With news of tap water being contaminated with bacteria, plastic fibers, pesticides, microbes, and parasites, a water filter might be on your “to buy” list. And, the plethora of options that pop up every time you look for one can be overwhelming. But, you don’t have to cave in and buy what the internet or a salesperson tells you.
While different filters work for different people, we’ve looked into water filter pitchers. But, before we go on to list why we think they might be a good option, it’s important to clarify what they are.
What Are Water Filter Pitchers?
Water filter pitchers, also known as “pour-through carafes,” are small plastic water filters. Once tap water is added to the top, water drips through the filter in the pitcher using gravity. In most models, this filter is made of charcoal and is located under a reservoir.
Capacity of filter pitchers vary between various models and sizes. But, a good estimate is 15 gallons. The larger the filter, the better the capacity.1 Since a lot of consideration goes into buying a water filter, we’ve got a few reasons why you should consider opting for a water filter pitcher.
3 Reasons To Opt For A Water Filter Pitcher
1. They Are Affordable
Prices for a water filter pitcher start at $23.53, making it one of the most affordable water filtration systems. To add to this, they don’t need to be installed. The prices go up based on the capacity of the pitcher itself.
If you’re looking for a cheap, easy to use alternative to plumbing a filter below a sink, or need something temporary before you pick a filtration system that works for you, a filter pitcher is the way to go.2 3
2. They Are Efficient
Water filter pitchers use granular activated carbon to bind with, and trap contaminants. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) activated carbon filters are one of the most efficient ways to remove radiological, chemical, and microbial contaminants. This is because they are highly porous and provide a large surface area to which contaminants may be attached easily.4
Some models of water filter pitchers could also remove lead. In general they change the taste, color, and odor of water. Of late, attention is being paid to the removal of certain cancer-causing chlorinated materials like chloroform, polychlorinated biphenyls, polyvinyl chloride, and carbon tetrachloride, that could be removed with the help of a filter pitcher, but there isn’t sufficient proof for this.5
However, it’s important to remember that these filters need to be changed regularly. Carbon filters have a capacity, beyond which it “dumps” increased levels of chemicals back in the water. Unless changed regularly, carbon filters might get fouled with contaminants and allow the growth of bacteria. So, while these filters are efficient, be sure to change them on time.6
3. They Make Water Alkaline
When water is treated using a filter, it’s pH and in turn, its alkalinity, increases. Studies show that pH 8.8 alkaline water reduces pepsin, which is the primary cause of acid reflux.7
Additionally, studies also state that drinking ionized alkaline water has positive effects on blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids.8 Alkaline water might also prevent dental erosion and tooth decay.9
However, the consumption of alkaline water is controversial, since the studies that support these benefits are very few.10 Alternatively, high alkalinity may increase the risk of growth retardation. Before consuming high amounts of alkaline water, especially if your filtration pitcher advertises it, do consult your doctor.11
Before you buy a water filtration pitcher, check for things like pore size, replacement details, and the life of the cartridge. Be sure to get a product that has NSF, WQA, or UL under “Standard 53,” for lead filtration.12 13
|↑1||Certified Product Listings for Lead Reduction. The Public Health and Safety Organization.|
|↑2||Home Water Filtration and Treatment. Portland Water Bureau.|
|↑3||Examples of Lead-Removing Water Filters for Your Home. City Of Milwaukee Health Department.|
|↑4||Granular Activated Carbon. United States Environmental Protection Agency.|
|↑5||Small Water Filters for Taste, Odour and Sediment Removal. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.|
|↑6||Water Health Series Filtration Facts. United States Environmental Protection Agency.|
|↑7||Koufman, Jamie A., and Nikki Johnston. “Potential benefits of pH 8.8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease.” Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 121, no. 7 (2012): 431-434.|
|↑8||Yu-lian, W. A. N. G. “Preliminary observation on changes of blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids after using alkaline ionized drinking water [J].” Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine 12 (2001): 005.|
|↑9||Wright, Kellie F. “Is Your Drinking Water Acidic? A Comparison of the Varied pH of Popular Bottled Waters.” American Dental Hygienists Association 89, no. suppl 2 (2015): 6-12.|
|↑10||Fenton, Tanis R., and Tian Huang. “Systematic review of the association between dietary acid load, alkaline water and cancer.” BMJ open 6, no. 6 (2016): e010438.|
|↑11||Merne, Marina ET, Kari J. Syrjänen, and Stina M. Syrjänen. “Systemic and local effects of long‐term exposure to alkaline drinking water in rats.” International journal of experimental pathology 82, no. 4 (2001): 213-219.|
|↑12||Choosing Home Water Filters & Other Water Treatment Systems. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.|
|↑13||Examples of Lead-Removing Water Filters for Your Home. City of Milwaukee Health Department.|