How does a Brita filter work?
April 18, 2004 10:29 PM Subscribe
How do they work? There is much information about the fact that you need to keep the filter (partially comprised of activated charcoal, from what I can gather) in contact with water at all times. How does activated charcoal actually filter impurities? [More Inside]
posted by fionab to technology (8 answers total)
I am not a water tester, chemist or molecular biologist. So, I apologise if the terms I am using here are not, in fact, the technical terms. From what I can decipher, if the activated charcoal filter is in contact with water, the 'pores' stay saturated enough so that impurities are trapped within the molecules, and there is little room for oxygen, a key component to microbial growth. If it dries out, there is, as a friend put it, “a nice little matrix of available oxygen and water for bacteria to grow.” Then, as you pour the next bit of water through the filter, the impurities are simply washed into this new pitcher of water. Is this what is going on? I have a battle between me (the Brita filler-upper) and a friend (who says that if the filter is in contact with the water all the time, the impurities are leaking into the pitcher, and thus we should let it dry out between refillings). Help my water taste better! I know it may be water under the bridge, but help me whet my appetite for a compelling conversation here!