Updated: Feb 27
I know this sounds weird, but where I grew up in Milwaukee, WI, our tap water tasted delicious. I'm not sure where the actual quality stands, but dang is it good. When I moved to California in 2012, I began drinking the tap water just the same and immediately regretted it - it was SO bad! The taste was awful, so I would regularly opt for bottled water or use a Brita. I eventually became more conscious of the planet and stopped buying plastic. I also didn't want to keep buying Brita filters, so I decided to get rid of that as well. I quickly became addicted to alkaline water and would constantly go fill up reusable jugs of that - alkaline water tastes SO good to me. After a few years of this annoying chore, my boyfriend suggested water delivery, which I was all for! We decided on reverse osmosis water (at the time I had no idea this method removed beneficial minerals!) and did this for about 6 months or so until he recently told me he was paying $60/month for this delivery - which is insane! I knew there had to be a cheaper, healthier, and easier way to stay hydrated, so I began searching. There's many options out there, but I remember seeing Lee From America post about the Berkey Filter, and then my acupuncturist told me she got one and also loved it, so I was sold! We weren't sure which one to get at first, but we eventually decided on the Big Berkey with 2 black filters. For our 2 person household, we fill our 2.25 gallon system every other day, sometimes every day. In addition to drinking a ton of water each day, I use the filtered water for everything; coffee, tea, cooking rice and pastas, making soup, etc. In the past I would use tap water for cooking since our water delivery water was so precious, but now that we put tap water in our Berkey, we have endless clean water for me to cook with! We also used to buy separate water for watering our plants (LA tap water kills them, think about THAT!), but now I use the Berkey water which makes it incredibly convenient. I even filled up glass bottles with my Berkey water to serve at an event I hosted last weekend... how pretty is that?!
Ok, on to the good stuff. I've been using my Berkey for a couple of months now and want to share 5 reasons why I love it so much!
1. Saves Money
The Berkey comes in many sizes to suit your needs. We bought the Big Berkey for $258 which not only includes the system, but 2 filters, a lifetime warranty, free shipping, and a free gift of your choice. This price may seem like a shock initially, but it's an investment that will pay for itself before you know it. We were paying $60 per month to have 30 gallons of water delivered. In just over 4 months, this system has paid for itself and the money saving begins! It's also way cheaper than buying bottled water. You can read more about this below. Usually with systems like this they seem like a good idea and then you find out you need to regularly buy expensive filters. Not the case here! The 2 filters included will last you 6,000 gallons (3,000 each) or approximately FIVE years! That's less than $0.02 cents a gallon! Bottled water, at its cheapest, is $0.83 cents a gallon. The filters can be cleaned with a Scotch-Brite pad every few months to keep them working their best. And when the time comes to get new filters, you get 2 for $107. $107 every 5 years is a pretty amazing deal!
2. Saves Time
For too long I was driving to fill up jugs of alkaline water, which wasn't always the easiest task in LA - navigating traffic after long days at work, parking on the street, walking a block or two and then up to our 5th floor apartment with heavy jugs, etc. When we switched to delivery, it definitely took a load off. But then we had to worry about running out of water and needing to go get more, making sure we had all of the bottles outside of our apartment every other Tuesday when they came, and then were able to buzz the delivery person into our building, because if we missed the call we were screwed. So while delivery was generally easier, it still had its downside. Since the Berkey gets filled with tap water, we spend 1-2 minutes approximately every other day filling it up and that's it. Easy peasy! You can use a pitcher to add water, or just set it in the sink like we do (see below). Other time that went into the Berkey was approximately 20 minutes of set-up and we will need to take a few minutes every couple months to scrub the filters. Still a heck of a lot easier than our old ways.
3. Better for You
We are 70% water. Just as our health suffers when we eat toxic food, it also suffers when we drink toxic water. The average tap water contains numerous chemicals: pesticides, plastics, chlorine and fluoride, as well as pharmaceutical drugs. According to Berkey:
Through diligent testing and research, we have proven that Berkey water filters remove viruses to purification standards, pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites to undetectable levels, and harmful or unwanted chemicals to below detectable levels
The filters also have the ability to reduce toxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury without removing the beneficial and nutritional minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium which naturally makes water more alkaline - see my ph experiment below!) needed to support a healthy body and mind. Reverse Osmosis or Distiller systems typically used will remove everything from your water including these beneficial minerals! Not to mention, these systems become useless during emergencies when power and or water pressure is lost.
The water photo has not been edited at all. There wasn't a huge difference, but the Berkey water was darker and slightly more alkaline than Los Angeles tap water. Here is the pH test I used which can be found on Amazon.
4. Better for the Planet
Most people think the solution to toxic tap water is to buy bottled water, but can you really trust what you are drinking? Do you truly know where this water comes from or how long it's been sitting in plastic that is leaching chemicals? And are you recycling the plastic bottles? And you may be surprised, but studies show bottled water isn't even that much better when compared to tap water. Every year, the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic water and soda bottles in the U.S.—not including transportation. Bottling water produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Each year, billions of disposable bottles and cups end up littering our soil, rivers, lakes and oceans, killing countless fish and animals. (Data taken from Pacific Institute). Think of your children and grandchildren. We need to make some major changes, and soon, to improve the condition of our planet for these future generations. The Berkey gravity filter is a great place to start! I have multiple Healthy Human (use code FORKIN10 for 10% off!) bottles that I fill with my Berkey water and take everywhere so that I never need to buy plastic bottles. I even got my 4 year old niece hooked on her mini pink Healthy Human bottle!
One of the great benefits of Berkey Filters is the portability! Each of the seven different sizes contains the same Black Berkey filter element, delivering the same clean water. The travel sizes are perfect for small RV campers, summer cabins, or anywhere storage space may be limited. All of the units are counter-top models but can also be used outdoors. They are fully functional using only gravity, thus they are not dependent on electricity or any other outside source to function. They also do not need to be hooked up to your kitchen faucet and come in handy when the power goes out or water pressure is lost! Berkey recommends using the cleanest water source available when filtering water. However, lake, stream, pond, river, or flood water can be filtered in the Berkey System. In an emergency scenario, the Berkey will even filter pool water and make it safe to drink! (This excludes saltwater pools because the concentration of salt will more than likely ruin the elements quickly). (Most of this information taken from Berkey)
There are many reasons I love my Berkey, but these are some of the main ones I've noticed. Hopefully this post is informative and helps next time you're deciding on buying a pack of bottled water, or investing in something better.
If you're still not sold, just check out all of these benefits!
Looking for tips on how to clean your berkey filters to keep them working properly? Learn more here! I've done it, and it's not as daunting as it may seem!
Update 4/25/19 - The Medical Medium who I love and have been following for years (his celery juice recommendation helped heal my eczema!) also recommends the Berkey! Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions! p.s. I also bought their shower head filter. The water we shower in, just like the water we drink, contains chemicals that may get absorbed into our skin. I bought the filter without the showerhead for $46 (choose the filter replacement on their site for this.) You can also get it on Amazon. This filter lasts approximately 20,000 gallons or 1 year. I instantly noticed that the shower water felt softer. I thought I was strange for thinking this, but my boyfriend agreed! I definitely feel more at ease and cleaner now that we have this filter.
*This post is not sponsored (although it does contain affiliate links which may earn me a small commission if you make a purchase based on my recommendation), I'm just very passionate about my Berkey and wanted to share in hopes of helping people and the environment!
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