Berkey Filters Blog
Stop! Soda can literally kill you! Drink water instead!
Image via Dan McKay (Flickr)
Water Defeated Soda to Become the #1 Drink in America
I’m proud to say that water has officially defeated soda to become the number one drink in America… at least for now. People talk plenty about the soda wars between Coca Cola and Pepsi, which began with some ridiculous and costly advertising campaigns in the 1980s. The campaigns worked, however, and America became addicted to soda and the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners found within the bubbly beverage. Over the years, we’ve suffered from our addiction to soda, and it looks like we are finally seeing the light and giving up that nasty syrupy stuff for the refresher that nature makes: water! Read more »
Benzene leaches into groundwater from landfills.
Image via Bill McChesney (Flickr)
Benzene in Drinking Water
It is unfortunate, but there are so many dangerous compounds that we must worry about finding their way into our water supply. I’ve discussed many of these compounds in my past posts, now I’d like to educate you about benzene in water. Benzene in drinking water is a serious concern, and has been listed as a no-no by the EPA since the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. Please allow me to take a moment and answer some important questions about benzene and its effect on drinking water.
Q: What is the compound benzene?
A: Benzene is classified as a volatile organic chemical compound.
Q: You just said volatile; does that mean benzene is flammable? Read more »
Just because it’s beautiful does not mean the water is clean.
Image via Manuel Calavera (Flickr)
Filtering Water When in Remote Locations
If you’ve been following me online, you know that I love nature. I love to spend time outdoors enjoying all this beautiful planet has to offer, especially bodies of water. If you’re a hiker, or a camper, or somebody who loves to explore remote locations, you know the importance of having safe drinking water in great supply with you. Whether you’re out on a day hike, or planning to rough it for a couple of days, you cannot survive without clean drinking water. This seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Just make sure you have enough water with you. It’s not as simple as it may seem, however.
It’s a Matter of Weight
When traveling to a remote location, whether by foot or by vehicle, you cannot have cases of bottled water with you. You don’t have the ability to carry that much weight, nor the space in which to pack it. It’s simply not a viable plan to lug a ton of heavy water jugs on a trek. You need to find a way to get the water you need using lightweight, compact options.
The Best-laid Plans…
The best-laid plans can also go wrong, no matter how seasoned you are. You might have the perfect portable way of filtering water to ensure you have plenty of H2O at your disposal. You might also become trapped in a remote location due to unexpected weather, or you might get lost. The best-laid plans do always see themselves through to fruition. You need a backup plan in case of emergency.
There’s an app for that!
Image via Pseph (Flickr)
How Much Water Should You Drink? There’s an App That Will Tell You
Are you consuming enough drinking water daily for your optimal dietary needs? Do you know how much water to drink for your body weight? Do you understand the benefits of drinking water? These are questions I ask people all the time because as a water expert, I understand the need we all have to drink an adequate amount of water daily. The adult human body is made up of approximately 50 to 65-percent water. You lose some of that water through urination and sweat. Dehydration is deadly. Do you drink enough water? Don’t worry, there’s an app that will tell you!
Why Drink Water?
The reason it is important to determine how much water to drink on a daily basis is because there are numerous health benefits of drinking water. Staying properly hydrated regulates your metabolism, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. Keeping hydrated by drinking water also keeps your organs, especially your kidneys, function properly and flushes out toxins. Hydration helps your alertness, keeps your body temperature in check, and helps to regulate your blood pressure. You cells, tissues, joints, and muscles all need water. That’s why you should drink plenty of it. Here are some apps to help you ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Read more »
Can your water pipes cause disease?
Written By: Jerry Alonzy
Image via webhamster (Flickr)
I’m old enough to remember when it was inconceivable to drink water from a bottle. After all, we had water available from the tap! What sense would it make to pay up to 500 times more for water that came in a plastic bottle?
The fact is, today people who have perfectly safe water coming out of their faucet are paying top dollar for water bottled somewhere else! And though it would have been unthinkable “way back when”, most people who do so believe that bottled water is more healthy.
And they may be right! Indeed, most of us have no idea what we are putting into our bodies when we chug down a glass of cool tap water. There may be reason for concern, whether your home uses city water or a well system. And the reason may be in the pipes your water travels through!
Never assume the water running from your tap is of high quality.
Image via Canadian Family (Flickr)
Tips for Maintaining Home Water Quality
One of the reasons I became an environmentalist is because I have always loved water. I grew up around water, I played in water, and I still play in water with my dog whenever I have the chance. I chose a career blogging about water and the importance of water quality because it is such a critical topic that everyone in the world should be educated about. This includes teaching people about home water quality. What is water quality? It’s ensuring that the water you use for both consumption and bathing is safe for you and your family.
You probably remember in school that water, known by its chemical formula H2O, is a chemical compound made up of one part oxygen and two parts hydrogen atoms. Water is a compound that cannot be destroyed. When hot, it evaporates into the earth’s atmosphere only to recycle into rain and fall back down on the earth again. Water can, however, absorb harmful substances, making it dangerous for consumption if polluted. This is why in the United States, the EPA is in charge of setting water quality standards all municipalities must follow to ensure their citizens have a safe water supply. Read more »
Dr. Michael J. McGuire is an environmental engineer whose career has focused on drinking water quality and the history of water. His expertise on the subject of water led him to publish numerous articles and books, such as The Chlorine Revolution. He also frequently updates his two blogs: This Day in Water History and Safe Drinking Water Dot Com, and remains active on twitter. He continues to write extensively on this important world-wide issue.
Since 1971, he has been active in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and has been a member of other societies such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Chemical Society and the Water Environment Foundation. He received his PhD from Drexel University and has since won awards for his excellence in environmental engineering. In 2009, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
Q: What sparked your interest in safe drinking water and water history?
A: I was fortunate to land my first job with the Philadelphia Water Department in 1969. The theoretical information that I had learned about water quality as an undergraduate was brought to life as I participated in projects to safeguard the drinking water for that great city. Samuel S. Baxter, the water commissioner for Philadelphia, convinced me that public service associated with providing safe water was absolutely the best way to spend my career.
The water history bug bit me in 2005 when I wrote an article for the AWWA Journal about the revolutions that occurred in U.S. drinking water disinfection over the previous 97 years. Chlorinating the Jersey City water supply in 1908 was the first revolution, and I became fascinated with the people who were responsible and with the barriers they faced to implement effective water treatment processes. At that time, waterborne disease was a leading killer especially of very young children. What Dr. John L. Leal and George Warren Fuller did back then was extraordinary, and their exploits fed my desire to learn more about the roots of our profession.
Japan’s Fukuoka Water Plant desalinates seawater for 150,000 citizens.
Image via Arun Katiyar (Flickr)
The Process of Desalination
If there is one cruel fact none of us can deny, it is that water is becoming a scarce commodity for many people on the planet. Some people blame global warming, others blame climate change; I tend to think one directly affects the other, so it’s both in my opinion. But, whatever the cause, we need to keep America, and the rest of the world, afloat with plenty of safe water. Water desalination is not something new. It is, however, an uncommon form of water treatment. As our water supplies continue to dissipate, we need to consider the desalination process, and how it will help us and the rest of the world ensure that we have enough safe drinking water.
What Is It?
Let’s begin by discussing what water desalination actually is. The process of desalinating water means that we are removing primarily salt, but also other minerals, from saline water. The desalination process is commonly used on sea vessels, particularly those with long-term water-bound missions such as submarines. Desalination allows those on board the vessel access to plenty of “fresh” water without the necessity of storing gallons of H2O, which would account for too much weight and take up too much space. Read more »
Finding Clean Water in the Wilderness
Image via Oakley Originals (Flickr)
I hope that you never become stranded in the wilderness, but in the event that you do, it’s so important that you know how to find safe drinking water – note: “naturally filtered” is a fine claim on bottled water, but in the real world, it’s a bit more involved that that. I want to give you some tips on how to find clean water needed for survival. We hear miraculous survival stories in the news all the time about hikers getting lost or some other unexpected incident where people had to hunker down and survive in the wild until rescued. The one survival tactic all of these people had in common is that they managed to find water. We can live without food much longer than we can live without water, so let’s learn how to find clean drinking water in the wilderness.
Finding Your Water
It might seem as if these initial steps are obvious, but when you’re panicking a bit, it can be hard to keep your wits about you. Survival experts agree there are two key things that anyone must accomplish in a survival situation:
1) You need to find shelter
2) You must find clean drinking water
Fans of Lost might remember how Jack came across a fresh water source complete with shelter to boot! Just like that! Depending on where you are, it’s not going to be as easy as a scripted survival story to meet your needs while you are stranded in the wilderness. Read more »
Ceramic water filtration is effective… just not as effective as other methods!
Image via William Brehm (Flickr)
A Comparison of Black Berkey and Ceramic Filters
Forgive me, because this is going to sound like a sales pitch, but if you are looking for the best water filter to protect your family’s drinking water then you need to look into a Black Berkey filter. I know you are thinking, “Lynn, that’s a sales pitch.” Honestly, however, it’s not. The Black Berkey has the right to stake its claim as the best, and I’m going to tell you why in this blog post. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll realize that I’m not “selling” you anything; I’m ensuring you and your family have the cleanest drinking water possible, which is what I’m passionate about and why I do what I do.
Ceramic Water Filtration
Pacify me for just a second here, because I’m going to get a little scientific on you. In order to understand why the Black Berkey filter exceeds other water filters on the market, you need to understand how water filters work. Because I am talking about tap water purity, I’m going to compare the Black Berkey to a ceramic filter, a popular household water filtration system.
The ceramic water filtration process is a simple one. Ceramic is a porous material through which water can easily flow, but many other substances cannot. Ceramic filtration is effective in removing bacteria, microbial cysts, and protozoa from your tap water. It is not, however, effective in removing viral contamination; viruses are small and can easily fit through the ceramic filter’s pores.
A ceramic filtration system might also leave chemical contaminants in your water if it doesn’t have an added carbon filtration element. Dangerous substances such as chlorine, which is commonly used to “treat” municipal water sources, fluoride, prescription drug residue, and even methane gas depending on where you live, can all “fit” through the ceramic filter’s pores. Read more »