Does Berkey Remove Viruses?

Yes. Lab results show that Berkey Filters remove 99.999% of all viruses, and 99.9999% of all bacteria.

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What is a Virus?

Viruses are microscopic DNA or RNA enveloped in a protein coat or sometimes called a capsid. They're not technically alive but they can behave and act like a living organism when inside of a host cell. Viruses do not have a ribosome which makes proteins that's why they can only "live" when attached to a host. The sole purpose of viruses is to multiply. They are considered parasites and cannot reproduce outside of a host cell. Viruses are what causes diseases and infections. Different viruses attack certain cells in the body such as the liver, respiratory system, or blood. The most well-known viral diseases are Covid-19, AIDS, smallpox, and measles. Other common viruses are cold sores, common cold, 

virus in Water



Health Risks of Viruses in Drinking Water

Viruses attack the host body. They take over the system using the cells to multiply, duplicate and spread. In this process, the virus usually kills the host cell and causes harm to the host organism.  A disease is a condition of living animals or plants where the functionality of one or more parts of the body is impaired, especially with specific signs and symptoms. A virus can overwhelm the host and cause severe sickness. Diseases can be deadly for one or entire populations, especially when not treated correctly. Viruses are not like bacteria and cannot be eliminated with antibiotic medicines. Vaccines and antiviral medications are the only way to reduce the severity of the diseases.


virus and cells

Could a Virus be in Your Drinking Water?

Yes! Viruses are germs. Germs are omnipresent. Viruses have been found everywhere on planet Earth. In widely accepted studies, viruses were found to outnumber bacteria by 10 to 1. H2O is an efficient carrier, which means it could be the contributing factor to the rapid spreading of a viral disease. A virus may attach itself to cells that are in tap water, or onto surfaces that contain or transport water. The most common scenario where viruses are present in drinking water is when it has been contaminated with human or animal waste, which happens when there are sewage overflows, broken or out-of-date sewage treatment systems, and pollution from stormwater runoff. Wells are the most susceptible to contamination, especially after a flood, and/or if the well is shallow.

You can find out which contaminants are in your drinking water by looking up your local water utility online or visiting our Water Quality Search.



How To Remove Viruses From Water

Berkey Water Filter Systems are rated as a water purifier, not just a water filter. The Black Berkey Filters are so powerful that they prevent viruses from getting into your drinking water. The Berkey purification process is multifaceted using several steps to stop contaminants. 

Related: What's the Difference Between a Water Filter and Water Purifier.

Microfiltration¬†is the microscopic topography of the surface of the filter elements that contains millions of tiny holes that let water pass through. These holes are so minute that pollutants physically cannot pass through them. Furthermore, these micropores pass through the filter shell in convoluted twists and turn known as a ‚Äútortuous path,‚ÄĚ further ensnaring the tiniest pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment, and sedimentary minerals. Each cylindrical Black Berkey Filter is composed of a formulation of more than six different media types, all constructed into a very compact matrix containing millions of microscopic pores.¬†¬†

Adsorption creates an ionic barrier similar to surface tension. The barrier spanning between the micropores blocks water contaminants, such as submicron viruses, that are smaller than the pore size itself. Berkey filters take advantage of viruses' electrostatic charge and pulls them in against the walls of the tunnels in the “tortuous path" of the filter. Similar to static cling, it holds tiny viruses against the surfaces in the filter and never lets go. 

Ion Exchange attracts contaminant ions to the carbon filter and then switches the molecules for a benevolent one. The Black Berkey filters are loaded with ions that attract contaminant molecules. Those molecules are absorbed and permanently bonded to the filter, never entering the drinking water in the bottom chamber of the Berkey. The chemical compounds are altered which completely changes their behavior and structure. 


woman filling Berkey water for children

Do Berkey Filters Remove Viruses?

Yes, based on test results from independent EPA-accredited labs across the country, Black Berkey filters reduce viruses >99.99% (4-log reduction) from water. Ensure that the area around your Berkey is clean and that the glasses, cups, or bottles you use for drinking water are also clean. We recommend routinely washing your Berkey chambers as well as the Black Berkey Filters. A Berkey can last decades if properly managed, and the filters can last for up to 6,000 gallons.

Browse the Berkey Filters to find the ideal product for your family. The Big Berkey is the most popular system size because of its versatility. Don't miss out on the best water purification.



Does Berkey Remove
Chromium 6?

While most water filters don’t remove chromium-6, the good news is Berkey filters remove >99.8% of Chromium-6.

Does Berkey Remove Minerals?

Learn more about beneficial minerals in your water.

Berkey Water Quality Search

Use your Zip Code to see all the contaminants in your water