All you should know about water filter pitchers is what they do for you and how to use them. It also helps you if you understand how they work, and whether or not you need a water filter pitcher or some or type of water filtration or purification system.
What Are Water Filter Pitchers?
Let’s first discuss what a water filter pitcher is, and the reasons for using one. In other words, are they necessary or not? Another name for them is pour-through filters – a term that pretty well describes how they are used. They are generally plastic pitchers where, rather than the tap water filling the pitcher as normal, it first passes through a charcoal filter to remove impurities.
Are Water Filter Pitchers Necessary?
So are water filter pitchers necessary? Not always, but most homes could use one. A lot depends on the purity of your water supply. A municipal water supply will generally be purer than water taken straight from a well, river or usually even a spring. Unless you have the purity of your water supply tested, there is no way of knowing. Many people take the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach and use a water filter pitcher.
What Type of Impurities Are We Referring To?
The reason so many take that approach to water purity is that even your municipal water supply may not be as pure as you would like it to be. A lot depends on the treatment given to your water supply before you receive it. Your drinking water originates from a number of potential sources. Depending on where you live, these could be rivers, reservoirs, lakes and other sources. The water has to be purified before an authority can supply it to your domestic water supply.
Chlorine can be used as a disinfectant to remove unwanted bacteria. This can sometimes make your water smell like a swimming pool – which also uses chlorine for the same reason. Sometimes ammonia can also be used. The problem we have here is that ammonia reacts with chlorine to form potentially harmful chemicals known as chloramines. Both chlorine and chloramines can be removed from your drinking water by the activated charcoal filtration system used by water filter pitchers.
Activated Charcoal/Activated Carbon Water Filters
Activated charcoal water filters, sometimes referred to as activated carbon, can remove many different impurities from your household water supply. When your water is treated to remove impurities it can also add unwanted chemicals! Among these are certain chemical additives used to kill off bacteria and viruses. You may not want to drink water containing these additives.
Activated charcoal adsorbs them. Adsorption is where the unwanted substance attaches to the surface of the charcoal – absorption involves a liquid substance entering into the body of another substance, such as water and tissue paper. This means that the adsorbed substance remains on the carbon surface and cannot be squeezed off it like water can from tissue paper. So when you change the activated charcoal in your water filter pitcher, the adsorbed contaminants go with it.
Water Purification or Filtration at Point of Use
In addition to the common chlorine and chloramines, some people prefer not to drink fluorinated water. Water filter pitchers can remove fluorides from your drinking water. If you want a daily dose of fluoride for your teeth, then use the tap – not the water from your filter.
This type of water filtration takes place at the point of use. If at any time you don’t want to use it for any reason (such as preferring your water to contain fluoride) you can use water straight from your faucet or tap. You need to ration yourself with unfiltered water because unfortunately there are no means of allowing your fluoride or any other specific chemical to pass through filtration without also allowing the harmful chemicals through.
Water Pitcher Filters: Are They Necessary?
So back to the original topic: “All you should know about water filter pitchers”. Are they necessary? A lot depends on your own attitude towards them. They remove contaminants from your drinking water, and also from the water you cook with. Many people insist on using filtered water for their young children if not for themselves. Water filter pitchers offer the best way of doing this.
So, yes, they are necessary if you want your family to drink water uncontaminated by chlorine and other chemicals used to destroy bacteria and other unwanted components of lake, river and reservoir water. Sure, these additives keep water drinkable, but the water you and your family drink still contains them. Once your water has been purified by the additives, a water pitcher filter will remove the additives before you and your family drinks them!
What Are These Contaminants?
Among the contaminants that an activated carbon water filter can remove are chlorine, fluorides, hydrogen sulfide, lead, cadmium, mercury and other heavy metals, asbestos, trace pharmaceuticals and turbidity caused by small particulates dispersed in the water. These can be harmful to some people, particularly the very young, the elderly and those on specific medications.
Water filter pitchers are very easy to use. Simply run water into the pitcher from your faucet or tap and the activated carbon in the filter removes the impurities. How long does the filter last? Most are good for about 40 gallons of water. Depending on the number of people in your household, this could last up to three months. The filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.
All You Should Know About Water Filter Pitchers: Summary
Most tap water should be safe to drink since any contamination is limited by federal standards. However, drinking water does generally contain a certain amount of chemicals used in the purification processes, and also some that may have bypassed these processes.
Water filter pitchers are designed to remove these chemical and biological contaminants and keep you and your family healthy regardless of the quality of water in your area. That is all you should know about water filter pitchers. Are they necessary? If not to you, they may be to most others.