Part 3 It’s in the Water: Filters

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The next and final part of my article is all about water filtration. I have attempted to decipher the different kinds of filter systems so you can make the best choice for your needs and budget. Brita and ZeroWater jugs/pitchers PROS: Cheap and fits easily into the fridge. CONS: Brita provides very minimal filtration. COST: Starts at £19.99 for a Brita (approx $21 in the US) and £55.99 (approx $30 in the US) for a ZeroWater.    A lot of people in the UK have a Brita water filter jug, but from my research it seems like a pretty ineffective filter (see table 1 below). When I called Brita and asked why the filter was not more efficient, the lady said it was because “it is more for taste then anything”. She also said that if you live in a hard water area the Brita water filter may not be sufficient. The stats below show that the ZeroWater jug/pitcher provides a more sophisticated filter for this type of product. A ZeroWater (10 cup size) is £55.99 or around $30 in the US. If your main concern is taste rather than health, and you have a low budget, Brita is a good option. For the removal of more heavy metals the ZeroWater is much better. But, for harmful substances such as viruses, bacteria and other heavy metals, neither of these jugs are good enough and it would be wise to invest in a better system.

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Table 1

Distilled water PROS: Removes all contaminants. CONS: Removes important minerals as well. COST: Approx £123 or $297 in the US. waterDistillation is a way of purifying water to remove all harmful contaminants (see table 2 below). Distilling your water removes the widest range of contaminants, heavy metals, dissolved solids, viruses, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. You will get pure H2O. However, the downside is that it also removes all minerals from the water. You can add these minerals back by dropping half a teaspoon of himalayan pink salt into a fresh gallon of distilled water. This kind of salt is abundant in minerals and electrolytes. You should certainly not be relying on just your water to get these vital minerals as your diet should be rich in vegetables (mainly raw and some cooked) and plenty of freshly prepared, unprocessed and organic produce.  It’s best to do a fresh gallon of distilled water everyday. There are many conflicting opinions when it comes to distilling, but I cannot find any studies to support the argument that distilled water will negatively impact health. There are plenty of sensationalised claims but nothing concrete. Please drop a comment at the end of the article if you can find peer reviewed studies on the subject that I may have missed. I used to distill my water but I eventually found this method too time consuming, (4 hours to produce 1 gallon of distilled water) and I didn’t like leaving it on when I wasn’t in the house. I have switched to a water filtration system instead called EVA which I discuss below.   However, if you are convinced of the merits of distillation, the Waterpure (known as Waterwise 4000 in the US) distiller sits neatly on a counter top. You only have to replace the filter every 3/4 months and it costs around £5 for four filters. Reverse Osmosis PROS: Removes a wide range of contaminants. CONS: Expensive to fit and wastes water. COST: Varies from £150 – £400. Reverse osmosis is another way of purifying water and is usually fitted under the sink and connected the main water line. A large amount of contaminants are removed by reverse osmosis (see table 2 below). Reverse osmosis will also remove minerals.

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Table 2

Berkey water filtration system PROS: No under sink fitting needed and only have to change filters every 11 years. Made from stainless steel.  CONS: Initial spend is higher. COST: £253 or $258
I use Berkey because it is cheap, effective and does not involve any electricity. At only £23 per year for clean water before you have to change the filter, this is a complete bargain. It’s a carbon filter gravity system that takes ordinary tap water and filters it down to remove some of the most harmful contaminants, including heavy metals, toxic solvents, pesticides, chlorine, bacteria, particles and viruses. You can buy the Berkey HERE. The replacements filters are around £105 for two. The US also sells the Berkey System at $258.

Finally, I try to always use glass bottles due to the reasons stated in my previous article about bottled water. You can re-use them forever and there’s no concern of contamination that you get from plastics. I use this glass drinking bottle when I exercise and it also has a strainer that clips in for when you want to infuse your water with things like lemon, lime, mint and berries.

There is no “new” water: whether our source water is a stream, river, lake, spring, or well, we are using the same water the dinosaurs used millions of years ago.  – United States Environment Protection Agency

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Photography by Michael Alexander. 

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January 8, 2016 5:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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