Staying healthy means staying hydrated, but if you’re not sure that your water is pure, hydration itself is a worrying business. To reduce your risk of contamination, adding a Berkey filter to your water supply process is critical.
At Home or On the Road
You can set a large Berkey on your kitchen countertop for daily use. If you like to travel, consider investing in a portable travel Berkey for out of town trips. It can also easily serve a small household, as this unit holds 1.5 gallons of water. When you refill it frequently, it can process almost 3 gallons of water every hour.
Gravity Does Most of the Work
Once your Berkey arrives, you’ll need to pull out all the metal components and clean them. You’ll also want to prime the filters to remove packaging materials from the factory. When the filters are primed, assemble the unit by screwing the spigot into the base; use a wrench to get it nice and tight and avoid leaking.
Place the filters as instructed and hold them in place by finger tightening the wing nuts. Stack the canisters as directed, tighten the lid, and add some water to test the spigot isn’t leaking before filling your Berkey.
Water added to the top will filter by gravity fed down to the spigot. From here, all you have to do is drink it!
For All Your Water Needs
Your Big Berkey Water Filters won’t need to be replaced for at least two years. The units are constructed to filter 3,000 gallons per filter, so if you have two filters in your canister, you can expect 6,000 gallons. Calculate how many gallons you use a day and divide it by this number.
Filtered water can be used for cooking, for drinking and for making coffee or tea. You may also want to use this water for mixing cleaning fluids if your tap water has an odor.
What You Won’t Be Drinking
Treated tap water in the developed world, it must be said, is something of a marvel. A great deal of illness and poor health that used to come from our drinking water is no longer a risk thanks to commercial water treatment.
That being said, water that’s considered drinkable today is hardly pure. With a Berkey filter in place on your countertop, you can avoid exposure to many products, including
Organic parasites and bacteria
Heavy metals and lead
Modern technology has provided us with many conveniences, but the long-lasting by-products of some of these substances were not well-known when that production started. Products such as Teflon have made cooking easier, but the early technology actually made our drinking water less safe. Chemicals that linger in the environment will also linger in our bodies, so the best choice is to avoid ingesting them.
Maintaining Your Berkey
Avoid leaving water standing in your Berkey for more than three days. Make sure you choose the right unit so that you don’t run short, but also so the water doesn’t stand too long. If you’re traveling and not taking it with you, drain it, wash the lower tank with warm, soapy water and let it air dry. Get on a schedule of washing it once a month.
Take care to drink your Berkey water out of a non-reactive container. Stainless steel is non-reactive, as owners of the Berkey already know! Glass and ceramic are also non-reactive. While plastics are now touted as BPA (Bisphenol A) free, it should be noted that this additive has been replaced by BPB, or Bisphenol B. On the face of it, this additive is important, because it enables plastics to stay flexible and not get brittle when exposed to heat. Is BPB safer? Probably. Is it safe? It remains to be seen.
Having Berkey filtration systems at hand at home and on the road means that pure, filtered water is at hand in less than an hour. Make sure you only filter what you can use up quickly; it’s better to fill multiple times a day and know it’s fresh and ready to drink.