Each Berkey filter element has a life of 3,000 gallons: That’s an incredible 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system. This is possible because of the Black Berkey filter elements’ unique ability to be cleaned up to 100 times using a 3M Scotch-Brite pad. Jim's vision was to produce a filter that would meet these demanding needs with filters powerful enough to last years without needing to be replaced and big enough to produce drinking water for a larger group.
We started a revolution
Berkey founder Jim Sheppard had a vision of a water filter that could take water from virtually any outside source and produce purified drinking water. That vision all started with the Big Berkey water filter system. In Berkey's early years there were other water filters that could perform this feat, but they were small, had a very limited capacity, and were mainly designed for backpackers. These units relied on hand pumping of the water from its source and were not practical for larger groups of people over an extended period of time.
The first Black Berkey purification elements used in all of our filtration systems were based on the idea of micro-filtration. This technology had long been used and the core principle was to produce a filter with a pore structure that was so small, that disease-causing organisms could not pass through and would become trapped on the very outermost surface of the filtering medium. This was a simple idea that left very little to go wrong.
150 years ago this water filtering process was an effective way of producing drinking water. As society advanced so did the complexity of the water-borne contaminants that polluted our lakes, streams, and wells. We needed something more powerful, something that could remove not only bacteria but new threats like viruses, heavy metals, and chemicals. What Jim came up with was nothing short of a revolution.
Using modern methods and advanced technology he produced a filter that had properties never before seen. Today all Berkey systems use the same Black Berkey purification element. This is the same filter that was at the heart of the original system introduced and available in only one model choice; The Big Berkey water filter. This amazing system reduces bacteria, viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and trihalomethanes to purification standards and lasts thousands of gallons. Compare the abilities of our purification element to any produced by any water filter manufacturer in the entire world and you will see why Berkey is considered the world standard in portable water purification.
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