Lead is a common problem in drinking water all across the United States, as exemplified to a worrying extent in the case of the Flint water crisis. But even in places where tap water is deemed safe for consumption, like Denver or Portland, it still continues to be an issue because of the aged piping systems.
So, many people opt for filtering lead out from the drinking water supply. As the Environmental Protection Agency establishes that there is no safe level of lead in drinking water, the decision to filter it out is vital.
But is Brita, one of the most popular water filtration brands worldwide, a solution to the lead problem? Since Brita currently has 6 different filter options, the answer to this question depends on which filter you purchase.
In this article, we’ll tell you which Brita filters can and can’t remove lead from water. Then, we’ll recommend three Brita alternatives that are the most effective at dealing with lead.
Which Brita Filters Can Remove Lead and Which Can’t?
As we said, Brita has 6 different filter types on offer: bottle filters, stream filters, standard filters, faucet filters, Elite filters, and Longlast+ filters. If you’re looking for a filtration option for removing lead, only the last three of them (faucet, Elite, and Longlast+) are suitable for you:
- Bottle filters: These filters are featured in Brita bottles, and they can only remove or reduce aesthetic impurities like chlorine, taste, color, and odor since the only filtration technology they utilize is activated carbon. Since lead is not an aesthetic impurity but a health hazard, Brita bottle filters can’t remove lead.
- Stream filters: Employed in some low-end Brita water pitchers and dispensers, stream filters make use of activated carbon block technology to reduce the aesthetic impurities present in drinking water. Similar to bottle filters, activated carbon is the only filtration technology Brita stream filters employ. Therefore, they can’t remove lead.
- Standard filters: Many Brita water pitchers and dispensers come with a standard filter option. This particular Brita filter has a built-in mesh filter and ion exchange resin. Thanks to the combination of these two filtration techniques, it can prevent sediment and some heavy metals like copper and zinc from ending up in your drinking water cup. However, these technologies aren’t effective at removing lead.
- Faucet filters: Brita faucet systems all feature specially designed faucet filters that feature a non-woven filter media with a microscopic pore size in addition to a carbon block. Thanks to this media, they can trap and block contaminants associated with primary health concerns like lead, asbestos, and benzene.
- Elite filters: Brita’s Elite filters are an upgrade on the standard filters for water pitchers and dispensers. They feature pleated media and active filtering agents in addition to mesh media and ion exchange properties. As a result, they’re well-equipped to deal with lead.
- Longlast+ filters: The Longlast+ is a further upgrade on the Elite filters, but only because it lasts long. When it comes to contaminant removal, they are the same, which means that the Brita Longlast+ filters can eliminate lead from drinking water.
Lastly, lead is one of the contaminants that’s regulated by the EPA under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations as it’s a health hazard. The National Sanitation Foundation tests and certifies products that make health claims about such contaminants, namely the NSF/ANSI standard 53.
All faucet, Elite, and Longlast+ filters of Brita hold this particular certification, meaning that the numbers provided in the performance data sheets of these products are scientifically established by independent labs. So, you can rest assured that they can do what the manufacturer claims they do.
Best Brita Alternatives for Removing Lead From Drinking Water
Just because some Brita filters can remove lead doesn’t necessarily make them the best on the market. There are actually many water filtration units that do a better job of removing lead from water.
Below, we’ll acquaint you with the three best Brita alternatives so that you’ll make an easier and more well-informed choice when it’s time to shop.
Best Water Pitcher Alternative to Brita: The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is our absolute favorite simply because it’s, without a doubt, the best water pitcher on the market. Thanks to its utilization of a special filtration technique that blends a unique filter structure with a contaminant magnet, Affinity Filtration, it can effectively get rid of lead as well as an impressive number of other contaminants from water: 365+.
That staggering number isn’t only the manufacturer’s claim either, as the product has all the relevant NSF certifications (NSF Standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and 473), and its performance data sheet provided by an independent water testing lab attests to that claim.
The only problem we have with it is that it requires filter replacement once every 4 months (this number might change depending on the number of people living in your household and their individual drinking water needs). Considering the unit itself and the replacement filters cost $90 and $49.50, respectively, it might become a bigger investment in the long run.
However, in our experience, the efficiency and quality of the Clearly Filtered are worth its price.
Best Whole House Filtration System Alternative to Brita: SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System
Let’s say you don’t only want lead-free drinking water but lead-free water coming out of all of your faucets. In that case, we present to you the innovative lead removal system made by one of our favorite brands in the water treatment industry, SpringWell.
Thanks to its 0.5-micron nominal filtration technology, the SpringWell Lead & Cyst Removal System can remove 99.95% of all particulate and soluble lead from water.
Lead removal isn’t its only merit as it can deal with hazardous chemicals like PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS, pathogenic organisms like giardia cysts, and aesthetic impurities like chlorine just as well.
The one caveat is that the SpringWell system lacks NSF certifications, but the fact that it’s a very popular option with overwhelmingly positive reviews attests to its lead removal capabilities.
Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis System Alternative to Brita: AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water System
Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most effective methods of water filtration when it comes to removing lead, and you can’t find a more affordable and efficient RO system on the market than the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water System.
It can reduce 82 contaminants from water, including lead, and it holds all the relevant NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473.
In addition to a semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane, the AquaTru RO System features two sediment pre-filters and an activated carbon coconut shell. As a result, it’s also the ideal countertop filtration choice for those looking to eliminate aesthetic impurities and sediment from their water.
A Comparison Table of Brita Alternatives for Removing Lead
|Brita Alternatives||Contaminants removed||Filtration Technology||Product Type||NSF 53 Certification||Price|
|Clearly Filtered||365+ contaminants including lead||Affinity Filtration||Water Pitcher||Certified||$90.00|
|SpringWell Lead & Cyst Removal System||An unspecified number of contaminants, including lead||0-5-micron nominal filtration||Whole house filtration system||Not certified||$1,501.97|
|AquaTru RO System||82 contaminants including lead||Reverse osmosis||Countertop system||Certified||$449.00|
Brita has 6 different filter options, only 3 of which are capable of dealing with lead: their faucet filters, Elite filters, and Longlast+ filters. However, they’re not the best the market has to offer for removing lead from your drinking water.
If you’re looking for a water pitcher that can handle lead, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is the absolute best in its category, with 365+ other contaminants that it can remove or reduce thanks to its Affinity Filtration Technology.
The SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System, on the other hand, is one of the strongest whole house filtration systems if you want lead-free water coming out from all of your faucets.
Lastly, the AquaTru Countertop System is an ideal countertop filtration choice for those who want to drink the purest water possible.