It is no secret that COVID-19 has caused a major shift in the world when it comes to traveling, attending large-scale events, and social distancing. The novel coronavirus has emerged as the world’s most recent pandemic, and people are scared. The fear can be seen in the actions of frustrated consumers scrambling to stock up on essential items, at local retailers. Some folks find themselves in the middle of grocery aisles, arguing with strangers over cases of bottled water. Others are a little nervous but take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, and their loved ones. Viruses are always lurking in the environment, and some wreak havoc in smaller communities, while others cause global pandemonium, like COVID-19.
Some people are wisely researching water filtration systems because they remove those nasty, little viruses from our drinking water. The Berkey filtration system is classified as a purification system because it removes up to 99.999% of viruses, and 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria. An investment in any of the Berkey water filtration systems would eliminate the need to purchase bottled water. For those on a budget, fortunately, Berkey has a line of “blemished” systems that work the same as their other systems but they are a lot more economical. The blemished units only have tiny cosmetic flaws, and the value they bring to a family during a crisis is extraordinary. So, let’s take a closer look at why Berkey’s blemished water filtration systems are flying off of shelves.
The Berkey Water Filtration System: How Does It Work?
It is important to understand how Berkey’s water filtration system differs from other systems, before analyzing the blemished line of products. Berkey has perfected the gravity-fed water purification system. The gravity-fed water purification system is one of its best features. Natural catastrophes may cause some people to lose access to electricity and water pressure. During those times, a system that can work properly without any extra components is critical. Berkey’s blemished systems only need the natural force of gravity to operate. Most Berkey systems are designed with an upper chamber and a lower chamber. The upper chamber has a place for two Black Berkey purification filters, which is the section that removes viruses and bacteria from impure water. The lower chamber has a spout that dispenses the newly purified water, similar to how a pitcher dispenses beverages. Gravity-fed filtrations systems tend to be slower than other types of water purification systems. But, Berkey systems are eight times faster than other gravity-fed water systems, and a lot more efficient. Slow filtration systems have a proven record of being more effective at removing impurities, but it leaves the minerals that are needed in the body.
Berkey’s Blemished Systems: Performance, Warranty, and Cost
So, how does Berkey’s blemished line of products compare to their regular line? The blemished units are the same as the regular units, but they have tiny cosmetic blemishes. According to Berkey, “cosmetic blemishes may include scratches, dents, discolored spots on the finish or [an] irregular polish mark”. Some online reviewers discuss the difficulty in finding a blemish on their unit. The blemished Berkey systems are branded with a distinctive “B” on the upper and lower chamber. The “B” indicates that the chambers are not under warranty in terms of cosmetic defects. The cost savings are awesome for a system with minor cosmetic flaws. For example, the price of a blemished version of the Big Berkey may equate to a 20-25% savings. It is important to note that there is still a standard 2-year pro-rated limited warranty, on the Black Berkey Purification Elements. The performance and longevity of the blemished line are the same as that of the non-blemished Berkey line. Many consumers have wisely invested in these units, eliminating the stress of finding bottled water during natural disasters. Berkey filtration systems provide purified water at an average cost of two cents per gallon but also reduces the use of plastic. The average a person pays for bottled water comes out to $1.50 per gallon. The Berkey purification elements are equipped to purify at least 6,000 gallons. Sounds good? It sure beats trying to find water during a Covid-19 pandemic, hurricane, flood, or any other crisis.
A Comparison of Berkey’s Blemished Water Filtration Systems
- Big Berkey Blemished Berkey System: The blemished Big Berkey is the same as the non-blemished Big Berkey. It is ideal for a small to medium-sized family of one to four people, in terms of everyday use. The empty system weighs seven pounds, and the flow rate with two configured Black Berkey Purification Elements purifies up to 3.5 gallons (13.3 liters) per hour. The flow rate with four configured Black Berkey Purification Elements purifies up to 7.0 gallons (26.5 liters) per hour. The length of warranty on Black Berkey Purification Elements are the same as a non-blemished version, which is two years. The blemished upper and lower chambers are not covered under the cosmetic warranty.
- Royal Berkey Blemished Berkey System: This system is the blemished version of the Royal Berkey. This is suitable for larger families serving two to six people every day. The empty system weighs 8 pounds, and the flow rate with two configured Black Berkey Purification Elements purifies up to 4 gallons (15.1 liters) per hour. The flow rate with four configured Black Berkey Purification Elements purifies up to 7.0 gallons per hour. It is important to note, that fully configured, this system can serve between 100-200 people a day, during an emergency. The length of the warranty on the Black Berkey Purification Elements are the water is the same as a non-blemished version, which is two years. The blemished upper and lower chambers are not covered under the cosmetic warranty.
- Travel Berkey Blemished Berkey System: The blemished Travel Berkey is the blemished version of the Travel Berkey. This system is for people on the go, or folks who are traveling, camping, or even driving a big truck. It is suitable to serve about one to three people every day. It is smaller and purifies less water than both the Big Berkey or Royal Berkey. It holds up to 1.5 gallons of purified water and can produce clean water at a rate of 2.5 gallons per hour. The length of the warranty on the Black Berkey Purification Elements are the same as a non-blemished version, which is two years. The blemished upper and lower chambers are not covered under the cosmetic warranty.
The Blemished Berkey: A Worthwhile Investment
Bottled water is one of those items that everyone attempts to buy during an epidemic, pandemic, or natural catastrophe. However, the truth is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that toxins are always present in our drinking water supply. The EPA tries to manage those toxins, but there are times when the weather creates the perfect conditions for an overgrowth of bacteria in surface waters. According to the EPA, “conventional water treatment (consisting of coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination) can generally remove intact cyanobacterial cells and low levels of cyanotoxins from source waters”. If you purchase a blemished Berkey system, you don’t have to worry about what is in your tap water. It also takes away the headache of standing in a long line to get a case of water, only to lug it back to your car and into the house. Do you really want to get into an altercation with a stranger over a case of bottled water? It happens all of the time during hurricane season, tornado season, floods, and snowstorms. What if everyone invested in a gravity-fed water purification system? The blemished Berkeys are a win-win for everyone, because they remove viruses and bacteria, but leave the much-needed minerals. The blemishes are only tiny cosmetic flaws that some consumers can barely see on their unit.
The Blemished Royal Berkey can purify enough water for 200 people in one day without electricity, or water pressure. The Blemished Travel Berkey can be secured in a vehicle and hauled around to produce potable water. The Blemished Big Berkey is perfect for a family of four, which is extremely helpful during a crisis. The cost of the blemished line is significantly less than that of the regular line. It is hard to find a reason not to invest in a blemished Berkey system because they also reduce plastic consumption, which helps the environment. Mason, Welch, and Neratko (2018) stated, “eleven globally sourced brands of bottled water, purchased in 19 locations in nine different countries, were tested for microplastic contamination using Nile Red tagging. Of the 259 total bottles processed, 93% showed some sign of microplastic contamination”. Some bottled water contains microplastic contaminants that are even visible to the naked eye. According to Statistica, “in 2018, the U.S. bottled water sales volume amounted to approximately 13.85 billion gallons - the highest volume of bottled water ever sold in the United States”. Plastic consumption could be greatly reduced if more people would invest in a water purification system. The bottom line is that a blemished Berkey water filtration system is a sensible investment, for both a single person and a family.