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Best water filter pitchers to buy this year – CNET

A filtered pitcher is a quick and simple way to improve the taste and quality of your drinking water. They’re simple to use: just pour tap water into the pitcher and stick it in the fridge while the water passes through the filter and into the main reservoir. Some pitchers take several minutes to filter…

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A filtered pitcher is a quick and simple way to improve the taste and quality of your drinking water. They’re simple to use: just pour tap water into the pitcher and stick it in the fridge while the water passes through the filter and into the main reservoir. Some pitchers take several minutes to filter water, while others only take about 30 seconds.Regardless, the best water filter pitcher will help remove some of the impurities in your regular tap water in relatively short order. I tested out seven top-rated pitchers, with prices ranging from $17 to $75. Each one has slightly different specs, but they all promise one thing: to make your drinking water better. Curious about the winner? Spoiler: It isn’t Brita. 

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The $35 ZeroWater ZP-010 is by far the best filtered water pitcher of the bunch. It’s affordable, sturdy and it has a large 10-cup pitcher capacity and a water spigot, in addition to the standard pour spout. Your purchase comes with a two-pack of replacement filters and a total dissolved solids (TDS) water quality tester (I used a different TDS meter in my performance testing; I’ll talk more about the test methodology in a bit).The ZP-010 removed the most TDS out of all seven pitchers (a whopping 93%), making it our top performer by far. A two-pack of replacement filters costs $30 and each one is supposed to last for up to 40 gallons. Brita and Pur, on the other hand, sell each of their filters for just $7 — and claim to have the same 40-gallon filter life. That said, the ZP-010 was much more effective at removing TDS and the filter itself is much larger than any of the others I tested. 

Megan Wollerton/CNET

At $17, the Pur PPT700W Basic is the most affordable of the seven pitchers, making it the best budget option — and a solid filtered water pitcher overall. With a smaller 7-cup water capacity and slimmer dimensions, the PPT700W Basic is also a good choice if you have limited fridge space. It comes with one filter, which is supposed to last for up to two months — or 40 gallons of water. Replacement filters cost $7 each. It didn’t perform as well as the ZeroWater model, but it still removed almost 15% of the TDS in my tap water. 

Megan Wollerton/CNET

I’ll talk a bit more about alkaline water in my test section below, but in short, pH readings (measurements of how acidic or basic your water is) range from 0 to 14; 7 is a neutral reading. Despite conflicting research on the topic, some people attribute health benefits to more basic (or alkaline) water. As a result, select companies make water pitchers with filters that actually add nutrients as your tap water passes through. The $70 Seychelle pH20 pitcher I tested took my tap water from an already basic reading of 8.39 to 10.1, the largest increase out of the three alkaline pitchers in my test group. This pitcher uses two filters at a time, but they are supposed to last for up to 200 gallons. A two-pack of replacement filters costs $50. 

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Another alkaline water filter pitcher, the $53 Invigorated Water pH Vitality, also did a good job, increasing the pH of my tap water from 8.61 to 9.36. It’s also the only nonplastic model I tested out of the seven pitchers. The Invigorated Water pitcher is made of stainless steel and wood and has an 8-cup capacity. It isn’t a good option if you aren’t interested in alkaline water, but its attractive design and lack of plastic are definite points in its favor. Also, instead of a standard filter, this pitcher has a unique filter pouch comprised of tiny balls designed to remove impurities while increasing the pH and adding minerals.One filter pouch costs $18 and is supposed to last for up to 105 gallons. 

Pitcher talk   To get started, here’s a list of the pitchers I tested: Brita 0B58Brita 0B56Clearly FilteredInvigorated Water pH VitalityPur PPT700WSeychelle pH20ZeroWater ZP-010And here’s a more detailed overview of each model and its key specs: The specs

Brita 0B58

Brita 0B56

Clearly Filtered

Invigorated Water pH Vitality

Pur PPT700W

Seychelle pH20

ZeroWater ZP-010

Price

$30

$35

$75

$53

$17

$70

$35

Estimated filter life (in gallons)

120

40

100

105

40

200

40

Replacement filter price

$17

$7

$50

$18

$7

$50 (two pack)

$30 (two pack)

Color

White

Red

White

Stainless steel

White and blue

White and blue

Blue

Capacity (in cups)

10

10

10

8

7

8

10

Dimensions (H x W x D)

10.22 x 10.29 x 5.82

9.65 x 9.65 x 4.57

10.25 x 11.25 x 5

11.73 x 6.1 x 4.8

11.3 x 10.9 x 4.8

10.25 x 11.5 x 5.5

11 x 11.63 x 5.93

Weight (in pounds)

1.86

1.39

2.48

1.19

1.68

1.52

2.59

One key thing to consider from this chart is the estimated life of each pitcher filter versus its cost. The Brita 0B56, the Pur PPT700W and the ZeroWater ZP-010 all have a lower estimated filter life of up to 40 gallons. While the Brita and Pur models cost just $7 each, the ZeroWater filters cost $15 each (but are sold in a $30 two-pack).  Can you spot the ZeroWater filter? It’s the one on the far right. 
Megan Wollerton/CNET
But as you can see in the picture above, the ZeroWater filter on the far right is massive compared to the others. Of course, that doesn’t automatically translate to better performance, but in this case — the ZeroWater filter did massively outperform the others. ZeroWater also claims its has a five-stage filter that’s supposed to be better at removing particles while preventing mold from growing with use.  (Keep in mind that filter life will vary based on the quality of your tap water and, essentially, how much your filter has to “work” to remove impurities.)  How we test To test these water filter pitchers, I washed each one with mild soap and water — and followed the individual manufacturer instructions for soaking, rinsing or otherwise prepping each filter for use. Then I filled a marked mason jar glass with 16 ounces of tap water and used an Orapxi water quality tester to measure and note the pH and the TDS present.  While the results of my tap water varied slightly each time I filled a fresh glass with 16 ounces, the pH of my tap water always read between 8.15 and 8.61 and the TDS always read between 149 and 161 ppm, or parts per million. (Read more about TDS, or total dissolved solids, here and here.)  Then I poured all 16 ounces into a water filter pitcher, waited for it to filter all the water, poured it into a new glass and took the readings again. For the nonalkaline pitchers, you should expect to see a drop in both the pH and in the TDS readings, as impurities and other minerals are removed from the water. I repeated these steps a total of three times on each of the seven pitchers.  I used this Oraxpi water quality tester to measure pH and TDS.
Megan Wollerton/CNET
The three alkaline water filter pitchers I tested — the Clearly Filtered, Invigorated Water pH Vitality and Seychelle pH20 — actually saw an increase in both the pH and the TDS, since they’re designed to add minerals to your water.  TDS meters are not sophisticated enough to decipher which impurities, nutrients and other minerals each filter manages to remove (or add, in the case of the alkaline pitchers). For that reason, measuring TDS alone as an indicator of water quality has some limitations. But, in general, for a standard filtered water pitcher, we want to see a decrease in the TDS reading. Examples of the most common total dissolved solids include “calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, sulfate, chloride, nitrate, and silica,” according to the US Geological Survey. Here’s a table of my test results. The data represents an average of three test runs for each filter pitcher.  Test results

pH (% change; negative reflects a decrease in pH)

TDS (% change; negative reflects a decrease in TDS)

Brita 0B58

-25.21

-26.62

Brita 0B56

-8.34

-3.125

Clearly Filtered

15.32

118.87

Invigorated Water pH Vitality

8.71

81.21

Pur PPT700W

-13.26

-14.91

Seychelle pH20

20.38

57.42

ZeroWater ZP-010

-9.71

-93.08

The ZeroWater ZP-010 managed to reduce the total dissolved solids in my tap water by a staggering 93%, from an average initial TDS reading of 159 ppm to just 11 ppm. The Brita 0B58 Lake pitcher came in second place with over 26% reduction in TDS. As you’d expect, the Clearly Filtered, Invigorated Water pH Vitality and Seychelle pH20 all saw an increase in pH and in TDS.  Read more: Best shower head of 2020  Taste was a bit trickier to measure, but every pitcher did help reduce the slight metallic taste of my tap water. Unsurprisingly, the ZeroWater model tasted the best to me, with no metallic taste or scent.  Overall, the ZeroWater ZP-010 made my job pretty easy here — it completely dominated in terms of removing TDS and also happened to have the sturdiest design with the bonus addition of a water spigot. But there are other good options here — the Pur PPT700W is a great budget pitcher that also saves space with its slimmer design; the Seychelle pH20 is the best pitcher if you want alkaline water — and the Invigorated Water pH Vitality is a solid option if you want to avoid plastic (and want alkaline water).  One major takeaway for me was just how widely filtered water pitchers can vary, both in terms of performance — and even in terms of their key their function, as in the case of the alkaline pitchers. As long as you identify your needs before you buy, you’re bound to find the right filtered water pitcher for you.Read more: Best air purifiers for 2020

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VA failing to track health issues for LGBT vets: report

Veterans Affairs physicians may be missing significant medical issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans because they do not have any standard approach to tracking them, according to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office this week. Researchers warned the problem could become even more pronounced in coming years as the number…

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Veterans Affairs physicians may be missing significant medical issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans because they do not have any standard approach to tracking them, according to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office this week. Researchers warned the problem could become even more pronounced in coming years as the number of LGBT veterans within the massive federal health care system grows. Nine years ago in September, Defense Department officials formally did away with the final remnants of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy which barred gay troops from publicly revealing their sexual orientation. Since then, VA has instituted several new programs designed to look at health issues specific to that population, including the LGBT Health Program launched in 2012 to help recommend new policies and procedures specific to gaps in VA services. However, GAO researchers noted that those efforts are limited “because (VA) does not consistently collect sexual orientation and self-identified gender identity data.” Unlike patient data like sex and race, there is no specific field for those identifiers. The information is often included informally in physicians’ notes, making tracking of trends and challenges across the VA population impossible. “With inconsistent data and limited information on health outcomes, (health officials) may not be able to fully identify and address any health disparities faced by LGBT veterans, or provide them clinically appropriate, comprehensive care,” the GAO report states. VA researchers have already seen indications that LGBT veterans may face “significant disparities in depression and suicide ideations” compared to the rest of the veteran population. However, they lamented that finding clear results and solutions cannot happen without better tracking data. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. In a statement to GAO, VA acting Chief of Staff Brooks Tucker said officials are working on improvements in collecting the data as part of their multi-year overhaul of VA’s electronic medical records system. “The Veterans Health Administration agrees with the importance of collecting data on sexual orientation in order to better understand the unique health care needs of all veterans, especially veterans with lesbian, gay, bisexual and related identities,” he wrote. However, solutions to the tracking are at least one year away, according to timelines released by the department. GAO officials called that problematic. “Until VHA is able to consistently collect and analyze data on sexual orientation and gender identity, it will be unable to ascertain fully the health care needs of LGBT veterans,” the report states. “This, in turn, could negatively affect health outcomes.” The full report is available on the GAO web site.

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Judge permits former Army colonel’s sex assault case against Joint Chiefs No. 2

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted a former top aide during a Southern California trip. Air Force Gen. John Hyten has denied the allegations brought by former Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser that he attacked her…

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LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted a former top aide during a Southern California trip. Air Force Gen. John Hyten has denied the allegations brought by former Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser that he attacked her during a December 2017 trip to attend the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles. At the time, Hyten commanded the United States Strategic Command, known at STRATCOM. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault. But Spletstoser has allowed her name to be used. Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in Los Angeles rejected defense motions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction or to move the case to Nebraska, where STRATCOM is based. A phone call and email seeking comment from Hyten or his lawyers were not immediately returned. However Hyten, who was confirmed last September as the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer, flatly denied Spletstoser’s claims during his confirmation hearing. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. The case against Gen. John Hyten Gen. John Hyten, nominated to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), sexually assaulted me multiple times between January and December, 2017. Spletstoser served in the Army for 28 years and carried out four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her assault and sexual battery lawsuit alleged that while staying at a hotel during the Simi Valley trip, Hyten grabbed her, kissed her, fondled her buttocks and rubbed himself against her. The lawsuit was amended from an original complaint that alleged Hyten sexually assaulted her at least nine times in 2017, including during trips to California, London, South Korea and elsewhere and that he retaliated against for refusing his advances by harming her career and eventually forcing her retirement. Spletstoser reported the allegations after Hyten’s nomination. She told the AP last year that she decided she couldn’t live with the idea that Hyten might assault someone else if he was confirmed for the job. The Air Force investigated the woman’s allegations and found there was insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend any administrative punishment.

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Medium rare: EU rules no-meat products can be labelled ‘burger’

European politicians on Friday rejected a proposal back by the meat industry to ban meat terms on non-meat products.Plant-based products that do not contain meat can continue to be labelled “sausages” or “burgers,” European politicians said on Friday, when they rejected a proposal backed by the meat industry to ban the terms. In votes on…

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European politicians on Friday rejected a proposal back by the meat industry to ban meat terms on non-meat products.Plant-based products that do not contain meat can continue to be labelled “sausages” or “burgers,” European politicians said on Friday, when they rejected a proposal backed by the meat industry to ban the terms.
In votes on issues relating to agricultural products, the European Parliament said that so-called veggie burgers, soy steaks and vegan sausages can continue to be sold as such in restaurants and shops across the union.
Europe’s largest farmers’ association, Copa-Cogeca, had supported a ban, arguing that labelling vegetarian substitutes with designations bringing meat to mind was misleading for consumers.
On the opposite side of the debate, a group of 13 organisations including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund urged lawmakers to reject the proposed amendments, arguing that a ban would have not only exposed the EU “to ridicule,” but also damaged its environmental credibility.
They said promoting a shift towards more plant-based diets is in line with the EU Commission’s ambition to tackle global warming. Losing the ability to use the terms steak or sausage might make those plant-based products more obscure for consumers.
After the vote, the European Consumer Organisation, an umbrella group bringing together consumers’ associations, praised the MEPs for their “common sense”.
“Consumers are in no way confused by a soy steak or chickpea-based sausage, so long as it is clearly labelled as vegetarian or vegan,” the group said in a statement. “Terms such as ‘burger’ or ‘steak’ on plant-based items simply make it much easier for consumers to know how to integrate these products within a meal.”
Together with Greenpeace, the group regretted that politicians accepted further restrictions on the naming of alternative products containing no dairy. Terms like “almond milk” and “soy yoghurt” are already banned in Europe after the bloc’s top court ruled in 2017 that purely plant-based products cannot be marketed using terms such as milk, butter or cheese, which are reserved for animal products.

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