The Berkey Water Filter System
I remember reading about the “Rule of Threes” in survival situations. You can survive for three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. Well, air is air. gotta have it. Food, given the three week rule, is not the top priority. But water is an immediate and manageable issue. Now I have enough canned and dried food around the house to last a long time. Plus, all of the food in my fridge and freezer can support my family for at least a week. I have not a want or a need for food. Water is another story. The average person in a survival situation needs at least one gallon of water per day. That is just for consumption to stay hydrated and for limited cooking. I figure that during a disaster scenario that I would have to go at it at home for a week with no services. No gas, electric or water. As I have a total of three members in the household, I would need 21 gallons of water just to stay alive. That’s four plus jerry cans of water. I am not going to store four jerry cans of water and keep them rotated year after year. It was time for a real solution to water.
Now there is no shortage of water in any situation. There is water in the gutter, water in the pool, water in the pond and even water in the bed of my truck. But I really doubt you would drink it for fear of getting a disease or parasite that would prove to be worse than dehydration. All of that available water needs to be purified for drinking. I looked at a lot of filters. A lot of the hiking filters will do the job of purifying water to well within human drinking standards. Actually, these hiking filters will make your tap water safer to drink. But given the slow rate of filtering and the energy it takes to operate these pumps, I soon found that it was impractical for the family setting. I needed something that had a high rate of filtering and was easy to use.
Berkey water filter system - Berkey Light
The Berkey Filter
I came across a company called New Millennium Concepts that makes a water filter system that fits my needs to the letter. They make a filter called the Berkey. This filtering system works on gravity and has no pumps. It basically is comprised of a top tank that holds the filters and bad water and a lower chamber that collects the purified water. The lower chamber has a spigot that you can use access your clean water. What is most impressive about this filter is two things. The first is that you just pour the bad water in the top and that’s it. You just wait for the water to filter. No pumping, no priming and no mess. The second thing I found impressive about this filter is how well it works. We are not talking about filtering water, we are talking about water purification. The heart of this filtering system is the Black Berkey Filter Element. These candle style filters will basically take any water (other than sea water and urine) and make the water purified for drinking. Again, purified, not filtered. Here is a list of all of the things the Black Berkey takes out of your water:
Viruses to >99.999%: Ms2 and Fr Caliphate
Pathogenic Bacteria Cysts and Parasites to >99.9999: E. Coli, Klebsiella Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoultella Terrigena
Trihalomethanes to below detectable levels: Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane
Radiologicals to below detectable limits: Radon 222
Inorganic Materials: Chlorine Residuals
Volatile Organic Compounds to below detectable limits: Alachlor Atrazine Benzene CarbofuranCarbon Tetrachloride Chlorine Chlorobenzene Chloroform2,4-D dbcp p-Dichlorobenzene o Dichlorobenzene 1, 1-Dichloroethan 1, 2-Dichlorpethane 1, 1-Dichloroethylene Cis-1, 2-Dichloroethyiene Trans-1, 2-Dichloroethylene, 1, 2-Dichloropropane cis-l, 3-Dichloropropylene
Dinoseb Endrin Ethylbenzene Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) Heptachlor Heptachlor Epoxide Hexachlorobutodlene Hexachloro-Cyclopentadlene Lindane Methoxychlor MTBE Pentachlorophenol Simazine Styrene 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane Tetrachloroethylene Toluene 2,4,5-TP (Silvex) 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene 1,1,1-trichloroethane 1,1,2-trichloroethane Trichloroethylene o-Xylene m-Xylene
Heavy Metals reduced by 95%: Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper
This filter also removes or reduces: Rust, Silt, Sediment, bad taste and odor from your water.
Berkey water filter system - Berkey Light
So, that is a long list of stuff. Bad stuff that will get you sick right now or cause long term health issues down the road. I bought this filter for a survival/disaster scenario but after reading about what all these chemicals, organic compounds and bacteria can do to you, I decided to use it full time as our water source. Everything we drink and cook with comes through this purifier. I was worried that I would have to replace the filter elements often as we use it so much but the Black Berkey filters have a life of 3000 gallons each. I have two filters. We use no more than 2 1/2 gallons a day for cooking and drinking. That’s a life of over six and a half years with a set of two filters.
Berkey water filter system - the Berkey filters
Lets talk about the cost of this thing. The filter elements cost 100 bucks a pair. That is a big up front cost. The filter containers cost an additional 100 bucks. That’s 200 bucks for 6000 gallons of purified water. That breaks down to 33.33 cents per gallon. Not bad considering the cost of bottled water. Bottled water is also nowhere near as clean as the stuff coming out of my Berkey. If you are handy you could just buy the filters and build a container with two food grade five gallon buckets. Just drill some holes and your ready. YouTube is filled with DIY videos concerning the Berkey.
For general health and for emergency situations, the Berkey Filter system is hard to beat. Be prepared, be healthy and be confident with the Berkey water purifier. This thing kicks tail.
~ Adam, Modern Bushman >