I totally keep meaning to post on this since filtration is what I do for a living lol... I study and develop filtration products (mostly for Industrial Air) - but the principles are equal for water.
So here is a totally awesome and super simple trick to make any Britta jug type thing work about
Just fill the section where you normally add water before it goes through the Britta Filter with activated carbon. You can literally but the stuff at Pet Smart: www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754013
IMPORTANT: Make sure it's activated Carbon - not charcoal. The difference is in the porosity and process etc. SO again, make sure it's "Activated Carbon" It's super cheap.
Really I pay $1.42 per POUND.. but I buy it in 1,000 lb containers for filtration. So you can see how ridiculously overpriced these Britta and other water filters are, as this is exactly all that is in them.
What's important here is two things that you are accomplishing by doing this:
The activated Carbon removes compounds through surface contact and absorption basically. So the longer the "water" is exposed to it the more chemicals that are absorbed so this is all a function of time. Filling the the whole top part significantly increases the time and amount of surface contact the water has with the carbon... Also the water will balance - so when the jug is full there is always an amount of water sitting in the carbon itself. So this is even better. More time.
Surface area - Just filling the top part increases the overall absorbent filter surface area - In the case of a typical Britta jug, filling the top part is the same as having about 10+ Britta
filters in the same jug!
It's to simple and to funny. The only thing is it makes the jug a little heavier - but heck.. Clean water is a good thing. And a little extra exercise never hurts.
The easy way why it works:
Think of carbon like Velcro - The Carbon is the "sticky or firm" side and the Organic Compounds (Chemicals and Bacteria/Viruses etc) are the "Fluffy" side. Whenever they touch, they adhere trapping the bad stuff in the carbon pores at a microscopic level.
You can also add things like zeolite, and some other stuff to make the water more Alkaline, but this stuff can be a little harder to find. Maybe I'll source out some cheap suppliers as it;s commonly used for other things.
Finally, remember to change the Activated Carbon in the top of the jug monthly and clean and wash it to disinfect etc. So throw the jug in your dishwasher or put some water in the bottom and chuck it in your microwave for say 3 minutes.
Oh yeah - Pour the NEW carbon in a bowl first and fill it with water. Let it soak for say 5 minutes (it will bubble). This is releasing the gasses etc. Then pour it through a strainer and rinse well. Then add it to you Britta maker.
It's all super easy to do once you do it the first time - The pre-filled plastic filters we buy make this easy and less work/messy - but the down side is the small amount of carbon combined with the overprice and less effectiveness on removal of chemicals.
EDIT: This will totally remove any chlorine smell or taste...
EDIT 1: - You probably need 2 bags of the pet-smart stuff to fill it - even so 8 bucks for 10+ extra Britta filters in the same jug is pretty darn cost effective
Post Edited (Canada Mark) : 10/26/2013 10:38:53 AM (GMT-6)