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View Full Version : Brita's answer to a quality issue I had with their pitcher



DancesWithaTrout
06-01-2011, 01:25 PM
Ok, so here is an answer I got from Brita on an issue I was having with dark to black mold/algea I was having on a weekly basis with one of their pitchers/filters. I was going through many filters long before they should have been bad. Note: I had already been cleaning it on a weekly basis, already have been keeping it in the fridge...........the filters should have been lasting a cpl months or many gallons, they were not and I was wasting water and product. They sent this letter and a $5 coupon.

I found it to be a condinsending answer to a issue I am sure many are having if I am. When their commercials and ads comment on how pure their water is and good for your family, I find this to be a odd contrast to Pure water (in reallity it is just a filter and not a purifyer)

YES, I do know it is NOT a purifyer and only a filter...BUT... my kid drinks this water and has NO clue what algea or mold is yet....I am teaching him, but it only goes so far on a 6 year old.
YES, I keep it the fridge
Yes I have been changing filters before they are due

Their answer:

"March 24, 2011

Mr. Michael xxxxxx
xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx 116
Brooklyn, OH 44144-1962

Reference Number: xxx8580

Dear Mr. xxxxxx,


Thank you for contacting us.

We apologize for any inconvenience. If you are noticing green in the pitcher, it is most likely algae. As you know, algae is a microorganism that lives in water; both warmth and sunlight contribute to its growth. Public water systems can contain low levels of algae, especially in warmer climates and in hot weather. If the algae is not killed by the chlorine that your municipality adds to the water supply, it may still exist in your tap water.

To minimize the potential for algae growth we recommend storing your BRITA in the refrigerator, ready at any time to pour a cold, refreshing glass of BRITA water. If you really would prefer to keep your BRITA outside of the refrigerator, we recommend that you keep it in a cool area out of direct sunlight.

If you do experience algae growth in your BRITA water, we recommend the following:

1. Remove and discard the used filter.

2. Clean your system thoroughly using liquid dish detergent and water. A small amount of household bleach may also help with the cleaning. You may use a soaking solution of bleach that consists of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water; you may soak the BRITA pitcher, reservoir and lid in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes, followed by a thorough rinse. Do not mix the bleach with the dish detergent however, since hazardous gases could result. Use the bleach soak after washing and rinsing the system first.

3. Insert a new filter. In the future, be sure to replace the filter on a regular basis, every 40 gallons or 2 months, whichever comes first.

4. Use your BRITA as you normally do, but be sure to refill the unit every day or two. It is also a good idea to wash your pitcher thoroughly on a weekly basis. These steps will minimize the potential for algae to grow.

Additionally, please note that none of our systems are designed to remove micro-organisms from the water. If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to visit our website at www.brita.com, or call us at 1-800-24-BRITA.

Sincerely,

Kevin Anderson
Consumer Response Representative
Consumer Services"

GreyOne
06-01-2011, 06:35 PM
Standard response letter to an issue they obviously deal with frequently. CYA type information.

What other makers/ brands do you have as an alternative ?

DancesWithaTrout
06-01-2011, 06:49 PM
I just bought one of the Zero pitchers from Target, they claim in a letter that their plastic for the pitcher will not grow algea.... we will see.... they are about 1/3 more money and the filters are not cheap at all, we also added a PUR water filter to the kitchen faucet....Clevelands water is very heavy in minerals, metal and some poisons.... when you make ice from Cleveland Tap Water, it forms a lil hunk of crude and grime in the center that is grey and not white....

DancesWithaTrout
06-01-2011, 11:04 PM
Standard response letter to an issue they obviously deal with frequently. CYA type information.

What other makers/ brands do you have as an alternative ?

I am sure they do... I can take a lot of bad taste, but algea and mold I just despise.....

petrifiedwood
06-01-2011, 11:11 PM
I know this might sound ridiculous, but try something for me. Take a camera (even the one on your phone) and set it to record video. Put it in your fridge and shut the door. Open the door and take it out and play the video. This will tell you if the light switch is broken and the light in your fridge is staying on with the door closed. That could seriously contribute to algae growth in there.

DancesWithaTrout
06-01-2011, 11:13 PM
We have a window in our fridge... new fangled stainless steel fridge with gadgets that momma wanted ...... BUT... that is a cool idea...

petrifiedwood
06-01-2011, 11:28 PM
We have a window in our fridge... new fangled stainless steel fridge with gadgets that momma wanted ...... BUT... that is a cool idea...


Perhaps it's light getting in through the window. I'd give the filter a thorough cleaning with bleach, then either block the window, or cover the pitcher with something opaque and see if the algae reappears. I've never heard of algae growing in a fridge before so this fascinates me. (Though I know it must be terribly frustrating for you.) :o

Mattnu
06-01-2011, 11:33 PM
Consider cleaning your pitcher and filter with straight vinegar. Flushing the filter cartridge with vinegar thoroughly. I'd also suggest moving somewhere with better water, but that seems impractical.

ohski
06-01-2011, 11:36 PM
I used one of those for a few years and never had any issues... Too bad.

Ski

DancesWithaTrout
06-01-2011, 11:38 PM
Consider cleaning your pitcher and filter with straight vinegar. Flushing the filter cartridge with vinegar thoroughly. I'd also suggest moving somewhere with better water, but that seems impractical.


I actually washed the pitcher weekly with sea salt.... vinegar kind of defeats the purpose of the pitcher/filter. I do use vinegar on my coffee maker though with great results.

That is what gets me about all of this... their ads are very very misleading and their products are NOT the cheapest. THEY need to come up with a solution, not me.....either that or take their products off the market.

I am not using the brita anymore and switched to the ZERO from target and so far, no issues, even with the heat we have had the past few days.

I have learned a lot about filters Vs purifyers because of this whole thing.

Silverlion
06-02-2011, 12:06 AM
Thanks for the heads up. We have been using PUR filter pitcher for years and the wife was thinking about getting a Britta. I'll tell her to get another PUR.

Old Philosopher
06-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Ok, so here is an answer I got from Brita on an issue I was having with dark to black mold/algea I was having on a weekly basis with one of their pitchers/filters. ...
[B]Additionally, please note that none of our systems are designed to remove micro-organisms from the water. ...
Sincerely,

Kevin Anderson
Consumer Response Representative
Consumer Services" [/I]
This is sort of disturbing. So what DOES a Brita "remove"? It's not a purifier, we know that, but if "micro-organisms" are not filtered out, you might as well be drinking out of your toilet bowl.
As far as I know from researching filters, the Brita removes chlorine. What style pitcher do you have? I know some of the Britas filter water as the water is poured in, and others filter it as you pour it out. If the chlorine/chloramine is being filtered out of the water sitting in the pitcher, but algae spores are not, that might be a problem.
I'm still mystified by the CS rep's comment about not filtering out organisms.

petrifiedwood
06-02-2011, 12:23 AM
This is sort of disturbing. So what DOES a Brita "remove"? It's not a purifier, we know that, but if "micro-organisms" are not filtered out, you might as well be drinking out of your toilet bowl.
As far as I know from researching filters, the Brita removes chlorine. What style pitcher do you have? I know some of the Britas filter water as the water is poured in, and others filter it as you pour it out. If the chlorine/chloramine is being filtered out of the water sitting in the pitcher, but algae spores are not, that might be a problem.
I'm still mystified by the CS rep's comment about not filtering out organisms.


Might not be a bad idea to be on the lookout for legionnaire's disease too...

DancesWithaTrout
06-02-2011, 12:54 AM
O.P.: that is a very good observation... my pitcher filters as the water is poured in, filters chlorine and other water chemicals, heavy metals and some bad taste and really, that is about it.

Yeah I know... that whole we do not filter lil bad boys in the water disturbed me too and is why I posted it here.... it was really an eat shyte and die letter of we do not care. The $5 coupon was a slap in the face.

The Zero Water does filter some microbs as well as a bunch of other stuff.

Sealegs
06-02-2011, 05:38 AM
BRITA water, because a cup full of cryptosporidium is apparently considered clean.

64duracraft
06-02-2011, 06:11 AM
I'm curious as to how you're NOT going to grow algae with that window letting light in. Just relying on the cold? Wouldn't it just grow slower and slower as the temp approached freezing? Slow growing algae is still algae, no?

Marsh
06-02-2011, 08:41 AM
OH Great.. I JUST through out the PUR off my faucet and replaced it with Britta yesterday. ** sigh**

I just dug out the box to read the fine print..

" The Brita Faucet Filtration System is NOT intended to purify water. Do not use with water that is microbiologiacally unsafe or of unknown quality with out adequate disinfection before or after the system. Systems certified for cyst reduction may be used on disinfected waters that may contain filterable cysts. Individuals requiring water of special microbiological purity should follow the advice of their doctor or local health officials regarding the use and consumption of their tap water and Brita water."

We have well water out here and it always stinks in the spring time. Today the filtered water smells pretty clean. I hope I didnt make the wrong choice with Brita. I quit with PUR because of having to replace the unit on the faucet a few times. The unit would have breakage problems and they leak from that window that shows the red bar going across to show time to change filter. I'd get sprayed in the face.

DanceswithTrout...are you well water too?

Marsh.

petrifiedwood
06-02-2011, 09:20 AM
I think the way to go for clean water is to get a reverse osmosis filter and install it under your sink. Many sinks have a spare knockout plug for things like spray heads. The RO tap goes in this knockout and you will always have a ready supply of clean drinking and cooking water. I believe the RO actually does clean out microorganisms.

http://www.home-water-purifiers-and-filters.com/reverse-osmosis-filter.php


Reverse osmosis, also known as hyperfiltration, is the finest filtration available today. It is the most common treatment technology used by premium bottled water companies. It is effective in eliminating or substantially reducing a very wide array of contaminants, and of all technologies used to treat drinking water in residential applications, it has the greatest range of contaminant removal. Reverse osmosis will allow the removal of particles as small as individual ions. The pores in a reverse osmosis membrane are only approximately 0.0005 micron in size (bacteria are 0.2 to 1 micron & viruses are 0.02 to 0.4 microns).

Looks like some even come with a UV sterilizer so it's like having a built in steripen automatically used just to be sure.

wildernut
06-02-2011, 09:26 AM
I just looked a Brita's website. They don't claim their product removes biological contaminants so expecting it to do so is perhaps not reasonable.

Advanced Filtration
with Activated Carbon
and Ion Exchange Resin
Reduces Contaminants:
Copper
Mercury
Cadmium
Reduces Chlorine
(Taste and Odor)

Thats it.

Two Rivers
06-02-2011, 09:27 AM
I've been using Brita for many years. No issues.

PNWest
06-02-2011, 09:44 AM
Check the metal screen in your faucet. Uncouple and flush. You may have a chunk of crud reinfecting your water. We are on a well, I find all kinds of gobs and stones in all our screens.

Old Philosopher
06-02-2011, 10:57 AM
OH Great.. I JUST through out the PUR off my faucet and replaced it with Britta yesterday. ** sigh**

... I quit with PUR because of having to replace the unit on the faucet a few times. The unit would have breakage problems and they leak from that window that shows the red bar going across to show time to change filter. I'd get sprayed in the face.

Marsh.
I trashed a Brita faucet filter for the same reason. The plastic threads on the faucet attachment were such poor quality that the whole unit would get blasted off with the water pressure!
Thanks for the heads up about the Pur having the same issues.

forge1
06-02-2011, 11:09 AM
Sounds like you got the standard "bed bug" memo. Sorry to see but good to know....Ross

Dano
06-02-2011, 01:30 PM
Check the metal screen in your faucet. Uncouple and flush. You may have a chunk of crud reinfecting your water. We are on a well, I find all kinds of gobs and stones in all our screens.

Very good idea, as the screens harbor more growth than you think.

Another option would be to take a similar sized pitcher, no filter, with a similar amount of water, try to cover similarly to see if it grows whatever it is in your filtered unit.

Many meats and veges will give off substances that will grow in a fridge pretty quickly and the growth could be a result of that. Storing flowers in a fridge will create similar problems.

I'd try to duplicate it in another container first and go from there.

Dano
06-02-2011, 01:32 PM
Certain plastics will harbor growth that glass containers won't because of their porosity. Maybe add a glass container to the test too.....

werewolf won
06-02-2011, 02:02 PM
Excessive copper will also leave blue/green staining. High iron usually leaves rusty brown stains. Id start with a water test, and because municipalities get really funny when you question them about water quality, you will be better off getting the test done yourself. I use water for process, not drinking, and when I have a problem, (like odd PH, CO2, etc) it is up to me to solve.
Wolf

DancesWithaTrout
06-02-2011, 06:09 PM
I expect it to perform per their ads and TV commercials, NOT their web site.....

Not using the Brita for a cpl months now anyways and had switched to ZERO Water filter from target and getting way satisfactory results.

The window in the fridge is double filtered for UV, Gama and other lights... no issues with food or liquid storage with anything ever except the Brita filter. Tap water in plastic bottles do NOT create algea in our fridge.

Seriously, unless I have issues with the ZERO Water pitcher, I am not wasting time running tests that Brita should be doing themselves.

knochelbiter
06-02-2011, 09:02 PM
I expect it to perform per their ads and TV commercials, NOT their web site.....

Not using the Brita for a cpl months now anyways and had switched to ZERO Water filter from target and getting way satisfactory results.

The window in the fridge is double filtered for UV, Gama and other lights... no issues with food or liquid storage with anything ever except the Brita filter. Tap water in plastic bottles do NOT create algea in our fridge.

Seriously, unless I have issues with the ZERO Water pitcher, I am not wasting time running tests that Brita should be doing themselves.

You can hold them to that? Man, I have a letter to write to Ab-Sizer!

It makes sense to me that you are growing algae in your purified water and not your tap water, since chlorine is a powerful algae-stopper. Even so it will percolate out via oxygen and chloramines after a couple months, I had a similar algae problem with my hydroponic system in the apartment which was running on tap water.

If your fridge has a window admitting any light into the interior, my guess is that algae is going to grow in the water. If it starts to grow in the ZERO pitcher, you could always paint the clear exterior of the container a dark color, or apply a non-toxic decal to block the light.

rusty stove
06-02-2011, 09:16 PM
..Clevelands water is very heavy in minerals, metal and some poisons.... when you make ice from Cleveland Tap Water, it forms a lil hunk of crude and grime in the center that is grey and not white....

Ah good ol'e Cleveland water....do they get it straight out of the Cuyahoga river that caught fire:26:....side note- Great Lakes Brewery Burning River Ale is outstanding.:4:

The Cuyahoga River at one time was one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. The reach from Akron to Cleveland was devoid of fish. A Kent State University symposium, convened one year before the infamous 1969 fire, described one section of the river:


From 1,000 feet below Lower Harvard Bridge to Newburgh and South Shore Railroad Bridge, the channel becomes wider and deeper and the level is controlled by Lake Erie. Downstream of the railroad bridge to the harbor, the depth is held constant by dredging, and the width is maintained by piling along both banks. The surface is covered with the brown oily film observed upstream as far as the Southerly Plant effluent. In addition, large quantities of black heavy oil floating in slicks, sometimes several inches thick, are observed frequently. Debris and trash are commonly caught up in these slicks forming an unsightly floating mess. Anaerobic action is common as the dissolved oxygen is seldom above a fraction of a part per million. The discharge of cooling water increases the temperature by 10 to 15F. The velocity is negligible, and sludge accumulates on the bottom. Animal life does not exist. Only the algae Oscillatoria grows along the piers above the water line.
The color changes from gray-brown to rusty brown as the river proceeds downstream. Transparency is less than 0.5 feet in this reach. This entire reach is grossly polluted.

DancesWithaTrout
06-02-2011, 10:06 PM
LOL Rusty, I do rem that time when Mayor Perk was Mayor and the river caught fire over 25 times. even Mayor Perks hair caught on fire. I named my fly fishing shop after the river... Crooked River Fly Fishing.... no mention of the fire LOL

Hiwa
06-02-2011, 11:43 PM
DWT , I used to use the Brita for years. Here's my take on it, good or bad.

After you've ran quite a few gallons thru it , the nasty stuff gets trapped in the fliter charcoal element. The more water passed thru it , the more bad stuff trapped. This leads me to believe that basically the more you use that same filter ( even before it's expiry time) the more of your water has to pass through the crap in the filter , whereas the water coming from the tap...it's quality has basically remained unchanged. I actaully noticed poorer water taste at least from a partially used filter than straight from the tap. I blind-tested my family and they all went for the plain tap water ( I had it at the same temperature)

If you don't have major issues with your water coming out of the tap , I'd say save your money. Myself, I'm pretty sure something else will kill me other than drinking out of the tap.:44:

DancesWithaTrout
06-03-2011, 12:31 AM
There are major issues with heavy metals and chemicals......Clevelands water treatment system has failed the past 7 years for max allowed pollutants in sampled tap water... as well as algea and microbes.... mercury, lead and cadmium and even some water thrived virus, bacteria and even strains of strep and flu.

Our beach at lake erie (Edgewater Park Beach) was just signed with "E-Coli" present in the water......do not swim, that is less than 1/4 mile from the treatment plant.

You couldn't get me to drink straight tap water w/o it being treated in house to save someones life. I am just trying to find the most cost effective way to get drinking water. When we do dishes, we add a 1/2 cup of bleach. When we do laundry, we add a product made here in Cleveland called Aquacide..... we have an in-line filter on the shower and one on the bathroom sink faucet.....those get changed out every 2 months.

I will be able to move to the cabin in 3 years... until then, I have to fight this war of the water here. We have had our water tested there many times and is as fresh as a daisy.

Water is life... you can do w/o many things in your life, but water is the MAIN essential for existance.

We are currently looking at a main in line reverse osmoses system with a UV back up secondary system... expensive, but you do not even have to think twice on the quality of your water. Also looking at an instant on hot water system also with a UV system.

Crazy that we even have to think of doing all this just to get clean water, but it really has come to that with the Cleveland City budget being blown to craps with all kinds of un-needed stuff.

Hiwa
06-03-2011, 02:10 AM
Wow , your water does sound bad.:26:

Yeah , you better filter it. Lake Erie....no wonder.

Go for the reverse osmosis system. My folks have that for years. Only for drinking water though ( produces about 10L/day) Maybe there are systems with higher output.

DancesWithaTrout
06-03-2011, 04:07 AM
Yes, there are full flow, up to 26lb pressure 4 gallon a minute systems that go under the sink. We are meeting one of the sales engineers on weds.