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Berkey Water Purifier vs. Brita Water Filter

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Big Berkey with Jug

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Big Berkey Water Filter


Includes 2 or 4 Black Berkey Filters
Suitable for: 1-4 people
Capacity: 8.5 liters
Height: 50 cm.
Diameter: 21.6 cm.

Flow Rate: 2 Filters 13.2 l./hr*
Flow Rate: 4 Filters 26.5 l./hr*

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The versatile Big Berkey system is the ideal system for couples or small families at home, travelling with a caravan or camping, any other outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies.

The Big Berkey water purification system may be ordered with your choice of one discounted accessory. For a description of the various accessories see: Sightglass Spigot, PF-2 Fluoride/Arsenic Filters, Stainless Steel Spigot, Berkey Replacement Parts, Berkey Stand or Berkey Primer.

This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for everyday use, outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available.

The Big Berkey assembles in minutes without tools, electricity, water pressure, or plumbing.

The Big Berkey is also easy to operate, clean, and maintain.

The Big Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury (See which contaminants are eliminated by the Black Berkey Filters). This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.

Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 33 cm. in height.

Each durable Black Berkey filter will last for up to 11,350 liters (22,700 liters per set of 2). At 38 liters per week, this is equivalent to 600 weeks. That's more than 11.5 years of clean water!

Configured with two Black Berkey water filters the system will purify up to 13.3 liters per hour. This system can be expanded to use four Black Berkey water filters and is then capable of purifying up to 26.5 liters per hour.*

*Flow rates are calculated with upper chamber full to top. The flow rate decreases as the water level declines. As it is impractical to keep the upper chamber completely full at all times, the flow rates are in practice less than the stated optimal rate.

Additional Information

Questions and Answers

I am concerned that the stainless steel containers could lead to leaching of nickel into the drinking water. Has any research been done into whether this happens?

Several studies indicate that nickel leaching may occur with 304 stainless steel however it is an extremely small amount (parts per billion) and typically it only occurs in an acidic solution, during cooking, etc. The purified water in a Berkey system is not acidic and should not cause any leaching to occur. Just to emphasise Berkey purified water becomes more alkaline after passing through the Black Berkey filters. Please see the following reports from the National Center for Biotechnology and here.
Question from: Mark, August 18 2015

I'm wondering if the Berkey system removes fluoride from the water?

The standard Black Berkey filters do not remove fluoride for this you would need the extra PF-2 fluoride filters. These can be bought as a discounted accessory with every Berkey system and are attached to the Black Berkey filters.
Question from: Barbara, June 20 2014

Just want to say thank you for our Berkey which we got from you in January, we are very happy with our Berkey. We live in an area with very hard water and we would like to know if it can affect our Berkey. When do we need to replace the filters and do we need to clean both containers regularly? We have found there are marks of limescale inside of both. Also does the filter remove limescale for drinking water or not?

Yes you will have some calcium carbonate build-up in the lower chamber and it's a good idea to clean it every couple of months. The limescale is in itself harmless, it’s just a mineral build-up. I can't say how it will affect the filters as the mineral make-up of every local water is different. If your flow rate remains more or less the same then there's no problem. No the filters do not remove calcium carbonate (scale). If you would like to calculate how long your filters will last please see the: Black Berkey Filter Replacement Calculator
Question from: Leo, June 18 2014

We wondered if the Berkey filters also remove hormones from the water? They sound fantastic, but we are also keen to find something that removes hormones as well.

The Black Berkey filters have not been officially tested for the removal of hormones so I can make no claims for their elimination. Unofficially I can say that the likelihood is very high. Please see the following report ( regarding hormone removal by GBC carbon filters which are virtually the same as the Black Berkey filters and they attained a removal percentage >98% in various tests.
Question from: Tansy, June 7 2014

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