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Best Water Treatment in Texas Image of Texas Stream

June 2024

What Are the Best Home Water Treatment Systems in Texas?

Key Takeaways

  • The quality of drinking water in Texas varies across the state, with regional water treatment plants ensuring the tap water meets EPA standards.
  • Texas is known for its relatively hard water, which can leave mineral residue on skin, clothing, and household surfaces.
  • Residents can install a home water treatment system to remove contaminants and reduce the mineral content of their drinking water.

As the second-most-populous state in the U.S., supplying drinking water to more than 30 million Texas residents is no easy feat. The tap water in Texas comes from a range of surface and groundwater sources, including lakes, rivers, and aquifers, all of which need to be treated in water purification plants before the water is safe to drink.

Although municipal drinking water systems go through a rigorous treatment process to meet EPA standards, there may still be some contaminants left when the water comes out of your tap — and there are additional considerations if you rely on well water.

Here’s what you should know about your options for the best water treatment in Texas, including our picks for the best water filters you can install at home.

What Are the Major Water Quality Issues in Texas?

Texas water quality varies by region, but there are some major water problems that are common across the state. Let’s take a closer look at four of them.

Hard Water

In general, Texas is known for having hard water — an average of 200 milligrams per liter. What does that mean? The difference between hard water and soft water is its mineral content: hard water has higher concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which aren’t harmful to ingest, but affect how the water tastes.

Many Texas residents turn to water softeners to treat their water so it’s less likely to leave mineral buildup on sinks and other surfaces.


Arsenic is a heavy metal that can build up in the body and cause arsenicosis — a potentially fatal condition caused by long-term exposure. Arsenic occurs naturally in groundwater throughout Texas, but it’s especially prevalent in water systems in the northwest of the state that rely on the Ogallala Aquifer.

Residents who live in an area at risk of arsenic exposure, especially those who use groundwater wells, should consider an activated carbon water filtration system.

Agricultural Runoff

Texas is an agricultural state, so there’s a high risk of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals getting into the water supply around farms and in surrounding areas. The most harmful examples are nitrates and nitrites, which are linked to cancer and can cause developmental issues in babies and infants.

Activated carbon filters aren’t effective at removing nitrates and nitrites, so the best water treatment in Texas for agricultural runoff is a reverse osmosis system.

Forever Chemicals

PFAS, or forever chemicals, are a category of man-made chemicals that persist in the environment over time and can end up in the water supply and cause health problems. The EPA has issued new regulations about PFAS in water, and some parts of Texas have PFAS concentrations that exceed these health recommendations.

Both activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters can remove PFAS from your drinking water, to varying degrees.

Best Water Treatment in Texas Water Treatment Plant Birdseye

Top 4 Water Filters and Water Softeners in Texas

The best water treatment in Texas depends on where you live and what you plan to use the water for. Here are four great options for residential customers in Texas.

1. UPSTREAM™ 4-Stage Whole Home Water Filter

The UPSTREAM™ 4-Stage Whole Home Water Filter is a great choice because your water will pass through four different filters along the way:

  • A 5-micron pre-filter to remove rust, dirt, and sediment
  • A catalytic carbon filter to remove 97% of chlorine
  • KDF55 media to remove heavy metals and bacteria
  • Speciality gravel to reduce turbidity and increase clarity

With a 1 million-gallon flow capacity, this filter is powerful enough to filter all of the water coming into your home, so you won’t need a separate filter for each faucet or bathroom fixture. It doesn’t require any electricity, and only has an 8-inch footprint.

You can also add on a salt-free water conditioner or UV light disinfection system for added water quality and peace of mind.

2. 10" Big Blue 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter System

The Big Blue 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter is designed to remove sediment, as well as chemicals like chlorine. It has a 5-micron sediment filter to get rid of dirt, sand, and rust, and a carbon block filter to absorb chlorine, chloramine, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can affect the way your water smells and tastes.

This home filtration system is designed for easy installation, with in and out pressure gauges, 1-inch female connections, and a wall-mounted bracket. It has a flow rate of 15 gallons per minute and a water temperature range of 40-100ºF.

Plus, the carbon filter is made from coconut carbon, making it more sustainable than carbon filters made from coal.

3. Green Carbon 10 Whole House Water Filter System

The Green Carbon 10 Whole House Water Filter is built for 1-3 bedroom houses and has a flow rate of 10 GPM. It doesn’t require any electricity or drainage, and you only need to change the filter every 5-10 years. It comes with an optional protective coat (stainless steel or fabric), as well as a 10-year warranty.

The filter has a pre-treatment filter for sediment, and a catalytic carbon filter to remove chlorine, chloramine, and VOCs. Connect the filter directly to your tap so you can use the filtered water for drinking, cooking, showering, and doing laundry.

This filter is made by the Advanced Purification Engineering Corp (APEC), which is a member of the Water Quality Association and a Certified Service Technician.

4. HomeWater 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Under Counter Water Filter

Whole home water filters are effective and convenient, but they can be more expensive and may not filter out all unwanted contaminants. This 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis filter fits easily under your sink, and filters out everything from lead and copper to chlorine, radium, and nitrates. Its four stages include:

  • A 5-micron pre-filter to remove dirt and sand
  • A pre-carbon filter to remove chlorine and sediment
  • A reverse osmosis membrane to remove dissolved inorganics
  • A post-carbon filter to improve the taste and clarity of your water

This 4-stage filter has a high-capacity output, automatic shutoff, and a lead-free air gap faucet. The twist-off filters are easy to replace, and you can get a 15% discount off your order if you sign up for a filter subscription every six or 12 months. The filter is certified by the Water Quality Association and has an NSF rating of 58.

Water Plant Technician Takes Readings

What Should You Consider When Buying a Water Filter?

The best water treatment solution for you will depend on your drinking water needs. By comparing your options and doing your research, you’ll be able to choose a purification system that will provide you with the best quality water for your needs. Here are three key factors to consider when choosing the best water treatment in Texas.

Local Water Quality

First, check your local water quality report and find out where your water comes from and what contaminants are in it. For example, in Houston’s 2022 water quality report, you can see that the city water supply has very hard water and concerning levels of agricultural runoff and disinfection byproducts.

Water quality can vary by neighborhood, so enter your ZIP code to check your local water quality report. You can even request a free water test at your home to identify which impurities are coming out of your faucet.

Residential vs. Commercial Use

Another factor to consider is what you’ll be using the water for. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll need to decide whether to install a whole home water purification system or use separate filters for each tap. Although you might be most concerned about the water you drink, there are benefits to using a water filter in the bathroom too.

If you run a business that depends on water — such as a restaurant or laundromat — then you may need a top notch water conditioning system to provide pure water. The total dissolved solids (TDS) in tap water can stain clothes and damage cookware, so using a water softener system can reduce sediment and mineral buildup.

Standards and Certifications

Next, look for water purification systems that have a warranty and have been certified by one of the following organizations:

  • NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) certifies a wide range of water filters and other products. Look for the NSF certification number, which will tell you which contaminants it’s designed to remove.
  • The Water Quality Association provides a Gold Seal to water filtration systems that meet their third-party testing requirements. They also provide professional certifications such as a Certified Water Specialist or Certified Installer.
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) certifies products specifically for use in Texas — such as this list of TCEQ-approved products for septic systems. They also provide occupational licenses to some Texas water treatment companies and specialists.

Water Softener vs. Salt-Free Water Conditioner

Water softeners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your tap water by replacing them with sodium ions. Not only does this remove beneficial minerals, but it can increase sodium levels, which can be a problem if you’re on a low-salt diet.

Also, water softeners are heavily regulated in the state of Texas, and must meet certain conditions to ensure they don’t discharge large quantities of sodium.

Salt-free water conditioners, also called descalers, use a different process to prevent mineral buildup and don’t have the same regulatory restrictions.

Best Water Treatment in Texas at Home Girl Smiles at Water

Install the Best Water Treatment in Texas at Home

From Austin to El Paso, the drinking water in Texas goes through a series of treatment facilities before it comes out of your tap. And while Texas tap water may be as good as — or better than — bottled water, it may still contain unwanted contaminants, such as heavy metals, sediments, or simply an unpleasant rotten egg smell.

Get the best water quality possible by installing your own water filtration system. Take our quiz to get personalized product recommendations and a 20% discount!

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