As someone who has been drinking bottled water since childhood in So. CA, to middle age in the Sierras (Arrowhead-delivered, RimRock-delivered and Crystal Geyser-supermarket), I wanted to share my recent experience with the ZeroWater filtered pitchers.
I have tried many filters in the past (Pur, Brita, etc.) and always went back to bottled water due to taste. But at the beginning of the pandemic I decided I no longer wanted to cart home water from the supermarket.
I did my homework, and it indicated to me that a Berkey system or ZeroWater pitcher were probably my best bets. Now I wasn't going to invest $200 in a Berkey system without a money back guarantee (of which there are none), so I purchased their filter and threw together my own vessel for it. I also purchased a ZeroWater system which was about 25 bucks. The end result from both a taste and economic standpoint was that ZeroWater was the clear winner.
We have pretty good water where I am at now, with the exception of chlorine. Filling up a pot of water smells like it came out of the swimming pool we had back in So. Cal., so I have never cooked with it. Both the Berkey and Zerowater filters did an admirable job in removing it, however the ZeroWater was faster and more economical. My first twelve dollar ZeroWater filter lasted seven and a half months. In fact, I did not change it out because the TDS* was above zero, but because it got really slow to filter water. My estimate is that I filtered over 150 gallons of water with that filter with no noticeable degradation... it was perfect from the first to the last drop.
*TDS = Totally Dissolved Solids, and is a value an included meter measures to determine when the filter needs to replaced (a value higher than 5).Of course my brother had the same bottled water upbringing as I, and sti
ll drank bottled water until I recommended ZeroWater to him last Winter. Moreover, his wife is more picky than he, and was dubious about the end result... only to be as impressed as I was about it.
Now YMMV as to the economy of it, seriously. The TDS of my tap water measures about 25-30. Even the TDS of Crystal Geyser bottled water was higher than that. Some areas of the U.S. can have a TDS in the hundreds, which would certainly impact the longevity of your filter.