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Why Can't Berkey Water Filters Be Sold In California?

Berkey Water Filters, a renowned name in the world of water filtration, has won the hearts of many with its flagship product, the Big Berkey. However, for those residing in California, this gem might be out of reach due to a well-intentioned yet overreaching law. Here's the breakdown on the Berkey water filter saga in California. 

Berkey Water Filters

Why is Berkey a No-Go in California?

California's health regulations are arguably the strictest in the nation. In 2009, their no-lead law effectively put a stop to Berkey water filters. The law mandates that any device intended for human consumption through drinking or cooking must be NSF certified to be lead-free. Berkey's refusal to comply led to tighter restrictions.

From a public health standpoint, the rule is logical. No one wants a water filter with lead, and neither should you. However, the law is restrictive and penalizes companies that wish to safeguard their proprietary technology. 

Berkey's decision to forgo NSF certification is rooted in their desire to keep their patented process away from prying competitors.

Why is Berkey Shying Away from NSF Certification?

Berkey has chosen not to submit its filters for certification to protect their trade secrets. Berkey water filters, often imitated but never replicated, have a unique patented filtration system with the highest contaminant reduction rates in the industry. This is why Berkey is the go-to brand for emergency water needs.

The reluctance of a reputable company to get its products certified might raise eyebrows. However, according to Berkey, California's rule requires manufacturers to disclose proprietary information, including manufacturing processes and sourcing of parts and supplies. Although regulators assure confidentiality, Berkey wasn't willing to gamble.

How Does Berkey Test Their Water Filters?

Berkey water filters have been scrutinized by several EPA-accredited laboratories, including Spectrum Labs, the Department of Toxicology and Environmental Science at Louisiana University, and the University of Phoenix. These tests have confirmed that Berkey's purification elements surpass EPA and ANSI/NSF42 and 53 standards. However, without "certification," they can't be sold or shipped within the state.

How Can Californians Get Their Hands on a Berkey Water Filter?

Californians can still purchase Berkey filters without breaking the law, but their options are limited. Since 2009, the law has been refined and no longer applies to the sale of outdoor water purification systems. Hence, the Berkey Light and Travel Berkey water filters can be sold within the state.

             Berkey Water Filters

Berkey Water Filters

Berkey Filters for Californians

The Berkey Light and Berkey Travel filters maintain the same quality and features as their flagship models. They are among the few filters that can be termed as water "purifiers" due to their exceptional contamination reduction ability.

The Berkey Light water filter is a lightweight, budget-friendly alternative to the larger Big Berkey. It's portable, has a 2.75-gallon capacity, and weighs less than 6 pounds . The unit consists of two chambers and comes with a spigot and two Black Berkey water filters. Made of durable, BPA-free plastic, all materials are food-grade. It's compatible with city or well water and removes 99.99 percent of viruses and bacteria, including E. Coli, without chemicals. Ideal for travel and emergencies, it virtually eliminates heavy metals plus hundreds of agricultural and industrial chemicals.

The Berkey Travel Filter is a mirror image of its full-sized counterpart. If you're avoiding plastics, you'll appreciate the 304 stainless steel construction. Lightweight yet durable for travel, it's guaranteed for a lifetime. The Berkey Travel filter has a 1.5-gallon capacity and can filter up to 2.75 gallons per hour. It comes with a set of two Black Berkey elements good for 6,000 gallons and a dispensing spigot.

Key Factors to Consider:

Effectiveness: Berkey Water Filters are top-notch in effectiveness, removing up to 99.9% of contaminants from your drinking water.

Cost: While Berkey filters are pricier than other options, they offer superior performance and long-term value due to their durability and longevity.

Maintenance: These filters require minimal maintenance as they don't need electricity or plumbing connections. A simple cleaning with vinegar or baking soda every few months should suffice.

Availability: Regrettably, California residents cannot purchase most Berkey Water Filters due to state regulations. However, they are available in many other states across the US and internationally. Many of our customers will ship a Berkey Water Filter to a family member or friend in a neighbouring state and have them send it over. Or as mentioned earlier, you can purchase a Travel Berkey or the Berkey Light Systems. 

How Significant is NSF Certification?

The National Sanitation Foundation is the leading certification agency for water treatment products. When you purchase an NSF certified water filter, it means the manufacturer used only FDA approved raw materials, the product contains no harmful chemicals, it meets minimum performance guidelines, and advertising claims are accurate.

The certification process is lengthy and includes product evaluations, lab testing, and ongoing manufacturing facility audits to verify that products continue to meet NSF standards. It's a voluntary program, but it can cost a company $100,000 or more to have one new product and its associated components tested. Some companies opt to use NSF certified parts without submitting the entire system for testing. Others claim their products are “certified to NSF standards” — a misleading phrase unless, like Berkey, they pursue testing independently and publish the results.

My Final Thoughts

Our family has used our Berkey for years, we love it and have had zero complaints. As a business owner myself, I completely understand Berkey not being willing to subject all of their hardwork to costly, unnecessary testing. Berkey Water Filters has been tried and tested and have proven themselves to be a worthy, integral product. That's why we are proud to offer them at Wild Oak Trail. 

Where Can I Buy a Berkey? 

Wild Oak Trail is an Authorized Dealer for Berkey Water Filters. Be sure to purchase from a trusted source! Call us at 1-844-945-3625, chat in or email us at customersupport@wildoaktrail.com, or simply purchase on our site

Berkey Water Filters

Saxon Funk
Saxon Funk

Saxon Funk, co-founder and driving force behind Wild Oak Trail, embodies the spirit of self-sufficiency and preparedness. Launching the venture over six years ago with his wife, Hailey, Saxon has steeped himself in mastering solar generators, heating solutions, food storage, and off-grid living essentials, becoming a veritable guru in the field. His expertise is more than theoretical; it's practical, as evidenced by his own home, equipped with the very products Wild Oak Trail proudly offers. Saxon's passion extends beyond commerce; he thrives on the assurance of providing for his family in any circumstance, fervently believing in empowering others to do the same through the quality resources and knowledge he shares through his business.

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