Update by user Jul 04, 2013
I don't understand why this system posts punctuation marks where I did not put them. When you see a question mark, an exclamation mark, a colon, an apostrophe, or other mark followed by a period, it was the period I used, not the other.
Original review posted by user Jul 04, 2013
I've been using the Zero Water Pitcher to filter drinking water and ice cubes for my household for 2-3 years. The TDS reading of the municipal water in Topeka can fluctuate between 180 - 285 using the TDS meter supplied by Zero Water with the pitcher. The measured TDS always drops to 0 after installing a new filter and running 2 - 3 pitchers of water through it. Used just for drinking water, the filters usually last two to three months. The filter works by straining the water through membranes, activated charcoal, and chemically active resin compounds that get the contaminants to stick to the resin. Eventually, those resins get exhausted and the filter needs to be replaced. Zero Water recommends this should be done when the TDS Meter reads 006. If you don't change your filter, the water will begin to taste different and there may be an odor there. My filters last between 2-3 months; like I said, the TDS in the tap water here varies. When it's higher, the filter has to be changed more frequently. The Zero Water filter does not remove fluoride; very few filters do. Within the last year or so the company began using a different style plastic case on the filters. This new style seems more susceptible to the "failure to burp" syndrome, and also sees to "burp" fine particles of activated charcoal back into the tap water reservoir. I read a suggestion that said to pour the water directly onto the center of the opening at the top. I haven't had any problems when I remember to do that. As for the bits of charcoal, lift the front end of the empty reservoir when you fill your refrigerator water bottle, then rinse the reservoir out. Any charcoal that passes through the filter will be strained out. Having said that, the filters are, in my estimation, overpriced. I'm switching to a counter top 10-stage filter that's rated to remove more stuff than the Zero Water. It will be interesting to see what the Zero Water TDS Meter reads when testing the water that filter produces.