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Mommypotamus’ Favorite Water Filter!!!

Affiliate Disclosure | in Favorite Things/Giveaways | by | with 458 Comments

(Deep , cleansing breath)

Ahhhhhh, here were are. Solution Day. These past few days have been BRUTAL . . . writing about toxins in water was much harder than I realized. I don’t want to scare anyone, but it seemed important to examine concerns about water before talking solutions. Speaking of solutions, I’ve got two to share. One that is expensive and one that costs less per gallon than a Brita pitcher.

Want to hear something funny? I’ve been using the same counter top filter (with fluoride removal cartridge) for years and I planned on recommending it to you. I  called the manufacturer and asked them to donate one for a giveaway, which they happily agreed to.

And then I found out my filter didn’t work!!!

Well, it sort of works, but it only removes most of the fluoride if you run the tap really, really slow. Who wants to spend 10 minutes waiting for a glass of water?

So What DOES Work?

So there I was with all this research about how unhealthy tap water is and I had no solution. Fortunately, this review from Lisa of Mama Says (who was guest posting at Kitchen Stewardship) got my attention.

The Berkey filter is so good, you can even put creek water or rain water through it if there’s a major emergency and it will filter out all of the parasites and bacteria. After Ike, there was water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink.  Our area was flooded – with nasty, rank floodwater, with sewage, dead squirrels, and rotting fish in it.  Now that’s just nasty!  The Berkey is not just a filter, it is a purifier and removes 100% of pathogens from the water. (Note: I do not recommend testing your Berkey out by adding dead animals to the tank. Just sayin’.)

Berkey will also filter out VOCs, volatile organic compounds, including chemical runoff and contamination from PVC.  It will also purify water of chlorine, benzene, and toluene along with a slew of other chemical nastiness that don’t even have real names, just numbers and letters (like 2,4,5-TP)

Berkey removes 95% of heavy metals such as lead and mercury – and this matters.  Water is the second largest source of lead exposure in children, and even if you have plastic pipes your kids might not be safe.  Many glues used on PVC pipes contain lead.

~Lisa Professes Love For Berkey; Frugal Crunchy Catholic Tells All

No one says it quite like this momma of eight, so for a good laugh read the whole review. Lisa was quite convincing, so I made some calls and this is what I found out. There are basically two options for dealing with fluoride, pharmaceuticals and chlorine byproducts: Reverse osmosis and The Berkey (which is an activated granular charcoal/activated alumina system). Here’s a breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses. I also threw in the specs for a Brita pitcher for comparison.

FilterRemoves FluorideRemoves PharmaceuticalsRemoves ChlorineCost FactorEnvironmentally Friendly
Reverse OsmosisYesResearch indicates yes to a lesser degree ¹YesModerate to HighNo
BerkeyYes  if the optional PF2 filter is installedResearch indicates yes to a greater degree ¹YesLow – About $.06 -$.08  per gallonYes
Brita PitcherNoUnknownChlorine – Yes Byproducts – UnknownModerate – About $.25 per gallonYes

As you can see, the Berkey wins on all fronts: cost, environmental friendliness, and effectiveness. At $.06-.08 cents per gallon it’s a steal compared to the $.25 cent per gallon Brita pricetag. Oh, and that $.06-.08 estimate is with the optional fluoride filters. It’s only $.02 per gallon otherwise. Also, unlike reverse osmosis systems, the Berkey is portable. The downside is that you have to fill it manually (it’s not hooked up to the sink). Not that I will take it on vacation or anything . . . okay I probably will.

The Most Amazing Water Purifier You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Berkey claims to be the most powerful and economical water purification systems in the world. Based on corroborating studies from the University of Arizona, Spectrum Labs, and the LSU Department of Toxicology and Environmental Science . . . I believe them.

We are talking about waaay more than the big three here. As Lisa mentioned,  Berkey purifiers remove 99.99999% of pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites while extracting chemicals including herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, VOCs, detergents, cloudiness, silt and sediment.

Cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, aluminum, mercury and other dangerous heavy metals are also removed (95%), as well as nitrates and nitrites, without removing beneficial minerals! Here’s how it works.

Minor Downsides

For the first week, my husband kept looking at the Berkey and expecting a glass of iced tea. It DOES look a little like an iced tea container at your local restaurant. The two downsides of the Berkey are counter top space and daily refilling. Luckily for us, we don’t own a microwave, so the Berkey takes up less counter space than a microwave and we manage to make it work even in our tiny kitchen. It doesn’t take more than a couple minutes to refill if you use a large container to fill up at the tap, but you could run out of filtered water for an hour if you forget one day to fill it up. We’ve made it a habit of topping it off before bed each night just to be sure.

Daddypotamus is still brainstorming a solution where we run a hose from the sink to the Berkey so he can have all the conveniences of our previous filtration system. I don’t think that will work unless our next house has a laundry room sink. If you’re used to a faucet head filter, you’ll feel a little inconvenienced at first at having to refill. But if you use a Brita pitcher or something similar, you’re doing the same thing except having more filtered water at your disposal at any given time, which is great for cooking (why boil your veggies and noodles in yucky fluoride water if you don’t HAVE to?).

Where To Buy A Berkey Water Filter


Now That You Want a Berkey, I’m Giving One Away!!! (This Giveaway Is Now Closed)

Check back, though, because I’m hosting new ones all the time!

Does this sound infomercially? I don’t know how else to put it. In case you might be wondering, I contacted several Berkey resellers and was given the option to receive a FREE Berkey to test and review here. Instead I chose to purchase mine at full price from The Berkey Guy and he kindly offered to – YES – give away a free Royal Berkey System with two fluoride/arsenic removal filters to one of you lovely people!* Although there are more affordable options, this is the extra large  model worth two-hundred and seventy-five buckaroos. Plus he’s adding in two fluoride filters, bumping the prize value to $320!

How to Win

There are three ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment below for one entry in the contest.

2) Post on Facebook for one entry. Leave an additional comment here to let me know.

3) Tweet this contest for one entry. Leave an additional comment here to let me know.



Check back next week for the announcement!


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458 Responses to Mommypotamus’ Favorite Water Filter!!!

  1. Judy says:

    I could do with one of those for our household – there are six of us so it would probably need constant refilling – scares me thinking about my kids drinking all that “bad” water though :(

  2. j elohim says:

    Distilled is still the best, although it is more expensive. (I buy 2 gal a day at 0.89 per gal every day since 1992)…. Did have and use a ss distiller for one year – BEST OPTION YES, but lost it during a move and just got another one but it’s not set up yet.
    See amazon’s comments about the berkey just in case it happens to you at
    I just heard in the last week about the berk. that missionaries use it… it is A LOT BETTER than any other portable filter I’ve seen…. just remember it can fail also(mass marketing is a big problem and has ALWAYS led to dramatic loss of quality and truth)

  3. Holly says:

    pick me pick me! lol ….

  4. Holly says:

    posted on facebook too

  5. Jesse M says:

    So I just read all about this water filter and got really excited as I have been looking for something exactly like this. Only to go to the site and learn I cannot get it because it can’t be shipped to CA….. ARghhhh!

  6. Martina says:

    Hi Mommypotomus,
    I am loving the easy read, from your lighthearted blog! I find your’s to be less overwhelming than others. As making a whole lifestyle change isn’t overwhelming enough. Right? On the Berkey Water Filtration, what size do you have or would you recommend? We are a water drinking family of four, with the children being 2 and under. Thanks for your help:)

    • Heather says:

      Glad you are finding the info here helpful, Martina! We started with an Imperial. When my mom decided to buy one, though, she offered to let us upgrade to the Crown and switch. We did and we love it because we only have to fill it up every few days :)

  7. Alison says:

    Do you know of any home filtration systems that filter everything?

  8. Pox Parties: Proven Immunization or Russian Roulette? « The Mommypotamus says:

    […] veggies, cod liver oil, liver etc.) and get plenty of sunshine. We purify our water with a relatively inexpensive but effective filter, make our own non-toxic cleaning supplies and beauty products, and avoid pesticides and herbicides. […]

  9. kim says:

    What is a comparable whole house water filtration system?

  10. amy says:

    Hi, I am wondering what you think about Custom Pure filters, which provide carbon filtration and de-ionization. The MB series from Custom pure are popular in Seattle and sold at the natural food co-ops. It is a local option. However, the Berkey looks potentially better?!

  11. tiffany newman says:

    Have you located a whole house water filter you like? I’m hoping to find one that takes care of the showers/baths too. Thanks! Tiffany

  12. Tara says:

    I need a water filter!!

  13. LK says:

    What about the Seychelles water filter? That seems to have very good ratings but I haven’t found anything comparing it to Berkeley.

    I get shower filters from Lifekind. I think they just filter chlorine though.

  14. Hannah costa says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize their was something better than my brita, I would love this!!

  15. Erin says:

    What a great give away! Thank you!!!

  16. Heidi says:

    Awesome giveaway. Thanks!

  17. veronica says:

    I would love to win a Berkey.!!

  18. veronica says:

    i posted on facebook! woot woot

  19. Heather R. says:

    I’d love to win one of these! Thanks for the info and giveaway!

  20. Natasha says:

    Oh, I want one of these soooo bad!

  21. Natasha says:

    Posted to facebook

  22. Shannon says:

    posted to facebook

  23. Chlorine and CANCER « The Mommypotamus says:

    […] Next Post in this Series: Mommypotamus’ Favorite Water Filter! […]

  24. Nancy Bass says:

    After your blog pot about making your own electrolyte drink, I started looking into the Berkley water filter systems. I would LOVE to get one of these for my home!! My husband recently lost his job so it’s not in our budget to get one right now. I am hoping to win one!

  25. Maia says:

    Hi! I wanted to buy one, since I didn’t win it ;), and was wondering which was the real berkey website. I’ve seen so many and wanted to have the real one. Thanks!

  26. Allie says:

    I’ve been using Kishu charcoal sticks. Do you know anything about how they compare?

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Allie, Unfortunately I don’t. I know that the additional white filters also eliminate some fluoride, so that may be one thing to look into.

  27. cia parker says:

    I’ve read that Brita doesn’t get out nearly as many pesticides and heavy metals as PUR water filters, which is what we use, also available at Wal Mart.

  28. Lisette says:

    I am looking at purchasing a Berkey. What size do you own?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lisette, I don’t use mine anymore because my husband and I bought a farm with a pure water source. I can’t recall exactly what size I used, but it was the one that was second to the largest. One thing to keep in mind: there have been reports that the fluoride filters are not very effective at removing fluoride. I tested mine and was unimpressed with the results, but I was not able to duplicate the test because 3M removed their fluoride testing kits from the marketplace.

  29. Anitra says:

    Do you have any recommendation on purchasing a water filtration system in light of the fluoride issue mentioned in the previous comments? I was almost completely convinced to purchase the berkey but have come across reports of the fluoride not being filtered out (which is concerning since this is at the top of my list of reasons to purchase a filter). Any advice/ update would be greatly appreciated as I respect you and also want to say thanks for your blog.

  30. jeff elohim says:

    we have used bottled distilled water since 1992,
    ((avoiding fluoride, and all the other (over 100) toxins in the tap water))
    for six weeks or so even used the bottled distilled water for bathing – heat up on the stove – AND THAT MADE A DISTINCT OBSERVABLE IMPROVEMENT IN OUT HEALTH.
    now we still drink bottled distilled water (try different brands as there is a difference) …. AND ALWAYS on the shower water supply put a filter too.
    ALWAYS , ALWAYS, ALWAYS. many people that have got a shower filter, in 3 days use, get to stop going to the doctor for a previous every month visit for itchy skin (many different diagnosis) , and NONE(almost) of the doctors will tell their patients “it’s the tap water”; but it USUALLY IS, according to anecdotal (haha) reports. (and published water tests)

    • Lorena says:

      But distilled water is too acidic isn’t it? What system do you use?

      • jeff elohim says:

        I never once checked the acidity of any distilled or any other water. Only got sick drinking tap water within half hour – upset stomach right away, and diarrhea for about 24 hours on/off…. ((found out this is common ))…

        Also had read/ continue to/ that all the natural cncr clinics and other health and wellness clinics always use(d) distilled water… ((kxxxxx water is a lot more expensive and highly profitable so it may be used more places now, especially in japan where it was greatly marketed ‘apparently’ (no first hand knowledge of this) ))….
        if there’s a concern with acidity, which I’ve never much hear of even until recent years anyway, find a way to test it or take a step at a time ((how we usually did)) and see what works for you….. It is truly amazing what the journey reveals when people start to seek the truth !

        ((we buy, gallon size plastic((i know, ugh! )) bottles as the most accessible, most convenient and readily available, and most consistent quality ( try various brands if needed and/or possible – ozarka and reasors have been perfect for us: some others not so good for whatever reason(s) ))
        Tap water isn’t even good to bathe in , shower in, or cook with! The gubberrnment had the option to filter out all the bad stuff, but even with a lot of public pressure to do so , and expert testimony/witnesses against cholormeany (sic) , guess what !? Yep, even the FISH CANNOT DRINK IT, nor swim in it, without dying !! How’s that for gubberrnment protecting its citiznes (sic) ?? …. sorry , I’ll put my soapbox away for now… ENJOY distilled water WHILE you can…. under $2.00 per gallon…. is a bargain compared to the alternative of disease tap water causes… some filters MIGHT DO AS WELL — I don’t have time , energy, and money to test them… yet anyway…

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