Why I Bought a Berkey Water Filter

If you've considered getting a Berkey Water Filter, in this post, I explain why I decided to buy one.

Big Berkey

Ever since we moved to Las Vegas, I've been lugging jugs of purified water home. I can't live without filtered water. In addition to drinking it, I also use it for cooking. I only use filtered water to make chicken, beef and fish stock, kombucha, and herbal iced tea and herbal infusions We also use it to make coffee (decaf), and I even use it to boil or steam vegetables (I cook my rice in broth).

We live on the fourth flour, and carrying gallons and gallons of water up here has not been fun. I knew I needed to get a water filtration system, sooner rather than later.

After much research, I decided on a Berkey and I'm so glad I did!

Why I Bought a Berkey Water Filter

The Berkey is Perfect If You're Renting

If you are renting like we are and you don't want to install a water filter, the Berkey is a great solution. There is nothing to install and you can take it with you! It's also great for camping, or road trips if you'll be cooking a lot (I tend to rent hotels or homes that have full kitchens when we go on road trips).

The Berkey Filters Out the Fluoride

This was really important to me when considering a water filter. Fluoride is a neurotoxin. It also causes problems with hormones, as fluoride is damaging to the thyroid gland. And fluoride may be responsible for precocious puberty.

I always thought the only way to filter out fluoride was through reverse osmosis. But I recently found out that the Berkey also filters out fluoride.

You do have to order extra filters for fluoride. The regular black filters that come with the Berkey do not filter fluoride. When you're ordering your Berkey, call or email the folks selling it and ask them to sell you the white PF-2 fluoride filters.

Big Berkey Black Filters

The Berkey is Inexpensive

You can spend thousands of dollars on a filtering system that filters out fluoride. If you are on a budget, the Berkey is a great way to go. And if you ever want to upgrade to a reverse osmosis system, you can use your Berkey as a back-up for emergencies (see below) or for camping. That's what I plan to do when we move to a house.

The Berkey Keeps the Minerals In

Unlike reverse osmosis filters that filter out the healthy minerals along with the fluoride, Berkey filters keep the minerals in!

Emergency Preparedness

I've been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness lately. I guess this is something that happens to you after you have kids. I want to know that if anything ever happened, we could survive. Water is the most important thing you need in an emergency. You can live a lot longer without food than you can without water.

I realized that even if I have a reverse osmosis system in our home, it won't do me any good if the water gets shut off due to an emergency. For me, having a Berkey gives me peace of mind. I will probably invest in some water barrels that I can store filtered water in. But even if you don't have stored water, you can literally filter pool water with your Berkey.

You Don't Need to Change the Filters Very Often

The other drawback to reverse osmosis systems is that you have to change the filters pretty frequently and of course, that costs money.

With the Berkey, the black filters that come with it last for approximately 6,000 gallons (of course, this greatly depends on the starting water quality). The filters are also easily cleanable with a toothbrush/scouring pad to help extend the life. The white PF-2 fluoride filters need to be replaced much more frequently; those generally last for 1,000 gallons.

According to my calculations:

If I refill my Big Berkey once per day, the black filters that come with the Berkey will last for over 7 years. The white fluoride filters will last a little over a year (about 14-15 months).

If I refill twice per day, the black filters will last over 3 1/2 years. The white fluoride filters will last 7-8 months.

If you don't have fluoride in your water, you can use a Berkey and you only have to change the filters once every 3-7 years. I think that's pretty amazing!

Big Berkey

Which Berkey to Get?

We got the Big Berkey, which is perfect for a small to medium-sized family family (1-4 people).

I was surprised at how small it actually is. I've heard people say that they think the Berkey takes up too much room on the counter, but this is just not true. It is tall and narrow so it doesn't take up a lot of room. I love having my Berkey on the counter — I think it's pretty.

If you have a larger family: the Royal Berkey is the right size for 2-6 people; the Imperial Berkey is good for 4-8+ people, and the Crown Berkey is good for 6-12+ people.

Where to Buy a Berkey Water Filter

Check my resources page for where to buy a Berkey water filter. The companies that are listed on my resources page selling Berkeys are great and they will be happy to talk to you on the phone or via email and answer any questions.

Share Your Comments

Do you have a Berkey? Do you love it? Please share your comments below.

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

94 thoughts on “Why I Bought a Berkey Water Filter

  1. That is interesting that you mention emergency preparedness.
    What do you think could be stored as emergency food items other than grains, beans and canned goods?
    It would be interesting to read a post about storing non-perishable NOURISHING foods to store in case of an emergency/ food shortage.

    1. Yasemin, this is the list that we are working with, from www.cookingtf.com
      Preparedness Food Items to Stock
      Coconut Oil
      Palm oil
      olive and sesame oil
      white sugar and tea for making kombucha
      Peanut or other nut butters and nut meals
      Beans- pinto, kidney, black, garbanzo, lentils, navy, northern, etc…
      Dried or Freeze-dried fruits and veggies
      Grains- amaranth, quinoa, oats, rice, corn, sorghum, wheat/spelt, teff and a way to grind them
      cornstarch/arrowroot/tapioca/potato starch
      xanthan or guar gum if gluten free
      Home or commercial canned or frozen salmon, chicken, turkey, pork and beef
      Home or commercial canned or frozen fruits and vegetables
      Home or commercial canned or frozen stocks/bone broths
      Coconut milk
      beef jerkey
      Sprouting seeds
      Vegetable and fruit seeds for gardening
      Quality salt
      1 gallon of water per person per day, plus extra for washing dishes, bathing and cleaning.
      maple syrup
      bottled lemon juice
      Nutritional Yeast
      Garlic powder
      onion powder
      black pepper
      other often used spices
      baking powder
      baking soda
      comfort foods such as quality chocolate
      Needed food for any of your livestock

      1. You may also want to check out survivalblog.com. I think there is some chances of “extremism” on there, but he brings up many very good points throughout the blog and he has a wealth of resources available to anybody who’s interested in any level of emergency preparedness. I’ve found his food lists helpful and have been able to tailor them to a more nourished bent using plain old common sense (as in textured vegetable protein- not so much…but canned grass-fed butter using stainless steel bpa free cans, most definitely). Another website I have found to be helpful as a resource (haven’t used it for purchasing, but I have used it as a guide for purchasing locally) is https://www.aaoobfoods.com/shopping.htm#top Other sources that seem good for organic bulk food (both for emergencies and just saving long term on costs as well as some interesting tidbits here or there) are: https://www.bulkfoods.com/organic.asp , www.organicsurvivalistsite.com/food-saving/storable-organics, etc…just be aware that there are many “quirky” sites our there with strong political slants that kind of irk me. Otherwise, no pun intended, but the information is just “food for thought.” Hope this helps

        1. I do think that being a “real foodie” allows one to be more prepared than most. We’re most likely to be comfortable with cooking more traditional methods…which can mean an open fire, if one’s electricity is out (which is why we have multiple forms of backup stoves/grills/fuel sources for that very reason). I have also recently become more “in love” with my fireplace and am currently trying out different cooking methods using my cast iron cookware. You never know when a winter storm will hit (here in CO at least) and the heat/electricity are out for 5+ days (that happened about a month ago in the city actually, of all places, most mountain towns are better equipped for freak storms), and if you can’t get out of your driveway because of too much snow pileup, what will you do? For those of you who are in warmer climates, consider other natural disasters like hurricane Katrina (that was an eye-opener for my husband), earthquakes, etc. Most families around here at least have emergency plans for their children (and they practice them too as a fun family event in order to help minimize the stress for them and the children so that it is less traumatic in the event of a true emergency), and safe rooms with ways out of the home are always a smart choice as well. I could go on and on about the subject, but those who think “this will never happen to me, I should be fine” are typically the ones shocked, dehydrated and hungry when it indeed happens to them, and more importantly, there is nobody available to help them. Just think of it as truly self-sustainable living, and you’ll be golden 🙂

  2. I have a Big Berkey with both black and white filters, and the black filters have fallen apart on me *twice* within their first six months of life. Fortunately, the company will replace them for free as long as they are less than six months old.

    1. mine too! i had a lot of issues initially, but the customer service is decent and i never had to pay extra for replacements for defective ones.

  3. So far, since we are on an artisan well, we just use a Britta filter as needed. Water is a wee bit strong on the minerals.
    Thank goodness we are not afflicted with sulpher as so many here in Alaska are.

    1. Although i’ve heard that sulphur is good for you ?


      1. Have you ever tried to smell, never mind drink water that has sulphur in it? You would be hard pressed to find anyone that can stomach it. It is vile.
        There are huge pockets here in Alaska where it is difficult to use the water, both from sulpher and from silt.

  4. I’ve been looking into buying a Berkey for a few years but I have always wondered why they are not permitted to sell them in California. Does anyone know the answer to this?

    1. It has something to do with required testing. Berkey would be required to test all of their parts for lead, which would be prohibitively expensive. Berkey states that their parts are all lead free, they just can’t afford to do the required tests.

    2. We live in CA and got our Berkey through Azure Stabdard with no problems this summer. We called to make sure they could send it with the order and they said they never heard of it not being allowed in CA. Just wanted to pass on the info in case you were interested. We love it and definitely don’t miss paying for bottled water!

    3. I’m in California and got my Berkey from https://www.bulkherbstore.com/Water_Filters?id=m4KQVC2a. I love it! The water tastes really good!

  5. Thanks so much for this information. We live in San Jose, which is currently the largest city in the US without fluoridated water. However, it was just announced last month that our water WILL become fluoridated in the very near future, much to my disappointment. I’ve been researching filtration options, and as we are renters, the Berkey is a perfect solution. I am planning on ordering one once the craziness of the holidays settles down and having it shipped to family in Arizona. We’ll pick it up the next time we’re there, or have someone bring it to us the next time they visit.

  6. I bought my Berkey Water Filter with fluoride filters a year ago. Love it! Have a small creek on my property if an emergency ever hit that we needed water. Also gather rain water. The children really do drink more water! Thank you for all you share!

  7. Do you know if it also filters out chloramine? Our town water tastes suspiciously free of chlorine and I learned that they started using chloramine. It’s a combination of chlorine and ammonia. I’ve heard that’s it’s very hard to filter because it has to go through the carbon very slowly. Anyone know? Thanks!

    1. I was wondering the same thing and when I researched it I found this information. It doesn’t look like they do.

      The following comments are from this page: https://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/chlorine/chlorine-in-our-drinking-water-a-cause-for-concern/

      Shreela says: December 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm
      How does Big Berkey affect chloramine?

      Dan DeBaun says: December 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm
      Hi Shreela –
      At this point in time, the test results are not back on Chloramine removal. Given the filters use coconut shell charcoal as one of it’s ingredients, the belief is that they will test well, as coconut shell charcoal is known to remove cholaramines.
      Thanks, Dan

      Jon says: May 4, 2011 at 12:21 am
      I’m wondering if the chloramine results are in yet? My city uses chloramine in the tap water.

      Dan DeBaun says: May 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm
      Hi Jon – Unfortunately not at this point.
      Thanks, Dan

      1. I asked Norm at Radiant Life and got the following response:

        No, Chloramine removal requires a special type of carbon known as centaur or a combination of granular activated carbon with RO.

        The Berkey system or the gravity filter one we carry called British Berkfeld utilize ceramic filters. These filters are great and will eliminate organic compounds such as pharmaceuticals, pathogenic bacteria, and fluoride but not chloramines.

        From what I have read you really need to get an RO system to filter out the chloramines. They are tough to get out.

        I do plan on getting an RO system for our home when we buy a house. Then I will use the Berkey as a back up.

        That said, you actually absorb more toxins in the shower and bath than you do from the water you drink and cook with. And there is no shower filter that removes chloramines, as far as I know.

        Radiant Life’s whole house system probably does filter out the chloramines — in the shower and bath as well. I think that would be the best system to get if you have chloramines in your water supply.

        If you call Radiant Life, they will help you do testing to figure out what is in your water and what you need to filter out.

        1. I was going to ask what you would use for a whole house system. I would love a Berkey (and will probably get one), but I would prefer one for the whole house so I know we’re safe with what ever faucet we use. Thanks so much for this post-I will be pushing my hubby to get one asap 😉

  8. Oh my gosh, it sure is pretty. How long does it take to filter a gallon of water? As the filter gets used up does it take longer and longer to drain? Thanks for posting this, very helpful!

    1. the travel berkey filters 1 1/2 gal. per hr. when it gets slower is when you know to remove the filters, very, very easy to do, and gently scrub them clean in your kitchen sink! there are many videos that will pull up when you google berkey water filters, that will show you all kinds of things. i’m not good with written directions, so i watched one that showed how to install them.
      if yours leaks around the spigot, try turning the white washer around the other way. we put ours in backwards the 1st time. 🙂

  9. not sure why, but the links on the resources page aren’t working for me. where do you recommend purchasing these? I live in MA.

    1. try again, it just worked for me. i know it wasn’t working on several of the lady health blogger’s sites one time, but i hung in there till they got it fixed because i wanted to make sure she got her small commission from the sale, as a thank you for all the time these blogs save us in research, etc. but it did just work for me.
      i clicked on the blue highlighted area in her review at the beginning of this page; where to buy them, then clicked on the blue pic of the berkey on the next page. it worked twice for me. hope this helps.

      1. @Andrea Try turning off your ad blocker. The resources page listings are all paid advertisements. We have to serve them this way so we can track them for our sponsors.

  10. That is what I asked for this Christmas, so hopefully mine is under the tree. I am so glad to hear someone I trust is using it too!

  11. Awesome Ann Marie! The Seychelle water filter pitcher does the same thing as well: https://store.seychelle.com/Replacement_Filters-Family_Water_Pitcher_Regular_Replacement_Filter.html

    1. Woops that is the replacement filter lol. Here is the pitcher: https://store.seychelle.com/Home_Products-Family_Water_Pitcher_Standard.html

  12. I have a Berkey and my filters fell apart twice as mentioned above. I didn’t realize it right away so I was using unfiltered water for enemas (ew!). I spoke with the company and they replaced them(as they should since they are defective) but when I asked for compensation for the inconvenience and detriment to my health they were very hesitant and only after I insisted did they offer a free water bottle. If there were a comparable filter out there I would ditch the Berkey after that experience.

  13. I have had a Berkey with the black filters and fluoride filters for several years now. I like it and I have no complaints. I have had to scrub the filters every few months because they get clogged up. I had a black filter break once but it was replaced for free. The water tastes fine and it is very inexpensive to maintain.

  14. WOW!!!!!! im so glad you put this up, i was just reading about them today i have an R/O and it sucks!, it produces 1.5 gallons a day i cant cook big time with this. On thanks giving i had to buy bottled water to cook for the visiting family, recently i discovered spring water from a park you can get for free posted on Dr. Mercolas site so we have been filling up 3 5 gallon bottles up. Im on well water so i had to get a whole house nitrate filter and the house came with a water softener and a uv light for bacteria, the water varies in TDS below EPA standards of 500 all the time but i want to make sure and get the right filter so i thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post!.

    hugggsss and kissesss to my favorite blogger!!!

    1. Okay did some youtube viewing on this seems pretty cool however i have a 5 year old drinker and two more little ones, i was just wondering what size did you purchase, where in the kitchen is it kept and is your little girl allowed to serve herself water from it as i am afraid this will fall on my little ones while trying to serve themselves well my little 5 year old guy anyway. I was also wondering is the water room tempt, cold warm? no one says anything about this as it uses no electricity. And wow so many people make their own bottle systems and just buy the filters something to think about,. I am also worried about the complaints people have regarding the filters breaking and the company not having the NSF cert……..please advise on this, thanks a bunch!

      1. We have small children using ours, and the ONLY time there is a problem with falling over is if it’s running low and you are impatient and tip it toward you to speed the flow. Since it’s a totally dumb thing to do, we outlawed it and have had no problems. : ) The base is sufficiently sturdy to balance everything.

        The water will be room temperature. Our well water is very cold, so our filtered water is cold for hours, or in the winter it’s cold all the time. We go through it fast enough that it’s not normally a problem. We like room temp water until it gets into the hot summer days, so this isn’t a problem for us. If you like really cold water, maybe fill a pitcher and keep it in the fridge? I also find it easier to drink water that isn’t really cold.

      2. I got the Big Berkey, which is recommended for families with 2-4 people.

        Water is room temp.

        Kate gets water herself. It won’t tip if it is full which it usually is.

  15. Thank you so much!! I’ve been looking for something that would filter flouride and haven’t found anything suitable. Thanks so much for mentioning this filter.


  16. Do you have any alternate suggestions for those of us living in CA? I was really disappointed to see they are unable to ship there.

  17. Wow this post came right on time! I have been trying to figure out which water filter is best. Reverse osmosis is so expensive that I was actually thinking of distilling my water myself and then adding minerals back in. I did not know about the Berkley. Thank you. I do have one question though. If it doesn’t filter out minerals, does it still filter out other harmful organic compounds? Does anyone know? If so, how does that work? Thank you!

    1. i just copied this from their web page;it tells you how.

      The Berkey Secret

      Have you ever wondered how Berkey™ purification systems remove pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites while extracting chemicals including herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, VOCs, detergents, cloudiness, silt, sediment, foul tastes and odors? Or, how Berkey™ systems are able to reduce heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, aluminum and other dangerous heavy metals, as well as nitrates and nitrites without removing the healthful and beneficial minerals that your body needs?

      And finally, how is this system is able to remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs?

      The unique Berkey™ design combines the age-old process of micro-porous filtration coupled with modern state-of-the-art technology and the highest quality materials to bring you the finest water purification system available anywhere. The micro-pores within the self-sterilizing and re-cleanable Black Berkey™ purification elements are so small that pathogenic bacteria are simply not able to pass through them.

      The media within the elements remove contaminants by a surface phenomenon known as “adsorption” which results from the molecular attraction of substances to the surface of the media. The exclusive purification elements are also impregnated with proprietary “absorbing” media that promote IONIC “absorption” of pollutants within the micro-porous elements.

      Another reason Berkey™ systems are so effective in removing contaminants from water is the extremely long “contact period”. Other filtration systems rely on water pressure that forces water molecules through the filter elements at 60-90 PSI. These water molecules come into contact with the filter media for a mere fraction of a second. By comparison water molecules, passing through the “Tortuous Path” structure of the Black Berkey™ purification elements, are drawn gently by gravity and stay in contact with the media for a long period of time. This allows the filter media to be more efficient in capturing contaminates. For example, if you were to hurl 100 steel ball bearings at a large magnet, some would stick but most would bounce off. However, if you were to walk over and gently place the ball bearings on the magnet most, if not all, would adhere to the magnet. Berkey™ systems fully utilize this principle.

      This advanced technology was developed, refined, and proven through years of diligent, investigative research and testing performed by water purification specialists, researchers and engineers. The flow rate or time of exposure through the exclusive Black Berkey™ purification elements has been calculated to yield the greatest volume removal of toxic chemicals and pathogenic bacteria found in nature and caused by pollution from industry and agriculture.

  18. I would love to get a Berkey someday. Despite their reasonable pricing it’s still out of our family’s budget for the time being. We’ve been lugging 5 gallon jugs of reverse osmosis water for a while now and will probably continue to do so for now. We add Azomite mineral powder to the jug before putting it on the dispenser. Do you think this enough to add back some lost minerals and “re-structure” the water a bit? At the very least it tastes good with the minerals added. Just wondering. Thanks for your awesome and thought provoking posts!

    1. I am also getting RO water for now, though I am lucky enough to have a water supply store that also has MPP water (still has the minerals, but no flouride, chlorine, etc.) which we lug from the store once a week. But when I don’t get there when they are open, I have to use the regular RO water from the outside dispenser. I add ConcenTrace minerals to it (I bought them for my water kefir, and to help with my magnesium deficiency). So I would recommend those alternated with the Azomite (which I also have!).

  19. I have been considering the Berkey but we ended up purchasing an RO. I really think that the Berkey has a lot of really attractive features (and I still may purchase one for emergencies or travel) but I noticed that quite a few of the contaminants were only removed up to 95%. I know that sounds “anal” but I was concerned about leaving any of that “garbage” in my water.

    I’d love to know what you and other readers think about that.


  20. I had no idea you were in Las Vegas now! We Nevada bloggers are few and far between. If you ever want to do lunch, drop me a line.

    Re the Berkey, I’ve been contemplating buying one for quite a while but have never looked into what they cost. I’ll have to do some more research.

  21. Every traveler I know in Central Africa uses the Swiss-made ceramic Katadyn filters at home or traveling. But then, we are filtering out the typhoid and giardia… not fluoride, so we replace the candles annually. We have filtered water you cannot see through, sludge basically, and they work every time! Our family of 5 uses two ‘tanks’ per day of the equivalent size of the Crown Berkey. Don’t leave home without drinking water!

  22. I researched filters a year ago and was deciding between a Berkey and an under the counter Doulton system. Doulton is the company that makes the Berkey filter candles, so they are essentially the same. I liked the fact that the Berkey could travel with me but what ended up dissuading me from it was the tank. It seems counterproductive to filter fresh water and then leave it sitting in a tank. Bacteria can grow incredibly fast in standing water and it just seems unappealing to me to drink from water that may have been in the tank for a day of more. Since it takes hours to filter several gallons, I could envision that happening frequently.

    Reverse Osmosis systems will never appeal to me as an “upgrade” because they waste upwards of three gallons of water for every one gallon of purified water they produce. Water is far too precious, even in it’s somewhat imperfect form, to waste.

  23. I was considering a Berkey, but read some reviews at Amazon that turned me off. I haven’t decided yet what to do for water filtration… If they didn’t add fluoride to tap water life would be so much easier!

  24. Thanks for the tip about Azure Standard! We were planning to buy ourselves a Berkey for Christmas, and trying to figure out how to get one to San Jose, too! Now, it’s on my Azure order for next month!!!

  25. We bought a British Berkefeld off ebay many moons ago from this guy https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-BRITISH-BERKEFELD-SS-BERKEY-Water-Filter-System-/390319134165?pt=Small_Kitchen_Appliances_US&hash=item5ae0d555d5

    It is the same thing as the Big Berkey (which he sells also) but much cheaper than the Berkey. I believe they are even made by the same company. We LOVE ours. We use the flouride filters as well.


  26. Just purchased a Berkey for our family a few weeks ago. We’re loving it so far! We got the royal one and it fits perfectly on our sideboard. I’m glad to hear that my research checks out with yours too!

    1. It’s Berkey. It has to do with the expense Bekey would have to incur to comply with required testing in CA:


  27. Does the filter remove arsenic? I live in a part of Arizona with super high arsenic levels and am on a well. We don’t have to deal with fluoride on a well, of course, so the issue is arsenic.


  28. Thanks for sharing this. Getting a Berkey has been on my wish list for awhile. My daughter is also interested, and I am sharing this post with her. Here’s to a Berkey in my near future!

  29. We’ve had one for 4ish years now. We LOVE it. We are a family of 8 and fill it about 2 times a day. We bring it camping or when we travel. The little kids love it because it’s low enough that they can reach it. As a result the little ones are better hydrated since they don’t have to rely on some one tall to get them a drink. I designed and built a stand for ours that stands in the big door way between out kitchen, dining, and living rooms, so it takes up no counter space and is very accessible. This was a great buy! We bought our “first” one from a company with lower prices, and were scammed. It never came, and the site disappeared. The next time we went with a company we absolutely trusted- More Than Alive. We were happy customers the second time! : )

  30. One more question please, i think i read somewhere the type of minerals you recommend for the R/O well now i cant seem to find it, would you please share again, thanks a bunch!

  31. When i got my Berkey, they also included a shower head that filters out all the chemicals – just like the Berkey filters. When you purchase the Berkey, you get a choice of one free gift, and i chose the shower head. The flouride filters were another option too, but back then I wasn’t aware of the dangers of flouride.

  32. thanks for this post – very informative!
    I was wondering why you plan to move to an RO system later however – it seems this berkey filter offers more benefits (leaving the beneficial minerals; filters need to be replaced less often) Is it just the convenience of being able to turn on the tap and get water instead of waiting for the filter, that would make you choose RO?
    I currently own my home and the reason I have hesitated on RO was concern about installation difficulty (I’m not too handy!) – I also like the idea of emergency preparedness… so I will probably start with the big berkey too – just curious to hear your thoughts on that.

      1. thanks Ann Marie. Oh, we have chloramines here too. will I be able to use my berkey filtered water for soaking grains, making kvass, sourdough etc?

  33. I am not yet ready to purchase a water filter. What is the best water I can buy at the store for cooking and drinking?

  34. After using a Berkey filter I decided to get a reverse osmosis system as an alternate purification source. The system came with a water purification meter. (I should have gotten the meter a long time ago). Anyway, what I found was the water out of my tap registered 25 on the meter. After running it through the osmosis system the meter registered
    15. I then ran the tap water through the Berkey filter and the meter registered 65. The Berkey filter made the tap water less pure. Very disappointed!

    1. Mark,
      Are you referring to a TDS meter (Total dissolved solids meter?) which you have? If so, that has nothing to do with purity.
      Good minerals such as calcium and potassium will show up on a meter like that.
      Your RO system removes those good minerals from tap water and the Berkey doesn’t, hence the lower reading for the RO water.
      I prefer to drink water with minerals instead of using an artificial filter which puts the minerals back in (the way an RO system does)


  35. I work in the environmental field (some of my responsibilities pertain to protecting drinking water supplies). I wish I could buy this system knowing that it does remove all it claims to remove with confidence. I have a HUGE issue with the company not supplying new and updated influent/effluent data using the approriate lab analytical methods. It would cost them $2000 at the most to run a full suite of tests they could publish for consumers. The new Shaklee system has influent/effluent data, but the operating costs are over triple that of the Berkey and they do not have a separate filter for fluoride and arsenic. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. 🙁

    On a more upbeat note: love your blog! 😀

    1. Jennifer, I’m with you. I keep putting off buying one because of the lack of updated tests. Seems to me that having that proof would actually benefit them in the long run.

  36. I have tested rain water collected from a water but in my garden and the TDS reading is 35.
    Compared to my tap water TDS reading of 282 this is good.
    But when I run the rain water through my Berkey filter the TDS rises to 181.
    Can someone explain this please?

  37. I’m confused- you say you like the Berkey because it keeps the minerals in the water, but then you said you’ll eventually get a RO which removes the minerals? I already own a RO but was nervous about it after reading how damaging to your body it can be since it removes minerals…
    Thank you for the help!!

      1. Just curious about how you're using the RO under your sink. Do you add trace minerals to your filtered water or are you getting the minerals another way these days? We are about to pull the trigger on a water filter or have spring water delivered that has come recommended by a naturopath, locally. This has been a hard decision for me… The Spring water is $8/5 gallon jug. But I always come back to this article about the Berkey 🙂

        1. I need to update this post… I am no longer recommending the Berkey because there have been questions about whether or not it really takes all the fluoride out.

          We just moved to a new house so we are not using the RO system anymore… I am about to post about a new system that keeps the minerals… let me get that link for you…

          1. Did you have a link for the new water system you mentioned in October? Just curious what it is. And do you have thoughts about buying Spring Water?

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