How I Chose My Water Filter
(I am not affiliated with Berkey in any way - I bought a Berkey nearly 2 years ago, and this is my personal review)
When I moved to Atlanta, the water quality in my kitchen was not good. It had a strange smell and a funky taste. I got to thinking... I focus so much on putting clean, organic, nutritious food into my body but there are two things that we need more frequently than food: water and air.
SO I did a ton of research to find the best water filter out there. And I found the Berkey.
WHAT IS A BERKEY?
A Berkey water filter system sits on your counter top and filters out pesticides, viruses, bacteria (e.g., E. coli), parasites, chemicals, inorganic materials (e.g., Chlorine), heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury, aluminum, copper), fluoride, and even radioactive material like Radon. It filters 99.9% of most of these.
If you're wondering, filter systems like a Brita don't do ANY of that. See a comparison here.
What really sold me is that you can put swamp water, pool water, Kool-Aid, or even urine (ew!) into a Berkey and it will filter it into clean water. It's built specifically for survival situations when water isn't even potable. That's why several international relief organizations use Berkeys during crises or natural disasters.
See it for yourself in this video... this guy ran ditch water, rain water, and pool water through his Berkey and then served it up to his kids to test it!
HOW DOES A BERKEY HOLD UP OVER TIME?
After owning my Berkey for almost 2 years, here's my verdict:
My water tastes so much better. Seriously, it was really rank before - my straight tap water smells mildewy and sour. Berkey makes it completely crisp and clear.
I haven't had to replace the filters yet. The filters last several years (4 or more, depending on how much water you put through them each day) before they need to be replaced. If they start dripping slower than normal, all you have to do is scrub the outside of the filters a bit to get the particles off - and you're good to go.
I rarely have to clean the Berkey. Because the Berkey is made out of Stainless Steel, it stays pretty clean inside the system. I check it often, but to be honest, I've never actually had to scrub or clean it. And if I wanted to, Berkey recommends just using a bit of vinegar on the inside of the container.
It filters water fast (enough). Since I'm just one person, I decided I only needed a Travel Berkey - which holds 1.5 gallons of water - plenty for me. If I fill it up at night, the water is all filtered and ready to go by the morning. And I usually don't need to refill it for a few days.
So - yes, it's pricier than a filter system you'll get at Target or Walmart. BUT when I drink nearly 100 ounces of water a day, why would I skimp on it and let toxins into my body through it? Clean water is the top necessity for life, after all...
...second only for clean air. Stay tuned for my favorite air purifier!