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View Graph comparing the total cost of several water treatment methods over time.

5 Gallons of water per Week Normal Yearly Maintenance

Total cost and cumulative gallons of treated water used after:

Water Treatment Method 1 year (includes purchase price, if any)
260 gallons
5 years

1,300 gallons

10 years

2,600 gallons

20 years

5,200 gallons

40 years

10,400 gallons

Bottled water, 
You haul

$0.25 per gallon

No ongoing maintenance costs - haul and store it yourself  $65 $325 $650 $1,300 2,600
Bottled water, delivered 

$1.00 per gallon
If you rent a dispenser that would be an additional $52 per year $260  $1,300  $2,600   $5,200  $10,400
Bottled water, delivered 

$1.50 per gallon

If you rent a dispenser that would be an additional $52 per year $390  $1,950  $3,900   $7,800  $15,600
High-end solid block carbon filtration system, 

$330 initial cost
Replace a $50 filter cartridge periodically.
About $25/year
$330 $430 $555 $805  $1,305
Distillation

$0.30 per gallon
$250 initial cost
Periodically clean the distillation system $328  $640  $1,030  $2,060 $3,870
Mid-range Reverse Osmosis
$600 initial cost. 
If plastic, replace system after about 20 years
Replace the pre & post, filters and membranes periodically.  About $37/year  $600  $750  $938 $1,313  $2,063
Popular pour-through "pitcher" filter

$30 initial cost
Replace pitcher after about 5 years
Replace $10 filter cartridge every 40 gallons $85  $335  $680  $1,370 $2,750
Plastic faucet mount, Solid carbon block filter

$30 initial cost
Replace entire filter after about 5 years
Replace $15 filter cartridge every 100 gallons $54 $195 $405 $765 $1,665