The Truth Behind Brita Filters
So, you bought a water filter. After you and your roommate go through seventy-two water bottles in the first month of college, you do the math: it costs you $6 for a 24-pack, so $18 a month, and $162 for the school year.
You search for a solution, and voila! You discover a Brita water pitcher on Amazon. Sure, you’ll have to replace the filters periodically, but $25 for a filter pitcher that will transform your tap water into holy water is worth the investment, right?
A lot of people believe that all water filters can make the water they have available tastier, safer, and healthier. However, each filter is designed for a specific purpose, and not all products are created equal. For instance, according to the Brita website, the Brita pitcher helps to reduce the amount of chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury, while the Brita faucet filtration system helps to reduce asbestos, chlorine, lead, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
In other words, for a water filter to be effective, you have to know the type of contaminants, if any, that are present in your water. Moreover, if there really is a serious problem, like lead from the pipes entering your drinking water, then you should be considering better options than purchasing a $25 filter. After all, Brita warns that its filters are intended “to be used only with municipally treated tap water or well water that is regularly tested.”
Contrary to common knowledge, water filters don’t remove bacteria. In fact, filters can add bacteria to your water. According to a 1996 study, bacterial counts in 4 of the 6 tested water filters were higher than those in regular tap water, only after a week of use. Filtration technology may have improved since then, but bacterial growth on filter surfaces is inevitable, even if filters come equipped with bactericides.
Then again, you might want to keep your water filters. Brita pitchers, for instance, remove chlorine from your tap water, which affects its taste and odor. Moreover, even if the tap water that you use is safe for the most part, it doesn’t hurt to have something that can remove traces of copper or mercury, in case they’re present.
A good deal is still a good deal. Water filters are cheaper than water bottles, and produce good-tasting water; just be informed, and know what to expect from your filters!