We recommend these filters: 1.Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter - 2. Doulton Gravity Water Filter - 3. British Berkefeld. For more details check these filters in the search box below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of questions that users as well as prospective buyers of gravity water filters have. Have a question about gravity water filters? Ask it here.

You can buy a radon test kit for water here:

You can buy a radon test kit for water here.

You may also contact NSF International at (800) 673-8010 and the Water Quality Association at (630) 505-0160.
You should not let radon enter your home through the pipes. Radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking, in the United States.

No, it is dangerous. It can cause severe problems including kidney failure and death.
The smell of rotten eggs is caused by hydrogen sulfide which the water picks up as it passes through the ground. It is not dangerous. However, you should investigate it with your local authorities and consider buying a filter.
This usually happens because there is high pressure in the pipes. Also cold intensifies this phenomenon. If you leave the glass of water to rest for a few minutes it clears up. This is not dangerous.
The U.S. Geological Survey WaterAlert service can send you e-mail or text (SMS) messages when certain parameters, as measured by a USGS real-time data-collection station, exceed user-definable thresholds. Enter your phone and email here: http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert/
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the recommended limit for Fluoride at 1500μg/l, which means 1500 milligrams of Fluoride per liter of water.

There are two types of filters that you can use:
Black Berkey Filters
Berkey Fluoride Filter

Yes, you can use the Black Berkey filter elements in British Berkefeld gravity water systems.

Here is a list of chemical hazards in drinking-water.

A

Acrylamide
Alachlor
Aldicarb
Aldrin and dieldrin
Aluminium
Ametryn
Ammonia
Antimony
Arsenic
Asbestos
Atrazine

B

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis
Barium
Bentazone
Benzene
Beryllium
Boron
Bromate
Bromide
Brominated acetic acids

C

Cadmium
Carbaryl
Carbofuran
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chloral hydrate (trichloroacetaldehyde)
Chlordane
Chloride
Chlorine
Chlorine dioxide, chlorate and chlorite
Chloroacetones
Chlorophenols
Chlorophenoxy herbicides
Chloropicrin
Chlorotoluron
Chlorpyrifos
Chromium
Copper
Cyanazine
Cyanide
Cyanobacterial toxins
see
Microcystin-LR
Cyanogen chloride
Cylindrospermopsin

D

D (2,4-D)
DB (2,4-DB)
see
Chlorophenoxy herbicides
DDT and its derivatives
Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate
Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate
Dialkyltins
Diazinon
Dibromo-3-chloropropane (1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane)
Dibromoethane (1,2-Dibromoethane)
Dichlobenil
Dichloroacetic acid
Dichlorobenzenes
Dichloroethane (1,1-Dichloroethane)
Dichloroethane (1,2-Dichloroethane)
Dichloroethene (1,1-Dichloroethene)
Dichloroethene (1,2-Dichloroethene)
Dichloromethane
Dichloropropane (1,2-Dichloropropane (1,2-DCP))
Dichloropropane (1,3-Dichloropropane)
Dichloropropene (1,3-Dichloropropene)
Dichlorprop
see also
Chlorophenoxy herbicides
Dichlorvos
Dicofol
Diflubenzuron
Dimethoate
Dioxane (1,4-Dioxane)
Diquat
Diuron

E

Edetic acid (EDTA)
Endosulfan
Endrin
Epichlorohydrin
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene dibromide
see
Dibromoethane (1,2-Dibromoethane)

F

Fenitrothion
Fenoprop
see also
Chlorophenoxy herbicides
Fluoride
Formaldehyde

G

Glyphosate and AMPA

H

Halogenated Acetonitriles
Hardness
Heptachlor and Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorobenzene
Hexachlorobutadiene
Hydrogen Sulfide

I

Inorganic tin
Iodine
Iron
Isoproturon

L

Lead
Lindane

M

Malathion
Manganese
MCPA
Mecoprop
see also
Chlorophenoxy herbicides
Mercury
Methoprene
Methoxychlor
Methyl Parathion
Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Metolachlor
Microcystin-LR
Molinate
Molybdenum
Monochloramine
Monochloroacetic Acid
Monochlorobenzene
MX

N

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
Nickel
Nitrate/nitrite
Nitrilotriacetic Acid
Nitrobenzene
Novaluron

P

Parathion
Pendimethalin
Pentachlorophenol
Perchlorate
Permethrin
Petroleum products
pH
Phenylphenol (2-Phenylphenol)
Pirimiphos-methyl
Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
Potassium
Propanil
Pyriproxyfen

S

Selenium
Silver
Simazine
Sodium
Sodium dichloroisocyanurate
Spinosad DT
Styrene
Sulfate

T

T (2,4,5-T)
Temephos
Terbuthylazine
Tetrachloroethene
Toluene
Total dissolved solids
Trichlorethane (1,1,1-Trichloroethane)
Trichloroacetic Acid
Trichlorobenzenes
Trichloroethene
Trifluralin
Trihalomethanes

U

Uranium

V

Vinyl Chloride

X

Xylenes

Z

Zinc

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Source: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a recommended limit of arsenic in drinking-water at 10 μg/litre,

If you use two Black Berkey filter elements you should change them after 6000 gallons. This equals to 2400 days, that is six and a half years.
If you use four elements, change is recommended after 12,000 gallons, that is twelve years.

(Based on EPA's daily water consumption per day including water in meals).

In Canada you may buy the Big Berkey here:

These filters remove Crypto (Cryptosporidium)
Reverse osmosis (with or without NSF 53 or NSF 58 labeling)
Absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller (with or without NSF 53 or NSF 58 labeling)
Tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 or NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for cyst removal
Tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 or NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for cyst reduction

Source CDC

Read also independent lab reports for gravity filters

Ask your local water provider for a water quality report. Better yet call a qualified water-testing laboratory, especially if you have a well. You may call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

A filter is a "purifier" if it is capable of inactivating viruses, protozoa, bacteria, algae, and fungi, . Not all filters can do that. Some gravity water filters are good at that.

Emergency water purification methods:
boiling the water and straining it through a cloth
adding 3 drops of tincture (alcoholic solution) of iodine per each quart of the water
adding 10 drops of 1% chlorine bleach per each quart of water.

Thoroughly mix with the water, and let to stand for 30 minutes.

Strain through cloth to remove particulate matter.

Aluminum:86.6%
Copper: 100.0%
Arsenic: 100.0%
Strontium:100.0%
Cadmium:100.0%
Cesium:98.6%
Mercury: 99.8%
Lead:100%
Uranium:100.0%

Source: Envirotek Laboratories

Test your water for heavy metals

The list below shows the categories of filters in terms of where the are placed:

Point-of-use (POU) , for example the table, the kitchen sink, refrigerator or shower head
Personal water bottles
Pitcher or pour through filters
Faucet mount filters
Counter top filters
Plumbed-in systems
Refrigerator filter

Yes, it filters out heavy metals
Aluminum:86.6%
Copper: 100.0%
Arsenic: 100.0%
Strontium:100.0%
Cadmium:100.0%
Cesium:98.6%
Mercury: 99.8%
Lead:100%
Uranium:100.0%

Source: Envirotek Laboratories
Here are the full lab test results:

Here is the official document of the full analysis of the Big Berkey filter:

You can read a hands-on review here

Yes. Big Berkey will filter out toxic substances. However, it would be wise to boil the lake water before filtering to kill bacteria that may infect your filtering system.

No pH value is given in lab test reports. It is said that the Berkey filter reduces pH. The result of course depends on the pH of the water you start with. Get a pH meter for about $10-$20 and measure the pH in your system. If it is acidic, below 7, use baking soda, about half a teaspoon to a gallon of water that has been filtered.