Are water filters one of the biggest scams of the 21st century? Do they really work? Are there any health challenges posed by these filters? These might be some of the questions running through your mind. It is okay to be concerned because some of the sufferings in this world are self-inflicted.
There are different types of water filters today, and BRITA filters are among the most famous. Success stories on these filters’ effectiveness have been the biggest motivation for people to get BRITA filters.
However, another group of people has poked holes into the effectiveness of these filters. We consulted experts from Diamond Rock water delivery services, and they quoted the following about BRITA water filters, their use, effectiveness, and limitations.
Why water filters?
Water purification is not a new concept as it dates back to almost 2,000 BC. Egypt, India, and Greece are examples of countries that have been documented for performing various water purification processes during that era. Water could be boiled and then filtered through gravel or sand.
However, it was not until 500 BC that Hippocrates, a Greek philosopher, came up with something that can compare to the modern water filters. He named the new system the Hippocratic sleeve. It was simply a cloth where he would pour water and sieve out the unwanted components. Several homes were already using filters made from charcoal, sponge, and wool by the 1700s.
What are BRITA Water filters?
Brita filters are usually fitted to tap faucets, jugs, or water bottles. They are good for those concerned about the particles or chemicals that might be in the drinking water they take. These BRITA filters vary in design, depending on the purpose.
The taste of tap water varies across various water treatment systems. It will also depend on the water source. The variety in BRITA filters exists because water components’ concentration varies from one source to another. There are thus different filtration options that ultimately changes how water tastes.
What is their mechanism?
Brita filters work like a sieve that uses carbon to lower mercury content and chlorine’s smell and taste. They also come with an ion-exchange that filters components such as cadmium, copper, and zinc. There are pores in these filters that control the components that get through the BRITA filters.
The nature of components that you can remove will vary from one filter to the other. BRITA filters are ranked among the best when removing zinc, copper, mercury, zinc, asbestos, cadmium, lead, benzene, and chlorine.
Are all BRITA filters the same?
No. They come in different forms, such as:
- Bottle filters. They are specifically designed to fit in water bottles that you can use while on the move.
- Stream filters. They have a dual-layer carbon that acts to reduce chlorine odor and taste.
- Faucet filters. They are the best for tap water. They have a non-woven and bound carbon block that reduces sediments and smaller contaminants, respectively. Faucet filters are meant to reduce asbestos, chlorine, lead, and benzene, among other contaminants.
- Standard filters. They are the type of filters that you will find in a typical water dispenser. The water goes through a series of steps before it is ready for human consumption. The first step captures black flecks, mercury and chlorine odors are trapped during the second step, while zinc and copper particles are trapped during the third phase.
Do you need to filter tap water?
Most public filtration systems are supposed to make the water ‘safe’ before supplying it to the public. Filtering can make the taste of water more appealing as some of the cleaning agents used by public water supply companies have a nasty smell.
‘Soft’ and ‘hard’ are common terms that people use when referring to tap water’s taste. The presence of calcium and magnesium is mostly the reason behind the nasty smell in the water. However, the two are essential minerals for your body.
Do BRITA filters remove water hardness?
Water hardness falls into two categories; permanent and temporal hardness. Permanent hardness will not influence how the household appliances work or the water’s taste. On the other hand, temporal hardness affects the taste of beverages and foods prepared with hot water.
It is also responsible for limescale deposits buildup on appliances such as steam irons, kettles, washers, and coffee makers, mostly appliances used in heating in a typical household. BRITA water filters reduce the presence of aroma and taste-impairing substances in hard water. Foods and beverages prepared with water passed through BRITA filters are thus clean and end up with a great taste.
Can bacteria build-up on the filters?
Water filters are meant to make the water you consume clean and safe. However, have you ever asked yourself where the dirt ends up? These filters can accumulate harmful bacteria, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan.
The researchers observed that the count of bacteria tends to increase relative to what was going through the filters. However, it is worth noting that not every bacteria that goes through the filters is dangerous. You should thus use gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after changing the filter cartridges.
Are these filters permanent?
Experts recommend that you should change the filters after every 40 gallons. The frequency will thus depend on the volume of water that you use in your home. For instance, if you use a gallon of water per day, you should change the filters after 40 days.
However, you should note that BRITA filters are not designed to filter out viruses and bacteria. Aging filters tend to accumulate various bacteria that may ultimately cause several ailments. They also accumulate particles that make them ineffective in trapping components that make your water unsafe for consumption.
Answering the question if BRITA filters are safe will depend on your end goals. They are definitely effective and safe if you want to improve the taste of your water. However, you must ensure that you regularly change the filters as per the recommendations if you value efficiency. You must also observe all the protocols laid down when handling these filters to ensure that you are safe from bacteria build-up infections.