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11/2/2022 4:30:06 PM
Posted: 8/29/2022 1:41:58 PM EST
Hello gents,

I know this has been asked a million times - but do I need a Berkey water filter?  Live in a small village - approx 3,500 people - and have a city water systems that has not failed me in over 30 years.

But - it's a crazy world and water is a must. I do have appox 200 gallons stored up.   And have a pond and a couple of streams nearby.

Is the Berkey as good as they say they are ? Will they filter pond water ?    It's just me and the Wifey - what size ?  

Other options or brands ?  If I get a water filter I need something the Wifey can get out of the box and use it - not a "homemade kit" like you see on YT.  

Thanks !
brownells
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 1:49:00 PM EST
[#1]
No idea on the pond water as I've never run pond water through mine. They claim it will though.

That said, we've had one for a long time. I absolutely love it! For some reason our county water had a strange taste to it, which the Berkey completely removes.

That said, the current prices on them are a bit insane. I put my spare filters in the other day and went to re-order another spare set. They are $166. As cheaply made as they are, it's flat out crazy. If beyond high priced and entering the territory of insane imo. I see other similar filters for a small fraction of the price. So, I suspect that there are probably some more affordable units out there that work just as well.

Do I really like it? Absolutely. Would I buy it again? Yes, but I'd shop around and research some of the more reasonably priced competitors first. Other than the pricing I have 0 complaints about the actual filter setup.
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 4:55:36 PM EST
[#2]
I have had a big Berkley for around 6 yrs and the only proof I need is that when we moved to Florida it makes the awful tasting water down here perfectly drinkable.
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 5:05:19 PM EST
[#3]
We have Berkey, Katadyn and Sawyer filters.  The Berkey sits on the kitchen counter and gets used every day.  I've never tried the Berkey w/ anything other than tap water.  I've used both the Katady and Sawyer while motorcycle camping in the mountains, so I know they both do the job.

We have the 1.5 gallon model, it might be called the Big Berkey I don't recall.  I wish I would have gone bigger b/c we are constantly filling it w/ 6 people in the house.

I see water filters as a cheap insurance policy that guarantees I'll have potable water regardless of what happens w/ the city water.
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 6:20:00 PM EST
[#4]
We use one at our cabin for drinking water. Water comes from a creek that is pretty clean but still needs filtering. going on 2 years with no problem
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 7:07:37 PM EST
[#5]
I got the Berkey, but I would have got one of the knock offs had I known they existed. The knockoffs come with metal spiggots that you have to buy and upgrade the berkeys for.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09C59M3YY?tag=arfcom00-20
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 8:44:11 PM EST
[#6]
I love my berkey.  Makes super chlorinated city water taste great.

Are there lower priced good filter options for them?  I've only used mine 4 months so not a immediate concern.
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 8:54:48 PM EST
[#7]
Link Posted: 8/29/2022 8:59:31 PM EST
[#8]
ZEROWATER!!!!!! Watch the Project Farm video on it. The sumbish will filter food coloring out of your water. I'm pretty sure you could pour Mountain Dew in it and get clean water out. I love mine and it's $30 at Menards.
Link Posted: 8/31/2022 11:07:52 AM EST
[#9]
We had a "derecho" in wv a while back.  No power 11 days, water plant shut down after 3 days, as the gas pumps shut down and could not refill generators for the water plant.  Son was in a diaper only as it was 95 degrees with 90% humidity.  After the water shut off, and I saw him there sweating, I said "fuck it" and rolled out with him.  After crossing 2 other states I found a hotel with power and water.  That was my prepping come to jesus moment.

We live near a river, but it was contaminated at the time as we lived near a chemical plant.  The only option I had was to leave.  If it would have been just me, I would figure some shit out.  But with my son only being 18months old, I rocked out.  That was around 10 years ago.

I have since up my prepping game, and yes a Berkey is a good investment. I bought one for me, his grandparents, and  one for the car.  Dont fret over the money on it.  Worst case, get the cheapest they have and a couple spare filters.  I still use mine everyday in the house as my tap water is crap, and it saves on at least a case or 2 of water every week.

Edit: no affiliation with this guy, but he is legit.  Also, look out for fake filters on amazon.

This guy
Link Posted: 8/31/2022 7:28:24 PM EST
[#10]
Village?  Are you European?
Link Posted: 8/31/2022 7:52:37 PM EST
[#11]
I’m not a Burkey expert, but my understanding is that they use a carbon filter.
That is one of the only effective ways of cleaning chemicals out of your water.  If you have a lot of chlorine from your city water, Burkey will make it taste good. They also are good for cleaning particulates out of your water.

Charcoal filters are less effective with Protozoa, not very good with bacteria, and not good at all against viruses.

I recommend using multiple stages to treat questionable water. Berke would be the last stage to clean out any chemical taste that you may have used to kill viruses and bacteria.

Also look into a .02 µm filter, or a reverse osmosis system.
Link Posted: 9/1/2022 1:48:36 PM EST
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Village?  Are you European?
View Quote

Not the first time I have seen Ohio refer to towns as villages.
Link Posted: 9/5/2022 8:57:06 PM EST
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
ZEROWATER!!!!!! Watch the Project Farm video on it. The sumbish will filter food coloring out of your water. I'm pretty sure you could pour Mountain Dew in it and get clean water out. I love mine and it's $30 at Menards.
View Quote


Sorry, this is horrible advice.

I love me some Project Farm, but he really did his viewers a disservice by testing via a Dissolved Solids meter.  TDS meters do not measure the amount of biological and chemical contaminants, only "solids."

You know what other "solids" your water contains?  Minerals (electrolytes) that your body requires to function.

Since ZeroWater removes the benefits of drinking water (minerals), you may as well be drinking distilled water...and relying solely upon distilled water can have a disastrous impact on your health.

Systems like Berkey remove the harmful and keep the beneficial.  @BankerBilly, I'd get one this weekend if you can, as several Berkey sites are having Labor Day sales.


Link Posted: 9/5/2022 9:40:59 PM EST
[#14]
Link Posted: 9/6/2022 5:35:18 PM EST
[#15]
I love my Berkey.   The old house had water that smelled like rotten eggs and tasted like sulfur.   The Berkey cleaned it right up and made the water a pleasure to drink.   With five of us in the house I would keep a pitcher of filtered water in the fridge.  When it was empty I would refill it from the Berkey downstairs.   Now that I live alone, the Big Berkey that I use is almost too big.   If I don't use the water fast enough the taste changes and I suspect that isn't good.   Now I dump it once a week and refill it.  

I know what you mean about the village water system not letting you down but I am going to tell you a couple of drinking water stories.   I grew up in a small village in Michigan that had a reliable water delivery system.   Population is 2,400.   The village water came from a network of wells in the village.   In the late 90's my parents put in a pool.   My dad used his political connections to fill the pool from the municipal water system.   They ran a hose from the hydrant to the pool and filled it.   The water was green.   You couldn't see the bottom of the pool.   Someone asked if it was safe to swim and and the guy filling it reminded them that they were drinking this water.   This village was less than 100 miles from Flint Michigan.   You have probably heard stories about the Flint Water Crisis.   I also spent time in the Marine Corps.   During the Gulf War I spent time aboard a ship where the drinking water tasted like jet fuel.   I was attached to a helicopter squadron and routinely had jet fuel on my hands so I know what it tastes like.   According to our Flight Surgeon the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) kept telling the Captain of the ship that there was an issue with the drinking water but the Captain kept disputing it.   The CMO sent a sample out to be tested, the ship was shut down for two days for repairs, and the CMO was transferred off the ship.   The water didn't taste like jet fuel after that.   And then I was stationed 9 miles from Camp Lejeune North Carolina for four years.   I suspect that you have heard stories about the water issues there.   "Military personnel exposed to over 3,000x the safe exposure limits of toxic chemicals."...    

So now I filter my water any chance that I get.   I have a Berkey as my primary bulk filter and use a Grayl on the go.   Then I have a Sawyer Mini and Life Straw for emergencies.   The Berkey and Grayl are good to go.
Link Posted: 9/6/2022 6:05:54 PM EST
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I got the Berkey, but I would have got one of the knock offs had I known they existed. The knockoffs come with metal spiggots that you have to buy and upgrade the berkeys for.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09C59M3YY?tag=arfcom00-20
View Quote



Do these use the same filters?
Link Posted: 9/7/2022 6:40:21 AM EST
[#17]
Link Posted: 9/7/2022 2:43:12 PM EST
[#18]
If you want “cheap”,

You can buy just the Berkey filters and a couple of plastic 5gal buckets with lids and a spigot. Some assembly required.
Link Posted: 9/7/2022 6:22:18 PM EST
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
If you want “cheap”,

You can buy just the Berkey filters and a couple of plastic 5gal buckets with lids and a spigot. Some assembly required.
View Quote



Food Grade Bucketts!!!

....but what they said. I think you can UTube some videos on how to do it.
Link Posted: 9/7/2022 6:40:40 PM EST
[#20]
How long do those Berkey filters last ? How many gallons if you’re filtering tap water ?
Link Posted: 9/8/2022 10:13:46 AM EST
[#21]
Berkey says 3000 gallons per filter. If your system has 2 filters, 6000 gallons.
Link Posted: 9/8/2022 12:26:44 PM EST
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Sorry, this is horrible advice.

I love me some Project Farm, but he really did his viewers a disservice by testing via a Dissolved Solids meter.  TDS meters do not measure the amount of biological and chemical contaminants, only "solids."

You know what other "solids" your water contains?  Minerals (electrolytes) that your body requires to function.

Since ZeroWater removes the benefits of drinking water (minerals), you may as well be drinking distilled water...and relying solely upon distilled water can have a disastrous impact on your health.

Systems like Berkey remove the harmful and keep the beneficial.  @BankerBilly, I'd get one this weekend if you can, as several Berkey sites are having Labor Day sales.


https://y4s3k8d9.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/USABF_TDS.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
ZEROWATER!!!!!! Watch the Project Farm video on it. The sumbish will filter food coloring out of your water. I'm pretty sure you could pour Mountain Dew in it and get clean water out. I love mine and it's $30 at Menards.


Sorry, this is horrible advice.

I love me some Project Farm, but he really did his viewers a disservice by testing via a Dissolved Solids meter.  TDS meters do not measure the amount of biological and chemical contaminants, only "solids."

You know what other "solids" your water contains?  Minerals (electrolytes) that your body requires to function.

Since ZeroWater removes the benefits of drinking water (minerals), you may as well be drinking distilled water...and relying solely upon distilled water can have a disastrous impact on your health.

Systems like Berkey remove the harmful and keep the beneficial.  @BankerBilly, I'd get one this weekend if you can, as several Berkey sites are having Labor Day sales.


https://y4s3k8d9.rocketcdn.me/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/USABF_TDS.jpg

Nope.

I filter my water because I prefer to ensure it's clean. The trace amounts of minerals in the water are of no consequence to me. I'd rather ensure that my water is clean, and get my micronutrients and minerals from my food, and the multivitamins I take.

Therein, lies the issues with the Berkey.

In independent lab testing, both Berkey and Zerowater were the 2 commonly available water filters that actually did a decent job of filtering out contaminants when new. The question is; for how long?

Berkey claims a 3000 gallon life per filter. The reality is that the few people who've ever bothered sending in samples of filtered water for independent lab testing, have found a significant drop off in the Berkey's contaminant removal effectiveness after just ~100 - 200 gallons, and that's one of the reasons Berkey likes to hype the 'essential minerals' blah, blah, blah, and how a TDS won't tell you how wonderful their filters are.

With a Zerowater filter, it's simple; when you're seeing 006 ppm or higher, the filter is no longer removing contaminants effectively.

Activated carbon doesn't act like a sieve. It traps contaminants via adsorption. When the media reaches capacity, it not only stops removing contaminants from the water, trapped contaminants in the filter start leaching back out into the 'filtered' water.

The design of the ZW filters gives you a simple way to gauge the service interval/end-of-life of the filter.

Berkey OTOH tells you that you can't use a TDS meter to gauge the end-of-life of their filters, and to just trust that they last 3000 gallons each. That’s a bunch of BS, because as mentioned, activated carbon media can only adsorb XX amount of contaminants, i.e. the filter service life/(contaminant capture ability) is wholly dependent on the level of contaminants in the source water.

Purer source water = longer duration before the media reaches capacity. Higher contaminant levels = shorter effective filtration life.

The other consideration, is bio contamination/growth. Neither the ZW nor the Berkey have any inherent ability to inhibit either bacterial or mold growth. The longer the filter is in use, the higher the chance of contamination of that kind growing on/in the filter (and as much as Berkey tries to scrub complaints about this, you can still find owner complaints on the web).

The ZW filter lifespan is significantly shorter (when used as directed, and changed whenever the TDS meter reads 006ppm), but that also means that the filter isn't being used for 12+ months (or like a Berkey, with no way to know if it's still even filtering contaminants effectively, because a TDS meter won't tell you when it's no longer filtering out what you WANT filtered out, since it's been reading high from the start).

In a SHTF scenario, with questionable water sources, I also like that I can just swap out the ZW filter (and thoroughly wash the receptacle) if I even suspect that it's contaminated/compromised, because I keep between a 6-9 month rotating supply of them, buying them on sale for $10/ea or less, vs the $1XX for the Berkey filters.

For a SHTF type scenario, I have a multitiered approach.

1) pre-filtering for turbidity and larger contaminants, using a simple setup with standard coffee filters. Of I ever ran out of those, clean cotton is washable/reusable, and can serve the same purpose

2) I have two of the Sawyer Point Zero Two bucket setups (virtually impossible to buy in the US now, since Sawyer decided to prioritize all stock of those, for the 3rd World shitholes where they're of greatest benefit). These filters will filter out viral contamination (but they run significantly slower than the standard 0.1 micron filters that are made to filter out bacteria and parasites/protozoa, but not viral contamination). Do you NEED a filter capable of filtering out viruses? It depends. If things go bad, what are the chances of viral contaminants in your source water? Possibility of people/animals shitting in it? Possibility of effluent overflow/runoff, like in any type of flooding?

If viral filtering is a requirement (things like boiling still work fine for killing pathogens), the Lifestraw Family, Mission and Community (NOT the little straw types) filters are all 0.02 micron viral filters  that use the same hollow fiber tech as the Sawyer 0.02.

3) the Zerowater, is the 3rd phase, for filtering out the chemical and dissolved contaminants that particulate filters can't remove. As mentioned, these will be used in conjunction with TDS meters to determine their service end-of-life.

Some people prefer as much info as they can, when considering their options. Some will stick to their choice purely out of brand loyalty and go, "La la la la laaaaa! I don't want to hear anything bad about the choice I've made!".

YMMV. Do your own research and make your own choices.


P.S.

Important consideration to add: even with the Zerowater filters, I get FAR less service life out of them, than the manufacturers estimates. My source water fluctuates between 2xx and ~300ppm and I average between 13-16 gallons per ZW filter (I've tried the off brand filters. Service life is ~75 - 80%. I'd rather wait and stock up when the actual ZW filters go on sale. I've bought them for as low as $6/ea, but usually buy more when they drop below $10/ea).

Buddy in OH with source water that reads ~12Xppm, gets about double the life I'm seeing before the filtered water hits that 006ppm mark, which makes sense, vs a blanket 'Good for XXXX gallons' claim.

*** Sawyer's claim that their filters can filter XXX,XXX or even X,XXX,XXX gallons is different. This is a particulate filter that's filtering out particulate contaminants (and actually DOES work akin to a sieve). With regular backflushing to flush out those physical particles, to keep the micropores in the hollow fibers from clogging (and occasionally flushing it with a bleach solution to kill any pathogens), those filters could theoretically filter indefinitely.

The hollow fibers in the Sawyer and big Lifestraw filters aren't like a paper filter medium. They aren't going to disintegrate/degrade rapidly with frequent/regular use, and unlike activated carbon that has a maximum contaminant capture capacity, physical particulate filtration continues working as long as you keep the filter from clogging up (and the coffee filter pre-filtering aids that).
Link Posted: 9/9/2022 1:07:16 PM EST
[#23]
My head is spinning with all of this info here . Probably gonna check out the Zero Water and I see that Lowes sells the brand and they give me a veterans discount.
Link Posted: 9/9/2022 4:18:08 PM EST
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Nope.

I filter my water because I prefer to ensure it's clean. The trace amounts of minerals in the water are of no consequence to me. I'd rather ensure that my water is clean, and get my micronutrients and minerals from my food, and the multivitamins I take.

--SNIP--

View Quote



That's a mighty long-winded cope.

OP asks for a filter to be used in an emergency situation, and y'all recommend something that was designed to make water...................taste better?  

OP, get something that at the bare minimum reduces bacteria, protozoa, and cysts...which the ZeroWater does not.  These are the contaminants that kill millions around the globe.

Preferably something that uses gravity so you can set it and forget it.  Berkey, Sawyer, MSR, Platypus, are good options proven in third world / developing nations.
Link Posted: 9/9/2022 4:36:25 PM EST
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



That's a mighty long-winded cope.

OP asks for a filter to be used in an emergency situation, and y'all recommend something that was designed to make water...................taste better?  

OP, get something that at the bare minimum reduces bacteria, protozoa, and cysts...which the ZeroWater does not.  These are the contaminants that kill millions around the globe.

Preferably something that uses gravity so you can set it and forget it.  Berkey, Sawyer, MSR, Platypus, are good options proven in third world / developing nations.
View Quote

The bolded and underlined is exactly what Berkeys are
Link Posted: 9/15/2022 9:50:37 AM EST
[#26]
Katadyn ceradyn master race checking in.
Uses 2 filters, cleaned twice. Going on 13 years daily use ,with those filters.

Emergency use.
Store water
Get a well
Get a drip filter as posted  y everyone here.

Decide if you fancy or utilitarian.....
I didn't go fancy( shiny)
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