Sometimes you actually can find decent products that work as advertised.
I admit to being very skeptical about how well the Brita filtration system products would work, and probably never would have tried one at all if not for seeing fairly positive comments about them over on another site I frequent. Kudos to Brita and to the folks that talked up the product though as it does work as advertised, at least for my needs.
Where I live one of the few benefits we have is a "no water bill" inclusion of water costs in our monthly payments to our landlord. The water we get is potable and has been repeatedly tested (so we're told) to verify the safe consumption of the water we are provided. Unfortunately the same water is typically rust tinged and has a definite mineral taste to it. Almost as bad, if not worse, is that the water we get is also laden with limescale and other minerals that leave floating scum on the surface of the water if you cook with it or boil it for use for tea or hot cocoa.
Knowing these problems, my family has long been consumers of spring water or other bottled water. Yes, we know that in most cases bottled water is typically filtered water that comes municipal water supplies. With a nod to the bottled water suppliers, they normally do a reasonable job of providing their products at a fair price. Yet, at the same time, if someone adds up the costs of bottled water supplies, the costs are not incidental.
Hence the desire to at least give the Brita pitcher a try. We've tried whole house filter systems in the past and sadly our water supply is relatively low on the pressure side. When we used whole house filters we had virtually no pressure in the line and barely got a trickle of water for showering with. There's also the hassle of having to swap out the filters for the system on a regular basis, a decent proportion of the time during the winter months when dealing with the water line means getting your hands good and cold (as well as wet). Suffice it to say we gave up on the idea of the whole house filter fairly early on.
The Brita pitcher solves most of the problem by not having to install a filter on the water line or at the water faucet. Yes, Brita makes faucet filters, but I expected the same problem with the water pressure if I put one on the faucet, so going with the pitcher system means simply filling the reservoir tank on the pitcher and then letting the water slowly filter through to the pitcher's holding area.
There's still a cost associated with the system, since you have to buy replacement filters approximately every two months, but you can fairly quickly create your own clean, clear, odor free and mineral scum free water as you go. While my wife would still prefer to buy herself spring water, I'm now happy that I can filter a pitcher of water for drinking and for using for my cooking needs (including tea and hot cocoa). Big thumbs up to the Brita pitcher, a gadget that works as advertised.