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A high-quality water filter is an important element of a healthy home and one of the easiest switches to make for a healthier life!
There are now great water filters available for any home type. From countertop units that work great in apartments to full under-counter and whole-house filters, it’s easy to find a great filter for your home!
Finding the healthiest and most nutrient dense food options is extremely important, but to some degree, finding the best water options can be even more important! Some sources of water can contain hundreds of chemicals and many of these chemicals can be more easily absorbed from water than from food.
What’s In Your Water?
If you are drinking tap water, the answer to that question is 300+ chemicals and pollutants, according to research from the Environmental Working Group. Among these contaminants are:
Volatile Organic Chemicals
(VOCs) such as pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. These chemicals are found in most municipal water sources and even in well and other sources due to agricultural run-off and contamination. Research links certain VOCs to damage in the reproductive system, liver, kidneys and more.
Metals like lead and mercury are found in some water sources and have been linked to many health problems.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
These chemicals may mimic or interfere with the normal hormones in the body and they are being found in increasing amounts in the water supply. From this testimony before a congressional committee on the issue:
Over the past fifty years, researchers observed increases in endocrine-sensitive health outcomes. Breast and prostatic cancer incidence increased between 1969 and 1986; there was a four-fold increase in ectopic pregnancies (development of the fertilized egg outside of the uterus) in the U.S. between 1970 and 1987; the incidence of cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) doubled in the U.K. between 1960 and the mid 1980s; and there was an approximately 42% decrease in sperm count worldwide between 1940 and 1990.
These chemicals are known to affect animals when they enter the water supply as well.
This is perhaps the most controversial of the contaminants in water (if something like water contaminants can be controversial!) because it is purposefully added to the water and there is much heated debate about the benefits/harm of this. Anyone who listened to the Heal Thy Mouth Summit is well aware of the potential dangers of fluoride thanks to Dr. Kennedy, but the short of it is this: If fluoride has any benefit, it would be directly to the teeth, as drinking the fluoride has not been statistically shown to increase oral health at all. Additionally, fluoride has been linked to thyroid problems and other disorders when consumed internally.
Check Your Water
You can check your local water quality report to see what contaminants are in your water supply. This is helpful in determining what you need to filter out when choosing a filter.
The easiest way to find your local water report is to check your local water company’s website. The report should be publicly available. If that doesn’t work, try Googling the name of your city and “water quality report” to find it.
Choosing A Water Filter
Once you know what you need to remove, it’s much easier to choose the best water filter option for your family. So what are the options for those of us not interested in drinking a chemical cocktail every time we are thirsty? There are options for every home and every budget. From filters that just take out the basics like Chlorine to ones that remove all contaminants and remineralize the water!
I’ve tried a couple dozen of the thousands of options available and share my experience here. This is from my own experience and I have not tried every option. This is also not medical or scientific advice and I’d encourage you to always do your own research and test your own water quality to find your best solution.
These are the options I’ve tried in order of my least favorite to the filters we use now…
Bottled water has started falling out of favor lately and with good reason. Mark’s Daily Apple did an in-depth analysis of why, but bottled water is not a good option for several reasons:
- Chemicals from the plastic bottle itself can leech into the water
- In most cases, the water itself is no different than tap water
- Bottled water costs more in many cases that drinking tap water
- Water bottles and other plastic waste are a major source of consumer waste and pollution each year!
Verdict: Not the best option on price, taste, or health so I skip it. That being said, having a bottle of water is very convenient, and there are some great sustainable options. Instead of plastic bottles, choose a high quality reusable one. These are my personal favorite water bottles that are plastic-free, sustainable and reusable!
Pitcher Water Filters
Pitcher water filters usually use Granulated Activated Charcoal to remove some contaminants. They are less expensive than other filter options upfront, but require frequent filling (especially for large families) and cartridge replacement (making them more expensive in the long run). Since the carbon is not solid, it does not remove all toxins though these filters will improve taste.
Pitcher filters will reduce chlorine, but are not effective at removing VOCs, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors or fluoride. This category also includes faucet mount external filters, which use the same technology.
Verdict: Better than nothing, but doesn’t remove the worst offenders and is somewhat costly to use compared to other options. If this is the only option that will work in your home, choose a high-quality pitcher like this Soma Plant Based Filter system or Clearly Filtered, but if you have the space and the budget, a Berkey (see below) is a much better alternative.
Charcoal Stick Water Filters
For those tight on space, charcoal sticks are a great alternative too. Charcoal sticks can be used in any pitcher or water bottle and remove contaminants in the same way that many pitcher water filters do.
They are reusable, last for months and can be used as a refrigerator deodorizer or in the garden when you’re done with them!
Verdict: These charcoal water filter sticks are a great eco-friendly zero-waste option for those tight on space. Ideal for couples and those just filtering water for 1-2 people.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Reverse Osmosis filtration uses a membrane which removes many contaminants from water. It is usually paired with a Granulated Activated Charcoal filter to remove chlorine, can mount under the sink, and have a holding tank. The semipermeable membrane separates many contaminates (which usually have a larger particle size than water) from the water and rejects a large amount of water in the process.
The result is a waste of several gallons of water for every gallon filtered and many naturally occurring minerals (including calcium and magnesium) are also removed from the water. We used this type of filter for a long time but added trace minerals back into the water to replace the ones that were filtered out. It does remove a large amount of contaminants but is not the best option, in my opinion.
Removes a large amount of contaminants. Many unites are stored under the sink and have a simple spigot over the counter for getting the water. It reduces arsenic, asbestos, heavy metals, and fluoride.
Wastes more water than it produces. Does not reduce VOCs or endocrine disruptors. Requires adequate water pressure to work so it is not usable if home water supply is cut off. Takes up to an hour to filter one gallon of water and filters need to be replaced regularly. Removes necessary minerals from the water.
Certainly better than a lot of options out there and it does remove fluoride, but not the best due to its waste of water and costly filters.
The distillation process uses heat to cause the water to become steam. The steam rises and moves to a cooling chamber where it turns back into liquid, leaving behind many contaminants. This type of filtration reduces large particles like minerals and heavy metals but does not remove endocrine disruptors or VOCs since they vaporize at equal or lower temps that water and rise with the steam. It does effectively kill bacteria.
Removes a large amount of contaminants. Does reduce arsenic, asbestos and heavy metals. Does remove fluoride.
Does not reduce VOCs or endocrine disruptors. Home distillation systems are often large and expensive. Uses a large amount of electricity and will not work in power outages. Removes necessary minerals from the water. Long term use can cause mineral deficiencies.
Better than bottled water, but definitely not the best option out there, especially for home situations.
Solid Block Carbon Filters
Recognized by the EPA as the best option for removing chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs. Quality carbon block filters will remove chemicals, pesticides, bacteria, fluoride (with filter attachment), heavy metals, nitrates, nitrites, and parasites. Most are gravity based and can safely transform any type of water into safe drinking water including rain water, pond water and even sea water (though these types of water will clog the filters much more quickly and are not ideal). It will even filter water with food coloring to create clear water (yes, I tested it…).
This is the option that we used for years and my only complaint is that it does take up counter space. The advantages are that it is gravity based and will work even without electricity or running water. While these types of units can be more pricey that pitcher filters or other filters up front, they seem to be the least expensive in the long run and require the fewest filter replacements (a big plus for me!). These types of filters also don’t remove naturally occurring minerals from the water, making it the best tasting filtered water option, in my opinion.
Using a filter calculator, I’ve determined that the specific system we use won’t need to be replaced for over 20 years with our current usage (though I’m guessing our usage will increase as the kids get older).
The most common type of this filter is the Berkey and it comes in many sizes for different uses. It can even be used camping to filter river water for drinking! (Tested this too and it saved one of my brother in-laws from Giardia when other members of his group got it while camping).
Filters VOCs, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, nitrites, bacteria, parasites, and other chemicals. Very inexpensive per gallon cost and infrequent filter replacement. Great tasting water. Doesn’t require electricity or water pressure to work. Portable options can even be used while traveling.
Does require counter space and has to be manually filled (wasn’t a big deal for us, we just fill at night and we have plenty of water the next day). More expensive up front. Does not remove endocrine disruptors and there are some concerns with third party testing with some brands. There is also some recent reports that indicate that these filters may not remove fluoride as well as claimed.
A good option, especially in places where under-counter or permanent systems are not an option. We used this one for years before our current system.
Under Counter Multi-Stage Filters:
After years of research and trying all of the options above at some point, we finally found and switched to an under-counter multi-stage water filter system that meets all of the criteria and exceeds them. I review the one we personally use in depth in this post, but in short, it filters water through a 14-stage process that utilizes most of the methods listed above, along with others like UV and adds minerals back in. During the filtration process, water goes through these stages:
1 – Five Micron Pre-Filter
2 – Internal Coconut Shell Carbon Filter (like Berkey)
3 – Reverse Osmosis Membrane (Purifier #1) (like regular RO but more efficient)
4 – Mixed Bed De-Ionization Purifier (Purifier #2)
5 – Mixed Bed De-Ionization Purifier (Purifier #3)
6 & 7 – Homeopathic Restructuring – Erasing Memory, Molecule Coherence
8 – Holding Tank – standard tank holds about 3 gallons of pure water. Other tanks are available.
9 – Ultraviolet Light – 14 Watt
10 – Reprogramming – Adding Natural Mineral Properties
11-12 – Far-Infrared Reprogramming
13 – Coconut Shell Carbon Post-Filtration
14 – Alka-Min (Alkalizing, Ionic Remineralization)
It removes fluoride, lead, chlorine, MTBE, chromium-6, nitrates, pesticides, pharmaceutical residues, water-borne illness and more.
This filter has worked well for us for years and I’ve recommended it to my own family members.
Removes the widest range of contaminants. Very easy to use with no manual filling required. Spigot attaches near sink for easy use. Water tastes great.
Must be installed under the sink. We had to hire a plumber for this, though we probably could have figured it out ourselves, but I was reluctant to try (and my husband HATES plumbing). More expensive than other options.
It’s definitely the best option I’ve found and the one we currently use.
A Step Above Filtration
If you’re interested in going above and beyond just filtration, there are options that can also enhance the water as well as just clean it. I’ve spent the last couple of years researching options like water alkalizers, hydrogen water and all of the other methods that claim to optimize water in some way.
Here are the ones I’ve personally tried:
Alkaline and Ionizer Water Filter Combinations
These filters are increasingly popular in recent years. Manufacturers claim that drinking water that has been made more alkaline has various health and longevity benefits.
Here’s how the technology works:
Positively charged calcium and magnesium ions to pass through the membrane and become concentrated at the negatively charged plates. Calcium and magnesium are alkaline earth metals, they are responsible for giving the alkaline water, made by a water ionizer, its alkaline pH.
I have a Life Ionizer system currently installed under my kitchen sink. I like that it has options for regular purified water or alkaline water with easy to control levels of each. This page explains more about how the technology works and all of the options.
These systems come with a reverse osmosis system so they filter water. In addition, they may have some additional benefits through the alkalizing process. They offer countertop and under counter options so they can fit in most kitchens and can be less expensive depending on the model you choose. This process also generates hydrogen in the water, which may have some additional benefits.
They do require some space and are not the most inexpensive option. They also must be installed under the sink and require a plumber if you can’t do this yourself.
We’re currently using this alkalizer/ionizer and like the water taste and quality.
Final Thoughts on Water Filters
As you’re probably aware, there are many water filter options available (and I think we’ve tried most of them over the years!) and the quality can vary greatly. Since drinking clean water is one the most important things you can do for your health, having a reliable water filter or a source of good clean water to consume should be at the top of your natural living priority list.
What type of water system do you use? Do you drink tap water? Is water filtration a priority for you? Share below!
Discussion (674 Comments)
The Berkey system now has me very interested. I didn’t realize there were other options besides RO for removing fluoride. Does the system initially come with the filters, or do you have to buy them separately from the beginning? Also, how long does it take to filter the water? Is it a slow process, or relatively quick?
They are additional, but they are offered at 50% off from the company I linked to when you buy the system. They also aren’t very expensive (I think about $30). We have the big unit with 4 black filters and 4 fluoride and it filters 6 gallons in a few hours…
I’m sorry but I don’t see the 50% off…(maybe I’m way too late!) Could you direct me a bit more? Want to buy the system!
The fluoride filters are 50% off when you add them when adding the berkey to your cart…
Umm, I thought fluoride was harmful when swallowed And was only supposed to be used topically?
That’s why they’re filtering it. I wouldn’t use it topically either.
We live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and have well water. Do you think our tap water would still have contaminants? We are 8500 ft high, out in the woods, about 10 minutes from the nearest small town.
I would like to know this answer as well. Although we do not live in the Rocky Mountains, we live in the Appalachian foothills, I am also on well water with a very deep well. We are currently only using a sediment filter.
You could have it tested, but I’d drink it… well water is supposed to be great! 🙂
Actually, people who use well water should be very careful, and should have it tested. Well water can be much worse than tap water, and can contain lots and lots of contaminants, such as E. Coli from nearby animals’ feces, VOC’s, methane, and even radioactive elements, such as Plutonium. I don’t know where these people live in the Rocky Mountains, but I know of two families who found Plutonium in their well water, who live in the foothills just west of Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility.
Guess I’m lucky. I drank mountain spring water from different sources in Colorado for years, and have been drinking tap water for several years. My city tests for everything, and other than chlorine and flouride, our water is good. And just so very slightly hard that it’s nothing to worry about.
See if you all can sign up for emailed water reports from your city. Probably many people would be surprised that their water is better than they assume. That’s because the EPA now requires cities to filter out many contaminants. Not so with well water. With well water, you’re on your own, and should definitely have it tested every six months or so.
I would not buy a system that takes out most of the minerals. Minerals in water are good to have.
My ND was concerned that we were on well water. I was happy that we had well water. She said most of the people she sees with cancer are on well water. We get ours tested and it is high in calcium manganese and iron but nothing else. After 8 years we’re still trying to figure out how to get more minerals out! We bought a Mercola well system. It’s not doing enough. I was surprised to see that some of the parts said Aquasana. It is easy to get the water tested and so worth it!
Definitely have your water tested. Well water is usually great but there can be contaminants like arsenic in the ground that can make you sick over time.
It definitely does! Have you seen the chemtrails in the Denver area?! That goes right into the ground and thus your well water.
I would think that you would have some of the cleanest water on the planet…….but I guess you never know these days. I bet your water taste great!
Kenneth D Murry
You are likely to be alright with the exception of minerals. Mostly, those are good for you unless there are excessive quantities. Safety first, best to test. KM
O man, I was just thinking that we needed a better filter than our pitcher but didn’t want to delve back into the research, which was so confusing last time. Will be looking into the solid block carbon filter. Thanks!
I agree Alissa, the research task can be so overwhelming, so I really appreciate this article. Thanks Wellness Mama.
Thank you for writing this post!!! I have lately felt more and more frustrated in trying to figure out the water issue. This is so helpful, as always! 🙂 What do you do as far as baths for your kids? We currently just use tap water, but that is beginning to concern me; If it helps the body to soak in epsom salt, it has to hurt the body to soak in fluoride and chlorine…would love to know your thoughts on this.
Definitely… this is another topic I’ll be covering soon. We have Berkey shower filters on our showers and I use the shower to fill the tub most of the time (not the most convenient) though I’ve heard rumors of a tub filer in the works…
Their shower filter removes just free chlorine. Most cities now in US have chloramines added, which clog up carbon filters very quickly. I am also wondering, if their other filters are effective for chloramines as well.
The local water company told me that chloramines are used mostly in the western part of the US. From what I have read, Vitamin C water filters can remove both chloramines and chlorine.
It is true, that many of them are on the West Coast, but not only. Here is the list on one website:
And it is growing each year. I understand, that vit. C does bind with chloramines and make them less toxic. I suppose we could add it to the water, but it would still clog up carbon filters very quickly and possibly make them ineffective for cleaning out other things as well.
So, after reading about the alkaline water, I’m curious about some of the claims. Your body is capable of neutralizing the food that comes into it. I buy that, but can that neutralizing process cause damage to your body? Like, if you eat too much acidic food, will your body actually draw from its most plentiful calcium source, bones, to neutralize the food, and in turn cause osteoporosis? I’m simply looking for the truth, and I’m getting very annoyed at all the made up junk that’s out there.
To answer my own question: https://sciencebasedpharmacy.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/your-urine-is-not-a-window-to-your-body-ph-balancing-a-failed-hypothesis/
You have the right idea Krista! Everyone’s body has buffering a buffering system that has to maintain a certain pH. For example your blood pH can not fluctuate outside the parameter of 7.34 to 7.46 pH which is slightly alkalined or you would die. There are more acidic factors in our environment that cause our body to work in overdrive to neutralize and maintain the ph. All processed foods are acidic. Most meat dairy and cheese is acidic. Cofee’s, tea, soda and sports drinks and most bottled water and well water is acidic. Pharmaceuticals, air pollution, chemicals in our environment are VERY acidic and stress causes a lot of acidity in our body as well. So the more we keep our body alkalined the less our body has to work in overdrive to balance it out. And yes, acidity usually lacks and depletes minerals from our body so it can cause osteoporosis and other contributing factors. “Alkalize or Die” by Theodore Baroody is a great book that gives a lot of information. When it comes to water I choose Kangen water but not just because it’s alkalined but mostly because of the antioxidants and the micro-clustering which really allows the water to penetrate at a cellular level instead of sloshing around in you stomach like regular water. We have seen some pretty amazing things the water helped with in my whole family and people I have shared it with. I hate seeing these negative things on the internet to from people who have not researched or tried the water. It is more to it than just being alkalined.
Yes that is 100% true, however the only only way for the body to neautrulize the blood is to draw phosphate out, so the calcium phosphate from our bones is used.. We use the phosphate but have no use for the calcium so it is excreted from our bodies
Chantel Lawliss Barber
awesome. getting some sort of water filter is on my 2013 agenda. you have done all my research for me. Thank you! (Can’t wait for birth story #5!)
Santevia! It’s a ceramic filter on top, which does a prefilter, then goes through a carbon filter, then through several layers of different mineral stones to naturally filter it and put back minerals, then into the holding tank which also has mineral stones in it. So it’s completely filtered, and then has minerals put back. I got it on sale for $100 and then about $100 a year for replacement filters. It’s also small, with the holding tank only taking about 2 gallons, so I have to refill it usually twice a day. Also it’s plastic, and their ceramic model is crazy expensive. But if you’re broke and in serious need of a good filter, go for it. Our rental house has rusted pipes so we definitely needed it despite the downsides. I’d take a bit of plastic leaching over rusty water.
I wondered how the Santevia and Berkey filters compared, and found this: https://www.consciouswater.ca/santevia-reviews/
aboslute best in my book! I love mine!
The Santevia looks EXACTLY like my Nikken filter, same exact thing, just different brand. I always loved the water we get from it, it tastes amazing. We got it on eBay and we get filters from Nikken directly.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw the Santevia. Looks so much like Nikken`s former PiMag Water System. My friend has had the Nikken PiMag for several years and we were thinking of getting it because the water tastes great. Then when we went onto Nikken`s website recently we saw a completely different system. We listened to a video featuring their top representative who said they had to redesign their filter system because a few other companies copied their system as Nikken had not had a patent on the PiMag at that time. Now their new product is patent-pending. Good for them.
Santevia uses non-organic sources of minerals (stones), but our bodies need organic sources in order to utilize the minerals. Otherwise they get deposited in our joints. I used Santevia for about a year and the knuckles in 3 of my fingers became arthritic — knobby and stiff. I’ve been off it for about a year now and the arthritis has not spread any further.
We use the AquaSana system for our drinking water and I like what it filters…but I am looking for a whole-house filter that will filter the water that we use to water our plants and that we bathe in. Do you have any good recommendations for that? I don’t want just a showerhead filter because I fill the tub with the spigot for our daughter’s bath. Thank you! 🙂
This interests me aswell, following =)
I love my Aquasana whole house water filter, its great!
I would like to know also!!
I’m looking for a whole house filter as well. Looked into Aquasana, Pelican, Radiant Life….. SO overwhelming!
What did you end up with?
Currently we have an RO system paired with a water softener. The water softener is mostly to save our pipes, because the water in our area is super hard. Recently we have discovered that the RO makes our water more acidic than tap water, which was alarming. I’m curious about what the solid carbon block does as far as acidity, since our entire family runs on the acidic side, and we think it might be causing some of our health problems.
It allows the minerals to stay in so it ends up on the neutral/slightly alkaline side…
You will have to test the pH of your original source water and then test the pH of the water after the filter. From the testing that I have done It may and in most cases it does cause it to be a little more acidic.
This is a non issue as RO water is only mildly acidic (similar to rain water). By the time the water reaches your stomach it will then become acidic due to the acids in your stomach.
when you say it makes the water more acidic that complete crap. what they mean is it takes everything out of the water which is its job. the acidity is in your own body . which is why people who drink coke and eat fast food die young. alkaline your body natures way by eating green vegetables. rainwater has no minerals in it, i don’t hear people complaining about its acidity.
PH going into the Berkey was 6.5 and came out at 7.8. That was with town water. Now I use rain water and haven’t checked.
Thanks for the direct answer. This is very helpful as I am considering the Berkey as we have had to stop using our nice RO system due to the high acidity. The acidity is not a huge issue for the body but it is for the teeth. Once my enamel wore away, my teeth became nearly translucent on the lower half. It unfortunately took me a while to realize it was the reverse osmosis water that was doing. Our RO water tests at 4.5 and our tap at 6.0. Remineralizing drops and even alkaline drops had almost no effect. Thankfully, the process has begun to reverse somewhat with great care (following much of the Mama Wellness post on remineralizing teeth!)
What water are you having now, and how is your enamel? I bought a Berkey 1 1/2 years ago, and the enamel started falling off my teeth a few months after purchasing. It made me wonder if the minerals were getting stripped with the Berkey and causing my problem. Did you get the Berkey? And did your teeth heal?
invest on a good home water purification system. it will benefit your family’s health and safety. we also use Reverse Osmosis water system which is really the best as it can remove contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper and lead, some organic chemicals, and the municipal additive fluoride.
Depends on the system but ultra pure systems and point of use raises pH to 9.5
This post came on time!!!!! Our family has been looking for a water system. Thanks!!!
For me too. I’d read about the Berkey on another site and there seemed to be quite a few complaints about the spigot and questions about whether it really does the filtering it claims to do. Anyone know what kinds of research have been done on Berkey filtered water?
Also, apparently, there is a Youtube.com video instructing you how to make your own Berkey; then you’d just need to buy the filter.
I was planning to look into the reverse osmosis option, so I’m glad to have this opinion. Thanks!
I’ll try to find the studies I found in research and link the article above. YOu can definitely make your own, but all the ones I saw use plastic, and I wanted a plastic free option so we went with the Berkey…
I’ve been looking for one without plastic as well; are you saying the berkey doesn’t use it?
Thanks for the information. Your blog didn’t specifically say that carbon block filters remove endocrine disruptors – just want to double check if they do. Thank you!
Katie - Wellness Mama
From my research they remove as much as any filter can
She also failed to mention that most water distillers also incorporate an activated carbon filter.
I found a YouTube video on how to make a Berkey type filter with two stainless steel stock pots. (Apparently some have stainless rivets and some have aluminum- so check.) This seems almost as easy as the plastic and a lot safer. Hetcher is the name of the video maker.
What Berkeley water filter is the best” we have city water
I purchased ours here: https://wellnessmama.com/go/water/. The size will depend on your family’s needs.
So, I have been trying to stay away from BPA and cut out as much chemicals as possible in my drinking water. I read this article, thought, Yes! This is what I need. I click the link, and read some more about it, research it out and decide I want to try this out. 30 day warranty! I get this product in the mail. One of the Carbon filters is cracked around the top. Like I can put a butter knife in this crack. I tried to prime it and the filter would only sweat about 4 inches up the chamber. I think, no big deal. I will call and let them know and get it replaced.
I wish it were that easy. I can’t seem to wrap my brain around this whole struggle of not being able to get good clean food and water and wading through the truth, shew! Money will certainly cause people to go bananas, huh?
I call the company I thought I had ordered from, they tell me they have no record of my order. So, I call New Millennum, they don’t know me, but through the symbol on my email, we figure it out. Now mind you 2 companies have already said, let me replace this filter, what’s your address, this is where they discover they have no record of my order. The berkey filters company–the one I ordered from–says no, your good. No need to worry about it.
Now, let me just step back. First, I paid the same price as anyone else, I deserve 4 non broken filters! That’s what I paid for. I don’t want a broken product, and neither do any of you. Right? Second, why would 2 out of 3 say yes, you need it replaced? What’s a girl to do now?
I call back new millennium and they agree to send me a new filter, but not without jumping through hoops. I have to send my broken filter, that I didn’t break first, before they will send me a new one and guess who pays the shipping–yours truly! I wonder how long this will take? My 30 days to decide if I like it or not, well– I guess that’s on hold too, only it’s not. Time stops for no man, after all.
My take on this whole thing, who knows?! Maybe it works, maybe it doesnt! When I searched what to do about a broken filter, seems Berkey has a history of filters coming free from the plastic base and issues with defective filters!
So, why post all this here? 2 reasons, I trusted this blog enough to purchase it and the ladies here seem to be honesty women, and my favorite part, I sense Godly women. I’d like some truth! I’m upset, but is it worth the wait? Send it back and keep looking or keep it, because it is worth the wait?
Thank you for this post. Just need to know if the last one, the under the counter system, removes endocrine disruptors? This is very important for me. Thank you : )
I’m using berkey product for water filtration, and I can say that it’s effective.
Hi Katie …. We recently moved out to California which means we are faced with some major water issues like water shortages, and high levels of lead, nitrates and arsenic in our water which obviously means we need SOME sort of water filtration. I came across your article while we were researching water filters and looked into some of the ones you mentioned. I (like several others on your site) liked what you said about the Berkey … no waste and good filtration.
The problem I ran into with it was that we can’t use it out here in California. They don’t have a lead free certification which prohibits them from selling in CA. I talked to one of their reps and was surprised to learn that they actually have NO certifications, they have done some independent testing but haven’t ever tried to get NSF certifications which most filtration systems have. She said she thought it was because of the cost but it definitely made me wonder about it!
After weeks of looking and calling different companies we finally found one here that sells an ion exchange system (LINX Drinking Water Systems) that does everything we needed it to do. Certified to remove our list of contaminates and there is no water waste which is what we need since we have water bans quite often here.
Anyway, thanks for all the great information in your post, we are now drinking our fill of water without any worries =)
You are right, they have no certification at all, and the University Of Phoenix where they claim they were tested is not a real University it is an online one.
This company is a complete rip off of the British Berkefeld gravity machine. They were the North American distributors but they have since started making their own with carbon filters instead of ceramic. Beyond their own exaggerated claims, there is no evidence at all that their carbon filters do what they say. They are cheaply made in China and numerous people have had problems with them breaking. Many have also sent their water for lab tests and the results were not good.
At some point someone is going to get seriously sick or die by filtering water that is not going to be as safe as they claim. I was going to buy one of these till I stumbled upon that research. They are apparently importing them this side of The Pond now, even though the original is still available. It’s all very odd.
If you are going to buy one of these machines, buy the original British Berkefeld – that DOES have the necessary certification and is still used today by the British Military and in disaster zones. The machine and the ceramic filters are manufactured in Britain not China, so have the required UK safety standards. Ironically, most ripoff clones of something are usually much cheaper than the originals except in this case – the British Berkefeld is almost half the price of the clone! Figure that one out!!
If you already have a Berkey (the American version) then exchange the carbon filters for the ceramic (just google for Doulton ceramic filters, they will sell them on Amazon – get the ATC if you can, as they also filter heavy metals). Unlike the fake claims of the carbon filters (and the claim that they only need to be replaced every 11 years), ceramic filters have stood the test of time, have genuine certification, but need to be replaced every 6-12months, though some people manage with them for a few years if they take care of them. Depends how dirty your water is to start with. Ceramic filters are fairly cheap so it’s not a big deal.
You can also use the Flouride filters with either machine, though I’m not sure how effective they truly are. I know of somebody with an American Berkey sent the water for lab testing flouride and it was something like 30 parts – when it was 36 parts in his tap water (or however the measurement is rated). In other words, it didn’t reduce it by very much at all.
Meant to add: the ‘red dye’ test American Berkey are fond of – it has no scientific basis AT ALL – it is pure marketing spiel.
Seriously peeps, do some more research and send your water off to be tested if you want to be sure. However a search online will reveal others who have done so (see Amazons reviews as well).
Most people are using tap water to filter but if TSHTF and they must use less clean water from streams or ponds, they will have a worrying confidence in those filters that simply is not warranted.
University of Pheonix is a real accredited univerisity with campuses, there is one about an hour away. I personally have no experience with them since their prices are far above those of good state colleges.
Thank you so much. Plastic makes this option a poor choice as well, although it is hard to avoid plastic entirely. I was wondering because I live in Baja California Norte, and get mail from the USA, and I cannot order a Berkey anyway. We all get taken by imitations, so I’m sure we all could use a reality check.
But will the ceramic filters fit the American Berkey…?
Thanks for the information about the British Berkefeld. I was surprised that Berkey seems to have either purchased the company since their products are also advertised on the site(?) The cheapest standing water filtration I find on the site is $337.00 (a dented version at $270 something). Were you able to find the British Berkefeld system cheaper in the States somewhere??? An online link would be great! I went to the British Berkefeld website and I see Berkey products offered on it as well….I’m desperate to filter my drinking water (I’m also renting) but am also living on a very strict budget. Cleaning the ceramic filters appeals to me rather than buying so many replacements through-out the year. Thanks!
Jen, could you please explain what ATC stands for ao that I know exactly what to search for and purchase? Also is there a website to purchase the original British Berkfeld water filter machine?
I bought the Berkey filtration system about 3 months ago and I love it, no more having to run to the store for nasty bottled water, and expensive water. I primed it when I bought it and Im thinking its time to prime it again since its getting a bit slow, keep in mind it is a bit slow to begin with because it has a great filter system I also bought the fluoride filters so mine has two filters on each side to clean my water. I highly recommend this product and Im going to be buying the travel one so I have water on the go, also look into Mercolas glass water bottles with screw on caps or any glass travel bottles, I use them 24/7
Rebecca, I have a Berkey for more than five years, and I have looked for a way to ‘prime’ our filter. I have no idea where to look, ask, or read about priming the back filters. One seller in Texas says he takes it outside and hooks it up to a garden hose, but never says anything about connectors etc. Can you point me in the right direction. We live in Germany and Berkey is not as hot an item like in the UK and the US.
Paula: Berkey now offers a device to “Prime” the black filter elements. I Have one and it works well. It can also be used to “Clean” the filters when the time comes. Didnt cost much either from what I can recall. Less than 20USD.
I bought filters from this Seller on Amazon and they work great. I just ordered a replacement RO system and ill let y’all know the quality when i get it!
We’ve used the LINX Drinking Water System for the last several years and it produces AMAZING water. I had never heard of if but when we bought our Sub-Zero refrigerator the appliance shop recommended it to us. The Reverse Osmosis systems don’t have enough water pressure to support an ice maker in our fridge but the LINX system does. The best part is that it is truly a high-efficiency water filtration system, there is virtually NO water waste, it filters out chlorine, fluoride and all the other nasty stuff in our water but you can adjust the amount of minerals you want left in. They call it Dial a Taste … it is seriously the best drinking water I have ever had and would highly recommend it.
Could you give an idea of what the LINX system costs? Their website wants my contact info for a quote. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing! I’m going to check out the LINX Drinking Water System out!
Hi WM, what are your thoughts on whole house water filters? I came across one on the GAPS Australia website and thought it looks like a good option?
I’d like to know your thoughts one whole house filters as well. Don’t want to bathe in VOCs either…
Seychelle Water Filtration is the best…. they provide filter bottles to Service men and women who need to get water out of mud puddles. The EXTREME filter even takes out radiation.
I’ve been using the Seychelle filters for years now and highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for an emergency water filtration system. I use it for camping as well as my Emergency supplies in case of disaster. I simply can’t say enough good about them.
please advise where can I buy those Seyshell Filters and how do they look like?
Any photo ?
Are they same as Solid Block Carbon Filters ?
That’s interesting, this is the second filter that I’ve heard that removes radiation. The first is one that I got which is an under counter 3 stage filter from Pure Effect…
I looked into the gravity fed, reverse osmosis…etc etc. But I chose the under the counter filter. It was the only one that I could find at the time that filters two things that almost never get filtered out at the same time….Flouride and Radiation. It caught my eye because of those two. Of course it does the rest of the stuff Pharmaceuticals, VOC’s …pesticides etc etc.
And as I read earlier, its true that if the right minerals are contained within it, the water alkalinity changes and this water is slightly alkaline.
I bought the Ultra-UC and give it a huge thumbs up. Installation is really simple as I’m not much of a handy guy but was able to manage it just fine.
I think this forum has lised all diffrent type of water purification except Ozone. Is there any reason or its not a good option.
Great! Thanks. We living in United Kingdom and we followed your advice few months ago and bought a Big Berkey waterfilter system and this filter system is amazing! I also wanted to tell you how much i love your website. Your website has been on my bookmarked pages for the last 2 years 🙂
Thanks and al the best. Rachel Lamson, Kent UK.
Katie, you have 2 systems under sink? One to filter and one to add back minerals?
Yes and no. We have a whole house filter which is connected to the main water supply running into the house and a second filter under the sink that adds the minerals back in…
We bought the Alexandre pro counter top filter and changed the plastic spigot fo a stainless steel one.
We use Clearly Filtered and have been for years! It is the best water filter that we have come accross and you can’t beat the price. It actually removes more contaminants than Berkey does and even does the crazy stuff like radiation and bacertia! We had their pitcher forever and just bought the 3-stage system that hooks to our kitchen sink. Couldn’t recommend it enough.