Berkey Purification Systems Clean Water through Gravity Fed Filtration
When it comes to gravity-fed purification method, Berkey is one of the most popular brands in the industry. Berkey line of products is manufactured by New Millennium Concept, Ltd. (NMCL) which is also the North American Master Distributor of British Berkefeld Ceramic water filters and systems. Berkey is best known for its powerful gravity-fed water purifier, and here is how it works.
Black Berkey Purification Elements
The water filters used in all range of water purifiers by Berkey are called Black Berkey Purification Elements and also known as Black Berkey Filters. They have micro-pores that are so small that even pathogenic bacteria and viruses cannot pass through. Thanks to their unique design structure, these gravity filter elements are considered best currently available. According to Berkley, a device can only be classified as water purifier if it can remove at least 99.99% of viruses and 99.99% of pathogenic bacteria from water. With such difficult classification standard, many devices marketed as water purifiers are simply false marketing. Black Berkey Purification Elements are able to exceed the requirements by removing 99.99% of viruses and 99.99% of pathogenic bacteria from the water you are about to drink. Additional Fluoride elements can be used for fluoride and arsenic reduction.
These purification elements have been tested by the EPA and State accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53. Here is how these purification elements manage to achieve such results:
In each of the Black Berkey Purification Elements, there are more than six different filtration agents constructed into a single matrix that contains millions of microscopic pores. Berkey refers to this construction as Tortuous Path for its highly complex structure. All contaminants including but not limited to sediment, sedimentary minerals, pathogenic bacteria, herbicides, organic solvents, parasites, pesticides, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), cysts, foul tastes, cloudiness, and even odors must travel through this path. Because of its microscopic pores, those contaminants cannot pass and they eventually are trapped. This microfiltration process removes many impurities from the water you drink. Microfiltration is also used in the Sport Berkey Water Bottle for you to get the same purified water on the go.
Microfiltration process does remove a considerable amount of contaminants, but it is far from sufficient to produce safe drinking water. A purification system requires both microfiltration and absorption methods to remove the remaining pollutants such as mineral molecules and heavy metals. Adsorption works by creating ionic barrier, which works in similar way to surface tension. Although many water contaminants are easily trapped by microscopic pores during the microfiltration process, some contaminants are actually smaller than the pores.
Black Berkey Purification Elements do not use any chemical or chemically processed additives so they can produce contaminant-free water. Now that the viruses and organic contaminants are removed, the next task is to get rid of heavy metals such as copper, mercury, aluminum, chromium, cadmium, and other dangerous metals. To do this, Black Berkey Purification Elements perform ion-exchange absorption process.
Another important thing that makes Berkey Purification System effective is its flow rate. Some other systems actually use water pressure for the filtration process, meaning they force water to travel through the filters at 60 to 90PSI. With that amount of power, the water is in contact with filters for a fraction of a second. In the Berkey Purifiers the water flows merely by force of gravity; it flows slowly through the filters which means it remains in contact with the media for considerable period. Black Berkey Purification Elements work to their full potential if given enough time to filter the water. The longer it stays in contact the more contaminants it can capture. The flow rate may not be Berkey’s strongest points, but this is because efficiency is better than quantity.
Berkey water filter systems are also user-friendly. Every unit is easy to assemble and it does not require a connection to plumbing, electricity, or power source of any sort. Each purification element is designed to work with 3,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. For a unit that has two elements, the maximum capacity will be 6,000 gallons. Berkey has the following outdoor systems: Go Berkey, Travel Berkey, and Berkey Light. And also the following indoor systems: Big Berkey, Royal Berkey, Imperial Berkey, Crown Berkey and Berkey Light. Accessories can be added such as sight spigots to view the water level and stands to make it easier to get a cup under the spigot.