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    Berkey FAQs

    What can Berkey Do?

    Help me understand further. What exactly are Berkey water filters?

    Berkey is a water filter system that is so powerful it is classified as a water purifier.

    It can filter regular tap water or even water from harsh environments such as lakes, rivers and wells.

    Why can’t I just boil the water?

    While boiling water kills most of the bacteria and organisms, it does not remove the heavy metals, dirt, organic solvents, detergents, fluoride, and many other contaminants. This is why you would need the black and fluoride filters to remove them for you.

    What exactly does Berkey Water Filter remove?

    Berkey can remove the following from your water.

    Chloride, Fluoride, Pathogenic bacteria, Cysts, Parasites, Herbicides, Pesticides, Organic solvents, Volatile organic compounds, Detergents, Cloudiness, Silt, Sediments and sedimentary minerals, Foul tastes and odors, Heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, aluminum and other dangerous metals.


    While leaving all the beneficialuminiumal minerals behind in your drinking water!

    Does Berkey water filter remove fluoride?

    Yes, the Black Berkey Purification Elements can initially reduce Fluoride to greater than 99.9%.

    However, the efficiency of removing Fluoride begins to lose after a few hundred gallons. To reduce fluoride effectively, you will still need to use additional post filters that work in conjunction with the Black Berkey Filters in your system. A set of Berkey PF-2 elements can remove Fluoride for up to 1,000 gallons.  

    The Berkey PF2 Fluoride Water Filter

    The Berkey PF2 Fluoride Water Filter is an add-on to the Black Berkey Water Elements to eliminate impurities like arsenic, MTBE, fluoride and other heavy metals. It will remove any types of inorganic fluoride salts. All fluoride salts are soluble in water. So it does not matter what fluoride salts that are in the water, fluoride is present as an anion where the media will absorb fluoride ions in water.  Fluoride filters should ideally be replaced every 9 months.

    Where Can Berkeys Be Used?

    Where can Berkeys be used?

    • Homes,
    • Schools,
    • Offices,
    • During travels,
    • During trekking, hiking, mountain climbing or other sporting activities,
    • During emergency situations where safe drinking water is unavailable.

    What Should You Consider Before Getting Berkey?

    Who should and should not buy a Berkey?

    If you want a powerful water filter that sits on top of the counter, and if you don’t want to have to mess with plumbing, then this is a good choice for you.

    Or if you want a system for everyday home use and for emergencies or for travel, buy a Berkey. No other filter is this versatile.

    On the other hand, if you want an under the sink filter that you don’t have to refill by hand, then you might not want a Berkey.

    And if you’re looking for a reverse osmosis filter, this is definitely not for you.

    How many gallons of water do you consume per day?

    This is an important question to ask when choosing a Berkey filter system. 

    According to research conducted by the USDA,

    The average person (weighing 154 pounds) should consume about 1/2 gallon of water per person per day, which is why you commonly hear about people needing to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (that works out to 64 ounces, which is exactly 1/2 gallon).

    The 1/2 gallon-per-person-per-day rule is the water you need just for drinking during normal activity periods. You should consume more during hot weather or if you are very active or an elderly.

    Cooking with Filtered Water

    Most of our customers find that once they start using their system, they also like to use filtered water for cooking. Cooking with water from your Berkey water filter basically doubles your use, to 1 gallon per person per day. After many years of customer feedback, we have found that this is the number that is most accurate for most of our customers: 1 gallon of water per person per day.

    What size of Berkey system would be best for my needs?

    After years of customer feedback and field testing, we found that if you take the flow rate of the system and multiply that by the holding capacity, this number is a good indicator of the maximum number of people that each system would support under normal conditions.

    All units produce the same quality of water. In determining which Berkey water system to purchase, keep in mind that the bigger systems produce more water and the smaller systems are more portable. When you’re ready to purchase one of our water filter systems, you can browse and buy right from our website.

    Holding capacity of the Berkey filter system? 

    The bigger the holding capacity of the Berkey water filter system, the more reserve use you will have for peak consumption needs. For example, imagine if you had a Travel Berkey (which holds 1.5 gallons) and while you were cooking dinner on a hot day, your children came in the house after being outside with their friends. Together, the children drank six 8-ounce glasses of water (0.4 gallons). You still need to make iced tea (1 gallon), and you need water to boil pasta (1 gallon). To accomplish all of that, you’ll need a total of 2.4 gallons of water. Your Travel Berkey only holds 1.5 gallons. You want to make sure the holding capacity of the filter system you choose is big enough for your peak water consumption needs.





    1.5 gallons

    Big Berkey

    2.25 gallons

    Berkey Light

    2.75 gallons


    3.0 gallons


    4.5 gallons


    6.0 gallons

    What is the flow rate of the different Berkey water filter systems?

    The more filters your Berkey water system has, the faster your unit will produce water and the faster it will recover from peak or sustained water usage. Bigger systems are taller and therefore generate more water pressure. This also increases the flow rate.

    The numbers shown on the Berkey water filter comparison chart below are for when the unit is completely full. Flow rate will decrease as the level of water in the upper chamber falls.





    FLOW per hour

    With maximum # of filters


    2.75 gallons

    2.75 gallons

    Big Berkey

    3.5 gallons

    7.0 gallons

    Berkey Light

    3.75 gallons

    7.5 gallons


    4.0 gallons

    8.0 gallons


    5.5 gallons

    16.5 gallons


    6.5 gallons

    26.0 gallons

    What should I do when the flow of water decreases?

    The cleaning ability is what sets the Black Berkey purification elements apart from other brands. Cleaning the water filter is needed when the flow rate decreases and the output slows to the point that it is no longer meeting your needs. This point depends on the amount of contaminants you are removing. For household use we suggest cleaning every six months. If you are using it in the field, it is recommended to clean it weekly and possibly daily in a harsher condition.


    While this system can effectively purify untreated pond or river water, always use the cleanest, clearest source possible when cleaning the Berkey filter elements. Do not allow contaminated water to enter the core of the Berkey filtering element. This can be prevented by placing your finger over the hole where the water exits the filter.

    Why Should I Get Berkey Water Filter? 

    Why would I get Berkey Water Filter when I can just buy bottled water?

    Berkey water filter system is incredibly cost effective!

    The filters can purify up to 22,800 liters of water, lasting from anywhere between 8 to 10 years, depending on your usage.

    This will bring your cost to less than 1 cent per liter of water!

    Plus a plastic bottle takes 450 to 1000 years to biodegrade. Getting a Berkey is an environmentally conscious option.

    Berkey Go and Sport Berkey are portable so you can always have access to clean and fresh water wherever you go. There is no reasons to go thirsty.

    Are there any independent studies done on the Berkey? Can I have a look at the studies before deciding if a Berkey is for me?

    Please visit the following links to down the various tests that have been done on the black and fluoride filters.

    Water Filter vs Water Purifier

    What is the difference between a water filter and a water purifier?

    Water filters are meant to filter out waterborne protozoa and bacteria, but not viruses. Water purifiers filter out protozoa, bacteria and viruses.

    Water Purifier

    In order to be in this classification the following standard must be met:



    Removal Standard

    Pathogenic Bacteria

    Klebsiella Terrigena

    >99.9999% (Log 6)


    Polio and Rota

    >99.99% (Log 4)


    Water Filter

    This classification must meet the following standard:



    Removal Standard

    Pathogenic Bacteria

    Klebsiella Terrigena

    >99% (Log 4)


    All Berkey systems contain the  Black Berkey Filters and meet the Water purifier standard. In fact, Berkey Purifiers far surpass this standard and actually remove 99.9999999% known as a log 9 reduction, when dealing with pathogenic bacteria. This distinction is what makes Berkey the only certifiable gravity flow water purification system.These two methods create a pore structure so minute that contaminants are removed from the water because they simply cannot pass through the charged filtering media.


    How do you compare with other filtration systems?

    Berkey systems clearly surpass other water filter methods’ inability to remove viruses and harmful contaminants.


    Why is Priming the Black Berkey Filter Elements important?

    Priming the Black Berkey Filter elements before their first use is necessary to get the full benefit and flow. The filtering medium of this element is very dense and has a lot of surface tension. Water has a hard time penetrating this dense medium the first time. Forcing water through the Black Berkey filter relieves this surface tension allowing you to enjoy the full flow and benefits of this great product.

    Micro-pore Structure

    The micropore structure of the Black Berkey filter elements are minute in size. In fact, they are so small that red food coloring will not pass through the filter. The main reason this is so important is that it provides a greater efficiency at removing pathogenic bacteria and other contaminants.

    Water Tension

    The downside is that too much water tension makes it necessary to prime the purification filters before they will flow to their full potential. The black purification elements are dry and trapped air are present within the tiny micro-pores. In some places, water has more water tension than in other places and this can change from season to season.

    The higher the tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micropores of the filter using gravity alone. This trapped air does not allow water to pass through the filter. It then causes the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.


    Priming the Filters

    Before traveling to and using the Berkey system in an area without water pressure, we recommend priming the purification filters using the priming button. If this is not possible, priming of the the filters can done using the method below (at approximately 50%). In other words, using this method the filters will not produce flow as fast as they would using the priming button method. However they will filter significantly faster compared to not priming the Berkey elements at all. This alternative priming method is as follows:


    STEP 1:

    If your Berkey system has been set-up, remove the purification filters from the upper chamber. Next, fill the lower chamber with water, then place the purification elements into the lower chamber, upside down with the stems facing upward, and put a ceramic coffee cup (or something else that will hold them under the water) on top of each purification element stem to force the element down under the water. Let the purification elements soak for several hours. This will force some of the air out of the stubborn pores.

    NOTE: Make sure that opening in the stems of the purification elements are not underwater as we want the water to be forced through the pores rather than entering through the hole in the stem.

    STEP 2:

    The inside of the Berkey purification filters should now be full of water and significantly heavier. Try to keep as much water on the inside of the purification elements as possible as you reassemble the purification element into the upper chamber by keeping the stems facing upward. Empty the water from the lower chamber and place the upper chamber back onto the lower chamber. Immediately fill the upper chamber with water.

    When the Berkey purification filters have water within the bore (inside core), an increased amount of force will draw it through the purification element. This is because the water that drips out of the purification elements also hydraulically pulls new water into the purification element as the purification element begins to work like a siphon.

    Thus, in addition to the “push” of gravity, there is also a hydraulic “pull” and this drastically improves the ability of the water to force the air from the micropores. The above method is less efficient than priming the filtering cartridges with the priming button supplied with your filters but should be about 75-80% effective in clearing the blocked micropores.

    Let the water in the lower chamber run to waste and refill the upper chamber with water. Your Black Berkey elements are now primed and ready for use.


    How often do I have to change the Black Berkey Filter?

    The use of clean water filters is vital to a healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons Black Berkey filters last for 8-9 years is their ability to maintain their integrity during a thorough cleaning. The unique composition of the Black Berkey purification element creates a pore structure so small that minute particles become trapped on the very outermost surface of the filter. Over time, like all filters, this will cause the flow rate to decrease. At this time, people will find themselves having to shop online for replacement water filter systems. As part of a regular maintenance routine, our black filter elements can be cleaned up to 100 times before the need to purchase a replacement.



    Does Berkey come with Warranty?

    The manufacturer warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 6 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey purification elements have a 2 year prorated warranty calculated in 6 months intervals. The manufacturer will replace or repair any product that it deems is not properly functioning during the stated warranty period.


    For Berkey System:

    Warranty period: within twelve months from the original date of purchase of the product.

    Nutra Nourish will, solely at its discretion, replace a stainless steel system or component that it deems is not functioning properly during the stated warranty period.

    For Filters

    The Black Berkey® Purification Elements and the Berkey Earth® DE Elements are covered under a two year limited prorated warranty, calculated in six month intervals. 

    That means, 100% credit within first 6 months

    • 75% credit in months 6-12
    • 50% credit in months 12-18
    • 25% credit in months 18-24

    For Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters and Berkey® Accessories

    The Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters and all Berkey® accessories are covered under a six month warranty.

    Warranty valid in Singapore only.

    How to maintain the Berkey?

    How do I clean my Berkey Water Purification Elements?

    Cleaning Instructions for Household Use

    Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.

    Remove the top container and set it on its top on a solid surface like a table or countertop.

    Detach the fluoride filters if installed. Then, remove Black Berkey element by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.

    Hold the filter under the running faucet, with the exit hole pointed up.

    Using a new 3M Scotch Brite pad, carefully scrub the black surface of the filter element for several minutes. DO NOT use soap or detergents on filters

    Set the elements aside and wash your hands.

    Reinstall the filters in the system.


    Cleaning Instructions for Field Use

    While this system can effectivly purify untreated pond or river water, always use the cleanest, clearest source possible when cleaning the filters. As an additional precaution, filter the water through your Berkey system then add another sixteen drops of houshold bleach or iodine for every gallon of water being used to clean the elements.

    Do not allow contaminated water to enter the core of the filtering element. This can be prevented by placing your finger over the hole where the water exits the filter. 

    Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.

    Remove the top container and set it on its side on a solid surface like a table or countertop. 

    Detach the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secure the element to the container. 

    Hold the filter under running water, with the exit hole pointed up.

    Using a new 3M scotch Brite pad carefully scrub the Black surface of the filter element for several minutes.

    If water being used may contain harmful bacteria or other contaminants at this time you should submerge the entire filter into water containing the bleach solution as described above. 

    Set the filters aside and wash your hands.

    Reassemble the unit.

    Read precaution below:

    All water used to clean the filters and the unit must be free of harmful contaminants prior to proceeding.

    In a clean bucket, basin, or other similar containers, add clean water. If you are forced to clean your Berkey system elements with compromised water, we recommend adding 16 drops of household bleach or iodine for every gallon of water being used to clean the elements.

    Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.

    Remove the top container and set it on its top on a clean solid surface like a table or countertop.

    Detach the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.

    Using a new 3M Scotch Brite pad, carefully scrub the outer black surface of the filtering element, rinsing it as needed in the clean water. DO NOT use soap or detergents on filters

    Clean all filters as described above and set them aside on a clean surface.

    Empty the container and add more fresh, clean, bleach-treated water as described in precaution above.

    Submerge the filters in the fresh, clean, bleach-treated water, and set them aside on a clean surface.

    Wash your hands with soap.

    Reinstall the filters in the system.

    Delivery Rates for Berkey

    How much do you charge for deliveries?

    Local (Singapore)

    • Pickup: Free
    • Pickup + Set-up: $30 SGD
    • Delivery only: $10 SGD
    • Delivery + Set-up: $60 SGD


    Overseas (Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, China, US, etc.)

    $50 – $150 SGD. Exact charges will be shared with you upon confirmation of order.

    Other Enquiries

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    Email us at and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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