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Thursday, October 18, 2012
Berkey water filters make a virtue of sturdy, highly efficient simplicity. Almost all of them are two chambered designs, made out of either stainless steel or plastic, with one chamber set above the other. The connection between the two chambers is through one or 4 cartridges screwed into holes in the upper chamber's floor. Water is poured in the top and gravity pulls it downward through the cartridge into the lower chamber, where is it found fresh and pure a little later.

Berkey filters come in a range of sizes, from the Go Berkey – which can purify one gallon of water per hour, and features a nesting setup that renders it super-compact for travel – to the Big Berkey, which, when configured correctly, cleans up to 7 gallons of H2O per hour. None of the filters require any tools for assembly, and can be quickly and fully disassembled for cleaning. All components can be separated out, and the cartridges can be rinsed carefully with water to prolong their useful life (which is already quite long).

The cartridges or “elements” of Berkey water filters achieve astonishing reductions in a laundry list of harmful substances, from heavy metals to viruses to radon. This is achieved partly by the very fact that gravity is the only motive force for the water.

Rather than water pressure from a faucet “shooting” the fluid past the filtration elements in a split second, the water processed by Berkey devices percolates through at a natural rate. This gives the micropore barriers and various filtering substances a longer time to strain out or otherwise capture the harmful things the water is carrying. Filtration is still fast, but it takes place at a measured pace that enables greater cleansing than, for example, in-line filters can provide.

                                                      Black Berkey elements

Certain models of Berkey water filters, including one variant of the Berkey Light, the Travel Berkey, the Big Berkey, and the Royal Berkey include the justly famous Black Berkey elements. “Elements” is a term that Berkey uses to describe the upright cartridges mounted inside the upper chamber of their filters, screwed into place with a butterfly nut or other type of hand-tightened nut. These cartridges are black in color, hence their name, and offer enhanced filtration.

The ordinary white cartridges formerly used in many Berkey water filters provided a high degree of filtration already (again, partly thanks to the gravity feed system, allowing water to move through at a more leisurely pace and thus deposit more of its contaminants in the filter). The Black Berkey carries this a long step further, however, with results that place these filters at the cutting edge of success when it comes to small-scale or home water purification.

Black Berkey elements work by moving the water through extremely fine, complex channels; all the time the water is moving along these channels it is exposed to media that capture harmful substances in a wide range of ways. This has the effect of removing practically 100% of volatile organic compounds such as chlorine, benzene, xylene, and so on; cutting heavy metals to 5% of their pre-filtration levels; more than 99% of viruses, bacteria, cysts, and parasites, reducing them all to harmless levels; and practically all radon 222 and poisonous chemicals, leaving the water completely pure and safe to drink.Needless to say, particles, rust, odors, and colors are also removed from the water.

Rapid rates of filtration are achieved in Berkey water filters, despite the slow speed at which the water seeps through the twisted, microscopic channels of the cartridge interiors, by putting multiple elements into each filter. The smallest model has only one cartridge; most have two; and the largest have two mounted, with the option to mount two more for a total of four. The number of gallons per minute that the filters can produce will range from slightly more than 1 up to 7.

       Berkey's emergency utility

Emergency situations are another place where Berkey water filters shine. They can process water that is practically thin mud and extract clean, fresh, clear water from it. And they can be used without power – a boon in an emergency, and a benefit to your electric bill in normal times.

by: Chris Tracey


Blogger Jodi Randle said...

Thanks for posting more information on Berky water filters! I'm really curious about this thing and your article helps a lot. I'm including this in my wish list for Christmas.

October 26, 2012 at 5:03 AM  

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