By Sheila Anthony
Thinking of adding a layer of security to your tap water by putting in a reverse osmosis under-sink filtration system? Good luck if you rent. Few landlords will agree to the drilling of holes in pipes and kitchen countertops. Unless it already exists, a built-in filtration system is pretty much a non-starter unless you have a particularly good relationship with the person you send your monthly check to.
But renting should never keep you from accessing purified water. We’ll take a look at 3 solutions for regularly enjoying contaminant-free filtered water that don’t require a water-line hookup.
Water Filter Pitchers
Sometimes the simplest solution is the obvious one. Water filter pitchers are easy to buy and can be found both in-store and online. They take up virtually no space, and their filter is a breeze to change. Some even include a built-in electronic indicator that reminds you when it’s time to replace it. Pitchers are also portable, so they can be easily transferred to the dinner table or out into the backyard. Keep in mind, however, the pitcher should be BPA-free otherwise it defeats the purpose of filtered water.
As far as filtration goes, water filter pitchers typically have granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. These are great for significantly reducing chlorine, as well as filtering out larger suspended solids, like rust flakes or sediment.
Water filter pitchers seem best suited for solo living situations, for people who don’t necessarily need purified water on-demand, and for people on a budget. The pitcher solution may not be the best, however, for large families or multiple-roommate households. Also, pitchers only dispense room temperature or cold water, which may be perfectly fine, but if you like hot filtered water on-demand, you’re out of luck unless you boil the water first.
Water Bottle and Crock Combo
You’ll definitely get more water on-demand with a crock topped by a 3- or 5-gallon bottle, which is great for larger households. Ceramic crocks are also easy to maintain (they’re dishwater safe!), they come in fun colors and treatments, and they’re surprisingly versatile. For instance, they double as a convenient punch bowl in a pinch. They can be taken off their stands and relocated to the edge of a dinner table or picnic table. And they come with easy-to-use, drip-proof dispense spouts.
With a crock, however, you will need to purchase bottles filled with reliably prefiltered water, and you’ll need to be able to get them into the crock, which requires heavy lifting and the risk of a spill. And with a crock, you’ll only be able to dispense room temperature water.
But the crock-water-bottle-combo doesn’t require much space and it can be placed anywhere, so it may be the perfect solution.
Freestanding Coolers with Built-in Filtration
If what you’re looking for is filtered water on-demand and temperature dispensing options, then a freestanding cooler with built-in filtration may be just the ticket. You’ll need an available outlet and the space, but that’s about it.
The Brio No-Line Water Cooler includes thorough 2-stage filtration that reduces most major contaminants, including lead and PFAS. Each filter’s lifespan is typically 3 to 6 months, depending on your home’s water quality, and they’re easy to replace. The cooler also offers 3 dispensing temperatures (hot, room, and cold) on-demand—an absolute lifesaver if need a quick cold drink or hot instant soup. There’s also a built-in self-cleaning function that you can initiate by pressing a button.
The cooler requires only one bottle that you can refill from your sink (a convenient funnel is included) or garden hose. And its bottom-load design makes removing the bottle, refilling it, and putting it back in easy. No lifting necessary!
When it comes to water filtration options for renters, you have to assess both your needs and the amount of space you have. A tiny studio may not accommodate a freestanding cooler as well as a house can, so a water filter pitcher may be just fine for you. On the other hand, temperature-dispensing options may be important. Whatever you decide, there’s no reason to deny yourself and your family clean, healthy, and delicious water.