Whenever you use the word “Best” it is recognized that this is usually disputable. Since there are many water filtration systems available on the market today, it would be difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that any one was the best. However, upon considering the characteristics and efficacy of the Berkey system, one would be hard pressed to disprove the “Best” label. So, I will give you some reasons as to why this label could actually apply.
One of the things we should consider in the Berkey system is to look at how it differs from most of the other systems on the market. The heart of the Berkey system is their patented “Black Berkey” purification elements that are used for the filtration. Their unique design and manufacture give them a real differentiation within the water filtration market.
One of the unique aspects of the Black Berkey element is that it is designed to have the water slowly trickle through it by gravity. This allows for the water to have a long contact time with the elements of the filter so that a maximum amount of impurities can be removed.
This technique is in marked contrast with other water filtration systems in that most others will force the water through the filter under pressure. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to understand the difference between these two mechanisms. Forcing the water through under pressure will greatly reduce the contact time and therefore reduce the ability to remove as much contaminant.
That is just a look at the mechanics; but what about the results or efficacy of the element? Berkey has submitted its water samples to independent labs that are EPA certified and had the it tested for various contaminants. Below is a link to a summation of some very extensive testing for most of the major contaminants that are arriving in our water supplies today:
You will note that the Black Berkey removes 99.9%+ of these contaminants, well above EPA requirements.
In fact, the Black Berkey element will remove down to 24-26 nanometers or .024 to .026 microns…in other words, much smaller than cyanobacterial cells found in algae blooms. The fact that Black Berkey® purification elements have been tested to remove viruses to this nanometer range suggests the reason for the effective filtration of water that we are observing in the independent lab tests.
In order to help you understand how small a micron is so you can understand how small of particles and contaminants the Berkey can remove, let’s take a look at what a micron is. A “micron” is an abbreviated term for “micrometer”, or a millionth of a meter (1/1,000,000 meters). This is about .00004 inches. For size comparison, a human red blood cell is about 5 microns across. A human hair is about 75 microns across (depending on the person).” That is really small and the Berkey removes much smaller!
One of the big meanies that we have heard a lot about in the news is the Giardia bacteria that causes stomach and intestine problems. For giardia lamblia, the EPA minimum removal or inactivation standard is 99.9%, a 3-log reduction. Black Berkey ® Purification Elements have been tested to reduce giardia cysts by greater than 99.994%, or log 4.6. This exceeds the EPA standard. This is one example among many of how effective the Berkey system is.
Another difference that I would like to take a look at, is the ease of use. Many systems require a skilled plumber to install because they must be connected to a pressure water supply. This is not true of the Berkey system. Since it is dependent only on gravity water, it can be placed anywhere, and the water added by pouring from a pitcher. This makes it very convenient for traveling, and various sizes are available so that you can pick the one that fits your space the best.
We personally have a Travel Berkey that fits perfectly in our travel trailer and keeps us supplied with safe, great tasting water wherever we go. Before we got the Berkey, we always had trouble getting good tasting water. You would be surprised at how bad some water supplies can taste! Well, that’s not a problem for us any more😊
I would like to encourage you to consider purchasing a Berkey Water Filtration System for your own safety and enjoyment. You will also find that you will be saving a lot of money compared to continuing to buy bottled water from the store. We’ll take a look at the cost savings in another blog, but for now, trust me, you will save an amazing amount by having your own Berkey. On top of that, you will have peace of mind that the water you are drinking is safe - and it tastes good too!