What Does the Brita Water Filter Remove From Water?

water in a glass image by weim from Fotolia.com

Brita is the manufacturer of several styles of water filtration systems. They range from a simple pitcher with a built-in filter to models that are semi-permanently attached to water lines. All of the Brita filters use a two-stage filtration process.

Water first passes through a screen that traps large, solid particles like rust and sand, and then it passes through an activated charcoal filter that removes chemicals.


Municipal water services add chlorine to the water supply to protect the water as it flows through miles of pipes to reach your home. Once it arrives at your tap, it is no longer necessary. Though low levels of chlorine are thought to be harmless, many people find the taste to be unpleasant. This makes chlorine removal one of the strongest selling features of home water filters, including Brita brand filters.

Heavy Metals

Drinking supplies often contain traces of heavy metals. The most common are lead, mercury, cadmium and copper. Lead and mercury have both been linked to several serious health conditions. Municipal water supplies are tested, and though they may not be completely free of metals, they should be safe. For people using well water, heavy metal concentrations can be high depending on the area. Well water users should have their water tested annually to ensure its quality.The Brita two-stage filtration process will reduce the levels of these contaminants but will not totally remove them.


Organic contaminants include several varieties of pesticides that enter drinking water supplies in the form of runoff from farming operations. Municipal water supplies filter out most of this contamination but people who depend on well water are susceptible to this, especially if they live near agricultural areas. Two of the most common chemicals that a Brita filter will reduce are lindane and atrazine.

Solid Particles

Though not necessarily harmful to your health, particles such as sand and rust can make the water unpleasant in terms of both taste and texture. Brita filters do an excellent job of removing this type of containment. These particles are common in both municipal water supplies and rural well water. If your water has a heavy concentration of solid particles, you will need to change the Brita filter more often than the recommended interval.