virtually all of the water in this region, is considered to be hard. However, water hardness does not pose a health hazard. Rather, having hard water means that over time you may have mineral (calcium and magnesium) deposits on dishes,  appliances, and plumbing, which may affect their performance and/or appearance. Additionally, hard water requires more soap than soft water.

Q: Should a person with a compromised immune system (due to chemotherapy, HIV, etc.) use a home water treatment device?

A: Immune compromised individuals may require distilled or purified water. If you are an immune compromised individual, we recommend that you consult with your physician first to find out if you really require water purity beyond the high level that we already provide.



Anaheim Public Utilities realizes that customers’ water preferences vary greatly by individual. Therefore, although our tap water is already completely safe to drink, you may still want to purchase a home water treatment device based on your personal preferences.


If you are considering a home water treatment device purchase, you should educate yourself on the wide variety of choices available on the market today. By knowing what the different home water treatment devices do, you will be able to purchase the right one for you. Provided below is a brief description of the most common options available:



The majority of the filtration systems on the market today use granular activated carbon to treat water coming from a single faucet. Some filters must be filled manually, such as a pitcher, while others, such as faucet filters and under-sink systems, are actually attached directly to the plumbing. Depending on the design and filter media used in the unit, filters are able to reduce many types of substances, such as chlorine and lead.

Water Softeners

Water softeners reduce the level of hardness in water by exchanging calcium and magnesium for sodium and potassium. Water softener units are usually made to treat water for the whole house.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis systems work by using pressure to force water through a membrane that reduces minerals including sodium chloride and heavy metals such as copper, chromium and lead. In addition, some of these systems can also reduce substances such as arsenic, fluoride and nitrates. Reverse osmosis systems treat water very slowly; therefore, they usually have a pressurized storage tank to store water to meet household demand.

Ultraviolet Treatment Systems

Ultraviolet (UV) treatment systems use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms such as bacteria and/or viruses. UV system efficiency is affected by the clarity of the incoming water supply. Also, keep in mind that Anaheim Public Utilities already maintains a chlorine residual in its tap water to kill bacteria and microorganisms. Nonetheless, if you have or are considering purchasing a UV system, its efficiency will not be affected by Anaheim tap water since it is neither turbid nor dirty.




Undocumented Performance Claims

Broad statements such as “removes contaminants” or “provides pure water” without certified test data to support their performance claims should be a warning sign. California law prohibits such undocumented or broad claims relating to water purifiers.


Overpriced Systems

Many of the most effective brands are also the best value, while many of the most expensive brands offer the least. In most cases, price doesn't determine value, performance does.


The California State Water Resources Control Board certification program is a good way to determine the credibility and true performance of a product. To get certification, companies must provide extensive laboratory test data for each contaminant removal claim. It also means the company's literature and packaging have been reviewed and found not to contain false, misleading or exaggerated claims.

Regardless of the device you choose, you should carefully read its product information to understand what you are buying in terms of performance. Additionally, be certain to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, operation and maintenance. For example, if you improperly install or maintain a device, such as failing to periodically change a filter, you can actually cause water quality problems.

Finally, just remember that these devices are not necessary to make Anaheim’s tap water safe to drink. Therefore, when purchasing a home water treatment device, you must consider if it is worth the added expense to ensure your peace of mind and/or achieve a desired water taste.



Anaheim Public Utilities Annual Water Quality Report   714/765-4556

National Sanitation Foundation www.nsfconsumer.org/water/index.asp   877/867-3435

Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc. www.ul.com/water/ephwaterstandard3.htm   888/547-8851

Water Quality Association www.wqa.org   630/505-0160

California Department of Health http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/device/watertreatmentdevices.shtml  916/449-5600
EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline
www.epa.gov/ebtpages/watedrinkingwater.html   800/426-4791

Updated October 30, 2014