Water Treatment System Cost

In this guide

Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install a water treatment system?

High-quality potable water can have a big effect on the overall health and happiness of your family. In areas that don’t naturally have pure water, a water purification system can be a great option. There is a variety of water purifier options, each with differing features and prices. When choosing a water purification system, consider the current state of your water, how much water you use a day, and how clean you want it to be.

It should be also taken into account that the U.S Public Health Service recommends a fluoride concentration of 0.7 mg/L (parts per million [ppm]) to maintain caries prevention benefits and reduce the risk of dental fluorosis

There are many purification options. Here are the most common systems:

System TypeAverage PriceProsCons
Pitcher water filter 1$20-$50

Least expensive option

Reduces lead and other contaminants

Filters need to be replaced regularly

The amount of water they can hold is limited to 10 cups

Portable water filter 2$150-$275

Doesn't take up much room

Provides clean water for a small family

Filters must be replaced regularly
Reverse osmosis$150-$300

It can filter lots of water

Also removes viruses

Best tasting water

Removes bacteria

Can be used to make sea water drinkable

Purified water comes from a separate tap, so not everything is clean

Removes nutrient minerals from the water

Uses approximately three times as much water as they treat

Requires adequate water pressure

Ion exchange 3$50

Removes dissolved inorganics effectively

Inexpensive

Purification process isn’t as effective
Solid carbon filter 4$200-$300

Easy to install

Effective

Removes bad tastes and odours

Expensive

Filters must be replaced regularly

Doesn't remove flouride

Distillation 5$150-$250

Easy to install

No filters to replace

Process is long

It can make water taste "flat"

Contaminants that easily turn into gases may remain in the water

Removes natural minerals and dissolved oxygen


  • Pitcher water filters 1 are a simple solution. Water from the tap is poured into a pitcher with a filter, which removes the toxins and chemicals. Some well-known brands for this type of filters are Brita, PUR, Clear2o, Mavea Pitcher and ZeroWater.
  • Portable water filters 2 are portable and purify much more water than a standard pitcher filter. The most known brand for this type of water purification system is Berkey, but there are others such as Aquacera, Aquackrock, Doulton and Katadyn.
  • Reverse osmosis systems use a high-pressure pump 6 to force water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure and remove any impurities from water. The top brands are Home Master, Hydro Logic, iSpring, Watts Premier and Express Water. 
  • Ion exchange 3 filters replace particulate ions with clean water ions. Some of the best systems of ion exchange 3 filters are manufactured by Kinetico and ZeroWater.
  • Solid block carbon filters move water through different chambers to remove different chemicals, althoudh they do not remove essential minerals naturally present in water. Some of the best brands for these filters are Multipure, Dupont, Pentek and Matrix.
  • Distillation 5 systems boil water and then collect the water vapor as it condenses. Some recommended brand are PureWater and Waterwise.

Labor

Water softeners 7 and filters require plumbing connections. In most cases, this is very easy to install on your own by turning off the main water supply and attaching the purification system. In some cases, such as with reverse osmosis or Berkey systems 8 or in older homes, you may need to hire a plumber at an average cost of $45-$65 per hour for 2-3 hours.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • In areas with “hard” water, a water softener 7 can be a great addition. These devices remove extra chemicals from the water, which can help your plumbing and washing. Water softeners start around $500 and go all the way up to $1,500 depending on the capacity and quality.
  • Like many household systems, there is a variety of quality levels with water purification. You can spend more money on a whole-house system with a built-in 9 softener and purifier, or you can opt for a more basic system. A whole-house purification system averages $2000. Note that in general, the more money you spend, the cleaner your water will be.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Instead of a water purifier 10, some people opt for a water delivery service. A distilled 5 water dispenser averages $150-$300, and bottled water delivery averages $8 per five-gallon bottle. A filtered water dispenser averages $50-$100, and bottled water delivery averages $3-$5 per five-gallon bottle.
  • Check your local resources for codes relating to water. In some areas, certain purification systems are recommended and others aren’t allowed. Check to see if you need a permit before installing the system.
  • Well water requires a different form of purification, which is usually installed for $2,500-$3,000 and affects most of the water in the home. Talk to a contractor for specific recommendations if you use well water.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Pitcher water filter: A carafe shaped device that removes impurities from drinking water using a carbon block filter
2 Portable water filter: A small transportable device used to remove impurities, such as chemicals and bacteria, from drinking water
3 Ion exchange: A method of water purification that exchanges the ions of dissolved contaminants for similarly-charged ions of more neutral substances
4 Solid carbon filter: Type of water filtration system that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities from tap water
5 Distillation: A method to remove the impurities in water by boiling the water and then recondensing the steam
6 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
7 Water softeners: A device that reduces the amount of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in water using ion exchange
8 Berkey systems: A recognized brand of gravity-based home water purification systems that offer various options to meet families' needs
9 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
10 Water purifier: A system that removes contaminants from water, such as chemicals, toxic metals, bacteria, viruses, VOCs and radioactive substances, to produce water that is pure enough for its intended purpose

Cost to install a water treatment system varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Apopka, FL
+1%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Concord, NC
-15%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Hillsdale, NJ
+31%
Monroe, GA
-17%
Oviedo, FL
-1%
Staten Island, NY
+26%
The Colony, TX
+17%

Labor cost in your zipcode

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Methodology and sources