Reviewed by David Savage
Water is an amazing thing – we need it to drink to survive, for washing ourselves and clothes, watering our gardens, flushing our toilets and a variety of other uses. It’s all around us, and yet it is a precious resource that can be in short supply.
Around the UK, different water companies charge a dazzling difference in prices for treating and supplying water (i.e. in West Yorkshire we pay around £18 per month while in Manchester we pay around £51 per month – a massive difference). Water is a BIG business, which for the most part most of take for granted, except when it goes wrong!
Southern Water have just to pay out record £126m for shocking failures in their sewage treatment plants. This consists of a £3 million fine from the Environmental Agency plus hefty compensation of £123m to all of Southern Waters 4.2m customers – this equates to £61 per customer off their water bill! Southern Water repeatedly manipulated their tests on wastewater, meaning the standard of water we expect was far from perfect.
Following that announcement, ZeroWater are offering a water filter starter kit bundle to all affected Southern Water customers, making it £61 instead of £74.98 (which makes it effectively free to Southern Water customers, although you do have to pay the cost yourself upfront and then over the next few years you get a discount on your water bill, totalling the £61). It claims to remove 99.6% of all dissolved solids in tap water, the equivalent to purified bottled water.
The ZeroWater filtration system combines FIVE sophisticated patented technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, delivering great tasting water. These are the only pour-through filters on the market certified by the NSF to reduce lead and Chromium. ZeroWater filtration also reduces Fluoride from your water and other unwanted contaminants such as asbestos, plastics, pesticides, oestrogen, mercury and lead to name a few.
I was sent their 7 Cup / 1.7l Water Filter Jug to review. It comes with the ready-pour jug, one Ion Exchange water filter and a TDS meter.
Once unpacking the box, there is some quick assembly needed, the water filter needs to be screwed on the water reservoir. It is now ready for use. You fill the water reservoir at the top of the jug with cold tap water and let it filter the water into the jug, when the reservoir is empty you can refill until the jug is full. You should now have filtered water that is the equivalent of purified bottled water.
OK, sounds simple – but how do you know if what is being said is true? For all you know the water going in could be the same as what comes out. ZeroWater supply a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) Water Quality Meter with the jug. Once the water has passed through the five filters, pour some water into a glass a test it with the supplied tester, if filtered properly in should have a 000 reading.
“ZeroWater’s first layer of filtration, activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy removes the chlorine taste you are accustomed to with tap water. The Ion Exchange stage removes virtually all dissolved solids that may be left over from public water systems or even leached into your water from piping such as Aluminium, Lead, Zinc, Nitrate and many more. Three additional stages are included to remove and other contaminants to ensure tap water receives the appropriate amount of treatment time to deliver a “000” reading on the included laboratory-grade Total Dissolved Solids meter.”
Before starting, I poured myself a glass of tap water and tested it with the TDS meter (all you do is place it in the water). It has a digital display and my reading was 077ppm (051-200 is Typical Range and most water in the UK falls into this range). After pouring another glass of water from the jug after filtration, my readout was 000 – it had worked!
Now for the important bit – how does it taste? It tastes great! A glass of water from my tap had a slight chlorine taste, after filtration the chlorine taste had completely gone and really did taste like bottled water.
It also claims to be able to filter wine into water (not water into wine!). I don’t drink so couldn’t try this, so I improvised. I used some diluted blackcurrant juice which filtered into clear water with a reading on the TDS meter of 002 – which is still within bottled water range and tasted just as good as the previous filtered water. Excited that this actually worked I wanted to try something else, I went for cold coffee – this did not work as well! After filtering, the water was still brown and the TDS meter tested 011 (which a lot better than the unfiltered tap water). A couple more runs of tap water to clean out the filter, and all was back to normal, testing at 000 after filtering.
Storage of the jug is easy as it is designed to fit in most UK fridge doors. The filter will give approx. 95 to 150 litres of water before it needs replacing. A new filter costs £19.99 or you can buy them for the equivalent of £11.24 each of you purchase a multipack.
I am very impressed with the ZeroWater system. Using tap water, after a few minutes of filtering the water is crystal clear, completely filtered and tastes great.
If you are a Southern Water customer that I would recommend taking up the offer, you can be satisfied that your water will be safe after filtering.
So whether you had an issue with your water or just want purer water without the expense of buying bottle water I can highly recommend ZeroWater.
RRP: £24.99 (7 Cup / 1.7l Jug with filter and TDS Meter)
For more information or to buy visit zerowater.co.uk.