Best water purifying pitcher Chlorine smell NYC tap 1 person use
March 14, 2020 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Bottled water has literally "dried up" in NYC, and I have been regretting all those 1.5 L bottles anyway. Years ago I used basic Brita, but mold! Wirecutter has failed me -- it's choice of Pur Classic 11 cup pitcher was "booed" by Amazon reviewers (it cracks and gets moldy?), and the Brita and Soma pitchers didn't do too well either.

In my Brita days, I kept the filled pitcher on the counter, and kept 3 Mason jars of cold, filtered water in the fridge. That worked until ... mold; and, yes I scrubbed diligently. Basically my tap water has a terrible smell with a strong, lingering odor of chlorine. And it often runs brown, running it briefly till it clears solves that gross problem. I am in a 1941 co-op and the plumbing is awful. So any suggestions for me on a decent working water filter pitcher, or suggestions re the mold problem appreciated. Thanks!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I used a Brita pitcher about 10 years ago? I gave it a good try, but after about a year, I gave up on how cumbersome it was and refilling was a pain. I never had mold issues, but I also didn’t love it. Last year, after our water source changed from miracle water to a blend with municipal well water, I was driven back to Brita after doing some cursory research. I got the countertop dispenser, not the pitcher. I love it. It’s easy to keep filled, stays clean, and it fixed the bad water taste.
posted by quince at 9:53 PM on March 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Zero Water is the only kind of filter that has worked for me in my apartment with it’s super-crusty 1940s pipes. Nothing else seemed to touch the chlorine smell or the gross-tasting mineral scuz. Filters are expensive and their life is shortened if you let them sit in water for days at a time, but I think the results taste better than bottled water.
posted by corey flood at 10:12 PM on March 14, 2020

That "mold" is probably algae. According to Brita, "Store your Brita® Pitcher in a cool, dim place. Don't keep your Brita in bright sunlight, as it can cause algae to grow. Keep your Brita® in the refrigerator if you plan to be away for longer than a couple of days."

You may find an algae problem developing no matter what brand you use. If you can't keep your pitcher in the fridge or in a dim part of the kitchen, cover it with an opaque cloth or a box.
posted by maudlin at 11:58 PM on March 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I use Soma. I get some mildewy-algae-crap every once in a while, always in the "pre-filtered" section, never in the "post-filtered" area; when I do, I just scrub it out and it's OK again for a couple months (I keep it in the fridge). I'm pretty sure the mildew-algae-stuff is not gonna kill me and I find the water tastes much better post-filtration than coming out of the tap in my 1915 building with crappy old plumbing. YMMV and I get that it doesn't feel as "pure" as bottled water, but realistically, to me the taste is what matters, and I've found that to be fine.
posted by branca at 4:27 AM on March 15, 2020

My Brita lives in my fridge, not least because I like my water cold. But a positive side effect is that I have never had any mould or algae issues and I’ve been using the set up for at least 5 years now.
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:38 AM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Just leaving tap water in a wide, shallow dish overnight to let it breathe before decanting it into a jug in the fridge can yield a substantial cut in chlorine and chloramine content. Putting a cardboard box over the dish or keeping it on a shelf in a dark cupboard will deal with the tendency to grow algae, and there will still be enough residual chlorine left over to discourage mould. You might well find that your tap water tastes acceptable after doing this, even without any filtration whatsoever.

A few years back when our local water supply was more heavily chlorinated than it is now, I used to use a couple of recycled four-litre ice cream containers for this, filling them to about a quarter full to keep things nice and shallow. No lids, obviously.
posted by flabdablet at 4:49 AM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you want to get really intense with it you could get a ceramic candle filtration system. I had it when I was in Peace Corps. I had pretty good water but it will truly filter out everything and I never had an issue with the bottom part getting funky (depending on how bad the water is the top does need to be cleaned occasionally but it’s very easy to do). However, these are serious filters and priced accordingly. On the plus side of you have a boil water advisory or something similar to the effect you basically don’t have to if you’re using this filter.
posted by raccoon409 at 4:54 AM on March 15, 2020

I use an under-the-sink cartridge filter system. It's relatively simple to install, and is much cheaper than buying bottled water. It dispenses on demand through a small faucet that usually replaces the spray hose (unless your sink has an extra hole). Filters last for months. Here's one from a reputable dealer that's less than $100.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:23 AM on March 15, 2020

Seconding ZeroWater - I've had this model sitting on my counter for something like 8 years. It's never given me a moment's trouble, never cracked, and the water tastes great. Filters last a good while too, but be sure to avoid cheapo replacement filters that aren't actually 5-stage.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:10 AM on March 15, 2020

Call the Water Dept.; they may be able to help you find out why tour tap water quality is poor, possibly able to help resolve it.
posted by theora55 at 11:14 AM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the thoughtful answers, and on a weekend too! Due to lack of counter space and small fridge the countertop dispenser is too big. Can algae be gray, or would that be mold? I tend to think of algae as green, but I'm not a naturalist.

Interesting idea about just letting the chlorine smell evaporate off before putting it in a container. I think at one point I was simply filling Ball jars with tap water, leaving them uncapped overnight, then capping and refrigerating. My water quality was better 20+ years ago, so that worked at the time.

ZeroWater is looking like it might be an attractive alternative, thanks for the recommendations. Since I have no idea what's in Poland Spring -- although it smells fine -- I guess I am not too concerned about contaminant filtering. Thanks!!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 8:44 PM on March 15, 2020

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