Water filter pitchers don’t just remove certain contaminants from your tap water supply – they also affect water’s taste.
In this guide, we’ve shared everything you should know about the impact of water filter pitchers on the taste of water.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- Contaminants and impurities like minerals, metals, TDS, and chlorine might all be affecting your tap water taste.
- A water filter pitcher should improve the taste of your water by removing chlorine and other chemicals with tastes and odors.
- If you notice poor-tasting water from your pitcher filter, you might need to prime or replace the filter.
Table of Contents
👅 What Affects Tap Water Taste?
Before we look at how water filter pitchers impact water taste, we need to look at the factors and parameters that affect the taste of our tap water.
Water’s Mineral Content
Tap water with a high mineral content should have a more pleasant alkaline taste compared to tap water that’s naturally low in minerals.
Most tap water supplies have a moderately high natural mineral content. Minerals positively influence tap water’s taste because they give it a slightly sweet aftertaste and prevent it from tasting bitter or acidic.
However, this depends on the types of minerals present. Sulphate, for instance, is a mineral that gives water a bitter taste if it’s present in large concentrations.
The total dissolved solids (TDS) content of a tap water supply also affects its taste.
Generally, the higher the TDS, the more likely that water will take on unpleasant chemical or metallic tastes, because contaminants that cause these tastes are likely to be present in larger amounts.
On the other end, water with very low TDS is likely to have a “flat” taste due to its lack of minerals.
Most tap water supplies have mid-to-moderately-high TDS levels.
Method Of Water Disinfection
The method used to disinfect your tap water supply will determine its chemical content and taste.
If your water is disinfected with chlorine or another chemical disinfectant, you’ll detect a chemical “swimming pool” taste and odor.
Different water supplies require varying concentrations of chlorine, depending on the initial water quality. The more chlorine your water contains, the stronger the chemical taste.
Pipe & Plumbing Materials
Finally, the pipes and plumbing that water travels through to reach your home also affect its taste.
Iron, copper, and other metals may leach into your water, especially in old, corroding pipes. These metals will give your water a bitter, metallic taste.
You might have these contaminants in your water supply if you have an old home or you’re supplied by an aging water distribution system.
🚰 How Do Water Filter Pitchers Impact Water Taste?
Water filter pitchers impact water taste because they use activated carbon filter media, which is effective in removing contaminants that affect the taste, color, and odor of water.
Activated carbon filters use a chemical process called adsorption to pull chlorine and other taste-related contaminants out of a water supply, while water molecules can continue through the filter pores.
A water filter pitcher uses gravity filtration, which is a gradual, steady process and gives water plenty of contact time with the activated carbon media, allowing the highest percentage of contaminants to be removed.
Let’s look at some of the specific ways that water filter pitchers can impact water taste:
The biggest improvement to water’s taste comes from a water filter pitcher’s ability to remove chlorine.
Chlorine is an incredibly common contaminant in tap water because it’s widely used as a disinfectant for public water supplies.
While chlorine is essential for protecting our water from microorganisms as it travels to our homes, it gives water an unpleasant chemical taste and odor.
The best water filter pitchers can remove up to 99.99% of chlorine from drinking water, eliminating the “swimming pool” taste and leaving water tasting fresher and cleaner.
Remove Other Poor Tastes & Odors
Water filter pitchers can also remove other poor tastes and odors associated with chemical contaminants in a water supply.
For instance, many pitchers can remove pesticides, which are commonly found in trace amounts in drinking water systems and also have a chemical taste.
Using a water filter pitcher will remove most other chemicals that could be giving your water an unpleasant flavor.
Retain Healthy Minerals
Despite removing contaminants that give water a poor taste, a water filter pitcher retains those that have a pleasant taste.
Water filter pitchers don’t remove calcium, magnesium, or other healthy minerals and salts, so your water should have the same appealing alkaline taste post-filtration.
That means you can filter out the bad stuff without ending up with water that tastes plain or flat (a problem with some of the more comprehensive purification systems, like reverse osmosis systems).
Boost Mineral Content
Finally, some specialized water filter pitchers don’t just retain healthy minerals – they boost the mineral content of your water by adding more minerals to each batch of filtered water.
Alkalizing water filter pitchers have a special mineral-enhancing media that adds a small quantity of minerals to water as it flows through the filter.
😋 Does A Water Filter Pitcher Make Water Taste Nice?
Yes, a water filter pitcher should make water taste nice by removing chemicals, tastes, and odors. Chlorine is one of the biggest taste complaints in municipal tap water, so removing this chemical should make a big difference to your water quality.
However, there are some poor tastes and odors that a water pitcher can’t remove, so make sure you’re buying the right filtration solution to address your water quality issues.
Plus, taste is subjective. While most people prefer the taste of filtered, dechlorinated water, you might be used to the taste of unfiltered tap water, so it might take you a while to get used to the water from your filter pitcher.
🤢 Why Might Water Taste Bad From A Water Filter Pitcher?
There are a few reasons why the filtered water from your filtration pitcher might taste unusual or bad:
Adjusting To Contaminant-Free Water
First, you might simply be adjusting to the taste of contaminant-free water.
If you’ve drunk unfiltered tap water all your life, you’ll be used to the chemical taste of chlorinated water.
Removing chlorine and other poor tastes from your water will give it a different – but certainly not bad – taste profile.
Give yourself a few days to adjust to the taste. You’ll eventually find that if you ever do have to drink chlorinated tap water again, the chemical taste will seem so much stronger – and you’ll wonder how you went so long before filtering your water!
Carbon Dust From New Filter
Another possible cause of poor-tasting filtered water is carbon dust from a new filter.
When you first start using a new filter in your pitcher, you might see little specs of black dust in your water. This is carbon dust from the filter, which has come loose from the filter media during manufacturing or transportation. While it isn’t harmful, it might give your water an unusual taste.
You can usually get rid of any lingering carbon dust by properly priming your water filter before use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do so.
Contaminants Not Addressed By Pitcher
There are certain contaminants that can’t be addressed by a water filter pitcher.
If your water contains these contaminants, it’ll have a similar taste before and after filtration because the contaminants will simply pass through the filter’s pores with the water molecules.
We’ve discussed these contaminants in more detail later on.
Filter Needs Replacing
Finally, poor taste from your water filter pitcher might suggest that your filter needs replacing.
Over time, the filter inside your pitcher will become clogged with contaminants. As these contaminants build up on the filter’s surface, they may begin to affect the taste of the water flowing through the filter media.
At worst, if you leave the filter for months after it should have been replaced, the media may degrade to the point that contaminants can re-enter your water supply, giving it a particularly poor taste.
Or, your filter could have stopped working, so you’re drinking normal tap water once more. If this happens, you’ll start to notice a reappearance of the chemical chlorine taste in your water.
🔄 Can Water Filter Pitchers Address All Taste Issues?
No, water filter pitchers can’t address all taste issues in a drinking water supply.
For instance, if you have a well water supply that’s high in iron, manganese, or sulfur (three contaminants that give water a metallic or rotten egg taste), you can’t use a water filter pitcher to effectively eliminate these tastes in your water.
Water filter pitchers also probably won’t make much of a difference to water that tastes like copper (resulting from the corrosion of copper pipes), or water with an earthy, bitter taste due to sediment or tannins contamination.
The main taste that water pitcher filters can remove from water is chemical taste. Activated carbon filters can’t effectively trap sediment, iron, and sulfur, and these contaminants will likely end up clogging or fouling the filter media and shortening its lifespan.
If you have metallic, earthy, eggy, or bitter tastes in your water, conduct a water test to find out which contaminants are to blame, then look for a filter for your home that can more effectively remove these impurities.
🔚 Final Word
Water filter pitchers have a positive impact on the taste of your tap water. The best pitchers should remove chlorine, tastes, and odors without influencing water’s alkaline mineral content – and some pitchers even add healthy minerals to water, further improving its taste.
If you want to learn more about the filtration process inside a water filter pitcher, check out our guide on how water filter pitchers work.