By Ron Young —

British Berkefeld or “Berkey” water systems have been around since the 1890s and are commonly used as the water purification system of choice by first responders to disaster areas where clean water and power are unavailable. One of the many advantages of the Berkey systems is they work without power because they use gravity to deliver the purified water from the top canister to the bottom canister.

Notice I am saying purified water, and not just filtered water. There is an important difference. You can filter water just putting it through a coffee filter, but purified water has a legal definition and must meet very stringent guidelines to allow the use of the term. Many of the commercially available water filters do little more than remove taste and odour but leave bacteria, cysts, viruses, pesticide residues, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds behind.

Water treated by reverse osmosis filtration or distillation is purified, but many of the beneficial components of water—the minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium—are removed in the process. Reverse osmosis water becomes mildly acidic (hypotonic) and can actually strip out valuable minerals from your blood and lymphatic system to get flushed out of your body. Over time, your body will begin to rob your organs and bones of these minerals. Reverse osmosis will also not remove pathogenic bacteria like E-coli and giardia.

Berkey water filters remove pathogenic bacteria to a log 7 degree. Log 7 equates to a 99.99999 percent bacteria removal rate.

The cost of producing purified water with a Berkey system is less than 2 cents per gallon versus 35–50 cents for distilled and 20–65 cents for reverse osmosis.

Bacteria, parasites, inorganic minerals, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals are removed or reduced by up to 98 percent by the Berkey purification elements.See detailed information on our website at or email

earthRight has sold Berkey systems since 1999 and have many satisfied users throughout the Cariboo. If you are on a stream, a well, or even on city water, you should consider the health benefits of a British Berkefeld water purifier. There’s a reason why they say water is life.

Ron Young is a renewable energy professional that designs and sells solar, wind, and micro-hydro systems. He operates the earthRight store in Williams Lake, BC and can be reached at

earthRight Berkey Water Filter


Leave A Reply