Pittsburgh Dirty Brown Lead Water ProblemEven if you don’t live in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods having lead problems, we recommend filtering your water. Just look at this filter comparison. The filter on the left is a new filter, on the right is a filter that was used for 30 days. Even if the lead levels are low in your area, without a good water filter you are drinking disgusting and possibly contaminated water.

It was just a few months ago when half of Pittsburgh was on a water boil advisory. About 100,000 residents were advised not to use their tap water without boiling it! This warning was in effect for a few days, but the big scare was the fact that there was a potential issue with the water before they discovered the low chlorine.

A few weeks later, some parts of the city had their water shut off without notice for hours, only to turn it back on to pipes full of disgusting brown liquid. (see pic below)

Do water filters work?

A water filter won’t eliminate 100% of the undesirable elements from your H2O, but as you can see from the photos, it will catch a lot of bad stuff. Would you lick the filter on the right? Probably not, but if you just drank unfiltered tap water at home or a restaurant, you did a lot more than just lick it!

Which filter to get?

We have been testing a few filters at Boring Pittsburgh, but the one shown in the pics allowed us to actually see the difference before and after, so it was used for this post. Find it here if you’re interested. The standard Pur or Brita pitchers you can find at Target are usually not powerful enough to make a big difference. If you’re serious about clean water, you’ll want to get a 3-stage system that hooks up to your sink, or at least something that reduces lead, asbestos, and cadmium impurities. If you want to go all out, you can get a 5-stage reverse osmosis system like this. While you’re at it, you might also want to get a shower filter so that you’re not bathing in chlorine every morning.

This post isn’t meant to be a filter review,  we’re just giving our readers something to consider. There’s a lot to learn about quality filters and finding the most effective solution for the cleanest drinking water. If you have insights as to a good filter, please add it in the comments for others to see.

Other side of the filter test

Brown water from the random shutoff