Sometimes it’s just time for a change. Our clunker of a water cooler finally bit the dust – it developed a leaky spout (with a little help from one of our kids, no doubt). And I’m not that much of a handy man so fixing the thing was out of the question.
Buying a new one was the easy way out (hey I’m a guy, I don’t like to over complicate things), but my lovely wife insisted that we look at our options. So after hours of research and deliberation we finally decided to invest in The Royal Berkey Water Filtration System and two of their shower filters.
It Looks Really Nice
I have to admit, The Berkey Water Filter System has a clean, sleek look to it. It’s a stainless steel unit that complements our modern kitchen well and has a minimalist feel to it. We quite like it.
When it comes to placement of the Berkey, I imagine most people put it on their counter (either at the edge or they use the extra stand you can purchase from Berkey).
Our counter space is pretty compacted already, so we opted to purchase a stand like this to keep it on. It’s functional with hooks and storage plus it has wheels… so if we’re ever feeling too lazy to bring multiple pitchers of water over to fill it, we can just wheel the whole thing over to the sink and fill it right there. Yeah!
Why We Chose The Berkey
Before purchasing, we looked at many options. Our decision really came down to 5 main deciding factors:
On the surface the Berkey may seem expensive and alarming. It was for us at first. That is until we calculated how much it was costing us to refill our bottles of distilled water (and then re-mineralizing them).
On average we were spending $1.47 a gallon. Not bad until I saw that Berkey claims on their website that their average cost per gallon is 1.6 CENTS! This would amount to a savings of $1.46 per gallon. The Berkey will pay for itself in only a short while!
What It Filters Out
The Berkey’s black carbon filters can remove up to 99% of viruses, pathogenic bacteria, lead, iron, mercury, chlorine, trihalomethane (THMs), bisphenol-A, chloramines, pharmaceuticals, petroleum contaminants, methylcycohexane-methane, pesticides, heavy metals, coliform, e-Coli, and atrazine. And 98% of gross alpha emitters and 97% of uranium.
And with the addition of the optional PF-2 filters, it can also remove 99% of the fluoride and arsenic in water.
Quite a list.
The bottom line is this: you can dump the nastiest of the nastiest water (think pond scum) into this thing and still have perfectly clean, drinkable water. Doesn’t get much better than that.
How Long The Filter Lasts
This was really important to us. The last thing I want to do is have to change a filter out every couple of months (think refrigerator door filters). To my surprise, the Berkey filters last a really, really long time.
Using their formula of 3000 gallons per black filter (so for the basic two filters, that makes 6000 gallons) divided by my family’s average daily consumption (3 gallons) equals 2000 days or over 5 years before we would have to replace them!
It Leaves In The Minerals
The Berkey filters out just about everything bad from the water while leaving in all the important minerals. We found this really appealing as adding minerals back to distilled water (which we did for years) is just another added cost we were happy to leave behind.
Speed of Filtration
Okay… so maybe this was mostly a concern of mine. I’m impatient. But the Berkey filters quickly if you prime the filters correctly and fill the top chamber all the way to the top when you refill it.
This uses the filters evenly and adds more pressure to push water through quickly (since it’s a gravity based system).
It Is Completely Stainless Steel
Plastic has a bad rap. For good reason. According to this study, researchers found that almost ALL plastics (even BPA-Free ones) still leech chemicals that cause estrogenic activity, which simply means it causes a mimicking of the hormone estrogen in the body. And it can cause a whole host of problems, including…
- altered sex-specific behaviors
- increased rates of prostate, testicular, ovarian and breast cancer
- lower sperm counts
- earlier puberty in females
- altered functions of reproductive organs
Most containers for water filter systems (Brita, Santevia, etc.) house their water in plastic containers.
The Berkey is stainless steel and eliminated all the worry of storing our water in plastic.
Because it is completely stainless steel, one common complaint is not knowing how much water you have left in the bottom chamber. If you aren’t careful, you can add too much water to the top chamber and cause the bottom to overflow.
As a precaution, we decided to purchase the extra glass spigot. It’s pretty sweet and allows you to see the water level in the bottom chamber.
The Drastic Change
Our two oldest kids have never been big water drinkers, but no joke, since getting the Berkey water filter, they pound back the good ole’ H20! And not just them. Lots of other people say they love the taste of the water when it goes through their Berkey filter too.
Is It Really Worth The Price?
Definitely. Think of it this way… water is our life force. We drink lots of it every day. What’s in our water can effect everything – our body, our health and our mood. Quality matters and you can’t do much better than the Berkey.
You may also want to check out our article on the 9 shocking health benefits of drinking water.