Q. Dear Umbra,

We recently heard a sales pitch for a whole-house water filtration system, and now I’m concerned about the safety of my tap water. That particular system cost thousands of dollars — which we don’t exactly have lying around. Do I even need to filter my water? If so, is there a cheaper, but still effective, way to do it? I don’t want my family (including two small kids) to be exposed to anything dangerous!

Emily N.
Lakewood, Colorado