Statistics Show 68% of people buy a Christmas present for themselves during the holiday season. This is mine.
I live in a rural area and am part of a water association. That’s code talk for a lot of houses on a giant well. As a matter of fact, we are the last house on the line, so we have a lot of “floaties” that appear in our water. We get yearly reports from the association about all the stuff in our water which are all below “harmful levels”, but nevertheless, it’s there. Bottom line, our tap water looks, smells and tastes a little “off”.
For the past 12 years, we have made countless trips to the grocery store to fill thousands of 1, 2 and 5 gallon jugs of water for drinking, making coffee and cooking.
There had to be a better way.
In any mega emergency, obtaining clean water to drink will be paramount. Or at least having a way to filter it. The only filtering system I had was a Life Straw which works great for an individual’s get home bag. What I wanted was a filtering system that would provide clean drinking water for my whole family as well as to cook with. I oscillated between the Life Straw Mission and the Berkey. I chose the Berkey and here’s why.
I wanted to start using my filtering system NOW, not tuck it away for a some day emergency. It was not cheap. I saved for 3 months to purchase the 2.25 gallon capacity Berkey for $288.00. This particular one came with not only the two black filters, but also with 2 white filters that filter out arsenic (which is one of the elements in our water in “safe levels”) and fluoride.
The Berkey is actually not just a water filtering system but a water purifying system. To be classified as a purification system, it must remove 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria. The Berkey massively exceeds this by removing 99.9999999% of those bad guys.
- It removes 99.999% of viruses.
- It removes 99.9% microorganisms like e.coli.
- It removes Heavy metals like lead and mercury.
- It removes pesticides, drug contaminants, and petroleum products
All this to say, I can pull water from my faucet to filter or scoop it out of my drainage ditch during a SHTF event, and be just fine.
It is also helpful to know that Berkeys are used around the world by many relief organizations like the Salvation Army. For the past 2 years, Berkey (the company) has provided their filter systems to a group called ROWAN in eastern Uganda, supplying clean water to rural orphans and widows.
Big Berkey- The Set Up
These filters require a little brain power to set up.The instructions were clear but the illustrations were not. I was not sure where the second set of white filters were suppose to go. I called Berkey and they confirmed what I had done was correct. All four filters must be primed before use. Once that was completed, I poured water in the top reservoir and waited for it to filter down to the bottom chamber. And I waited….and waited. By the next morning, it was clear that something was wrong.
I called Berkey back and after being on hold for 10 min., the Berkey rep helped me trouble shoot. She gave me clear instructions on how to solve the problem. I had neglected to prime the filters adequately. Once that was done, it worked perfectly. The filtered water is crystal clear and has no order or off taste. Replacing the 4 filters will cost about $160.00 but they are good for about 8-10 months. I can do that.
In fairness to Life Straw Mission, I will most likely still purchase one for my bug out bag as they are perfect for traveling and you can hang them on a tree limb for a great gravity feed. I also plan to keep all my 2 and 5 gallon water containers full for an emergency stash of water, and just change it out every 6 months. But for now, I’m going to grab a delicious glass of water!