Updated: Feb 12
High-quality water is more than the dream of the conservationists, more than a political slogan; high-quality water, in the right quantity at the right place at the right time, is essential to health, recreation, and economic growth. - Edmund Muskie
I graduated from McMaster University with a Degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in environmental / water treatment and know well the importance and science of water quality.
Three years ago, after extensive research, I invested in a Berkey Water System - the gold standard in the industry. Roberta and I use our Berkey for daily drinking water, with coffee/tea, cooking, aromatherapy, travel, et cetera. It has eliminated our consumption of disposable plastic (leaching) water bottles. And most importantly, our water is 99.9999% free of pathogenic bacteria, 99.999% of viruses, and virtually free of pharmaceuticals, hormones, birth control that our municipal water treatment plants simply cannot remove on a mass scale. Further, the fluoride in our tap water has disturbed me ever since I studied its toxic effects, and I am thankful this simple system gives my family and visiting friends the purest water possible at home. Check out this 2-minute video:
Berkey Water Systems remove:
> 99.999% viruses
> 99.9999% pathogenic bacteria (and surrogates)
> 99.8% trihalomethanes (such as chloroform)
> Inorganic minerals (such as chlorine)
> 80% heavy metals (such as aluminum, barium, lead, mercury, zinc, etc.)
> 99.9% micro organisms (such as e. Coli)
> 99.9% pharmaceutical drug contaminants (such as progesterone)
> 95% fluoride (only when using the PF-2 filter)
For further information on filter specifications, visit this site.
Because of the first-class quality of these filters, and how I have been giving it rave reviews to friends and family members over the past few years, Roberta and I recently decided to become Canadian distributors of Berkey Water Systems. You can check out our store here.
If you are considering a Berkey Water System for your home, there there are a few things to consider - cost, size, aesthetics, and daily usage. My comments and opinions are geared toward regular household users’ conditions and needs.
TWO MAIN FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A BERKEY WATER SYSTEM:
1. WATER CONSUMPTION:
A Big Berkey is sufficient for a single or couple. If you have a family of 4 or more, you may require a larger unit (Royal (what we have), Imperial, Crown) so that there is enough water in the reservoir for the day. 2 Black Berkey filters can filter 2 gallons in about an hour so the ‘wait time’ isn’t bad, but definitely slower than a Brita, ha! The best practice is to fill the Berkey to the brim before bed, or according to the water level in the sight glass spigot.
2. COUNTERTOP SPACE:
The Big Berkey for example measures H21” x W8.5”. This is taller than the average kitchen cabinet clearance of 18”. Also factor in the requirement of a stand for your Berkey if you do not want to have it perched over the counter edge or sink.
BERKEY WATER SYSTEM PROS:
- Eliminates 99.999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses
- Easy to install and use.
- Lightweight and portable, so if you move or go on a trip it can come with you.
- Sizes suitable for single, families or larger settings.
- Filters have a very long lifetime (2 Black Berkey filters last approx 6,000 gallons). You just scrub them with a plastic pad when the filtering slows down (recommend twice a year). The filters will probably need to be replaced in 4 years with our current usage. (approx. $100).
- Super affordable cost long-term after system purchase.
- The spout pours filtered water quickly.
- The filters take out pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and heavy metals but leave in the essential minerals that your body needs.
- The filters remove viruses, cysts, protozoa, and bacteria.
- Stainless steel construction, which is non-reactive and won’t add endocrine disruptors to the water the way plastics can. Lasts for life.
- Our Royal Berkey (and bigger models) are expandable to double (or triple) the filter capacity by adding 2 more Berkey Filters (Approx. $100). This would allow our system to filter faster and increase daily output. But for us, and what I recommend - 2 filters is enough.
- Eliminate the need for disposable plastic water bottles.
- Reduces carbon footprint.
- Clean taste!
BERKEY WATER FILTER CONS:
- The unit is quite wide and tall, which makes it more suitable for kitchens with more countertop space and high cabinet clearance.
- Requires a stand or spout must overhang the counter to be used.
- The initial cost is high ($400+), but this is offset by the longevity of the filters.
- The exterior needs to be cleaned or polished periodically.
- Filter time (an hour for 2 gallons)
In my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons and I would recommend a Berkey Water System for those who see the benefits and long-term health and economic value.
I hope you found this Berkey Water System review informative. If you feel as though I have left anything out or would like to ask a specific question, please email or leave a comment! God bless, Ante