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Berkey Water Purifier vs. Brita Water Filter

September Drinking Water Issues

This is our second in a series of posts related to drinking water issues relevant to the UK and Europe.

Fracking: coming to an area near you
A man who was honored by the US chemical industry for poisoning large parts of Pennsylvania with fracking chemicals is proud to be bringing fracking to the UK. Not satisfied with poisoning Pennsylvania's water, he's now applying for 30 licenses to do the same in the UK. To keep the locals quiet they plan to bribe them with 6% of the profits. "Fracking will be good for Britain", the billionaire owner says. The question is: Whose Britain will benefit?

Bribes as a last resort
As the support for fracking in the UK falls to new lows, the government decides bribes are the best way forward. The government after ignoring science, common sense and basic economics resorts to bribery to convince locals to accept fracking in their community. Apparently we the people just aren't listening good enough.

Tap water contamination
One thing that Berkey water filter users do not have to worry about is tap water contamination due to negligence, human error or failing infrastructure. The contamination of drinking water by e.coli bacteria such as recently occurred in South Yorkshire or excessive chlorine as detailed in the above article are becoming more commonplace. The best way to protect yourself and your family is a reliable and affordable water filter. Berkey water filter systems deliver on both counts.

And now for the good news: Fracking ban in Germany
Following in the footsteps of France and the Netherlands, Germany has banned fracking for the foreseeable future, until 2020. Poland is the poster child for fracking as a failed policy in Europe, the Conservative government in cahoots with their big cash donors apparently seeks to emulate the Polish government's foolish choices.

Fluoridation leads to increased hypothyroidism
A recent study done at the University of Kent suggests that other methods than fluoridation be used to improve dental health. According to this study fluoridation appears to lead to an increased incidence of hypothyroidism. About 6 million people in the UK are exposed to artificial fluoridation or high naturally occurring fluoride levels. The Berkey PF-2 filters are a safe and efficient method for removing fluoride from your drinking water.

Hard Water and the Black Berkey Filters

As many people have hard water I'm quite often asked if the Black Berkey filters also soften water. Hard water is basically the presence of calcium carbonate in your drinking water which then appears as limescale caking on the element in your kettle for instance.

The Black Berkey filters do not soften or decalcify water. One of the main advantages of the Black Berkey filters is that the beneficial minerals present in the water are not removed such as is the case with reverse osmosis or distillation. For a further discussion of this issue please see Berkey, Reverse Osmosis and Distillation Compared for a detailed description of the pros and cons of reverse osmosis and Berkey water filter systems.

You may find that the limescale build-up in your kettle is less or disappears completely using Berkey purified water. For instance you may see white particles floating in the bottom of your kettle instead of building up on the element. This is due to the fact that the ionic charge of the minerals changes by passing through the Black Berkey filters, the water becomes more alkaline and is then not able to hold all the minerals in solution, these minerals may then precipitate out and float in the bottom of the kettle. Every once in awhile you can rinse out the kettle and your hard water issue is resolved. You may also find a gritty layer building up and adhering to the sides of the lower chamber. Cleaning out the lower chamber with a mild vinegar solution will get rid of this build-up.

If you have a sightglass spigot the sightglass may also become cloudy after a year or so due to calcium carbonate build-up in the glass tube. Empty the lower chamber of your Berkey and unscrew the aluminum casing from the tap, being very careful that the glass tube tube does not fall out and break. Place the glass tube in pure white vinegar, leave it there until the calcium carbonate dissolves and the glass is again clear, then rinse off and re-attach to the tap.

Drinking Water Issues

In our Berkey Water Filters Europe blog category drinking water issues we will be devoting attention to the various threats posed to fresh water in the UK and Europe. We will be mainly linking to articles, videos, etc. and where we find it relevant we will add comment.

Shaftesbury in Dorset bans the use of Glyphosate
As only the second town in the UK our local Shaftesbury council has taken the lead from a central government compromised by corporate influence and banned the use of glyphosate throughout all it's public spaces. Congratulations are in order.

Glyphosate not the most toxic ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup
Independent scientists have released a study showing that the so-called "inert" ingredients in Monasanto's Roundup are more toxic than their more well known malefactor glyphosate. Meanwhile the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.” The EFSA report is partially based upon industry based submissions. An EU authority meant to protect the public weal partially bases it's report on industry submissions. Further comment not required.

What the frack. Lets dump fracking wastewater in the sea.
You've got to wonder what possesses these people? I mean besides money. As far as I'm aware there is no such thing as a free lunch and for every action there is an equal reaction. Do these people just think this polluted water just disappears? Dumping slightly radioactive fracking wastewater in the sea is a stupid idea and any fracking company shill bleating to the contrary is a greater fool than he appears to be.

Daily Telegraph gardener caught red-handed: clueless
The Daily Telegraph's gardening columnist is quoted as saying: "It seems to me that at the moment there is no scientific evidence that Monsanto's Roundup is dangerous." Either this woman has no idea what she's talking about or she has no idea what she's talking about. I would suggest she pour a pitcher of Roundup into her well and then drink it unfiltered for a few months but I don't think she'd be amenable to the idea. All herbicides eventually end up in the groundwater, the least you can do as a gardener is stop using them.

Fracking is an uncontrolled science experiment on our groundwater
A great article by a well informed Canadian journalist. The UK government is actively promoting fracking in a densely populated country while ideologically ignoring the ecological consequences. Infatuated by their neo-liberal economic dogmas they wilfully ignore a most basic premise: biology trumps economy all the time. All economy is based upon the natural world (biology) and not the other way around. Nuff said.

The Black Berkey Primer

For all those people who find that priming Black Berkey filters with the brown priming washer on the tap difficult, Berkey Water Filters Europe has come up with the Black Berkey primer. The primer is a convenient hand operated rubber pump, all you need is a pail or pitcher of water. Then submerge the Black Berkey filter, attach the primer and away you go. Within minutes your Black Berkey filters are primed and ready to install.

See the video below to see the Black Berkey primer in action.

The Black Berkey primer is also handy to help get excess water out of the filters quickly before travelling or packing away the filters. Remember only store Black Berkey filters away when they have been completely dried out.

All Black Berkey primers come with easy to follow instructions. If you have any questions regarding the Black Berkey primer or other Berkey products please give us a call at 01747 832252 or send an email to [email protected].

First Post

Hello, Berkey Water Filters Europe will be using this blog to inform you about Berkey water purifiers, the latest Berkey products and tips to keep your Berkey water filter in top condition.

As well we will be posting regularly about issues affecting water quality in the UK and Europe. These issues range from fracking and its threat to our fresh water supply, ground water contamination due to the use of glyphosate and other herbicides / pesticides, fluoridation, lead piping, pharmaceuticals in our drinking water and any other threat to fresh drinking water.

Berkey Water Filters Europe was established in 2010 by Philip Boerma with Denise Plooij. At the time we were living in Crete and had been using a Big Berkey water filter since 2008. A water filter was essential as we were living in a remote village and our water was untreated "agricultural water" used to water the olive trees. We were so impressed by the Berkey filters that after a time we approached the Berkey manufacturer to see if they were interested in having a European agent. They replied positively and from small beginnings we have now grown to be the premier UK and European Berkey distributor. We are now based in the beautiful Dorset countryside and offer the complete line of Berkey water purifiers together with professional service and extensive knowledge of all the Berkey products.

You are welcome to come and visit us at our office to taste the Berkey purified water and see the Berkey water filter systems for yourself. Alternatively if you have any questions or to place an order give us a call at 01747 832252 or send an email to [email protected].