Water filters effectively work by reducing the Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS, in the water. These may not be harmful for you, but they can impact the taste (and in some cases, a high TDS count can also have long-term effects on pipes, pots and pans, etc.) ZeroWater uses a complex filter with five different features to get your water to ZERO dissolved solids. Their filters are even certified to remove lead! [As an aside, if you have lead in your DRINKING WATER there’s a big problem.] We tested ZeroWater against a number of water sources to verify their claims using a TDS meter, and here were the results:
Ice/Water machine: 330 (!)
Tap water: 320
Bottled spring water: 30
Reverse Osmosis filter: 25
A few caveats to consider: we didn’t test this in a perfectly scientific environment, and we used paper cups. So assume there’s a slight margin of error here, but the end results are still quite clear. ZeroWater filtered out significantly more impurities than any other water option. We found it shocking that our “filtered water” dispenser at work was worse than the tap water, though none of us could recall anyone servicing it since it was installed last year. I was more surprised at how high the Brita reading was versus the ZeroWater, as we’ve been a Brita household for years and never questioned the quality before.
It could be a placebo effect, but I really did feel the ZeroWater tasted better too. I usually drop a few slices of lime into my water for flavor, and the ZeroWater lime water tasted more like lime, which I would attribute to the fact that there wasn’t really anything else in the water! It’s a definite taste difference against the filtered water and tap water in my office, though I’d say once you got below the Brita the differences in taste were very nominal at best.
ZeroWater impressed me with more than just clean water though. The system is super easy to set up, and there were a few touches that made the pitcher I was sent superior to a comparable Brita. For one, the pitcher can be poured normally, but it also has a handy spout below the handle. Once my coworkers saw the TDS results, they all started coming in to refill their water bottles, and it’s much cleaner and easier to have it sit spout side out, so no one has to pick it up and pour it into narrow bottle openings. Also, they enclosed the TDS monitor I used as part of the system; it snaps into the top of the pitcher so you can periodically insure the filter is working properly. ZeroWater says to change the filter when it reads 006 or higher on the meter.
ZeroWater is priced fairly compared to Brita and other filter systems, with pitchers starting at $25.99. Filters are a bit pricier unless you buy in bulk, but it looks like they may be slightly cheaper through Amazon. Overall, I’m very, very impressed with the quality, taste, and overall experience. The biggest issue I have is keeping the pitcher filled for all my coworkers who love it as much as I do!
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample
What I Liked: Pitcher is well designed; spout at the bottom makes filling narrow bottles easy; filter cleans almost everything out of the water; water tastes great.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing.