I don’t know about you, but I love me some fresh, clean water. Even though I live in an area that has very clean tap water, I’m always a little turned off by unfiltered tap water. I can vaguely smell chlorine. I wonder about all those hundred year old pipes in my old house. And what about other dissolved solids?
In a pinch, its good to know I can drink tap water straight from the faucet, but I wouldn’t want to do it every day. I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I have water filtration.
There are several different types of water filter systems. Everything from a whole house water filtration system that is integrated in your plumbing system, to under the sink water filters, water filter pitchers (like the famous Brita and Pur brands), all the way down to faucet water filters, which just attach to your sinks faucet.
I’ve always been a little dubious about these small faucet water filters. They are so small, can they really filter all that water? So I decided to look into it and write up a blog post.
Short Answer: Yes, they work, to an extent.
In short, they do work, to an extent. The thing to keep in mind about these is that there is a difference between a purifier and a filter.
Purifiers work to make water biologically safe, like removing bacteria, viruses and other contaminants. While filters simply remove some dissolved solids. So don’t take river or lake water and run it through a Brita and expect it to be drinkable. Its not!
Next thing to keep in mind, even the best faucet water filters are very short in length. The amount of time the water spends in contact with the carbon filter, the better it will be filtered. So the short, few inches that the faucet water filter has will only filter the water 10-20%. This may be good enough to remove some of the nasty taste and make the water feel cleaner, but you may want to combine it with some other filters or purifiers to get a full effect.
More Effective Options
A neighbor of mine used a combination of a pitcher water filter and a faucet water filter. He would pour water through the faucet filter directly into the pitcher. That makes sense, but if you are very concerned with water quality you might want to consider a gravity fed water filter (the Berkey brand of which is actually a purifier, much much more effective than Brita). If you have municipal water concerns, you might want to consider the whole house water filtration system, which is more expensive but can give some nice peace of mind.