Berkey water filters are gravity-fed water filters for reducing or eliminating harmful contaminants from drinking water. While they won’t filter your pipes directly, they can make your drinking water as safe as possible.
So, is one Berkey water filter enough for your off-grid household? Here’s what you need to know.
Remember that Berkey water filters are gravity-fed, not pressure-fed. This takes longer to filter water, so it’s important to keep this in mind when determining your family’s needs. On average, these systems filter around 1 gallon per hour, which means that a 2.25-gallon system will take 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Of course, this is fine overnight. However, in a pinch, it can be quite slow. Choosing a larger system is generally the best idea to ensure you always have clean water reserved for drinking. Still, this does pose challenges for larger households.
Size of Household
First, you will need to consider how many people will rely on the system for drinking water. Berkey water filters come in several sizes, so aim higher than you think you’ll need, just to be safe. Filtering takes time, so it’s best to have an ample supply of water available when you need it.
In most cases, you should allocate around a half-gallon of water per day for each of your house members. A little extra can come in handy for pets and guests, but this is a fair metric to judge by. So, if you have a house of 6 with a dog and two cats, you may want to aim for at least 4 gallons.
Lower Chamber Capacity
Nobody wants to sit and fill up a 2.25-gallon chamber by hand twice a day. So, if you need more, choose a larger water filter. Alternatively, use an automatic pump to pump water into your upper chamber, and then you can always have a minimum of 2.25 gallons in your system for the standard size.
Are you only filtering this water for drinking? If you need to filter water for washing dishes or other household needs, then a Berkey will likely filter too slowly for your needs. However, you don’t need such a strong filter for showering or washing dishes.
In that case, it may be best to add a filter to your tap. If you’re using a well, you don’t even have to worry about it.
Otherwise, you may have to consider your family members’ sensitivities, allergies, and concerns. If you have small children in the house, old pipes, or other concerns, then you may want to consider using arsenic and fluoride reduction elements with your Berkey.
Keep Your Water Clean
Now that you know how Berkey water filters perform for off-grid living, try it for yourself! While they aren’t the fastest in the world, their high capacity allows families of any size to access clean drinking water when they need it. That’s true no matter where your water comes from!
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