review

ZeroWater 5-Stage Filter Water Jug

Monday, December 02, 2019

Nature is a great source of inspiration and, a great source of resources namely water, which is naturally filtered beneath the ground we walk on. Earth, itself, has the greatest water filtration system there is, using dirt, gravel, and sand to naturally and "freely" filter water for us, all, to enjoy.
Unfortunately, due to man-made intervention, our precious water is not as healthy as it looks, despite how clear the water looks. The advent of consumer-grade water filters has brought anything from sediment and ion-exchange filtration to, reverse osmosis and activated carbon filtration. There are even whole house water filtration systems available.
If you aren't ready just yet to turn your house into a water treatment plant, getting a smaller scale, handheld version is a good alternative.The ZeroWater jug is, effectively, a mini water treatment plant that you can hold in your hand and conveniently use at home if your tap drinking water isn't up to par. The ZeroWater jug measures 30cm long, 15cm wide and 28cm tall and, it can hold 2.8 liters of water so, you can effectively treat up to 2.8 litres of water.
The ZeroWater jug lid has a split construction with a spout lid section and a removable back section designed to be taken out so, you can pour unfiltered water inside the top reservoir. The spout lid section is glued-shut to the jug and it's designed so, you can pour filtered water out from the bottom reservoir, while water is being filtered through the top reservoir.
Filtered water can be accessed via the spout lid and/or via the spigot spout, which is located on the back side of the ZeroWater jug.
The integrated spigot is, essentially, a small spring-loaded plug that lets you gain access to the filtered water inside the bottom reservoir of the jug. The top reservoir of the jug is designed to store unfiltered water while it gets filtered through the ZeroWater 5-stage filter cartridge.
The ZeroWater filter cartridge is pretty sizable, weighing 1.2 kg. It has a 10 meter diameter, measures 18cm tall and integrates a threaded top to allow it to be screwed in to the white plastic retainer, which acts as a divider between the top reservoir and the bottom reservoir. The threaded top integrates an o-ring rubber gasket to prevent water ingress from the top reservoir to the bottom reservoir.
Being a 5-stage filtration system, ZeroWater contains five different filters that are fitted in a tower block formation. The first stage of filtration consists of a coarse strainer designed to remove what is referred to as "suspended solids", which are, essentially, particles that are floating in the water. Most suspended solids settle at the bottom, including rust sediment, which typically settles on the bottom of water pipes. The rust sediment actually comes from water pipes rusting away since most water pipes are made of iron.
Rust sediment doesn't join the water stream until it gets disturbed, which is why sometimes the rust sediment can make its way into your water tap, giving your drinking water an orange or red tint that essentially makes the water brown. Drinking water can also appear white-looking; hence the term "white water", which is apparently caused by air bubbles in the water. The second stage of ZeroWater filtration is a foam filter designed to remove any other suspended solids that the first stage of filtration did not filter.
The third stage of ZeroWater filtration consists of multiple layers of activated carbon porous media, which is essentially, charcoal made to have micropores that will trap tiny harmful organic molecules. The third filter stage will remove any carbon-based materials/particles that are derived from animals or plants such as pesticides.
The third filter stage will also remove some inorganic chemicals in the water, thanks to integrating an oxidation filter that can remove hydrogen sulfide (egg odor), fluoride (up to 41%), chlorine (up to 95%), Cyanide (up to 31%), Nitrate (up to 74%), Nitrite (up to 81%) and Sulfide (up to 55%).
ZeroWater removes most inorganic materials in the fourth stage of filtration, which contains the largest filter media of ZeroWater. The fourth filter stage will remove non-harmful materials such as sand, salt and iron and toxic metals such as lead and arsenic, which are both naturally occurring in nature and not harmful unless they are mined or refined, causing unnatural levels.
A tragic example of where inorganic materials become harmful is via man-made water pipes made of toxic metals such as lead. Knowing how toxic of a metal lead is, it beggars belief why lead metal would be used to make pipes to supply drinking water.
The fourth stage of filtration contains two ion exchange resin filters, which remove a substantial number of inorganic metals, including Antimony (up to 97%), Arsenic +3 (up to 83%), Arsenic +5 (up to 93%), Asbestos (up to 97%), Barium (up to 98%), Beryllium (up to 97%), Cadmium (up to 99.9%), Chromium 3 (up to 81%), Chromium 6 (up to 99.9%), Copper (up to 99%), Cobalt (up to 99%), Iron (up to 98%), Lead (up to 97%), Manganese (up to 98%), Mercury (up to 96%), Selenium (up to 98%), Silver (up to 81%), Thallium (up to 99%), Uranium (up to 99%) and Zinc (up to 98%).
The last stage - the fifth stage - of ZeroWater contains a fine strainer filter designed mainly to hold the third stage filter in place but, it also has the additional job of removing smaller solid particles. As far as the flow rate, the ZeroWater filter takes time to filter the water so, you can only filter up to 9 liters a day.
The rated service life of the ZeroWater filter is 57 litres although, the lifespan will vary according to the amount of metals and chemicals added to your local area's water supply; hence you maybe able to get more than 57 litres out of the filter or, even get less than the rated service life. ZeroWater does recommend to replace the filter cartridge when the filtere water starts to smell or have a tangy taste, or when the water meter reads 006ppm (parts per million).
A laboratory-grade water quality meter is included to help you determine the quality of the water. The water meter features two metal prongs housed inside a plastic enclosure. The entire water meter is made of plastic and, it's powered via two LR44 button batteries, which come pre-installed from factory. The digital water meter is very simple to use. It has two buttons: a power button to power on and off the device and a HOLD button to lock the meter reading. You do not have to turn off and turn on the meter to reset it as it automatically resets itself when taken out of the water.
Depending on the quality (i.e. impurities) of your local water supply, the ZeroWater filter will have a longer or shorter lifespan. For example, take a tap water reading of 320ppm versus another tap water reading of 120ppm. The 120ppm water reading has less suspended solids, which include minerals (i.e. salts), metals (i.e. lead) and chemicals (i.e. fluoride).
ZeroWater removes up to 99.6% of suspended solids, turning tap water to purified bottled water. While purified water sounds like a good thing, it actually isn't. ZeroWater does admit that their filtration system does remove healthy minerals our bodies need, which we mostly get through drinking water. If you don't have a good diet and/or don't take supplements, drinking filtered water may actually do you more harm than good because demineralised water will actually make your body more acidic, creating the perfect environment for disease to thrive.
Something else, that is also, worth pointing is that ZeroWater is designed to be used with potable water, meaning safe to drink, drinkable water; hence you cannot use ZeroWater with just any water. It has to be safe to drink to begin with.
The ZeroWater dispenser comes with a 90-day limited warranty that covers the plastic jug against any manufacturing defects and, a 30-day limited warranty that covers the actual filter cartridge against any defects. There is no lifetime warranty provided by ZeroWater.

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