Safe and clean drinking water is something many Americans take for granted, myself included. After the devastating events in Texas in early 2021, my husband and I realized we needed an emergency plan in the event we did not have access to water for an extended period of time. As a family that is working towards living naturally, removing toxins from our home and food, the Berkey Water Filter seemed like the perfect addition. We have been using our Berkey Filter for a little over a month now. This Berkey Water Filter review will help you make a more informed decision on if a Berkey is right for your family. No clue what a Berkey Filter is? This review will help with that too!
What is a Berkey Water Filter?
A Berkey Water Filter is a water purification system that is designed to remove 99.9% of contaminants from water. In an emergency situation where there is a boil water advisory, a Berkey Water Filter can safely clean the water for you to drink. If you are in the wilderness with only access to river water, the Berkey can safely filter it too.
Berkey also sells additional fluoride filters, water bottles that filter water on the go, and even shower heads!
What Does a Berkey Water Filter Remove?
Berkey water filters are designed to remove pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, preflourinated chemicals, and viruses. Here are just some of the chemicals it is guaranteed to remove from your water:
- E. Coli
Does the Water Really Taste Better?
It would be remiss not to discuss the taste difference in this berkey water filter review. The taste difference in Berkey water versus tap, filtered, or bottled water is unmatched. The best way I can describe the taste is that it is very flat. It honestly has no taste.
You don’t get a hint of metallic aftertaste. There is no mildew taste. It truly just tastes like extremely clean water.
Are Berkey Filters Worth the Investment?
Without a doubt, the Berkey Water Filter is worth its weight in water. The ease of use, peace of mind for emergency situations, and taste of truly pure water are priceless. Having clean water easily accessible is something not to take for granted. I have not once regretted my purchase.
If you compare the cost of purchasing purified bottled water, the Berkey filter is much more economical. If a case of water costs $5 and you buy 2 per week, that is $560 per year. A Berkey filter is roughly half of that and a one time purchase!
Setting Up Your Berkey Water Filter
This was the hardest part of the entire process for me. The Berkey box has several pieces of paper with a lot of words on them. Some of the information was redundant but some of it was contradictory.
I ended up having to watch a YouTube video to figure out exactly how to get my filter set up correctly. In fact, the first time I primed my filters (the process of wetting the filters before putting them in the tank), I did it incorrectly and my water wasn’t dripping into the reservoir.
I would highly recommended watching a YouTube video of someone setting up a system before doing your own! Here is a helpful video I found:
How Easy are Berkey Filters to Maintain?
We have been using our Berkey filter for about a month now and after the initial setup, there has been virtually zero maintenance.
If you travel for an extended period of time, are moving, or otherwise won’t be in a place to use your Berkey, you will need to prime your filters again before use.
Aside from keeping it full so the filters don’t dry out, it is incredibly low maintenance.
What Size Berkey Filter Is Best For Me?
The Berkey water system comes in various sizes. Here is a quick synopsis of the options:
- Travel Berkey- holds 1.5 gallons of water and is recommended for up to 6 people in an emergency.
- Big Berkey- holds 2.5 gallons of water and is recommended for 2-4 people.
- Royal Berkey- holds 3.25 gallons of water and is recommended for 2-6 people.
- Imperial Berkey- holds 4.5 gallons of water and is recommended for 6-10 people
- Crown Berkey- holds 6 gallons of water and is suitable for more than 6 people
It is recommended to buy the size that you think you will consume in a day. My family of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids) have a royal berkey and it is plenty big. In fact, we don’t typically drink all of the water in the reservoir.
Where To Buy Berkey Filters
This was the most confusing aspect of purchasing my Berkey. If you simply Google “berkey water filter” a slew of websites similar to “berkeywaterfilter.com” will come up. It’s very hard to differentiate who the correct one is. That is because Berkey sells licenses for their filter systems. So, anyone can purchase the license and set up a shop. There are pros and cons to this.
After purchasing my Berkey, I realized you can also buy them on Amazon through the Berkey shop. It is so much easier that way 🙂
Common Mistakes Made with Berkey Filters
Every new Berkey owner will make one of these mistakes:
- Forget to close the valve and spill water everywhere
- Leave a reservoir full of clean water, fill up the top chamber, and have water all over the floors or counters because it seeped out
- Prime the filters incorrectly
- Forget to fill the top chamber and the bottom chamber is empty
What I Like About My Royal Berkey Water Filter
The pros of the berkey water filter far outweigh the cons. Here are my favorite aspects of my Berkey:
- The water tastes pure and clean
- My kids can easily fill their cups
- My whole family is drinking more water every day
- Low maintenance
- Not a huge investment
- Peace of mind for emergency situations
- Removes toxins from water that I do not want to consume
- Reduces plastic waste
What I Dislike About My Royal Berkey Water Filter
Even though it’s a very minimal list, here are the few things I wish were different with my Berkey:
- It’s tall and requires an open space to sit (not under a counter)
- It’s not very aesthetically appealing
- The set-up instructions were incredibly confusing
- The height of the unit makes it somewhat difficult to refill when on a stand
Berkey and Brita are well-known manufacturers of water filtration systems, and both offer a range of products designed to remove impurities from drinking water. Ultimately, the best water filtration system for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some people may prefer the convenience of a pitcher-style filter, while others may prefer the more thorough filtration provided by a countertop or under-sink system.
Berkey water filters are known for their durability and effectiveness, and some of their products are designed to filter larger quantities of water more quickly than other brands. As a result, some Berkey products may be more expensive than comparable Brita products.
How Long Do Berkey Filters Really Last?
The lifespan of a Berkey water filter will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of filter being used and the quality of the water being filtered. In general, Berkey recommends replacing the filters in their systems every 6,000 to 7,500 gallons of water, depending on the type of filter being used. However, it is important to note that these are just general guidelines, and the actual lifespan of a filter may be shorter or longer depending on the specific conditions it is used in.
Brita on the other hand recommends changing their filters every 120 gallons so while Brita may be cheaper to buy, Berkey is usually more affordable over the long term.
Ways I Use the Water from the Berkey Filters
- Filling up my coffee pot
- Cooking and baking (not when I have to boil)
- Drinking (obviously)
- Watering plants (plants like clean water too!)