Clean water is a necessity for all of us whether you are nomadic or not, and with the quality of tap water being questionable everywhere these days its very important to have a good filter so you can be sure that the water you drink is of the highest quality. Even in ‘advanced’ countries like the UK, the water tastes heavily of chlorine and is really quite disgusting in some areas, not to mention the long term health implications of this.
We choose a Berkey after doing extensive research on what was out there, so 4 years on, what do we think?
The Berkey is a gravity filter consisting of two chambers, or two barrels if you like, one on top of the other. you put the water in the top chamber and it gradually passes through the ceramic filters into the lower chamber. A tap at the bottom releases the water for use.
The amount of impurities that the Berkey removes form the water is quite staggering really. There are to many technicalities to go into here, but one thing that does tell the story is that its even capable of removing red food dye from water. Very impressive.
Berkey needs to be cleaned in order to keep the performance levels high and just from a point of view of hygiene. Once a month is usually plenty, the process is really easy and takes around ten minutes.
Apart from the fact the water quality is amazing, there are other reasons we like this product. Its very easy to use out on the road in the camper van and it doesn’t matter what quality of water goes into it. In Scotland we fill our water bottles from lochs and rivers, even if there are harmful bacteria or cysts present, berkey takes care of it.
When driving, Our filter is place on the floor of our camper van and secured with a bungee cord to a hook. Even when its really full we don’t spill a drop.
One downside is that unless the temperature is quite stable, condensation can form on the outside and drip forming a small puddle. This is less of a problem if used in a house but something to consider if using on the road. Another is that a vacuum can be created in the lower chamber, this stops filtration completely, the only solution is to wedge something between the two chambers to break the seal. That is the Berkeys biggest flaw.
If you live in a area where the authorities intentionally poison the water with fluoride, Berkey can again provide the solution with a separate fluoride filter that fits in the lower chamber. However if you do have fluorinated water in your area I would suggest getting a whole house reverse osmosis system as this poison can also be absorbed through your skin when you shower.
Value for money 8/10
Overall rating 9/10
To buy a Big Berkey on Amazon Click Here