"Once I figured out the home delivery cost versus the cost of a faucet filtration system, it was all over," Theriot-Heim says. "Your first year, it is more expensive, because you have to make the whole investment, but after that, you just do the filter replacements."
An appliance specialist at Nordic Kitchens & Baths (4437 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-2300; www. nordickitchens.com), Theriot-Helms found a water filtration system for sale right at her fingertips: the Everpure H-300 Drinking Water System. At $3,499.97, the investment is significant. Filters cost $154.99 and need to be replaced each year (or after filtering 300 gallons of water). However, Theriot-Heim says that when she broke down the cost of water per ounce, the system was less expensive than bottled water or water delivered to her home.
"For the first year, it costs 9 cents per ounce (of chilled or carbonated water), but after the first year, it costs less than half a penny per ounce," Theriot-Heim says. By comparison, home delivery water services average 9 cents per ounce, while bottled water is about 10 cents per ounce. Theriot-Heim says making the switch from bottled water to a home filtration system saved her family money while reducing waste.
"That is one change that really saved us a lot of money, as well as space in our small house and trips to the garbage can," she says. She also likes that the filter can carbonate water, so she can make soda and certain cocktails at home.
"We bought all the syrups to make your own soft drinks — raspberry, strawberry, chocolate — and the sodas don't taste nearly as heavy and sugary as (store-bought sodas)," says Theriot-Heim, who appreciates that the homemade soft drinks are free of preservatives. "You can mix fruit juice with carbonated water and make your soft drinks very, very healthy."
While a 2009 report by the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans states all water supplied by the board meets or surpasses drinking water standards and regulations, the report also cautions that some homes may have elevated levels of lead in the water due to materials used in plumbing components. A home filtration system can reduce lead and other contaminants like asbestos and volatile organic compounds. "I know the Sewerage & Water Board has a filtration system, but having a water filter right there at the source makes sense to me. That is the last step before (the water) gets to your cup," Theriot-Heims says.
Perhaps most exciting to New Orleans residents is that a home filtration system allows people to drink fresh, clean water any time — even when a boil order is in effect.
"The H-300 system will work during a boil order," Theriot-Heims says. "You can drink water out of that filter whether there is a boil order or not."