Just how clean is your drinking water, even after you put it through that Brita? According to one new German company with lofty goals to innovate water purification and provide safe, healthy drinking water to everyone, everywhere, even our filtered water hides some very dirty truths — and if the gif from their Kickstarter is to be believed, grody to the max, man.
The quality of the water we drink has been a newsy and serious topic for years, from acute pollution crises like the ongoing issues in Flint, Michigan to the ever-increasing concerns of BPA, prescription drugs and hormones leaching into our water supplies (and bottles) everywhere. Mitte, a Berlin-based startup currently running a launch campaign on Kickstarter, wants to provide healthier, cleaner water for people all around the world through a sleek and simple new countertop purifier that mimics Mother Nature's own filtration processes.
The Mitte smart home water system is a proprietary purification system inspired by the natural water cycle, not just filtering tap water to remove toxins and contaminants at "60x cleaner than filtered water" but also allowing users to add back in some 21 mineral elements known to be essential for humans — because, as they say: "Healthy water is not just what you take out, but what you put back in."
The sleek and stylish unit looks more like a Sonos speaker than a typical kitchen appliance, but works in much the same, sustainable way as a SodaStream with replaceable cartridges and reusable bottles to cut down on environmental waste. Customers can personalize not just the taste and pH of their water but the combination of "high-bioavailability" essential minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) through three different cartridge options: Balance (Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, pH 7-7.5); Vitality (Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, pH 7-8); and Alkaline (all of the above plus Antioxidants, pH 8.5-9).
Not only that, but the smart appliance is built to be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and is connected to your smartphone, so you can control your water filter and be notified of things like when your 400-liter cartridge needs to be replaced. Hopefully, you can also use the app to start brewing a cup of hot water for tea from your cozy spot on the couch, because Mitte also allows you to heat your water to the exact temperature you like it.
With just a few weeks to go in the campaign, Mitte's Kickstarter has already been funded nearly three times over, and backers will receive their machines (currently selling for 299 euros at the early bird rate) sometime in April 2018. (There's a great independent, first-person review of the machine on YouTube from the WebSummit tradeshow earlier this year.)
Why invest in such a pricy home water machine? The founders point to a recent study featured in The Guardian showing that the widespread contamination of our tap water (including contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, hormones, nitrates, fluorides and microplastics) is an actual crisis, with effects of those toxins in our bodies for years after exposure, and billions of people globally (94% of US samples were polluted) consuming contaminated water with unknown consequences — but not without solutions.
Rachel Carson would no doubt be lining up to salute Mitte, don't you think?