We used a water distiller in our house from 2004-2012, then we switched to a Berkey.
So I decided to make a little video about why I switched, and why I love it so much.
Here’s my Berkey water filter review:
If you can’t watch the video, here are the five reasons why I love my Berkey Water Filter.
1) It removes hundreds of contaminants: Bacteria and parasites, heavy metals like lead and mercury, VOCs and toxic chemicals like benzene, chlorine and chromium-6 (think Erin Brockovich), pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs and more, to levels higher than 99.99%.
2) The fluoride/arsenic filters remove 95% of fluoride and arsenic. The fluorosilicic acid your city puts in your water is a toxic waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. It poisons your body, does not help your teeth and most filtration systems do not remove it.
3) It’s gravity-fed! So it doesn’t need electricity or water pressure. You just pour water into the top chamber and it filters down into the bottom chamber, clean and ready to drink.
4) It’s portable. We take ours on vacation with us and it’s perfect to have in an emergency situation like an earthquake, hurricane, WWIII or a zombie attack. We will never have to worry about not having clean drinking water. This thing will even filter pond water!
5) It’s extremely economical. The Big Berkey (2-gallon model) costs about $250, which may seem like a lot of money for a water filter, but get this: The two Black Berkey filters inside will purify 6,000 gallons before needing replacement. If you drink 10 gallons of water a week, it will last you about 11 years at a cost of less than 2 cents per gallon. Most water filters need replacing after 3-6 months!
Berkey filters exceed EPA NSF/ANSI standards for filtration and thus are rated as water purifiers.
Berkey filters are even used to purify non-drinkable water in third world countries by relief organizations like UNICEF, the Peace Corps, Missionary organizations and the Red Cross.
Berkey was even rated #1 for contaminant removal by Natural News Water Filter Labs.
And the best part, the water tastes clean and delicious. You will definitely notice a difference.
Berkey filters come in different sizes from the cute little 1.5-gallon Travel Berkey all the way to the monster 6 gallon Crown Berkey.
We started with a 2-gallon Big Berkey but eventually upgraded to the 3-gallon Royal Berkey, which is perfect for our family of four.
The Travel Berkey is great for dorm rooms too.
Note: The fluoride/arsenic filters are extra and should be replaced annually.
The Black Berkey purification elements have a two-year prorated manufacturer’s warranty.
The Berkey systems themselves and their components (stainless steel, etc) have a six-month manufacturer’s warranty. BigBerkeyWaterFilters.com will replace any replacement parts such as washers, nuts, etc over the life of the Berkey system ownership.
BigBerkeyWaterFilters.com has tons of FAQs, comparisons with other brands, test results, videos and more. Every question I could think of was answered there.
A few add-ons I recommend are the sight glass, so you can easily see the water level inside, the shower filter to clean up your shower water, and the travel bottle.
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This Post Has 97 Comments
This has to be a sign as me and my wife were just discussing Berkeys yesterday! I am watching the video as soon as i get home!!!
Haha! That’s great Patrick. Good timing!
It’s a sign for me to go ahead & order one too. I have been researching all the water systems for the last 2 weeks. And the berkey has been on top of my list so far. Thanks for the confirmation.
I bought the system about 10 month ago. The water taste is fantastic but the carbon filters are a real pain. I had to changed them within seven months of purchase and the new ones are acting up again. I returned the first set of filters I purchased a few weeks ago and I’m still waiting for replacements or credit. Not sure this was the best system for me. Again the water taste is fantastic but the filters are giving me a real hard time. Thanks.
Chris, do you use any filters for washing or bathing?
Hi Laura I use the Showerwise shower filter
I am curious to know how it works? It sounds too good to be true as it has always been a problem to find one system that can do all that and within pay-range
Would be nice to see some independent analysis to support the claims as well.
Hi Jon I posted a link to test results under point #1 in my post.
Chris, I trust you, and your opinions mean a lot to me, so I would almost buy this on your recommendation alone, but I’m concerned about whether the fluoride filtering really works. Gerson maintains that only distilling will remove fluoride. What’s your take on that?
Very interesting question. I would like to know your opnion here Chris. Gerson Institute promotes distilling, not filtering. I am aon teh GERSON protocol too and I have to decide what I will buy. Berkey or destiller….
I bought a Big Berkey several months ago (thanks to Chris’ recommendation) and am very pleased. Love the fresh, clean taste of the water. Plus now I don’t have to wash my veggies and fruit in flouride and chlorine either. The instructions suggest that as a test you can add some food coloring to the water and filter it through. It should come back clear.Thanks again Chris.
I just watched your video and was really excited to hear you dont have to hook it up to your faucet. Among every thing else you said about it. So I went to Amazon and read a bunch of reviews and the ones who had their water tested was no better than before. Still very contaminated.
And so my ? for you, have you tested your water before and after? If so, can you share what your results were. Now I dont know what to do. Berkly, Kangen….
Hi Teresa. I have not tested my water, but Berkey has posted several independent test results on their site, which satisfied me.
You can read them on this site. Click on Helpful Resources, then Test Results.
Am saving up for one. In the meantime I must do with my counter top seychelles pitcher which I then pour into a Brita for the last step. I had the water tested for fluoride/mercury/chlorine and was very happy with the results.
Would like a Berkey shower head too ;)
I love my Berkey too! I also have the flouride filters since it is added to the water where I live. Can take it with me if I am going to be in a different area for a while. Really economical in the long run.
I’ve been about to buy this several times, but wanted to know if the water then tastes of stainless steel? Sort of when you put it into a thermos stainless steel flask? I know there is a plastic version of the Berkey so I would but that instead but the stainless steel looks more durable. Thank you!
Hi Suyai. No the water does not taste like stainless steel.
And the plastic one is very durable as well. I think either one will be fine for you.
After much research with choosing a water distiller, I found out that stainless steel has nickel in it and can leach out into your water. Nickel is very toxic.
It’s important to use a glass.
Does it have a lining inside the holding tank?
I currently have a whole house Aquasana filteration system at under my house but it doesn’t filter out the fluoride. My concern with this berkey unit is the method it uses of filtering out fluoride is (corundum/aluminum oxide)likely to put aluminum in the water (while removing the fluoride. What can you tell me about that? I don’t want to trade one problem with another.
Great question Ted! Here’s what they say about that:
The media used to extract the fluoride and arsenic is activated alumina. Since fluoride is a by-product of aluminum production, fluoride has a natural affinity to recombine with activated alumina making it an ideal extraction media. Both nutritionist and lab technicians have informed us that aluminum and alumina are two separate animals. Aluminum can cross the blood brain barrier and cause problems with the brain whereas alumina is inert. It is our understanding that alumina is oxidized aluminum. Aluminum is regulated whereas alumina is not for example, alumina is the material used for making the paste in toothpaste. At any rate, when testing for aluminum in water, most tests cannot distinguish between aluminum ions and oxidized alumina. Since we are not chemists, we tested the effluent from the filters and included that information in our brochure. While we were not required to do so, we felt that it was important to disclose to our customers what our results were so that they would have the necessary information to do further research on the issue should they desire to do so. We think it was significant in the test we conducted using the combination of Black Berkey elements and PF-2 elements there was a net reduction in the tested aluminum content of the source water vs. the purified water. Again that test did not distinguish between aluminum and alumina. The bottom line is that the media utilized is oxidized alumina and not aluminum.
I am considering buying a whole house (non salt) softener & carbon filter. I would still need a distiller or Berkey for drinking water correct?
Hi Cynthia what I’ve found is that most whole house filters don’t remove fluoride so filtering your drinking water is still a good idea. This is also why I’ve never invested in a a whole house filtration system.
Ive been using a “Royal Berkey” in my fight against Cancer, for the last 6 months or so, and have found it a brilliant water filter. I totally agree with you, that this seems the best option for getting pure water.
Nickel should not leach out in any significant quantity if the water retains all the minerals. It is distilled water that could leach out some nickel because it has no minerals and it wants some.
My further question is what material is the primary filter made out of.. What material can possibly absorb all that bad stuff so cheaply.. And how does it hold it all in the material.. I would hate to think that after two months the filter casually discharges a big payload of VOCs into the water all at once to make room for some other contaminants. Any ideas there?
From their site:
Without getting too complex, several methodologies are utilized by the Black Berkey purification elements. The elements are composed of a formulation of more than a half dozen different media types constructed into a very fine matrix creating millions of micro-fine pores. The pores are so small that pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment and sedimentary minerals are not able to pass through them. The media formulation both “absorbs” some contaminates and “adsorbs” other contaminates. Next, heavy metals ions (mineral molecules) are extracted through an Ion exchange process where they are essentially electrically bonded to the media. Finally, our filter elements are designed such that each water molecule can take several minutes to pass through the filter elements whereas these molecules passing through other filtration systems pass through those filters in literally microseconds. The longer the water molecules are in contact with any media, the greater the removal of the various contaminates.
I got my Big Berkey last week, lovin it :o) Thanks for doing the research for us Chris.
This filter system sounds really good Chris!!But when you said the filter could last 6000 gallons is there any test to see if it really still filters that good for that long is my only question?
Hey Paul. Good question. Selling you replacement filters over and over is how most water filter companies make money.
Berkey does not recommend replacing them until each one has filtered 3000 gallons, 6000 for two together.
The only thing they need is periodic scrubbing with a scotch pad a few times per year to remove the outer layer of filtration media.
But for arguments sake let’s say they only last half that long. That would mean that your water cost you 4 cents per gallon instead of 2 cents per gallon. Still sounds pretty good to me!
Paul, if you look on a Berkey site or just search on You Tube, there is a test with red food coloring that tells you whether or not your filter is still working. My system is new so I haven’t tried it, but check it out.
This seems like a good high tech and modern solution for secondary and emergency water purification.
I think it is worth mentioning “secondary” because we need to first consider the water source as the primary means of purity.
If your water has a known or suspected pesticide problem then it would be unwise to trust your health to be maintained soley by a secondary filtration system. In that case, one needs to consider changing the water source by possibly moving somewhere else, getting involved on a local/regional level to help change the ecology, and trying to influence environmental policy.
If the water you drink is filled with poisons then chances are the air and soil and food around you contain a higher amount of posons too.
Chris, I’ll be ordering one of these, thanks for the post!
Could u pease make a second video, on how to clean the Berkey Water Filter. I like to kmow how you remove the outer layer of filtration media.
I agree, I would love to see how Chris cleans it and the filters…thanks Chris, hopefully we’ll see you soon doing it really quickly :)
I think there is a video about this on the berkey site. It’s easy, you just scrub the filter for a few minutes with a scotch pad.
Could u please make a second video, on how to clean the Berkey Water Filter.
HOw does a Berkey compare to an RO system for filtering toxins/ flouride? We have been using an under the sink RO system for years.
Great Water filter, but difficult to shower with it. You still need a whole house filter, and this is where we filter out the fluoride and the chlorine. You can absorb chemicals through your skin when showering or bathing, the whole house filter eliminates this problem. (Also easier to brush your teeth with a pressured water source.)
Its still a great water filter, and taking it on vacations is a great suggestion.
Hey Chris!! I really want to purchase this filter but they wk t ship to California, do you know of another online store that might? Thanks!!
I don’t. Sorry! Maybe try amazon or ebay?
Hi Chris! I follow you and recommend your blog all the time! I read the reviews for this product on amazon and they were kind of half and half. We drink distilled but I hate that it’s bottled and would love to have a product like this. Any reason for you as to why the reviews wouldn’t be more positive?
Hi Kelly. Most of the reviews on amazon are good, the average is 4 stars, but with any product there will always be someone who’s unhappy with it… Beyond that, there are a couple things to keep in mind:
1) There are many independent Berkey distributors. If one of them has a lousy replacement policy and someone complains on amazon, it makes all of them look bad.
2) From what I understand, a couple years ago there was a major manufacturing defect in a large batch of filters, which were covered under warranty, but still resulted in a lot of returns and unhappy people who posted some negative reviews on amazon.
I deliberately waited almost a year before posting about it and I’m very happy with mine.
Hi Chris! Love your blog!
Question: What about pharmaceuticals? I hear they are a real bugger to get out of the water. Is the Berkey able to get those out? What about a distiller?
To all the cancer patients who read this blog, keep reading! And be sure to spend more time focusing on health than the illness. Much love… Jennifer
I’m planning on purchasing a Berkey Royal in the next couple weeks. So I was just curious – we love COLD water – do you use a glass pitcher or something to keep water in the frig? I really want something with a spigot so my 6 yr old can get the water easily. Any recommendations?
Hi Kay, we drink it straight from the Berkey,
which has a spigot. But you could easily transfer it into a pitcher for the fridge if you want the water to be ice cold.
I am a distilled water drinker. Any other water has a taste to it. Since you were a distilled water drinker previously, can you tell me if the Berkey results taste similar to distilled?
Great question Marga! I know exactly what you mean. After drinking distilled water we had a hard time drinking any other water because it tastes funny, sometimes just awful. But the Berkey water tastes different than distilled, but really good. I actually tasted it at a friends house before I ordered one. I think you’ll like it, but they do have a 30 money back guarantee if you don’t. :)
I have had a plastic Brita filter pitcher get a little mold when left on the counter all the time, so I now moved it to the Fridge, have you have any problems keeping the inside clean?
Hey Chris, thanks so much for sharing your story and your research on preventatives that work! What do you think about the Athena filter that removes 99.9% of most toxins (including fluoride) and alkalines the body?
I’ve been researching Berkeys (and going vegan) for almost a year now but was still undecided. Your testimonial for the Berkey pushed me over the edge. I’ll stick around for continued inspiration & strength to go the vegan route. I have health problems that could be reaolved if i find the fortitude & finances to eat vegan. Thanks so much!!
What are your thoughts on Kangan water?
I ordered the same one you have and received mine last week, the water does taste good. I also purchased the chlorine/arsenic filter (a concern here in AK where the land has been mined for gold, etc.). So far so good, my spoiled puppy, Ginger, also now only gets this water! ;)
If it doesn’t filter out essential minerals, how does it filter out fluoride (a mineral)?
The fluoride filters use alumina which binds to fluoride
I absolutely love my Berkey water filter. The water does not have a metallic taste. It is delicious. I really wanted something that would remove fluoride. often, I fill up glass bottles–like Voss bottles–and put them in my fridge so I can take my own filtered water with me to work. This was worth every penny. I could rant and rave about it. My favorite kitchen item!
Thank you so much for this video and your blog!! I am saving up for one of these! What do you do about ice in your ice maker? Is there a great way to filter that? We use ice a lot. Thank you again!
Hi Regina, some newer fridges have built in filters, which are better than nothing.
You can also invest in a whole house filter, but they are very expensive.
I really hardly ever put ice in my drinks anymore. I got out of the habit about 9 years ago.
Chinese medicine says you should never drink iced water. Google it. :)
Just ordered my Berkey! Thanks soo much for the information. I can’t wait to get it!
Chris, can you tell me what the difference is between the Berkey filter system and high priced alkaline antioxidant systems I have seen? The high priced ones sound good….but so does Berkey…..what is the difference and why ? Thanks!
The high priced alkaline water systems contain very lousy filters,
they don’t remove fluoride, only chlorine and some heavy metals.
Way overpriced. I don’t recommend them.
Hello Chris! This metal container does not contaminate the water with metals? You know that aluminum can go into the water and if stainless steel can liberate nickel. Ideally a ceramic container.
(sorry any grammar error, I’m brazilian)
God bless you!
Berkey vs kangen, I read your filter comment, but what about alkalinity? Do you think it’s good or bad to drink alkaline water? The Berkey doesn’t alkalize right?
i have the kangen water machine have you heard of it and if so what do u think about it
Thanks for sharing Chris, I just purchased my Big berkey! i can’t wait to get it!! Blessings:)
We bought the 1 gal. Berkey last year, which has been a good size for us as a family of two for drinking and cooking purposes. We filter a couple of gallons every day, and keep a container filled in the fridge. The filters can be cleaned, helping them to last longer. Also, the filters last longer if you are not using water which has been through the water softener (salt). Berkey’s website explains all this very well.
Hi, we live on an island and we have a choice between plastic water bottle, city water not drinkable and cistern water…should we use this filter on cistern water? that means its just rain water which probably has dirt etc..we already use this water for shower etc..what do you think? thank you very much in advance
HI Jess, yes this is ideal for filtering cistern water. :)
Hi, I read through this article and also read all about flouride. I think it’d be nice to have one of these Berkey water filtration systems but for me they’re expensive. I was wondering what you think about using those water dispensing machines at Whole Foods Market. They say it’s reverse osmosis and at my local Whole Foods it’s 44 cents a gallon. But do you think that’s a good option for filtered water?
To introduce myself briefly, I’m a retired Canadian history teacher with an M.A in history…my dear better half is 83 years old and has suffered from leg infections (they say it is Eczema) for years…she was in the hospital for 3 1/2 months but her legs were still not fully healed…she is now with me at home for almost 3 months and I feed her only healthy foods and encourage her to lead a healthy lifestyle to heal her legs & her overall health inside out….it is said, there is no cure for Eczema…all we can do is to control it with healthy foods, healthy lifestyle and all…that is what I’m attempting to do.
To that end, we would like to have healthier, cleaner, purer drinking water too…we have lived on a farm for almost 40 years…we drink from a well and use Brita to filter our water…but we wish to have something much better & more powerful that takes out virtually all the impurities in water…Brita, unfortunately, doesn’t.
So, I have been researching assiduously for a long time for the very best, the top of the line, water filtering devices…and I was most impressed by the BERKEY system…and among the reviews of BERKEY, I was most impressed by the testimony given by Chris Wark…Bravo, Chris (btw, our son is also named Chris)!…you are doing a fine job!…you come across as a honest, God-fearing, conscientious, thoughtful, well-informed young man…we trust you.
I have carefully read up on your recommendations, and I have ordered a BIG BERKEY for my wife & I (just the two of us, and hopefully the BIG BERKEY fits the bill)…I have ordered it from a Canadian distributor and can hardly wait for it to arrive.
Chris, thank you so much, and if you wish to make a comment, please feel free to do so.
I shared because I want to win the Big Berkey, but I don’t know how to put the link on here to prove it.
Like Jennifer, I am also very concerned about pharmaceuticals and also hormones in the water (from birth control pills, etc.). Does Berkey or any other filtration system that you know of remove hormones or pharmaceuticals?
Does the Berkey Water Filter remove hormones?
If it removes single elements, then it definitely would remove hormones which have dozens of elements bonded together.
Hi Chris, wanted you to know after reading on your site about the Berkey’s I did a month of research and ordered one yesterday. I am so excited! I do have a questions about the kind of cookware you use. I have been researching but haven’t found anything I really like. Thanks for your thought. May God continue to bless you and your family.
Considering the berkey…should I check my well water for flouride 1st? What’s with the microwave in the background? Can’t say enough about ditching that contraption.
From the slanted angle of the front it looks like a toaster oven.
Well water won’t have fluoride, but may be contaminated with may other pollutants that seep into ground water. Haha yeah the microwave came with the house. We don’t use it. When we redo our kitchen it’s going to the curb. :)
Chris, I haven’t seen anything on your blog about microwave ovens. Can you give me the lowdown on them and why you don’t use them?
i am researching water filtration. Have you heard of the Chanson miracle max? What is your viewon alkaline water?
Wait! You only have to replace the filters every 11 years? How can that be? We have a reverse osmosis system and have to replace the sentiment filter (first stage of filtration) every 6 months. It fills up with black “yuck” that would clog up the carbon filters in the next stages if not there. How does the Berkey avoid that issue?
Hi Chris I bought a Biocera anti oxidant alkaline water filter do you know anything about that or have I invested in something that is doing me no good what so ever?
Kind regards Tina
Hey Chris, I just bought this, based on your recommendation. I want to thank you for doing all the research. Choosing a good portable filter was way more involved than I thought, I appreciate this site so much! There is a great deal of misinformation, regarding filters as you rightly pointed out that can lead us all astray.
I’ve had this product for over a year now.. Love it. We even bought 2 sport bottles to take with us on vacation! I can’t drink tap anymore!
My wife ordered a test through a private lab to test for Heavy Metals when we were trying to conceive because her mother told her that when she was a baby she cracked a mercury-filled thermometer when she was a baby.
The results came back and she was actually HIGH in lead, the mercury was low!
So glad to know we’re filtering those hard-to-eradicate metals out now!
Its the exact same thing with a different name on it.
Thank you! Good to know. :) And thank you for helping some people critically reflect about the status quo! ;)
Thank you Chris for the info about your filtered water system. I should be enjoying good clean water in just a few days. It’s already on its way to my home! Thank You! Oh an also have a tower garden on its way. :)
Hi Chris, My new Berkey dispenses clear water initially. But when the filtered water is left to sit, especially if the temperature changes (like leaving a glass bottle of water in the car) the water turns very cloudy. My confidence in the quality of the water is low because of this. Memphis tap water does not do this. What am I drinking. I’m worried. Ellen
Hi Chris, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and would first like to thank you for all of the information you have out there. I have since started juicing with the Champion and love it! I also purchased a Berkey which I was so excited to get. I previously had a small Cuisinart gravity filter system, but it was just like a Brita or Pur filter, just a little larger. I wanted something larger and that’s when I actually found you…when I was researching water filters. Having the water “purifier” as compared to the regular water “filter” to me was the selling point. It’s amazing…thanks so much for posting about it.
I know this is an older post so I hope you will see this and reply. We just purchased our first Berkey and are still having to prime the floride filter. Water remained cloudy the first few times we primed. I was able to use the discount after giving your name, but, after reading more about it it appears this will end up being more expensive than using our distiller(broke a few wks back). We live on an extremely tight budget. We use up to 3 gallons of water a day so am wondering how often I will need to replace both kinds of filters: floride and the black ones. Also, for me, the system is way to complicated! I had to have someone else set it up as it’s way too involved for me! With the distiller I just cleaned it out monthly, replaced the tiny filter every 2 months. I also added minerals from Hallelujuh Acres to each gallon. Have you figured out how much it ends up costing your family, per yr after you replace the filters, every 6 months or so? Thanks, and God bless you for all you do!
Is this water filter made of aluminum ,will it leak aluminum in to the lower portion of the water well..and is it rust proof ..
Great question – i think this company would not bother with poisonous metals – but I DO TOO want to make sure….
Read the article again it plainly states – “The Berkey systems themselves and their components (stainless steel, etc)”. Also on Berkey’s site you’d see it’s stainless steel.
Chris, I like this water system but wondering if you have any comments on Aqua Tru system. I bought one about 1.5 years ago. I like it but it is too small and does require electricity. I have not had water tested after running threw system so not sure on how well it does other than what company advertises. Thanks
So, I just ordered the Big Berkey online and then, after checking out, it said it can’t be shipped to California and to choose an address out of state!? Well, that doesn’t work for me. Do you have another suggestion for a countertop water purifier system that I can get in California?
We have well water that has excess manganese. I called Berkey and their filters don’t remove excess manganese. (I don’t think any water filters on the market remove manganese). I am thinking distilled water is probably going to be our next best solution. When you did distilled water, which system did you use and would you recommend it?
Hi there, just a question regarding pH levels – I’m considering purchasing a reverse osmosis filter however it seems a bit of a schlep to connect it to the tap etc. however not sure whether to purchase a berkey or the reverse osmosis filter – not sure if you have any comments on it. Would you say it’s important/necessary to purchase a filter that raises the water’s pH level? Thank you!
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