Final barrier water treatment is technology installed at the point where water is consumed. Options can be pour-through pitchers, faucet-attached devices, refrigerator filters, under the sink filters or state of the art reverse osmosis systems.

Central water treatment plants distribute “drinking tap water” that is treated to the standards defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

But the fact remains that only about 1% of tap water is consumed by people. The other 99% is used to water lawns, flush toilets, bathing, washing dishes, etc. This 99% is known as “working water.”

Despite central treatment of tap water to Safe Drinking Water standards, contaminants, esthetic issues and points of contamination can still be present in tap water when it reaches our homes. Pharmaceuticals, disinfection byproducts, pesticides, herbicides, leaching of pipe wall and biofilms are just a few of the possible contaminants that may make their way into our tap water.

Local public service district annual tap water quality reports are public record and posted on their respective websites. We recommend every homeowner reads this report, as well as researching your tap water supply on the Environmental Working Groups National Tap Water Database at

To provide the quality water your family deserves throughout the home, toxin-free drinking water, softer and better water for appliances, every homeowner must have their water tested. Once the water is tested and water problems identified, a water filtration system can be recommended to reduce or remove the contaminants in your family’s water.

There are many economical treatment solutions to increase the quality and safety level of your family’s water. Pitchers, refrigerator filters, faucet mounted filters and under-sink carbon filters are excellent starting filters to remove some contaminants. But reverse osmosis technology with pre-filtration and thin film composite membrane is the most reliable final barrier to ensure the highest percentage of contaminant reduction and deliver great tasting, safe drinking water.

To learn more about final barrier, visit the Water Quality Association Website at or call a local water treatment professional.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Lowcountry, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.