Berkey Versus the Competition

Berkey Versus the Competition

The Problem

Do you ever wonder why some people refuse to drink unfiltered tap water? In recent years, the Flint water crisis has shed light on a problem plaguing America’s drinking water supply, and its crumbling water infrastructure. People all over the United States are investing in water purification systems to remove impurities and pathogens found in their tap water. Yes, it is true! The United States has a problem supplying quality drinking water in several places. According to New York Times (2019), “Flint residents began telling their elected officials that there was something wrong with the water, which smelled terrible, tasted like metal and seemed to give them skin rashes”. According to the same New York Times article, lead from the city’s outdated pipes bled into the water, causing alarmingly high lead levels in the blood of many residents. The problem in Flint prompted researchers to check for impurities and pathogens in drinking water all over the United States. According to recent studies. “in any given year from 1982 to 2015, somewhere between 9 million and 45 million Americans got their drinking water from a source that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is why it is important to invest in a water purification system like the Berkey line.

Why Bottle Water is not the Answer?

After hearing about the problem, the first thought that comes to most folk’s minds is to buy bottled water. However, buying bottled water only contributes to our environmental problems. One study found that “eighty-five million bottles of water are consumed in the United States every day and more than thirty billion bottles a year”. The negative effect is reflected in a study that states, “humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute, but 91% of all plastic is not recycled. The data shows that most plastic is not recycled which is alarming enough, but a bigger problem is that chemicals and pollutants have been found in bottled water. Toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and halo acetic acids, are formed when disinfectants react with organic matter found in rivers or streams. This defeats the purpose of buying water because it is “safer”. Increased consumption of bottled water has been linked to the erosion of public tap water revenues. The mass purchase of bottled water reduces the government’s capacity to make improvements to the basic water infrastructure. You should consider investing in a water purification system, because they remove virtually all contaminants but leave the “good stuff” in the water.

The Answer: A Berkey Water Purification System

The Berkey water purification systems are flying off of the shelves because they are highly effective at removing contaminants from polluted water. This is true for water collected from streams, lakes, and rivers. 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. The Berkey system is a gravity-fed water purification system that eliminates the need for water pressure, electricity, or special plumbing. The Berkey systems are equipped with an upper chamber and a lower chamber, which includes two Black Berkey purification filters for the upper chamber. This is great if you are in a situation where there is no electricity. The lower chamber catches the purified water, which is dispensed through a water spigot at the bottom of the lower chamber. This type of filtration is a lot slower than other types of filters but eight times faster than other gravity-fed systems. Slower filtration is important because it means the system is efficient at removing impurities but leaving minerals that your body needs.

Berkey Versus Reverse Osmosis and Distillation

  • Reverse Osmosis: Some competitors use reverse osmosis to purify water, which sounds great at first. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the process of forcing water across a semi-permeable membrane using a high-pressure pump. The advantages of RO is that you get purified water with no chemicals, bacteria, or minerals. This sounds great, but this way of filtering the water also strips the water of the essential minerals needed for the body. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that if RO water is used when cooking it caused a substantial loss of all essential elements in foods like vegetables and meat. Therefore, you will not get the things your body need from the water. Berkey units have an advantage because they leave the essential elements in the water.
  • Distillation: The distilled water process involves heating and boiling water to a specific boiling point and collecting the evaporation, which is the purified water. Distilled water has the same problem as reverse osmosis, it purifies water and removes 99.9%+ of contaminants. Unfortunately, this process also strips the water of the essential minerals, which can be harmful to a person’s health.
  • The Difference Between A Water Filter and Water Purifier

    Many use the term “water filter” interchangeably with “water purifier”, but they are not the same in terms of treatment. Water filters only get rid of waterborne protozoa and bacteria, but not viruses. Water purifiers filter out protozoa, bacteria, and viruses.

    Berkey Versus Brita

  • Maximum Filtering Ability: The Berkey line has several units, but the largest Berkey system is the Crown Berkey. The Crown Berkey can filter up to six gallons of water at a time, and the Travel Berkey filters up to one and a half gallons of water at a time. The Brita water filter systems are only available in multiple pitcher sizes. The maximum filtering capacity of the largest Brita pitcher is the Ultramax Filtered Water Dispenser, which only filters 1.125 gallons, which is smaller than the Travel Berkey.
  • Filter Replacement Cost: One of the perks of having a water filtration system is saving money. A really good system will get the maximum use of filters to keep costs down so that you are not constantly replacing filters. Although Berkey systems cost more initially to purchase the whole system than Brita, you will save more in the long run. A pair of Black Berkey Purification Elements will last up to 6000 gallons. If you use 3 gallons a day you will be paying 2¢ per gallons over the life span of the filters. The Brita Pitcher and dispenser filter have to be replaced every 40 gallons. To filter 6000 gallons (lifespan of Black Berkey filters) you would need 150 Brita Pitcher filters. At the price of 6.58 per filter would mean spending $987.00.
  • Storage Space: All of the Berkey water purification systems can be categorized as a countertop water dispenser that takes up a minimum amount of space. The Brita water filter takes up a lot of space in the refrigerator but filters less water than even the smallest Berkey unit.
  • Filtering Capabilities: The bottom line is Berkey “purifies water” and removes 100% of pathogens from regular drinking water. Brita filters will remove certain pharmaceutical contaminants like Acetaminophen, Naproxen, and Progesterone, but they do not eliminate other common contaminants regularly found in drinking water. Berkey Versus Pur Water Filters
  • Maximum Filtering Ability: As noted earlier the largest unit is called the Crown Berkey, which can purify six gallons of water at a time. The most popular unit is the Big Berkey which can purify 2.25 gallons of water at a time. The largest PUR water filtering unit is only capable of filtering about a half-gallon of water at a time
  • Filter Replacement Cost: Remember a pair of Black Berkey Purification Elements will last up to 6000 gallons. It is estimated that at the same rate of 18 gallons a week, the cost to replace PUR filters for one year would be approximately $85 a year for dispenser filters and around $30 the pitcher filters.
  • Storage Space: The PUR pitcher and filter will take up room in your refrigerator but filter less water at a time than the Berkey.
  • Filtering Capabilities: PUR filters will reduce heavy metals like lead, mercury, and chlorine content of your drinking water. However, it has the same problem as RO, distillation, and Brita. PUR water filters do not fully get rid of all pathogens, like the Berkey line. Their top tap water filter systems can reduce 61 other contaminants, chlorine, and sediment.
  • The Berkey line possess a competitive advantage over its competitors because the units are gravity-fed and filters more water at a time, than other brands. Although the initial cost may be more than other brands, the Berkey filters last longer which saves more money in the long run. It is important to “purify” water, and not just filter out some pollutants. It is equally as important to leave minerals in the water that the body needs while removing impurities. Investing in a Berkey will help reduce plastic consumption for some, but simultaneously eliminate the need for pitchers, which takes up a lot of space in your fridge.


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