Frequently Asked Questions
You can buy a radon test kit for water here:
Radon Test Kit
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.
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.
Aldrin and dieldrin
Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis
Brominated acetic acids
Chloral hydrate (trichloroacetaldehyde)
Chlorine dioxide, chlorate and chlorite
DDT and its derivatives
Dichloropropane (1,2-Dichloropropane (1,2-DCP))
Edetic acid (EDTA)
Glyphosate and AMPA
Heptachlor and Heptachlor Epoxide
Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
Total dissolved solids
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).
The Big Berkey water filter system purifies 3 1/2 Gallons (13.3 liters)
It will filter 7 Gallons (26.5 liters) per hour if you install four Black Berkey filter elements.
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
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.
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
Yes, it filters out heavy metals
Source: Envirotek Laboratories
Here are the full lab test results:
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.