One thing I wish for is that everyone would have clean drinking water available without electricity. There is a lot of peace of mind knowing you can run rain or stream water through your filter and still have pure, uncontaminated water to drink if the electrical grid is down for a length of time.
We searched and read lots of material over the years to find the best all-round performance available. We found the Big Berkey.
This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for everyday use, outdoor activities, and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure, or treated water may not be available.
The Big BerkeyÂ® system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.
Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters) and when in use it stands 19.25â€³ in height with a diameter of 8.5â€³. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13â€³ in height.
Configured with two Black BerkeyÂ® purification elements the system will purify up to 3 1/2 gallons (13.3 liters) per hour*. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 7 gallons (26.5 liters) per hour*.
We do keep extra filters on hand because having the ability to have clean water is your # 1 emergency need. The 2 filters will generally need replacing every 12 to 24 months depending on volume. The black Berkey filters are re-cleanable with a Scotch Brite pad, and so can be used over and over until flow slows markedly. Minerals are not stripped out of the water, but the pollutants are!
I keep our Big Berkey right beside the kitchen sink for easy access to the tap when filling.
Note: Because you can not see the water level in the lower tank, Berkey started making a sight-tube available to prevent overfilling. We love itâ€¦much less guessing how much water to add!
We had the blue see-through Berkey Light, but after 9 years of use, it began to leak at the seam. The stainless steel is permanent, and we like that!
We decided it was worth the the investment of getting extra filters should there ever be a very extended loss of power on the grid (and the price will only go up with inflation).