After years of using disposable water filters we finally took the plunge and got an under-the-sink water purifier installed at home.
I can believe that, but for me it boils down to a matter of taste (which in Beijing’s case is similar to swimming pool water) and the rather nasty-looking calcium residue it leaves behind (even after running it through a drip filter).
I’d been mulling over which brand to go with for months. In the meantime, my in-laws had installed a countertop Fairey ceramic water filter after seeing an infomercial for it on local TV – it cost them around RMB 900 and seems to work well (although I don’t have specific information on its Water Quality Index measurements), but tends to get in the way due to its size and location on the counter-top behind their faucet.
Another friend had good things to say about a filter they had installed via the Yijialixiang (亿家理想) service, a local company that deals in a variety of brands. The model they went with is supposedly tailor-made for Beijing and cost them around RMB 1,900 (after a discount, regular price is RMB 2,600). They even threw in a water hardness measuring pen.
I was tempted to go with this service, but in the end chose to go with Aquasana, primarily due to the numerous word-of-mouth recommendations from friends around town. Installation was pretty straightforward and took a little over an hour (see photos), after which the technician showed me the ppm (parts per million, in terms of contaminants) readings of the filtered and unfiltered water running out of my sink (35 and 140, respectively – the lower the number, the purer the water, and anything under 50 is acceptable). "The tap water in east Beijing is generally cleaner than in the western and southern parts of town," he added.
On a lark I also had him test a bottle of Wahaha water (which I drink regularly) and the reading came out at a startling "01" — virtually "too clean," according to the technician, who claims that drinking water with a RRM reading around 30-40 is ideal for your average adult due to the desirable mineral content.
Although it’s too early to say whether or not my decision to go with Aquasana was the best choice, I do think the water coming out of our filtered tap tastes a lot purer and fresher than what we were drinking before (including water filtered through our Brita jug). We’ll have to see how it does with those calcium residues.