Please know that these comments are based solely on customer reviews. Before reading these, you may possibly want to read these Independent laboratory testing results of popular gravity water filters. This company has independently tested the most popular water filters for removal of toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic) and elements with radioactive isotopes (uranium, strontium, cesium).
Berkey Filters sounds more top notch than others. Why? We found some users professing the following benefits:
Berkey chamber is made of stainless steel and not plastic. It is difficult to find water purifiers which have a storage basin that isn’t plastic.
Berkey can remove microscopic pathogens, and yet allows minerals to stay in the water where they belong.
It removes hundreds of contaminants: Bacteria and parasites, heavy metals like lead and mercury, VOCs and toxic chemicals like benzene, chlorine and chromium-6 (think Erin Brockovich), pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs and more, to levels higher than 99.99%.
It is gravity fed! It doesn’t need electricity or water pressure. You just pour water into the top chamber and it filters down into the bottom chamber, clean and ready to drink.
It is portable. People take it on vacation and say it is perfect to have in an emergency like an earthquake, hurricane, WWIII or a zombie attack. “We will never have to worry about not having clean drinking water. This thing will even filter pond water!”
It is economical. The Big Berkey costs about USD$250, which may seem like a lot of money for a water filter, but get this: The two Black Berkey filters inside will purify 6,000 gallons before needing replacement. If you drink 40 litres of water per week, it will last you about 11 years at a cost of less than 1 cents per litre. Most water filters need replacing after 3-6 months!
Berkey filters exceed EPA NSF/ANSI standards for filtration and thus are rated as water purifiers.
Berkey filters are even used to purify non-drinkable water in third world countries by relief organizations like UNICEF, the Peace Corps, Missionary organizations and the Red Cross.
In 2014, Berkey was rated #1 for contaminant removal by Natural News Water Filter Labs.
Big Berkey was by far the best-performing gravity water filter tested, achieving near-total removal of all toxic elements when used with the attached arsenic / fluoride filters (which attach underneath the black ceramic filters).
The material used to extract the fluoride and arsenic is activated alumina. Since fluoride is a by-product of aluminum production, fluoride has a natural affinity to recombine with activated alumina making it an ideal extraction media. We are not chemists but will communicate our understanding on the subject. Both nutritionist and lab technicians have informed us that aluminum and alumina are two separate animals. Aluminum can cross the blood brain barrier and cause problems with the brain whereas alumina is inert. It is our understanding that alumina is oxidized aluminum. Aluminum is regulated whereas alumina is not for example, alumina is the material used for making the paste in toothpaste. At any rate, when testing for aluminum in water, most tests cannot distinguish between aluminum ions and oxidized alumina. Since we are not chemists, we tested the effluent from the filters and included that information in our brochure. While we were not required to do so, we felt that it was important to disclose to our customers what our results were so that they would have the necessary information to do further research on the issue should they desire to do so. We think it was significant in the test we conducted using the combination of Black Berkey® elements and PF-2 elements as there was a net reduction in the tested aluminum content of the source water versus the purified water. Again that test did not distinguish between aluminum and alumina. The bottom line is that the media utilized is oxidized alumina and not aluminum.”
(This above question is important as: Some water filters which remove fluoride contain alumina as their filter media, which is not recommended because fluoride has a strong affinity for aluminum, forming aluminum fluoride. It ‘tricks’ the body into thinking it is a hydrogen atom, allowing it access across the blood-brain barrier. Research has shown a link between aluminum fluoride and kidney damage as well as brain cell damage, such as lesions in the brain similar to those found in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread72823.html
Comment on Pitcher Filter Waters
Pitcher water filters like Brita use Granulated Activated Charcoal to remove some contaminants. They are less expensive than other filter options upfront, but require frequent filling (especially for large families) and cartridge replacement (making them more expensive in the long run). Since the carbon is not solid, it does not remove all toxins, although these filters will improve taste.