Great Finds Friday: Berkey Water Filter

Jul 12, 2013 by

royal berkey water filters

The Berkey Water Filter System photo courtesy of

One of my favorite products
that I use on a daily basis
is the Berkey Water Filter.

I made this purchase back in August of 2012 and have been meaning to do a post about it ever since. What has taken me so long?

After Wednesday’s post about glyphosate, it got me thinking as to what the Berkey is filtering out of my water.

While I am no expert on the contaminants in our drinking water, after researching and looking at our budget, I chose the Berkey water filter when deciding to switch from bottled water (which is all I used to drink.)


The reasons I chose the Berkey:

  1. It was an option we could afford
  2. After consulting with a water treatment representative, he asked me what kind of bottled water I preferred. I told him Ice Mountain was my brand of choice. I also told him I can’t stand the taste of waters like Aquafina. He said that my taste preference was for a spring water flavor which would be more conducive to a charcoal filtered water rather than reverse osmosis.
  3. I liked the idea of not being dependent on water/electricity availability at my house to get clean, filtered water.
  4. The Berkey can be taken anywhere to filter while camping, cabin, motor home, etc.
  5. I am not a survivalist or extremist, but it is likely that in some time in the future we may have a community crisis, whatever it may be, where we would not have water or electricity to our home. I would still be able to get my Berkey filtered water; as it just uses gravity through it’s charcoal filters. You can filter lake water, if need be, and have clean, fresh tasting water.
  6. I read reviews and felt convinced it was the best choice for our family right now.


I bought the Royal Berkey from Amazon, as it was the best price. There are several places that sell it online. My sister also purchased a Berkey from Amazon after tasting my water…she is also very happy with her purchase. I chose to purchase the fluoride filters; as the more I have learned about fluoride, the more I did not want it in our water! I added on a spigot so I could see the water amount in the canister. I would highly recommend that add-on.

If you are concerned about what the Berkey filters, here are some links to data to that information.

Details of Black Berkey Organic Test Results and Black Berkey Purification Elements

I also think that this FAQ section from the Berkey web site is very helpful…it answers so many questions.

A few things I have learned…

  • When first using the filters, make sure to properly rinse and prime them; there is factory residue that does pass into the water
  • I found that no matter how long I used my filters, there was still a bitterness to the water and some “floaties” after filtering. After talking to a few people at customer support they said it was because of the fluoride filters. Apparently, the fluoride filters interact with some kinds of water differently, particularly harder water. The recommendation was to either not use the fluoride filters or to double filter. The first time with the fluoride filters, the second time without them.  I decided to go with double filtering. While it is a pain to filter, then store in glass containers until I am ready to do the second filter, I have figured out a system and it works for me. My sister, on the other hand, lives in a different part of the metro area and she only filters once…she doesn’t get the taste we get.
  • It is important to wash out the bottom canister once a month. It can get a smell to it. Every month, I have a routine where I can tell the water is filtering just a bit slower. I take the filters off and scrub the black filters with a Norwex spirinet scrub; Berkey recommends the 3M scrub pads…whatever works for you. Anyway I scrub the grime and build up from the filter under water until it runs mostly clear. I have never needed to prime the filters again after scrubbing, but you may need to do this. I then do a vinegar/water soak of the bottom canister and run it through the spigot. I rinse and am ready to filter again.
  • I did have a leaking plug for the non-filter holes. I ended up going to the local Ace Hardware and purchased two stainless nuts/bolts to fill the holes and they have held the water tight. Berkey did replace those plugs, but I had already come up with my inexpensive, solid fix.
  • Make sure to run the red food dye test every once in awhile to make sure your filter is doing the job intended. It is pretty amazing that it filters red food dye out; it sure stains my hands when I do the test.
  • With my reusable water bottles I have saved so much money over purchasing bottled water. In light of what I have learned about bottled water and plastics; I am happy to have made the changes! To learn more about the bottled water crisis, check out the documentary, Tapped. You can watch it on Netflix or Hulu Plus or check out trailer below.


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