Thursday, June 7, 2012

Imperial Berkey water filter system review

My Imperial Berkey water filter system was a 26th birthday present from my dad and it has changed my life these last 6 months!

my beautiful Berkey

Water: I drink a lot of it.  But I'm sensitive to chlorine smells in tap water, I honestly have not been able to stand it for a couple of years now.  So I spent about a year lugging my 3 gallon jugs to and from the grocery store to buy reverse osmosis water for 37¢ a gallon.  I only used that water for drinking, not cooking, but I still went through my supply in 2-3 days.

So that got old after a while.  I also started learning more about prepping.  I thought about scenarios- what if the water supply is contaminated and is no longer potable?  What if the water supply is shut down completely? Prepping 101: secure a water source.

I started shopping around and heard about the Berkey water filters.  I decided I wanted the Imperial Berkey which is the second largest.  It holds 2.5 gallons in the lower container.  I find I refill it about every 2-3 days.  I keep my Berkey by my sink next to my coffee pot.  I use a gallon jug to fill up the Berkey with tap water to be filtered and to move the filtered water into a pitcher in my fridge so it will be nice and chilled.  My Berkey water tastes just as good as my RO water! My setup looks like so:

What it looks like on my counter
You can order your Berkey with 2, 4, or 6 black Berkey filters.  With 2 filters processing about 2 gallons a day, the filters will last you 8.2 years.  Which is good, because replacements cost over $100 for a set of 2.  The more filters you have the faster the water percolates through, but I contented myself with 2. 

Aerial view of the top compartment with black Berkey filters
The white things are plugs for where the other filters could fit if I had bought them.  The filters take out all sorts of crap: herbicides, pesticides, parasites, lead, mercury, 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria, VOCs, red food coloring, etc. etc.  This sucker, should I require it to do so, can take scummy water from the neighborhood pond and make it drinkable. 

I do not use fluoride toothpaste and I avoid fluoride whenever I can.  The fluoride that is added to the water supply is different from natural fluoridation and is an industrial waste product.  But it's your call whether or not you think it's a good thing.  I added the fluoride filters for $54, they attach to the black Berkey filters but sit in the lower container of the Berkey so they take up compartment space but it's worth it.  The fluoride filters look like this:

Berkey fluoride filters in lower compartment

Setup was pretty easy, it took me about 45 minutes but I'm... kinda slow sometimes.  You have to "prime" the water filters which resulted in me spraying water all over my shirt and kitchen (this video helped me out) but since then I've had zero maintenance issues! I use my fluoride and chemical-free water now every day for drinking and cooking. 

However, I don't have a lot of water stockpiled in my apartment which is very bad prepping.  My first water goal is to have at least 2 weeks of water stored in my apartment.  2 weeks @ 3 gallons a day = 42 gallons! Just for me!  I will have to be creative with storage.  

Also I made paleo (and vegan, if you don't count honey) fudge:

I love paleo because paleo loves coconut

Hot yoga was excellent today.  I should really go every day I can in the summer!  I wore my other practice freely tank and my wunder under crops

deep coal/wee are from space practice freely and wunder unders

I rented The Godfather parts I and II so that's my big plan for the rest of the day.  Not going to lift today as my boyfriend wants to hit the gym together tomorrow.  SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER TIME.

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