Big Berkey water filters - always have pure water on tap!


Product:    Big Berkey manufactured by British Berkefeld.


  • — 2.25 gallon storage capacity
  • — Produces up to 3.5 gallons of purified drinking water per hour using 2 filters.  A further 2 filters may be added to double the flow rate
  • — 8.5″D x 21″H
  • — 7 lbs. empty
  • — High quality stainless steel container
  • — Easy flow spigot
  • — Complete assembly and maintenance instructions
  • — Compatible with the Berkey PF-2 Fluoride Filters


Big Berkey with filters

Best Place to buy:  Amazon
My Rating:  9.5 out of 10

In one of my previous posts I talked about the importance of keeping well hydrated with water as one approach to maintaining good blood pressure readings. click here for more.

Today I am going to revisit this topic specifically from the vantage point of using pure water systems to provide that source of hydration.  Unfortunately sourcing your water straight from the tap is not going to guarantee you the best quality of water. 

“Tap water is treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In addition, it may contain other undesirable contaminants like toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes (e.g. lead, bacteria).”1

Home Water Filtration Systems:

There are a number of pure water systems on the market from the inexpensive pitcher water filters (Brita comes to mind), to reverse osmosis and under the counter carbon filters.  However there is a system which has been around for over 150 years and has proven its effectiveness in over 140 countries around the world:

The British Berkefeld family of water filter systems.

I have been using a Big Berkey water filter system for over 12 years now and I love the simplicity and reliability of this system.  In this post I am going to share with you the reasons why it is one of the best water filtration systems available.

 The Pros

  • The ceramic or black filters used inside the upper chamber are able to filter out almost all water contaminants and impurities (99.9%) and most of the undesirable chemicals, heavy metals, nasty tastes and odours, whilst still ensuring that healthy minerals in the water are preserved. 
  • As a result of its superior filtering performance, it is rated as a water purifier as opposed to merely a water filtration system.
  • The Big Berkey is a stand alone system which means it  works without electricity or water pressure.  It simply uses gravity as the water drips via the filters from the upper chamber into the lower one.
  • It is also completely portable and may be taken camping, traveling or used outdoors to safely filter lake, stream, pond or river water.
  • The system is made of high quality stainless steel with the upper chamber fitting cosily inside the lower larger chamber
  • The Berkey water filters do come in different sizes, however the Big Berkey is ideal for small to medium size families. 

The Cons

  • Yes, it is going to cost you more than the common or garden varieties of pitcher filter systems, however with any quality product you really are getting what you pay for.  The Big Berkey runs around the same price as a reverse osmosis filtration system.  The latter of course needs to be installed, and interestingly enough produces 5 times more waste water than the water which it purifies.  

Maintenance is Easy-Peasy!!

After some time of using the Berkey you will find that the ceramic filters become coated and need to be cleaned.  This is actually very easy, as all you need to do is:

  1. empty the unit
  2. remove the top chamber
  3. unscrew the filters carefully and take a new scouring cloth (e.g. 3M Scotch-Brite pad)  to the ceramic filters and scrub them gently to remove the deposits.
  4. Finish by rinsing off under water and then simply screw the filters back into the upper chamber

… and Voila!

           - you’re done!! 


In Conclusion …

I have experimented with other (cheaper) water filtration systems (notably Brita) in the past, but was never fully convinced that they were up to the task of fully purifying my tap water.  Once I found the British Berkefeld family of water filters however, I never looked back.

I believe that the technology behind the Big Berkey is rock solid, as has been demonstrated successfully again and again in countries around the world where you would not think that the water could even be made potable and safe for human consumption.  The filters last well with minimal maintenance, and for those people living in areas where fluoride still contaminates their drinking water, the optional PF-4 (for ceramic), or PF-2 filters for (black filters), which can easily be mounted to the underside of the lower chamber, will remove any fluoride or arsenic in the water.

I hope that this review of the British Berkefeld water filters has been useful, and I would welcome any comments on your experiences with this system, or any questions that you might have regarding the product itself.