This system is a five stage Ion Exchange filter system which claims to remove 99.63% of all total dissolved solids in tap water, and it is certified to reduce lead, chromium, mercury, and hydrogen sulfide. As an undergraduate who studied Environmental Science I learned all about the bottled water industry and I refuse to purchase bottled water as much as possible. It produces a lot of waste from the plastic containers, and health standards aren't even regulated so many have lower water quality than tap water. I highly recommend watching the story of bottled water on youtube if you are interested in learning more. So, I am a firm believer in drinking tap water but I do like to have extra filtration to lower my exposure to contaminants even further.
Here is the pitcher assembled. The one drawback to this product is the lack of instructions for assembling the filter properly. It wasn't too hard to figure out after a few minutes, but it was tricky at first. The filter actually screws into the top water containment at the top. This tight screw in assemblage ensures that all water going into the actual pitcher is filtered. I think that this is where you can really see a quality difference between this system and Brita. The Brita system is not as tight and you know that some of the water isn't getting filtered. With Zero Water's pitcher I have confidence that all of the water is getting filtered. As first I didn't understand why they added the extra spigot on the back when all you have to do is pour throughout the top, but I have really come to love this feature because instead of taking the whole thing out and wrestling it back onto the shelf we just have to push on the spigot to get water in the middle of the night. However, I do wish the opening of the spigot was more visible or the spout was longer because it's not easily seen so there has been a few times I missed my cup and got it all over.
Tap Water: 62ppm
Filtered Water: 0 ppm
The coolest feature of this system is the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter which measures the TDS in the water. I was excited to try the meter out on the tap water and the filtered water. The pitcher also came with an informative map of the US that gave the average TDS of tap water for each state, which you can see online here, to see how your state measures up. Washington has pretty great water quality but I was still nervous about measuring it because I did not want to see high numbers. I was pleasantly surprised when it only read 62ppm. However, when I measured the water that came out of the pitcher I was amazed when it read 000 ppm. That is amazing! This product has even gotten me excited about drinking water again, and I have consumed a lot more since we received this product. I think it might be the inner geek in me that finds this fascinating!! It is so nice to always have cold filtered water in the fridge. Overall, I highly recommend this product to anyone. It saves on money to switch from bottled water to tap and with this system you can have a higher confidence that you are drinking clean water from your tap.