Published on January 1st, 2014 | by Greg0
Travel Berkey Water Filtration System: Clean, Pure, Simple
It’s a sad fact that access to clean drinking water is one of this century’s most important issues. In much of the world, it might seem easy to take for granted, but everywhere from Miami to Austin to rural areas in the Midwest have regular trouble with water supplies. Every flood or serious storm stresses the systems, and even under normal circumstances, municipal drinking water is allowed to contain dozens or hundreds of chemicals that you may not want in your cup.
The Berkey Water Filtration System comes in several sizes, and we’ve been testing the Travel model. It’s a gravity-fed system, which means that it is simple to setup and use, doesn’t require any power, and thus can be used just about anywhere by just about anyone. One downside of many such systems is that they tend to be fairly slow, but this one isn’t too bad, offering a rate of 2.5 gallons per hour, and about half that much storage room (1.5 gallons).
The manufacturer claims that the Berkey “removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury”. Obviously, we weren’t able to test all of these- our laboratory equipment only goes so far. Configured with the two included cleaning filters, the heart of the system, you can expect to get 6000 gallons of clean, pure water from each set. We didn’t notice any issues, but if the system slows down, you can actually just use a dishwashing pad to scrub the filters themselves.
The Berkey doesn’t look like much- a large stainless steel canister with a spigot at the bottom, separated into the upper basin and filtered lower one. You might want to prime your filters before use, and you can even purchase optional flouride filters, if you don’t want it in your water. We did notice improved taste- NYC’s water supply is quite good, but we did some tests outside of the city, and water tasted crisp, without losing mineral balance. A purifier and filter in one, the Travel Berkey runs about $228 online, and is a great companion for anyone who worries about water quality.