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Water Filtering Methods - Pour Through Carafe Filters

The carafe or pitcher system is certainly the simplest and least costly solution to water quality issues. These pitchers are portable, use no electricity and waste no water. There is no professional installation. These pitchers or jugs are inexpensive and only require a change of filter every two months. Even this is low tech, the procedure involving nothing more than, in some applications, pulling out and replacing a short, fat cylinder.

This cylinder holds a carbon filter that strains out minute impurities. The water passes through the filter as it is dispensed. These filters significantly reduce chlorine, benzene and sediment quite effectively as well as pesticides and industrial solvents. They are not effective in removing bacteria. Check the product's label to see if it contains an ion exchange resin that removes heavier metals like copper and lead.

Before water leaves the water supplier, it is chlorinated to remove bacteria and viruses. If the chlorine levels are high enough, or other contaminates such as sediment are present in your water, it can taste downright nasty. These carbon filters remove the nasty chlorine taste for a sweeter drink of water.

For 40 gallons of water, the cost is about $9, the price of one filter. These filters are sold at home centers, pharmacies, grocery stores and large discount stores.

One disadvantage to this system is the prolonged wait time for water to pass through the filter, sometimes amounting to more than 20 minutes. If your household drinks a lot of water you may find yourself refilling the carafe or jug many times a day, lugging it over to the sink, then waiting for the water to filter. If you have a smaller refrigerator, its real estate can be diminished by a large jug of water.

If it is difficult for you to keep track of the filter cartridge's usage, this may not be the best method for your water treatment. If the filter is old and no longer able to reduce contaminants, the system is useless. Some of the filters are known to clog easily impeding the water's passage into the jug. These jugs and pitchers have a life cycle of only about five years.

Before you buy, check the label and see what contaminants it removes and if those claims are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, International, a non-profit testing lab.

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