It's big, it's futuristic looking, and at $300, it's not exactly cheap. But for those with bottled water addictions (sorry, Mom) or those concerned about the drinkability of tap water, a new home water filtration gizmo called the Zuvo Water Purator is true manna. 
The H2O-savvy folks at Zuvo know how much Americans love bottled water — 60 million plastic bottles are landfilled daily in the U.S. They also know about the concern over the health-compromising quality of tap water. Although highly regulated, tap water can contain a nasty brew of parasites, chemical pollutants, lead and other unsavories like, as the New York Times recently pointed out, weed killers. Most importantly, the folks at Zuvo know that the water-guzzling public loves a good bargain. While a $300 water filtering device may seem spendy, it’s actually a steal. With proper use, Zuvo-treated water comes out to around $.06 a gallon compared to $1/gallon for bottled water and $.20/gallon for pitcher-filtered water systems like Brita. 
The Zuvo Purator uses a supercharged, five-step filtration process that involves ozone, UV light exposure, and a carbon filter that eliminates contaminants but preserves beneficial minerals. It seems all very complex but in terms of instillation and operation, the Zuvo is a piece of cake. The unit — a cylindrical device that attaches to most kitchen facets — is a bit unwieldy, especially on cluttered countertops, but it can be also installed under-the-sink with additional hardware. I'm completely helpless when it comes to "fixtures" and I had no problem hooking the Zuvo up.
The one drawback with installing the Zuvo Purator is that you have to run the tap for about five minutes — a bit of a waste — to flush the system out but I went ahead and filled ice cube trays and watered my plants while doing so. 
In addition to curbing wasteful bottled water use and bringing clean tap water to homes across America, Zuvo plans to use its patented technology to bring clean water to countries where uncontaminated drinking water is scarce. In fact, 5 percent of sales from each Zuvo Purator is donated to water programs in developing nations.
A product like the Zuvo Purator begs for a taste test especially from a dedicated Brita user like myself. So here you are: 

This $1 bottled water tasted, well, like $1 bottled water. I rarely buy bottled water for at-home use.

At home, I drink tap water from a Brita pitcher, a popular at-home option that only tackles one of five filtration steps (carbon filtration) that the Zuvo does. New York City tap water is thought to be excellent and I have no complaints with it taste-wise as long as it has been run through a Brita filter and has sat in the fridge. However, I do notice a "cloud" in the water, minerals and particles I'm guessing, after I run the tap. In the Brita pitcher itself, fine black particles are often an issue even right after I've changed the filter ... harmless (I'm hoping) but still kind of gross. 

After drinking a glass of Zuvo Purator filtered tap water that sat in the fridge, I did notice that my beloved Brita-filtered water has a distinct "tang" to it. The Zuvo water tasted similar to the bottled water — fresh and clean but with no plastic-y aftertaste. The only problem was, and this may be an issue with the way my shallow sink is set up, I found it practically impossible to fill up a nice big pitcher or carafe of Zuvo-filtered water, only a single glass. And while I'm not finicky about the taste of water, I'm nutso about having ice cold water sitting in the fridge at all times. 
Overall, the Zuvo water won the taste and cleanliness test hands-down but in terms of convenience, the Brita has an edge. Again, this may just be because of my sink arrangement. For a bachelor like me without water "issues" and who doesn't buy bottled water for at-home use, I don't think the Zuvo is an absolute necessity. But in households where water cleanliness is an issue and bottled water expenses are significant, Zuvo-ination is the way to go. 

Zuvo Water Purator at Zuvo Water online store,, and other retailers

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Fresh, clean and Zuvo-inated
The Zuvo Water Purator helps you break free from the wasteful clutches of bottled water while aiding clean water programs in developing nations.