Berkey Filters Blog

Know Your Well… and it will Serve You Well!

February 26th, 2014

Know Your Well… and it will Serve You Well!

Written By: Jerry Alonzy
well pullyImage via Abhijeet Rane (Flickr)

It is said that a person can live for weeks without food, but only a matter of days without water. Indeed, civilizations flourish only where there is abundant, clean water. Without it, there are no crops, no livestock, decreased personal hygiene (bath, anyone?)… Essentially little hope for the long, healthy, comfortable life we desire for ourselves and our children.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 15% of Americans are “off the grid” when it comes to obtaining water for their homes, detached from public supplies. And, though there is some value in schemes, such as collecting rainwater in barrels or drawing water from nearby ponds or rivers, the most reliable source of non-public water available to most people is the underground well. Read more »

How to Properly Prepare and Maintain an Emergency Water Storage

February 24th, 2014

Don’t forget your pets when calculating your emergency water supply needs!

dog with water bottle

Image via Jackie (Flickr)

How to Properly Prepare and Maintain an Emergency Water Storage

You can never be too prepared when it comes to drinking water. The human body can live without food for approximately three weeks, but it can only live without water for approximately three days. You never want to think that you will be without water, but we are all susceptible to natural or manmade disasters. This is why it is critically important to include water storage in your household’s emergency preparedness plan. I hope that you will never face a situation where you do not have access to safe drinking water, but if you do, you’ll be relieved to know you can tap into your emergency water storage when necessary.

How Much Water to Store

The first step in preparing an emergency drinking water storage supply for your household is to calculate how much water you should actually keep for your entire family. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water per day per person. Keep in mind, however, that if you have children, elderly, or ill family members, you might need more water. You will also need extra supplies in your emergency preparedness water storage if you are pregnant, nursing a child, or live in a warmer climate. If you live in a particularly hot environment, you should double your water needs to two gallons per person per day. Read more »

Determining If there Is Mercury in Your Water Supply

February 19th, 2014

This element isn’t good if it is found in your drinking water!


Image via Mrs. Pugliano (Flickr)

Determining if There Is Mercury in Your Water Supply

If you love seafood, you probably already know about the concern over mercury in water. The FDA has advised pregnant and nursing women in particular to cut down on their seafood consumption because of mercury pollution in water. Mercury is a liquid metal, and it is found in many natural elements. Unfortunately, mercury is not safe for consumption, and too much mercury can cause kidney failure. Mercury in drinking water supplies is definitely something you should concern yourself with, and there are ways to determine if mercury is in the water coming into your home.

Mercury in the Water Supply

Mercury is a natural element found in the earth’s crust, particularly in rocks such as coal. Mercury makes its way into our air when coal is burned. In fact, according to the EPA, coal-fueled power plants account for the largest emissions of mercury released into our environment. When that mercury settles out of the air and onto the ground, it is washed into our water supply. Read more »

What is a Water Filter vs a Water Purifier?

February 10th, 2014

Never assume that water even this clear and beautiful is safe to drink! rocky mountain stream

Image via Nate Eagleson (Flickr)

Water Filter, Water Purifier… Same Thing, Right?

Many people believe that water filtration and water purification are one and the same, but this isn’t actually the case. Water filtration and water purification are two different methods of treating water, and it is important to know the difference. Whether you should filter or purify depends on your current circumstances: You won’t always need to purify, but you should always filter. Here’s the difference between the two.

Filtering Vs. Purifying

The difference between water filtering and water purifying is the same as the difference between before and after. If you filter your water, you’re filtering out all of the bad elements before the water reaches your drinking glass. If you purify your water, you’re treating tainted water after it reaches your drinking glass.

Read more »

Drinking Well Contamination

January 28th, 2014

Even if your water well only supports your household, it needs to be tested regularly for contamination.

home well

Image via Oliver Murani (Flickr)

Drinking Well Contamination

Many areas in the United States, especially rural areas, utilize water wells to supply their drinking water. These wells are as susceptible to water contamination as municipal water sources – if not more so in some cases. Additionally, these wells are not regulated by the EPA as municipal water is, so the well owner is solely responsible in ensuring there is zero drinking water contamination present in the water well. It is critical that you test your water well for contamination on a regular basis, because any type of contaminated water can cause illness and potentially death.

Water Well Facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control – you know them as the CDC – 15 million households in the United States get their drinking water from water wells, and all homes sharing the same aquifer are affected by any water well contamination. Water contamination inside these wells can actually occur naturally, resulting from the chemicals and minerals found in our water. Other ways water wells become contaminated is through runoff from food and animal farming and sewage overflows. Read more »

Choosing the Right Berkey System

January 20th, 2014

This looks pretty, but it might not be safe to drink!

rainbow water drop

Image via D. Sharon Pruitt (Flickr)

Choosing the Right Berkey System

If you’ve been following my blog, and I hope that you have been, you’ve read several critical reasons why it is important to filter the tap water pouring into your home. You should never trust that the water supplied by your municipality is safe for consumption. If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve hopefully decided to purchase a Berkey water filter system, but which one is right for you? I’ll explain the different water filter systems to make your choice easier!

Crown Berkey

The Crown Berkey filtration system is the granddaddy of the Berkey units. It was inspired by the need for larger quantities of safe, filtered water after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Crown Berkey water filter is the water filter system that can support the H2O demand of disaster relief efforts, hospitals, and other large volume needs. The unit’s specifics are: Read more »

Does Drinking Water Need to be Guarded from Terrorist Attacks?

January 14th, 2014

Boiling water at a rolling boil for one minute sterilizes it from bacteria, protozoa, and viral infection.

boiling water

Image via Zeevveez (Flickr)

Does Drinking Water Need to be Guarded from Terrorist Attacks?

September 11, 2001, is a day that changed the way we perceive terrorism. We had experienced terrorism on our soil in the past, but not to the degree of the 9/11 attacks. People naturally fear that water will be in short supply following a terrorist attack. Water is a crucial component to any disaster preparedness plan. But, what about terrorists actually compromising our water supply itself and using it to attack us? It could happen, and our drinking water does need to be guarded from terrorist attacks.

Federal Protection

You see, biohazard and chemical warfare are real in today’s medicinally and technologically advanced world. One way to terrorize any nation is to poison its water supply. A tainted water supply will not only make the nation’s people and animals sick, it will also destroy all of the nation’s crops. Those who survive the tainted water would inevitably starve to death. If you don’t believe me, look at the countries throughout the world currently battling starvation. One of the key reasons people are starving to death in third-world countries is because they do not have an adequate supply of clean water. Read more »

Ways to Cut Your Water Usage that are right for YOU

January 13th, 2014

Ways to Cut Your Water Usage that are right for YOU

Written By: Jerry Alonzy
faucet drop
Image via Ángelo González (Flickr)

Back in my college days when the first rumblings of the conservation and sustainability movements were being felt, we had an expression that became a bumper-sticker philosophical gem… “Save water… shower with a friend!”  Translation: “Conservation can be fun!” In the late 60’s young people were just becoming aware of the unthinking waste of resources that flowed from the affluence and innovation of the WW2 generation.

Today water conservation has become a permanent part of our society, in part due to increased public awareness and in part through legislation. Virtually every aspect of our water usage has been subject to local and federal rules and regulations. All new toilets, faucets, showerheads and many appliances must conform to federal guidelines limiting water flow rates. Washing machines have been subject to such radical rules that many top-loaders must use a special type of detergent to clean properly! Similarly, handling of waste water has been tightly regulated as the pollution of ground water has emerged in some areas as health and safety nightmares. Read more »

Water Defeated Soda to Become the #1 Drink in America

January 6th, 2014

Stop! Soda can literally kill you! Drink water instead!

soda fountain

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 in Drinking Water

January 2nd, 2014

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 »