Is it necessary to filter the water before drinking? This is one question that has been constantly bugging me. Now that I have moved out on my own, I had to look into all of these. It’s all part of moving out and entering adulthood, I guess?
It is safe to drink tap water and you don’t have to filter it.
I wasn’t sure if it is necessary to get one as I know that it is safe to drink tap water. Thanks to the Public Utilities Board or PUB (Singapore’s National Water Agency), our tap water is well within the World Health Organisation (WHO) water guidelines. Thus, it is safe to drink it straight from the tap. Through one of Channel News Asia’s documentary programme, I also got to know that water coolers also discharge tap water. So, I’ve been drinking tap water all along and I turn out fine.
Besides, our tap water has already been filtrated and treated with chemicals to get rid of all the sediments and any other harmful bacteria present in the water. All these water filtration and treatment processes occur at the water treatment plans.
But is it safe to drink tap water on a long term basis?
However, the question is, how clean is the tap water? The water probably has travelled through numbers of industrial pipes and might have picked up deposits left in the pipe. Also, is it safe to drink water which has been disinfected with chlorine? Experts might argue that the amount of chlorine present in tap water is too small to have an impact on the body. But if you are drinking more than a litre of water in a day, how much chlorine would have accumulated in your body? While it might be safe to drink tap water, it may not be that healthy to drink unfiltered water in the long run.
What is found in Singapore’s tap water?
PUB publishes water quality reports every now and then. In their recent July 2018 to July 2019 report, it listed all the chemicals and other substances the water was tested for. Based on the report, some of the chemicals found present in our water is way below WHO guidelines for clean drinkable water. But there are some chemicals and natural-occurring metallic elements like Chlorine, Chloroform, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Sodium found in water. The negligible amount of chemicals, like chlorine and chloroform, present in our water may not cause harm to our bodies, but it will alter the taste of the water.
Thus, we are able to filter out the harmful contaminants and leave the good minerals behind, we are able to obtain clean water which is as probably tastes as good as mineral water.
And in case you might not have realised, our water, which is already fortified with essential minerals like calcium and iron, is itself a ‘health supplement’.
Filtered water tastes different tap water
Because I was so used to drinking filtered water back at home since young, I did not like the taste of drinking tap water. For me, I prefer that crisp and clear taste of filtered water to that of the tap water.
Now that I moved out and started drinking water from the tap, I noticed the difference. There is this metallic taste to the tap water due to the natural metallic elements found in it. Also, the water seems ‘hard’. If you taste the tap water with the back of your tongue, you can actually feel that ‘roughness’ in the water due to the tiny sediments. I know some people cannot taste the difference but if you really pay attention to the taste of it, you can pick up the distinct differences.
On the other hand, filtered water tastes ‘softer’ and has a crisp clean taste to it. Since I prefer cleaner tasting water, I decided I should invest in getting a water filter. But I could not afford to purchase those really good water purifiers that can cost up to about $2,000 so I went for cheaper alternatives like this water filter pitcher. It costs me only $27.50. Usually, the water pitcher itself doesn’t costs much. What I paying actually paying for are the filter cartridges.
The true costs behind water filters
If you have decided to drink filtered water, you must be prepared to spend quite a bit in maintaining the filter and replacing the filter cartridges. If you purchase those high-functioning water filter machines, you have to clean it for regular maintenance. And after a year or so, you will have to replace the filter cartridge with a new one. The same goes for such water filter pitchers except that there is less maintenance involved. The water filter cartridges for water filter pitchers are way cheaper too but they need to be replaced after every one to two months.
But what you pay for is what you get. The water filter machines or high-end filtration systems would perform a better job when it comes to purifying the water. Thus, it all mounts up as to how ‘clean’ or ‘pure’ you would like your water to be.
The PowerPac Water Filter Pitcher
I went to my favourite online shopping platform Shopee to source for a water filter pitcher and I found this. The PowerPac Water filter pitcher was on promotion and I received 3 extra water filter cartridges along with the pitcher. In total, it costs me about $27.50 but I managed to saved a couple of bucks using my Shopee coins. It was definitely a good deal as they are retailing on their own website for $49.
It was delivered straight to my doorstep. But I had to get it exchanged for a new one as I noticed there is a crack at the bottom of the pitcher. Nonetheless, they got it replaced for me the next working day. The new pitcher was delivered to my house too.
1. Setting up the water filter pitcher
The instructions provided in the manual were very clear. I just need to watch the pitcher with a soft sponge before using it and then soak the filter cartridge in water for about 10 minutes. To keep your pitcher looking clean and new, only watch it with a soft sponge. Abrasive sponges can scratch the surface of the plastic pitcher.
It is BPA-free too.
The pitcher itself is quite slim so it can easily be stored in the refrigerator door compartments. It’s pretty light and overall very compact. Its capacity is about 7 cups or 1.5 litres. To fill up the whole pitcher, you will need to filter the water in batches. This is because the reservoir isn’t large enough to contain 7 cups of water.
There’s a top lid which allows you to fill up the reservoir with tap water.
You can easily pour the filtered water out without having to remove the lid or push the lid up. Such user-friendly features made this product really fuss-free.
2. When to replace the filter?
On the lid, there is a manual replacement date indicator that would remind you of the date to change your filter. You will need to set the date manually by yourself. So if you start using the filter on 10 March, the date you should set to replace the filter is 10 April or 10.04.
The pitcher itself already comes with a filter cartridge. Hence, in total, I have 4 filter cartridges which will probably last me for another 4 to 6 months.
From the image below, you can see that the water pitcher is just a plastic container to hold the filter cartridge in place.
Water Filter Cartridges
This is the main game-changer when it comes to water filtration. The water cartridges I have here features a 4-stage water filtration system. Inside this cartridge, there are actually 4 layers of substances – Mechanical particle filter, ion exchange resin, coconut active carbon and fine mesh filter. The carbon filters are effective in reducing the smell and taste of chlorine in water. And the ion exchange resin is said to reduce harmful substances like cadmium copper.
That explains why you can see some carbon particles appearing on the surface of the filter cartridge. Sometimes I wonder if you are able to make your own water filtration system using these simple components.
You will need to allow the water to run through the filter a couple of times before actually using it to generate drinkable filtered water. Once you fill the reservoir (or the blue container compartment) up with tap water, you will the filtered water flowing out into the lower compartment.
Drinking Filtered Water
I’ve been using this water filter pitcher for a couple of days now. Water definitely tasted better after being filtered. However, it is not as pure and crisp as the filtered water I had back at my old place. Back at my old house, we used a counter-top filtration system which was more advanced than this water filter pitcher. Nonetheless, this water filter pitcher still does a good job in generating filtered water. I am very pleased with it.
It is a good, compact and economical product to invest in. It is doesn’t occupies much space on my kitchen tabletop too. Filtered or unfiltered water? I definitely have to go with filtered water. In future, I might invest in a more advanced water filter machine.