Are Water Filter Pitchers Safe to Use without Risk?

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2022/02/18 - Updated: 2022/08/15

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Using a water filter pitcher is one of the easiest ways to get access to filtered water right in your home.

They are convenient, they are affordable, they are small enough to be stored in the refrigerator.

And though most water filter pitchers work great to eliminate aesthetic water issues and some quality models even remove harmful water pollutants, a few people question their safety.

So, here is our guide answering the question, are water filter pitchers safe to use?

Water Filter Pitchers – Are They Safe to Use?

Are Water Filter Pitchers Safe to Use thumbnail

Are water filter pitchers safe to use? Yes, they are.

That was the short answer. Here comes the long one:

When you buy a quality filter pitcher model, it eliminates most water contaminants. As such, your water becomes more pure, and drinking filtered water certainly improves your health for the better.

The only reason why pitchers might be unsafe is when you purchase a low-quality unit assuming it removes contaminants whereas in reality it doesn’t.

A substandard water filter pitcher might work to eliminate foul odor and unpleasant taste, but that’s about it. If it doesn’t remove the harmful contaminants from your water, you’ll remain exposed to them, putting yourself at risk.

In this scenario, a filter pitcher would be unsafe for you and your family to use.

Are Water Filter Pitchers Effective?

Water filter pitchers have gained immense popularity recently, and more homeowners are purchasing them. Besides being lightweight and compact, they offer a quick solution to removing chemicals, heavy metals, salts and the like and provide fresh, palatable and clean drinking water.

Many filter pitchers unquestionably work great, and that’s the sole reason more people are buying them. However, note that not all pitchers work alike.

Simply put, capabilities to remove contaminants vary from model to model. Therefore, it is imperative to understand this difference before buying a pitcher for your home.

Check Water Chemistry

Because your water looks clean, it does have to be clean – many water impurities cannot be seen with the naked eye.

This explains why most homeowners only start to notice contamination in their water when it starts to smell or taste bad.

The question is, if most contaminants are invisible, how can you know what you’re facing in your water if you don’t test? Well, you can’t!

Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to conducting a water test. You can go the DIY route and test your water yourself or send a sample to a professional service provider.

Though DIY testing kits give instant results, they compromise on quality. They are highly prone to errors.

Getting your water tested via laboratory is by far the most reliable way to know what resides in your water. A professional lab sends you precise water quality reports and some also recommend treatment solutions.

You can also access a water quality report from your water supplier. But, it’s not for you if you’re on well water.

Purchase Filter Accordingly

Water filter pitchers come in varying sizes and shapes. But most importantly, they also contain different types of filter media designed for different filtration purposes.

Most feature granular activated carbon that primarily solves chlorine taste and odor.

Contrarily, some high-quality filters contain a blend of filter media that trap all kinds of things: Chlorine, chloramine, lead, fluoride, chromium 6, mercury, arsenic, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, volatile organic compounds, radiologicals…

If you want the latter, make sure to check any pitcher for NSF testing and certifications. These standards vouch for a filter’s quality and prove which contaminants it can reduce at which rates.

Water Filter Pitcher Maintenance

Skipping pitcher maintenance reduces filtration capacity. Even more, it promotes mold and other dirt to grow.

As a result, your pitcher might actually add hazardous particles into your water instead of removing them.

Long story short, water filter pitcher maintenance is crucial to access safe and pure drinking water.

  1. First of all, you need to replace the filter cartridge on schedule. Most elements last somewhere between 1 to 3 months.
  2. You need to deep-clean the jug every once in a while.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Filter Cartridges?

pitcher water filter cartridge submerged in water

Several factors determine how often you should replace pitcher filter cartridges. Your water usage, condition and pitcher model are the most important determinants. And it makes sense:

The more you use your water filter pitcher, the sooner its filtration capacity will exhaust. Also, water that’s high in dirt and TDS puts a higher burden on the filter element. And lastly, some pitcher water filters are designed to last longer than others. This mainly has to do with the type of filter media they’re using.

Depending on your pitcher model, cartridge replacements cost $5 to $50.

Cleaning

Regular cleaning is as important as replacing cartridges. If you don’t clean your water filter pitcher every couple of weeks, pathogens could accumulate and contaminate your water.

Ideally, it’s best to rinse the pitcher every day. However, make sure you use soap once a week for more serious cleaning purposes.

Is it Safe to Keep Filtered Water in a Plastic Container?

Let’s face it: Most water filter pitchers are made of plastic. That’s why some people question if it’s safe to keep filtered water inside of them. Let’s elaborate!

BPA, BPS and More

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common substance found in certain types of plastics.

Studies revealed that BPA can decrease fertility in both male and female adults. Not good!

That’s why manufacturers came up with BPA-free alternatives. Today, there is BPS, BPF, BPAF, BPP, BPZ, BHPF and the list goes on.

However, although scientists have not conducted thorough research about BPA variations, they believe they are pretty similar and thus may also behave similar.

Simply put, even if you purchase BPA-free plastic, you aren’t 100% safe.

What to make out of this?

  • You could opt for a glass water filter pitcher.
  • You could try to avoid storing the filtered water in your pitcher for too long. After the filtration, fill it in a glass jug.
  • Don’t expose your plastic water filter pitcher to microwaving, heat or direct sunlight. This puts stress on the plastic and increases the chance of BPA or similar substances to leach into your water.

If you follow these guidelines, chances of exposure to substances causing hormonal activity originating from plastic should be greatly reduced.

Conclusion

Water filter pitchers are safe to use as long as you use a high-quality model capable of removing the contaminants lurking in your water supply.

In order to find a suitable pitcher, test your water quality first, then make a purchase.

Timely filter replacements and jug cleaning are what’s important when it comes to pitcher maintenance.

If you don’t feel comfortable storing filtered water in a plastic jug, consider getting a glass filter pitcher or keeping the water in a container of different material.

Further Reading

Meet Jason Hollow

Jason Hollow Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.

His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.

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