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Tue, Oct. 29th, 2013, 04:57 am
In Search of Water

AgtOrange is irritated with my wish for an elaborate, high end water filtration unit that takes out things like cryptosporidia etc. This latest pitcher does NOT live up to my expectations (or its advertising). I originally had the higher end Pur filter. It took forever to filter, but the water tasted wonderful and I enjoyed the LED change light on the pitcher as well as the design. Sadly, after awhile I noticed that the box for their replacement filters stopped saying they were ANSI/NSF certified for the kind of nasties I was looking for. In short, they started being no better than a Brita or other pitcher, which is great for removing odors or bad tastes, but does nothing for harmful organisms and even less for VOCs.

So then I went out and bought an EcoFlow, which filters superfast, but I've seen the occasional leak, and if there is any water in the top chamber when you go to pour, it will pour from the top chamber as well as from the filtered bottom chamber. Thus defeating the whole purpose of having a filtered water pitcher. And the water doesn't seem to taste all that much better, which leads me to believe that it's definitely not filtering very well. I'm probably drinking something not much better than what comes out of the faucet, ugh.

"We don't live in Botswana." This from the man who poured me a glass of brown tap water not even a month ago.

Sorry, if even once my tap water comes out the color of tea, with visible dirt and sediment floating around in it unexpectedly, I tend to not want to drink it or cook with it unfiltered. And this is not the first time, nor the first instance, nor the first tale of bad DC water. My most favorite being the story of my coworker who got lead poisoning from drinking DC tap water over a long period of time. We are also known for high levels of chlorine (as in, higher than safe recommended levels). I do not trust our water supply AT ALL.

"We should just go back to drinking bottled water." But cooking with all bottled water is EXPENSIVE and impractical. A high-end filtration unit runs about $300. The most expensive of the filter replacements costs $180 every six months, the cheapest doesn't require filter replacements for years (but also doesn't have activated charcoal, so there's a taste issue, unless you get a separate Brita or similar home pitcher that just works for taste).

We have a few special needs issues because of our kitchen. First off, we rent, so no heavy instillation is possible. We can't put in an under sink unit, and sadly, we have a weirdly shaped spigot on our sink. All of the convenient pressured systems (and I found some wonderful home pressurized pitchers, including one with a UV light) just will not work. So we needed some kind of gravity fed filtration, which is already less than ideal.

Most of the cheaper brands marketed towards home use do NOT have good testing results, as I have found out. And camping gear is generally not designed to be used long term or every single day. So now I'm looking at stuff for long term encampments by military and foreign aide services, etc. Things designed for the kitchen counters of third world countries.

My choices have been narrowed down to:

Berkey/Doulton -- Some lovely looking stainless steel tureens, and they do have activated charcoal cores in the filters. However, there seems to be issues with the spigots, which are cheap and have a tendency towards leaking. The cost of replacement filters is about $25-30 a piece, and depending on your system you'll need to replace from 2-4 filters at a time. The more filters you have, the faster it filters.


Katadyn -- Two options exist here. One style does not have charcoal, it's just a filter but it will last about 7 years, and you can then buy a regular charcoal filtered pitcher for taste. This is the most cost efficient method. The second option is to get the version that includes charcoal filtration units, however the replacement filters for these run $180 every six months (even though the main filter only needs replaced every 7 years), which makes it prohibitively expensive.

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