British Berkefeld® Gravity Water Filter
Today I’m adding another post to my ‘tested gear’ section. An item our family has used for years, while living in the city and out in the boonies. The British Berkefeld® Gravity Water Filter, a company that’s been around for a very long time. A ceramic filtering media is the secret. Many years ago, before the term ‘prepping’ was in vogue, I bought one of these units with the dual ceramic filters as I didn’t trust the city water much because of the flavor and smell. And after a few years in the city, we moved out to a fair sized parcel where our water supply was from our own well. That too, even while being great water, was improved by a good filtering system, because of the microscopic silt that came along with every cup of water.
The versatile Big Berkey system is the ideal system for use at home with small or medium sized families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. The ceramic units filter both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes and streams. Of course, stagnant ponds and ‘mud puddles’ would be the last choice because the gunk filtered out would rapidly cause the filters to require cleaning. If you must source your water from such a source, I suggest you should pre-filter your water through some sort of gross filtering setup, to help with trapping the large particles of trash, mud and muck that will inevitably be scooped up with the water.
Water filtering is a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. According to published information, the Big Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites and reduces harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs without removing the beneficial minerals. Made of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the new systems come complete with four 7″ ceramic elements. This system has a storage capacity of about 2.1 gallons and when in use it stands 19.25″ in height with a diameter of 8.5″. The upper chamber nests upside down within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13″ in height. This allows the unit to store on the shelf, if you trust your water, until the true, emergency need for filtered water happens. The system will filter about a gallon per hour when full and the filters are new and clean. That rate, being gravity operated, would slow as the water level drops in the filtering section and particulates begin to coat the outside of the filtering media. Whenever our white filters became grungy looking with the residues they trapped, a gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush (NO SOAP!!) under the spigot brought them up to par and improved the filtration speed back to nearly as new. Much improved in the past 20 years we’ve used ours, the new range of filtering media is impressive. And they still supply the good old white ceramic units ours uses.
All round, I think the Big B system is pretty good for a prepper to have, or anyone who distrusts city water to be as pure as they claim it is. No moving parts, batteries or power supply needed, no heat or fuel required. Just pour your dirty water in the top and wonderfully clean, pure water drips into the holding tank for drinking.