What do water filters remove?

What do filters remove

What do water filters remove?  Do water filter pitchers remove the same contaminates as water filter straws?  What is the difference between a water filter and a water purifier?  These are some of the questions I wanted to know when I started looking into which water filter to add my emergency supplies.  It was surprising to learn that the terms “water filter” and “water purifier” have a generic definition and many times these terms are used interchangeably.  I believe the reason there is confusion about these terms is that there is no federal regulation regarding water filters.  The generic standard for either a water filter or water purifier is to remove a contaminant to improve the quality of drinking water.  That’s right, “a contaminant”, if they remove just one they qualify.  When I first started gathering emergency supplies, I was under the impression that a water filter, and especially a water purifier, would make water contaminant free… I was sorely mistaken.

What do water filters remove?

So, to be clear, if we have a device that removes debris but leaves bacteria, parasites, viruses, chemicals, and metals it can be labeled a water filter and be sold to anyone willing to buy.  “The EPA has defined pure water as water free from all types of bacteria and viruses”6, so it could have parasites but it would qualify as “pure water”.  Knowing this has caused me to take a much closer look at a number of water filters and specifically what contaminants they remove.  Here is what I found:

Water Filter Pitchers (Brita)

  1. reduce chlorine taste and odor, zinc, even contaminants like copper, mercury and cadmium”1.  

Water filter pitchers are designed to be used with treated city water after several contaminants have already been eliminated.

What do water filters remove? - Water Pitcher


Water Filter Straws (Sawyer Mini & Lifestraw)

  1. removes bacteria (such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli)2,3
  2. removes parasites (such as giardia and cryptosporidium)2,3

What do filters remove


Water Purifiers – Hollow Fiber Membrane

(Sawyer Point ZeroTwo Purifier & Lifestraw Family Purifier)

  1. removes bacteria 2,4
  2. removes parasites 2,4
  3. removes viruses 2,4

What do water filters remove? Lifestraw Family

Water Purifier – Solar (Puralytics SolarBag Water Purifier)

  1. kills bacteria 5 
  2. kills  parasites 5 
  3. kills  viruses 5
  4. chemicals are broken down to harmless minerals 5
  5. reduce metals 5

What do water filters remove? Puralytics Solar Bag


Contaminated drinking water is becoming more of an issue each year.  The united states has two rivers listed on the “10 Most Polluted Rivers in the World“!  Most of the population within the United States is completely dependent on our cities for safe drinking water.  There are several states this month (Colorado, Ohio, West Virginia) that have a city dealing with containment water.  Water filters and purifiers can help keep our families healthy.  Double check your emergency supplies and do some research to see what contaminants your water filter removes.

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  1. https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/
  2. http://lifestraw.com/faqs/
  3. https://sawyer.com/international/products/sawyer-mini-water-filter-international-unit/
  4. https://sawyer.com/international/products/sawyer-point-zerotwo-water-purification-kit/
  5. http://puralytics.com/faqs/
  6. http://www.historyofwaterfilters.com/purifiers-filters.html

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About PreppersSurvive 130 Articles
Welcome to my site! My name is Nettie and I started this blog to provide simple tools to help Preppers.  I am a Girl Scout Prepper. “Be prepared! A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency" (the motto, in the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook). Being a Prepper has been a blessing to me, my family, and friends on more then one occasion. You'll find these stories throughout this blog.  You will also find prepper supplies checklists, prepper events, cheap food storage ideas, emergency heat sources, survival books recommendations, reviews on power outage lights, printable prepper pdfs, and articles on emergency disaster preparedness.  Click here to read more

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