version that was so much cheaper. With its price also came a bit of tackiness! I really did ponder the difference between looks and price. What I still prefer is the commercially made Berkey Filter system with the Stainless Steel tanks. With the Stainless Steel tanks you won't have the leaching of plastic into your water. Yes, it's food grade plastic you say. But still it is going to leach into the water. Plastic isn't safe. But the difference in price is still the thing with me.
I purchase my black and white filters at www.goberkey.com.
- two 5-gallon food grade buckets (got mine from Lowes for $5 each)
- two lids for the buckets (got mine from Lowes for $1.50 each)
- a pair of Black Berkey filter elements (ordered mine on Ebay for $99 which included free shipping and a free Sport Berkey filtered bottle)
- a food grade spigot (the kind used for large coffee pots or water coolers is perfect, ordered mine from jamesfilter.com for $10)
- I had no scientific way to test the water quality; however, the filtered water was clear, had no odor, and tasted similar to distilled.
- The specifications of the Black Berkey elements can be found here: http://berkeywater.com/BerkeyLight/BB_Purification_Elements.html
- The specifications of the Fluoride Reduction Filter elements can be found here: http://berkeywater.com/start.main.html
- There are a number of ways to make this even cheaper: Use free buckets from a grocery store bakery or restaurant. I have found the same type of spigot for $5 since making this one. Super Sterasyl elements can be substituted for the Black Berkey elements. They cost about $84 a pair.
- The filter can be made considerably larger by using any two stacking containers suitable for water, trash cans or 30-gallon water barrels for instance. The flow rate can also be increased by adding more filter elements.
- The filtered solids remain on the outside of the filter elements and will eventually interfere with the rate of flow. Therefore, it is important to pre-filter through a dense cloth (we use cloth diapers) if your source water is particularly cloudy. The elements can be scrubbed clean with a plastic scouring pad. The Black Berkey elements last for about 3000 gallons each (6000 gallons for the pair).