Big Berkey Water Filtration System Review

Hey y’all! This is a review I’ve been really excited to do because having safe, clean drinking water is a must on our homestead and after just a little research, it goes without saying that Berkey Systems are the holy grail of water filtration systems. While I’ve included a video of the kids and I talking about and another of us testing our system, you can read my written review below which includes more specifics on the Berkey filters and their uses as well as a brief history of Berkey systems.

For those of you unfamiliar with British Berkefeld, Berkey Systems and Big Berkey, let me introduce you to water filtration at it’s finest. Berkey began back in the 1830’s, after it was discovered that raw sewage and runoff into the London water source was causing all sorts of public health concerns. Henry Doulton created the first Super Sterasyl white ceramic filter and with Louis Pasteur’s microorganism research was able to create a system that filtered out 90% of bacteria. Later, New Millenium Concepts bought the Super Sterasyl filter and created the black filter which, with their new research and technologies, was able to filter water with 99% efficiency.

Berkey water filtration systems of today are countertop systems of varying sizes that allow users to filter low quality water in order to make it potable. These systems are incredibly useful in off-grid situations where water may be collected through condensation systems, rainwater catchment or even streams and creeks. However, because of the efficiency of Berkey’s filters, users who have concerns with the contaminants in their tap water can also use the filters with confidence, knowing that they are filtering harmful known tap water contaminants.

So what types of contaminants are we talking about?

According to British Berkefeld and Berkey Systems, the Berkey filters remove:

    • Fluoride – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Lead – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Arsenic – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Iron – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Mercury – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Chlorine – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Trihalomethane(THMs) – Removed to greater than 99.8%.
    • Bisphenol-A – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Chloramines – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Pharmaceuticals – Removed to greater than 99.5%.
    • Petroleum Contaminants – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Methylcycohexane-methane – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Pesticides – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Heavy Metals – Removed to greater than 99.1%.
    • Coliform and e-Coli – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Chromium – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Atrazine – Removed to greater than 99.9%.
    • Uranium – Removed to greater than 97.0%.
    • Gross Alpha emitters – Removed to greater than 98.7%.
    • Pathogenic Bacteria, for example, E-coli, Salmonella, Legionella, Cholera, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid), Shigella, Klebsiella >99.9999%
    • Viruses; >99.999%
  • >99.99%; Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other cysts

As mentioned above, filtration of these contaminants is incredibly important in off-grid situations but can also be important in residential use of grid-tied tap water, so let’s talk about these scenarios.

Off-Grid Homesteads, RV’s and Emergency Use

Rainwater, runoff or stream and pond water may be the only means of collecting water for some folks. While many people believe that water running over rock may be clean and safe for drinking, anyone who has ever caught a water-borne disease knows that it is anything but. Cholera, Hepatitis A and Typhoid fever are just a few of the more serious illnesses that can be contracted through dirty water.

Luckily, Berkey filters remove all of these with 99.9999% efficiency. Berkey suggests you use a screen to filter out large debris such as sediment, leaves and algae (a t-shirt or cheese cloth would work well) to prevent clogging your filter and extend the life of your filters as well.

Residential, Grid-Tied and Every Day Uses

While drinking water is strictly regulated, many contaminants are allowed at higher than desirable levels for some families. These contaminants are an area of concern for their carcinogenic and/or deadly effects in concentration or higher levels and typically include heavy metals, chlorine, lead, arsenic, mercury, fluoride and chromium. A quick look at your state’s Division of Water will show you that even though your running water may be considered “safe” by state regulatory standards, the Berkey filter can further clean your water and remove these contaminants almost completely. While I won’t go into a rant about the reasons behind allowing these levels in tap water, or the dangers, I’d like to remind you of two very famous contamination stories from recent history: Hinkley, California and Flint, Michigan.

I was really excited when I received my Big Berkey in the mail. It came in a smaller box than I would’ve imagined and upon opening it, I was relieved that it was not a mass of complex components. The system came with 2 large reservoir tanks; one for the filters and one for the filtered water, a lid with a knob, two black filters, two stop plugs and a spigot. After priming the filters, I assembled the system in a matter of minutes.

In our video you can see that I didn’t do a complete unboxing and assembly because I honestly thought it would be an insult to my readers intelligence to show you how to thread a nut onto a bolt. Y’all, it is so simple my kids could do it. The most important part really was priming the filters which consists of placing a rubber washer on the filter input and holding it on your faucet under running water until water bead begin to “sweat” through the filters. Once this process is complete, you can fully assemble the unit and it is ready for use.

We showed you how Berkey filters can even filter out red food coloring and while it is just used as a visual for the efficiency, the black Berkey filter is the most efficient water filter on the market. The filters themselves are guaranteed for 2 years, can be cleaned and sterilized for the life of the filter and each filter is good for up to 3,000 gallons. This means that our two filter system is good for up to 6,000 gallons.

Whether water filtration is a basic need or just for peace of mind, Berkey is hands down the way to go. Water is one of the most basic needs for all life and we use it in nearly everything we do. From washing dishes to cooking, from drinking to bathing, clean, safe water is paramount to your health and the health of your family. Investing in a filtration system is such a small and inexpensive way to commit to the overall health and wellness of your homestead. So what’s stopping you from taking the next step towards ensuring your family will have the best quality water possible for years to come?

I hope you found this review informative and helpful. As always, thanks for reading and following my blog! We appreciate your support!

Peace, Love and Cheesecake!

6 Replies to “Big Berkey Water Filtration System Review

  1. I’ve always wanted to get a system. Not quite ready to ‘plunge in’ (🤪), but this info will make it easier! Great review, sissy!

    1. Thanks Norm! While I purchased a mid sized system, there are smaller systems available for less cost. I promise you’ll never go back once you buy one. I use mine exclusively although I currently have access to tap water but I can only imagine how invaluable it will be once the cabin is finished.

    1. Haha! Thank you! We cut 12 minutes of video from those. I have yet to master editing of any sort but we like to be pretty organic in our videos so I just filmed us being ourselves and kept the relevant parts. Lol.

  2. I did the Brita water filters for a long time and did a lot of testing. But they didn’t really stand up well. This seems like a very affordable and viable choice for anyone that wants clean drinking water. Thanks for the review!

    1. I, too, used Brita religiously for a long time. After owning a Berkey, I’ll never go back. The price of Brita over the life of ONE Berkey filter far exceeds the upfront cost and they are reusable over the life of the unit as long as they are properly cleaned. I remember the heartache of throwing out a Brita filter and feeling like I was lighting $20 on fire. Not to mention that Berkey filters out so many more impurities and harmful chemicals than Brita does.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.