Buyer beware of water filtration systems

Buyer beware of water filtration systems
Posted on 11/15/2022
Senior Chemist Veronica Becerra, Utility Laboratory Sampler Nancy Guzman and Canal Plant Utility Plant Technician Dane Jensen prepare samples to be shipped for testing.

Having doubts about the offers to test your water and the salespeople urging you to buy a pricey home water filtration system?

Trust your intuition and rest assured that your water is safe to drink, El Paso Water employees said. The utility has hundreds of employees working around the clock to ensure El Paso receives the highest quality water possible. 

Scam alert

The calls come in steadily to El Paso Water, asking if the salesperson urging them to buy pricey home water filtration systems are trustworthy or legitimate. The expensive systems are unnecessary. EPWater employees conducting home visits to customers may be identified by their official utility uniform and identification. Vehicles are usually marked with the EPWater logo as well.

EPWater tests hundreds of water samples a month to monitor the quality of water flowing through El Paso’s taps. In 2021, lab employees received about 40,000 samples and performed about 340,000 chemical and biological analyses, Quality Control Chemist Miguel Venegas said.

EPWater is regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which holds utilities across the state accountable for meeting EPA Safe Drinking Water Act standards for metals, microbiological components and other substances in tap water. The utility makes every effort to meet and exceed the criteria. 

“I wouldn’t let my family drink tap water if it wasn’t safe to drink,” said Richard Wilcox, Water Supply Manager. “EPWater’s International Water Quality Laboratory actively monitors water quality. We test water for metals, microbiological components, water quality compounds and organic substances. Our instrumentation can detect substances at the parts-per-trillion level.”

Weighing the risks

Chemist Rocio Corona conducts testing on water samples.Dr. Kristina Mena, Dean of the El Paso Campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, specializes in microbial risk assessment. Mena said EPWater treatment plants already provide the most optimal public health safeguards.

“If the homeowner can’t logistically or financially properly maintain the filtration system, they could create an environment for certain types of bacteria to grow, which is a health hazard.”

Ultimately, Wilcox encouraged consumers to be vigilant and informed when it comes to their drinking water.

“Remember, some systems may result in drinking water that is stripped of minerals and with elevated pH and added sodium,” he said.

Customers with questions or concerns about water quality, may call the International Water Quality Laboratory at 915-594-5733.

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