Many people think that all water pitcher filters are alike, so they grab a brand name pitcher like Brita without giving it much thought. They think that their water pitcher filter is doing a good job of filtering their drinking water and protecting them from water contaminants. Unfortunately, some people are not aware that their drinking water is not as clean as they imagined.
So, how do you know if your water pitcher is any good?
First, you need to understand that filter performance varies.
Second, you should only purchase brands that are tested by a third-party lab and you need to read the lab reports to understand the performance.
Finally, check to see how frequently you must change the filters.
Water Pitcher Filters Performance Varies
Water filter effectiveness can vary widely even among the same type of filter. In fact, one of the popular water filter pitcher brands does not even remove lead from your water. The basic Brita water filter pitcher is only certified to remove chlorine, copper, mercury, cadmium, and zinc. And, while these are all good pollutants to remove from your drinking water, there are dozens of other contaminants that the basic Brita does not remove.
The Propur water filter pitcher, on the other hand, reduces over 200 water contaminants including fluoride, arsenic, pesticides, microplastics, and more.
Brita and Propur water filter pitchers seem similar but perform at different levels of effectiveness.
Look for Test Results
Reputable water filter manufacturers use third-party labs to test their filters, and they publish the test results. If you cannot find the filter’s lab report, it is a red flag. Short of having the water tested yourself which is expensive and complicated, the only way you’ll know the quality of the filter is by reviewing the lab reports.
Some companies do not publish their test results or have their filters tested. You should never buy a filter from one of these companies.
Read the Fine Print
The next step is to read the lab reports. The reports will tell you which water contaminants the filter reduces and the percentage reduction. Below is an example of a lab report for a popular water filter. As you can see, it’s been tested and removes 95% of chlorine and between 94-95% of mercury. You’ll want to pay attention to the contaminant removed as well as the percent reduction.
If for example, you wanted to remove 99.9% of chlorine, you’d want to select a different filter.
Ensure that the filter is either NSF certified or that the lab that tested the filter is a certified lab. NSF stands for National Science Foundation. This organization has contaminant reduction standards for drinking water filters.
If the filter is not NSF certified, then you should find the name of the water quality lab that tested the filter and do a google search. If they are certified, you’ll find that information on their website along with the license number.
Understand the Useful Life & Replacement Filter Costs
The useful life of filters can vary significantly, so it's important to understand how frequently your filter will need to be changed. Some filters only last 30 days while others last up to six months. Many brand name water pitcher filters only last one to two months.
That's a lot of filter changes which can be expensive, time-consuming and a lot for you to remember!
The Propur Water Pitcher Filter lasts up to six months. It's a good idea to calculate the cost to own the filter over one year's time so that you can compare overall ownership costs among filters.
In summary, if you follow these simple suggestions, you can be certain that your water pitcher filter is good enough.