Everyone expects the water from their kitchen faucet to be clean and crispy but there may be contaminants in it. Some of which can be bad for your health. Almost half of the Americans who drink tap water at home say they filter or boil it first.
The biggest complaint people had about drinking water was its unpleasant smell and taste. The survey revealed that from the water filters built into many refrigerators, pitcher style water filters are mostly used by people.
Water filter pitchers are easy to use, just fill them at the tap and weight so that the water flows through the cartridge. They are comparatively less expensive at less than $40. But how to know whether a water filter pitcher is really doing anything.
To Answer This Question
Some pitchers were tested to see how well they remove odours and flavours, like – Clearly filtered clean water filter pitcher, Aquagear water filter pitcher, Propur water filter pitcher, Alexapure water filter pitcher, Zerowater 10 cup pitcher.
A panel of professionals were gathered to taste water and they were given waters spiked with common compounds to make it taste and smell like different things-composed of a metal, damp soil, sewage treatment plant and swimming pool.
Not the sort of drinks you expect on tap. Then the tasters scored each pitcher based on how well the pitcher removes the flavours and odours against a baseline of pure springwater.
There is range in the pitchers ability to remove off putting flavours and odours and few models of top brands are not as effective.
If a manufacturer claims – its pitcher meets standards set by NSFW international for getting rid of specific contaminants, such as lead and chlorine, then it is tested for each contaminant to verify the claim.
Few Things You Should Know About Water Filter Pitchers
1. Filters Make Water Taste And Smell Better:
Chemicals and compounds such as zinc, chlorine, hydrogen sulphide can make the water have metallic flavour or smell like sewage. In the laboratory it is tested how well the pitchers remove contaminants from water and combined rating for flavour and odour reduction is created.
The test results show that most pitchers do a good job with odours but with flavours it is a different story. This is the factor that dragged down some pitcher ratings in the test.
2. You Should Know What's Actually In Your Tap Water:
Even if the main reasons are taste and odour, that you want to use a water filter pitcher, it’s a good idea to know if there are other contaminants in your municipality water that are to be filtered out.
The local water suppliers consumer confidence reports CCR, state the levels of contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals and microbes that are present in the water. The water quality can also be affected by the plumbing in your apartment or house.
If it was built before lead free pipes were mandated then you should check your water for lead, that may be coming from the pipes. There is no safe level of exposure to lead, even low levels of lead can lead to health problems such as decreased kidney function, hypertension and reproductive problems in adults, learning disabilities, anaemia, slow growth and hearing problems in children.
The state or local health department can offer free kits that test for the range of contaminants including lead. You can also collect the sample and send it to a certified lab for testing which may cost $20 – $ 100.
3. All Water Filter Pitchers Are Not The Same:
Once you are aware of what you have to filter out, look for certification marks on the pitcher packaging, showing that it filters out those particular contaminants. No one filter can do it all.
Most of the pitchers remove contaminants that leave a bad taste such as zinc, chlorine and hydrogen sulphide. Few pitchers remove lead.
If a pitcher filters out lead or other contaminants like volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and hormones- the packaging should show a separate certification mark for each.
4. The Cost Of Replacement Filters:
How often to change the filter is known by the manufacturer instructions, it’s every two months or 40 gallons whichever comes first. You have to follow those guidelines because filters clog up with particulates and other contaminants and they simply stop working.
The activated charcoal in a filter that traps odours and flavours, has fine capacity to observe them before it stops functioning. If you notice that the water is flowing slowly, it may be that the filter is clogged and now it’s time to replace it.
Some water filter pitchers have a filter life indicator, to tell you when it’s time to change it.
5. The Pitchers Can Take A While To Filter:
Water filter pitchers look the same so you might think that they will take the same time to filter water. It’s not so. The pitchers that take longer to filter water are doing a better job but new technologies mean even filter models can be just as good at removing taste and odours.
So you can compare the water filter pitchers, their flow rates, rating and then you can decide which is the best for you.