With bottled water and potable tap water both so readily available in developed countries, it’s easy to take clean drinking water for granted. But when natural disasters strike, one of the first things to sell out on store shelves is bottled water, and running water may be either turned off or compromised by pollutants. Domestic water purifying pitchers and faucet filters are perfectly fine for every day use, but most of them simply weren’t designed to filter untreated water like the kind you may need to drink in emergency situations. Unlike those other off-the-shelf, refrigerator-sized water filters, Big Berkey water filters were actually made to purify water from untreated sources like remote lakes, streams and stagnant ponds and are used by relief organizations such as UNICEF, the Peace Corps, and the Red Cross. They use a much more powerful filtration system that removes harmful pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, and unhealthy chemical contaminants such as chlorine to levels higher than 99.99%, a capability that would be invaluable to your family in a disaster situation where you were unable to secure clean water. Big Berkey water filters can be a lifesaver in emergencies, but they’re also a smart, elegant and beautiful green product to use in your home on an everyday basis (as a great alternative to bottled water or a refrigerator water filter) because they filter water so powerfully, and the high-tech filters last for 3-5 years as opposed to a few months.
Big Berkey water filters have been compared to products from companies like Brita and Pur, but there are a few key differences. One of the main advantages of Big Berkey water purifiers is that you only have to change the set of filters every 3-5 years (or after 6,000 gallons) versus other filters on the market that need to be changed every few months.
Having to swap filters less is definitely more convenient and eco-friendly, but the other upside of Big Berkey purifiers is one that can actually mean the difference between life and death in a disaster situation. If a natural disaster were to hit your area and your water was shut off, you may have no choice but to drink whatever water you have around you, whether it be rainwater from a gutter or a puddle on the street. In a case like that, you wouldn’t (or at least, we hope you wouldn’t) put that water through your store-bought water filtering pitcher, and expect what comes out of it to be safe to drink. Big Berkey filters, on the other hand, are made for exactly this purpose so they’re reliable in scenarios where the only water you have available to you is contaminated.
A chart showing the level of contaminant reduction of Big Berkey water filters compared to other brands.
Part of the reason that Big Berkey water filters are so much more effective at ridding water of chemicals and bacteria has to do with their history. The Super Sterasyl filters used in Big Berkey products are an evolution of ceramic filter technology developed back in 1827 by Henry Doulton in Britain. The company he founded, the Doulton Company, continued to improve their ceramic filters to the point where they eventually started to be used by military forces, relief organizations, and missionaries all over the world. Today, Big Berkey water filters are used in 140 countries, and trusted by relief organizations like UNICEF, the Peace Corps and the Red Cross. Their home water filters are even used in the Royal household in England!
Another plus to consider is that Berkey water filter systems remove harmful pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, and unhealthy chemical contaminants such as chlorine to levels higher than 99.99%, but they still leave the essential minerals in water your body needs. Starting at $231 for the Berkey Light, they might seem more pricey than other filters but when you consider that each set of 2 filters can purify up to 6,000 gallons, you’re really only paying 2 cents per gallon for the filters. That’s a lot less than even one small bottle of water and a small investment to make when you think about the difference these powerful water filters can make for your family in an emergency situation.