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If your home gets water from the city, it’s clean and safe to drink. Still, it’s “hard” water, and frankly, it could taste better.

Lots of Arizona homeowners have installed water softeners or filters so the water coming out of the tap looks, feels and tastes the way they like it. You’ll find all kinds of water treatment gadgets if you look on the Internet, so buyer beware. Avoid any equipment that has no trustworthy certification that shows it’s been tested and proven.

To deal with your water at home, I recommend installing a water softener and a reverse osmosis system.

A reverse osmosis system mounted under your kitchen sink will improve the taste of your water enormously.

A sort of super water filter, the reverse osmosis system removes up to 98 percent of the metals, pathogens, chlorine and dirt that can add foul smells and tastes to the water you drink and cook with.

Here’s how it works: Your drinking water flows through the system’s filter, which removes sediment, chlorine taste and odor, and tiny contaminants. Then the system pushes the water through a semi-permeable membrane that catches most dissolved solids and flushes them down the drain.

The result is clean, filtered water that stays in the device’s storage tank until you turn on the tap. Its filter removes or absorbs tastes and odors just before it flows through your faucet.

A quality system costs an average of $700 and $900 installed, depending on how large your home is and the quality of the equipment.

A tip: You’ll need to change the filter once a year. I like to have a qualified water treatment specialist to do it. If you touch the filter by accident, bacteria from your hands can contaminate your drinking water.

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