Walk into any Wal-Mart and you can find a wide array of water filters. Each of these water filters has marketing propaganda all over the packaging describing how clean the water will be with the usage of the product. Are the claims true? Can these filters and purification systems be useful in a survival situation? What truly is the best faucet water filter to purify water?
The short answer for me is “maybe”.
The common household water filter can remove certain contaminants from water. Let me rephrase that – “The common household water filter can remove certain contaminants from water that is already pretty clean to start with.” In a SHTF situation whereby water is not coming from a faucet after treatment by the city but rather from a rain barrel, puddle, lake, pond etc. – a Brita water filter for example just will not ensure the water is safe. The Brita and other similar filters will remove larger particles out of the water thus improving the taste but will absolutely leave behind biological threats. Any questionable water source can contain a liquid zoo of microorganisms ready wreak havoc on your body once ingested.
So, does the Brita variety of water filters have any post-SHTF purpose. Sure. Water that is rendered safe via boiling and/or Clorox bleach may still have dirt and other crap in it. A Brita water filter would assist in “cleaning” the water up. Of course there are other methods as well. Another usefulness of a common, inexpensive Brita-type system is it may have a high barter-value after TSHTF.
Lastly – I will tell you that I do not have have any of these systems. Rather I have chosen to utilize a Berkey Water System which can take water from pretty much any source and filter out the worst stuff and provide crystal clear water. The Big Berkey’s provide low to high volume water purification second to none. Additionally – I have a Berkey Sport Water Bottle for filtration on the go and several backpacking solutions such as this, this and this.
Redundancy is good.