Brita Water Filtering Pitchers
By: Amy Jacquin

It's no secret... tap and well water can harbor lots of hardness, contaminants, and odor.
That stuff isn't a health risk, but certainly makes water taste bad. Brita Pitchers promise to drastically reduce those impurities and make great tasting drinking water. Should you tap into this $20+ dollar investment? Or is it money down the drain?
We start by creating a really bad batch of water. Chemists at Environmental Analysis Lab in Jackson add controlled amounts of things that make water look, taste, and smell bad.
"We've added known contaminants like chlorine, copper, and volatile organics,"says lab owner Dave Warren.
Since we know exactly what's in this water, we'll also know what the Brita Filter Pitcher captures. Brita claims to remove things like hardness, copper, chlorine, lead, and sediment. But Brita clearly says it does not remove bacteria.
"We're going to take one sample and run it through the Brita filter and see how much contaminants it removes," Dave explains.
Our chemists then take the filtered water and shower it with tests, something they routinely do for city systems and private well owners. We start with hardness. A bright blue color shows soft water. The filtered water turned bright blue immediately."It stripped all the hardness out."exclaimed Dave. "It sure did. I didn't think it would do that."
Now we test for chlorine. A small scanner shoots a beam through the test tube and rates the amount of chlorine present. Brita scores again, removing all the chlorine.
Then on to the copper test. Brita knocked out 99% of the copper. Had it removed just one more part per million, the lab's equipment wouldn't be able to pick it up.
The rest of our testing for other volatile organics was done mechanically, through very precise sensors. Basically, Brita filtered out everything we tested for except one good thing found in public water systems, fluoride. That's something Brita is not supposed to mess with. And our tests show it only removes trace amounts, not enough to diminish the benefit.
Dave admits he's quite impressed with the Brita pitcher, but stressed that our test was the filter's first use. We didn't test how well the filter works after repeat use. Brita guidelines suggest replacing the filter every 40 gallons, at about $7 each.
In summary, Brita removed 100% of eight contaminants we tested, and 99% of the ninth. Plus it left fluoride alone. Just be prepared to pay for replacement filters, and be patient because even the large size doesn't hold much water so you'll be going through the filtering process quite often. But it does make for some pretty good tasting water. That claim is easy to swallow. So we give Brita an 'A.'