Frequently Asked Questions - Whole house vs. point-of-use


POE Advantages:

  • All water in the house is treated
  • Can drink water safely from any tap
  • Arsenic-free shower and bath water
  • Can easily size system to maintain flows the same as before the treatment system was installed


POE Disadvantages:

  • Installation cost
  • Maintenance cost (about $1 a day)
  • The POE system is the most protective of you and your family's health.
  • All water in the house is treated so any tap in the home can be used safely for drinking water.
  • Water for bathing, showering, brushing teeth, and laundry will also be arsenic-free.
  • A New Jersey study found that Whole-House arsenic water treatment provided more effective exposure reduction than Point-of-Use treatment. See this link for an abstract of the study.

  • The POE system has a higher initial cost but the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offer no interest loans through its Potable Water Program to cover the cost of installation.
  • The POE system requires approximately 6 square feet of floor space in the basement, though it does not take up any space under the kitchen sink like a POU system would.

POU advantages:

  • When POU is used for a single tap, Installation cost is less for POU than for POE.
  • When POU is used for a single tap, maintenance cost is less for POU than for POE.

POU disadvantages:

  • Water from untreated taps still contains unhealthy levels of arsenic. 
  • Once the under the sink storage reservoir is depleted the flow volume will be down to a trickle until the storage reservoir fills back up with treated water, and this may take a couple of hours.
  • Some POU systems only remove Arsenic 5 (reverse osmosis).
  • POU systems usually do not have a safety tank so users will be exposed to arsenic contamination after the capacity is reached and before testing indicates the need for a replacement.
  • With a POU systen you will still be bathing, showering, brushing teeth, washing clothes and filling up swimming pools or hot tubs with arsenic-contaminated water.
  • Studies have shown that in homes with a single tap arsenic POU water treatment system, it is not uncommin for people to occasionally drink from untreated taps, and when they do, arsenic levels increase in their urine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • If POU treatment at the kitchen sink is used, the kitchen tap should be the only source of water used for drinking or cooking. If water may be used for drinking in other rooms of the home (e.g. at a bathroom sink), either a POU unit should be installed at each potential drinking water tap in the home or a Whole-House Point-of-Entry (POE) system should be used.
  • When the cost of multiple POU systems is considered, it often becomes more economical to install a Whole-House POE system.
  • Some local health departments require Whole-House POE arsenic water treatment to ensure the health of current and future homeowners