Fresh Water Without Electricity: Berkey Water Filtration

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 Berkey® 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 19.25″ in height with a diameter of 8.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13″ in height.

If electricity is out, just fill with pool, stream, or rain water.

Configured with two Black Berkey® 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 it…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).

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Christine Alexander
10 years ago

I’ve had mine since Y2K! :) I love it!

fuzzy (@fuzzy)
10 years ago

The Big Berkey is on my “someday” list. We live in a 90 year old house and the pipes are ancient. Our neighbors replumbed and still have problems because of the city supply lines… I’m thinking filtering our drinking and cooking water is both cheaper and more effective. Someday soon!

Robina Walker Hogeland
Robina Walker Hogeland
10 years ago

I have well water that has a lot of iron ( turns everything orange) and also smells like swamp water. Will this work for filtering my water?

Katie Halbur
10 years ago

I was wondering the same thing

Dianne Hamilton Andrews
Dianne Hamilton Andrews
10 years ago

We have one and love it! Even my 7 year old can taste the difference.

Christine Alexander
10 years ago

we have a well…improves the taste! :)

Megan Pavlak Lichtenwalner
10 years ago

We love our Big Berkey!!!

Laura Gazarian
Laura Gazarian
10 years ago

We’ve got sulfur (major rotten egg smell) and iron in our well. Will this handle sulfur? I miss the days of being able to drink water whenever I was thirsty.

Eleni Vamvakari
Eleni Vamvakari
10 years ago

I have the Berkey Sport, which is their portable water bottle. This one is technically a filter and not a true purification system like their other models, but for household use and for relatively safe water when camping, hiking etc., that won’t make much of a difference. The water in my town is so horrible that my family and I never drink it. But if you gave me unfiltered water from my tap and then the one from the Berkey, I wouldn’t even know it came from the same place! I tried it and was absolutely amazed, and I have an extremely keen sense of taste. I can’t wait until I can save enough to get a larger model! They seriously can handle just about everything.

Andria DiBacco
10 years ago

Ya my mom has one. It works like they say it does.

10 years ago

Country Life Water…

[…] s (8.5 liters) and when in use it stands 19.25″ in height with a diameter of 8 […]…

Karen A Dimarsico
Karen A Dimarsico
6 months ago

Not using one of these yet. Watching people on YouTube who swear by them. After reading here what they’re capable of, I understand why. It’s worth the investment.

Share lehman's
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pocket
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on stumbleupon

also by this author

Return of the Swallows

Tree swallows are a very easy bird to attract to your yard. Even with just one gourd house, you will have the enjoyment of following their beautiful life cycle, not to mention a decrease in the population of insects near your patio or porch.

Read More


Lehman’s loves to help folks lead a simpler life.  Submit your email address below, and we’ll send new recipes, simple living tips, and announcements to you.

Recent News

Follow Us

people also enjoyed reading