5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side: Choosing the best water filtration system

Posted December 3, 2019 8:11 p.m. EST

Does your tap water smell or taste a little funny? You’re not alone.

We all know we should drink water. But is tap water your first choice??

“Most water in the U.S. is safe to drink, but it could contain compounds and chemicals that can make it taste metallic or salty, or even smell a little funny," said Perry Santanachote, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

5 On Your Side tests water filtration systems

Most of the water filter pitchers Consumer Reports tested successfully took care of the smell. Only one earned an excellent rating for both flavor and odor reduction: the PurUltimate with Lead Reduction {model number PPT711W}.

“No one filter does it all. Most pitchers will remove chlorine and elements that leave a bad taste, but very few actually remove lead," Santanachote said.

Only two that Consumer Reports tested actually claim to filter out lead. So if your water has serious contaminants, a pitcher filter may not be enough. Two other pitchers rated very good in overall tests, the Pur Basic ( PPT700W ) and the Brita Stream Rapids (OB55).

5 On Your Side tests water filtration systems

The latter took care of another common complaint, how long the filters take to run through the process.

“The Brita Stream Rapids filtered one quart of water in just one minute and 15 seconds," Santanachote said. "In comparison, the lead-removing Pur Ultimate took nearly 15 minutes to filter a quart.

Filters for the systems should be replaced every two months. New ones cost from $5 to $15 each.

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