Even when you're not in an outdoor wilderness survival situation, providing clean water for yourself and your family is of vital importance. Whether you do or do not own a Brita water pitcher, this review will let you know if you need to switch up your water filtering methods or keep the ones you already have.
Brita Water Pitcher Review
I installed a reverse osmosis water system in my house since I purchased it seven years ago. It provides clean water that tastes great, plus it removes virtually every waterborne contaminant out there. The only catch is that the filters need to be changed every so often. The last time this happened, I didn’t have a spare set of filters on-hand, meaning I had to find an alternate source of drinking and cooking water.
Thankfully, I was prepared for this situation. A few years ago, I purchased a Brita® Pitcher Filter from one of my local big box retailers. I went to my garage and took it out of its packaging, then proceeded to read the instructions on how to use it. I also ordered two sets of reverse osmosis filters from another big box retailer to ensure I would have my current system up and running in a few days. In the interim, I would have a chance to evaluate one of my backup water filtration systems.
The model I have is a large unit with two chambers. The top one is where the unfiltered water goes and has a capacity of just over 1 liter. The bottom one is where the filtered water is collected and has a capacity of around 2 liters. There are other Brita configurations, including dispensers that sit inside of a refrigerator. However, all of the pitchers and dispensers currently in production use the same filter.
This is the heart of the Brita system. The filter contains coconut-based charcoal (activated carbon) along with an ion-exchange resin. Together, these materials reduces the amount of chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury from the water. It also removes unpleasant odors and tastes. According to the manufacturer, the filter is good for about 80 gallons (~300 liters) of water before it needs to be replaced.
Together, the pitcher and filter use a combination of gravity and chemistry to filter water. This sounds simple, but first you need to prepare the filter. This means soaking the filter for 15 minutes in cold water, then rinse it under cold running water for a few seconds. After that is done, it can be inserted into the pitcher. Then, you need to fill it with water then discard the filtered water. During the first two pitchers of water, there may be small pieces of charcoal floating around in the water. This is normal and it happened to me so it’s nothing to be concerned about. After doing this twice, it was ready to be used.
Once the filter is ready, simply add water to the inner, top reservoir and let the filter do it’s thing. In my experience, it took around two minutes for a liter of water to completely pass through the filter. Once I filled it up, I simply put it in my refrigerator like any other pitcher and poured out water when I needed it. I had to regularly fill it up to keep it full but it was convenient for me to use.
So far so good, but how effective is the Brita Water Pitcher? Well, it does reduce contaminants but doesn’t remove them entirely. The following table shows how effective it is in reducing certain substances:
What is left unsaid is what it does not filter. This includes MTBE, PCBs, VOCs, Radon, Asbestos, Lead, Flouride along with waterborne microorganisms. Brita even says the following in their user manual:
“The Brita® Pitcher Filter is not intended to purify water. Do not use with water that is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality without adequate disinfection before or after the system…”
In other words, it is better than nothing but not a product that you would rely on in a real emergency.
If memory serves, I spent about $35 for my pitcher and two filters. While this price looks attractive, the filters add up over time. A new filter costs about $8 MSRP and can filter up to 80 gallons of water, for a price of about $0.10 per gallon. The costs are less when you buy filters in multi packs. It’s not super expensive but also not a great deal for what you get.
Over the course of five days or so, I used this pitcher mostly for drinking water. It was ok but not as compelling as I had expected. I found myself using another one of my backup water filtration systems more. I’ll write about this particular unit in my next post so stay tuned…
Fairly quick filtration, convenient size. Was able to put pitcher in refrigerator to keep the water cold.
Not intended for emergency use when water may contain a wide range of contaminants. Filters don’t last very long and costs can add up over time.
The Brita Pitcher Filter is a good backup to have on-hand if you are in an area that has a reliable supply of potable water. It makes tap water taste better but only reduces a small amount of contaminants. Not a bad product, but not really a good one either.
Overall Rating 4/10
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Check out the world's favorite compact, effective and efficient water filter the Aquastiq.
If you are looking to purchase a Brita or like products, check out these options!
- Give this Brita 10 Cup Everyday BPA Free Water Pitcher with 1 Filter a try!
- If you are looking to invest in the reverse osmosis system like our contributor Doug, check out this Aquaphor Water Filters RO-101 Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System!