The Berkey Filter was one of the first things I reviewed when I started my blog in 2011. I had one wanted for for a while, and we finally were able to get one. I had to convince my husband it would be worth it, but 10 years later, our whole house loves it, and we still use it daily.
I didn’t drink tap water as a child and neither did my husband. I grew up on a 6-acre “mini” farm, and he grew up on 500 acres, so all we drank was well water. (As an aside, I’ve never had a cavity in my 32 years–despite no fluoride in my water!)
But ever since leaving home for college age 18, I’ve lived in areas with city water. And city water can be full, of, well, all kinds of yuckiness (and I think well water can as well…to be fair!). In fact, even though U.S. tap water may be safer than water in much of the rest of the world, there are still thousands of chemicals in U.S. water systems that can wreak havoc on our body systems (source).
Now, what I don’t want to do is have you freak out or feel guilty about giving your kids tap water after reading this. Not everyone can afford an expensive water filtration system.
For years, my family used a run-of-the-mill Brita water filter that we got from somewhere like Walmart. It worked OK. It filters out a few contaminants, I am sure. But did it get out everything? No…but it was better than nothing.
Why did I want a Berkey Filter?
- removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely
- extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes
- reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury
- can even remove red food coloring!
- even when removing harmful pathogens, etc., it does not remove beneficial minerals
- made of highly polished stainless steel
- comes with two purification elements
- storage capacity of about 3.25 gallons (12.3 liters)
- purifies up to 4 gallons (15.1 liters) per hour
I have been so impressed! The filter stands up on our counter, and although it does take up quite a bit of space, we’ve found the perfect spot for it in the corner of our bar. The water does filter pretty slowly, but the water pressure from the tap is very good.
As a family of two adults, two kids and a baby, we have to fill it about once every day and a half. (We probably should fill it every day! We need to drink more water!) Note: We are now a family of 6 and go through it much quicker. If you have more than 4 people drinking water, then I would highly recommend the Imperial or Crown.
Our kids take turns filling it up as part of their daily/weekly chores.
My husband said that one thing he noticed was that our regular tap water both smells and tastes chlorinated when compared to the water from the Berkey (on Amazon). He had not noticed this before, but he does now.
I have noticed that I am actually drinking MORE water. I think I had kind of an aversion to our drinking water before because in the back of my head I knew it wasn’t the best for us.
Can the Berkey filter fluoride?
We started out with just the regular Berkey filters, and a few years ago we added the fluoride filters (on Amazon). These white filters screw into the black filters and add an extra layer of filtration.
We avoid fluoride for various reasons, including the fact that it is a know endocrine disrupter. (source). Fluoride has also been known to cause thyroid issues because of how it interacts with iodine (source). Since I already have problems with my thyroid, we are avoiding it in our water.
What do we like about the Berkey?
To break it down to the basic of why we like our Berkey:
1) The water is clean. We can definitely tell a difference when we drink water from our tap that is not filtered from the Berkey.
2) The water is safe. We know that Berkey removes so many harmful contaminants. We feel safe knowing we are drinking clean water.