How Long Can You Expect Clean Water From Your Filtered Tap?

How Long Can You Expect Clean Water From Your Filtered Tap?

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We put our filters and water coolers to the test to see how clean our drinking water really was at our FOX 29 studios in Old City. We put our filters and water coolers to the test to see how clean our drinking water really was at our FOX 29 studios in Old City.
We swabbed our faucets and took what we found to EMSL Analytical Laboratories in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. We swabbed our faucets and took what we found to EMSL Analytical Laboratories in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.
PHILADELPHIA -

Home and office filtration systems are saving plenty - no piles of plastic, recyclable bottles and no machines - but how long can you expect a clean stream from any method of cleaner drinking water?

FOX 29's Joyce Evans decided to find out. Since we spend much of our days at work, we decided to see what was in the water at FOX 29's Old City studios.

We started in the newsroom by properly swabbing the water fountains and worked our way into the lunch room and then we made our way to the water fountains in our human resources office.

We also grabbed all of the water pitchers out of the fridge.

Next, we headed off to EMSL Analytical Laboratories in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.

"I can take a look at this and see what we can find," microbiologist Dr. Farbod Nekouei said.

The team at EMSL Analytics gathered cultures and we waited, for weeks for the gunk to grow.

Eventually, microbiologists found something called "sphingomonas," inside our filtered fountain water. which isn't toxic but could make you sick and may even cause serious infection if your immune system is weakened.

"I've seen far worse," Dr. Nekouei said.

Our filtered newsroom and lunchroom fountains still had less bacteria then the unfiltered human resources fountain, which probably won't hurt you but still isn't the cleanest way to drink water.

Faring better was the filtered tap water pitcher, which was doing a great job to catch all of the water born bacteria, but microbiologists still found a few other types of bacteria - the kinds of germs they suspect from the not so clean hands that installed the clean filter.

"It's a good thing we have an immune system," Dr. Nekouei said.

Microbiologists did stress one point: you can't expect to catch every speck - it's just not going to happen. In fact, they sent us back with a super sterile kit to capture more samples.

If you're looking for some help on how to properly change your water cooler at home, ehow.com has some good tips.

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