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Berkey Filters & Plastic Fiber Pollution

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Purified water

Gravity Water Filter/Purifier Performance Comparison Chart

The table below compares the Berkey water purification system with other well-known gravity water filtration systems.

Berkey Europe
Big Berkey
Pro Pur
Pro Big
Aqua Rain
Model 400
Virus Removal (A) Yes No No No No No No
Element Rating Purifier(A) Filter Filter Filter Filter Filter Filter
Max. Daily Output (ltr./day) 318 38 68 34 53 45 91
Max. Daily Output -Max.# Elements 636 95 68 70 76 91 91
Approx. People Served (B) 42 6 5 4 5 6 6
Maximum litres/element 11,350 2025(C) 2025(C,D) 5678(E) 2025(C) 4145(F) 2763(G)
Replacement Time Limitation No Time Limit 6 Months(C) 2 Years(C,D) 12 Months(E) 6 Months(C) 1 Year(F) Up to 6 Months
Maximum Element Capacity 4 5 3 4 4 4 3
Food Color Test (H) Pass Fail Fail Pass Fail Fail Fail
Turbidity Flow Rate Test (I) Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Fail Pass
Test Results Available Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Tested to NSF Standards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NSF Certified Claimed No No No Yes(J) No No No
Guarantee 6 Mos.(filter 2 yr.) None Published 1 year Ltd. 2 year None Published None Published None Published
System Material AISI 304 Stainless HDPE Ceramic Stainless AISI 304 Stainless Stainless Silicone
System Production Plasma Welded Molded Kiln Deep Drawn Plasma Weld Deep Drawn Molded
Other Information
Element Composition Proprietary Ceramic/Carbon Ceramic/Carbon Ceramic/Carbon Ceramic/Carbon Ceramic/Carbon Ceramic/Carbon
Number of Elements 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
Element Height 22.8 cm. 17.8 cm. 12.7 cm. 22.8 cm. 17.8 cm. 22.8 cm. 26.4 cm.
Elements Cleanable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage Tank Capacity (litres) 8.5 13.25 Not Stated 10.4 8.5 11.3 9.8
Electricity Required No No Yes No No No No
Plumbing Required No  No No No No No No
Post Filters Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Height 48.9 cm. 72.4 cm. 44.4 cm. 54.6 cm. 48.9 cm. 52 cm. 45.7 cm. 
Diameter 21.6 cm. 28.6 cm. 27.9 cm. 23.5 cm. 21.6 cm. 27.9 cm. 27.9 cm.
Dry Weight (Approx.) 2.7 kg. 2.27 kg. 11.8 kg. 2.26 kg. 2.5 kg. 3.18 kg. 2.95 kg.
  1. Purification Standards: Element must remove/inactivate all types of pathogenic organisms. Specifically, element must remove two species of virus to 4 Log10 (=> 99.99%) and remove pathogenic bacteria to 6 Log10 (=> 99.9999%) and remove cysts to 3 Log10 (=> 99.9%). This makes Berkey systems the only true gravity fed purification systems.

    Purification Challenge: The Standard has selected 3 types of challenge organisms: Bacteria (Klebsiella terrigena), Viruses (Polio and Rota) and Protozoan Cysts (Giardia or Cryptosporidium).

    Virology - Demonstration of a 4 Log10 (99.99%) reduction is required on the combined polio/rota virus challenge matrix.

    Bacteriology - Demonstration of a 6 Log10 (99.9999%) reduction is required for the Klebsiella terrigena bacterial challenge.

    Cyst Removal - Demonstration of a 3 Log10 (99.9%) reduction is required for the cysts using Cryptosporidium or Giardia.
  2. Number based on 7.6 litres per day per person, system used 12 hours per day.
  3. Aqua Crock, Doulton GSS-2, Ceragrav LP-5 all use Doulton Filter Elements - life expectancy is 1987 litres or 6 months, whichever occurs first.
  4. Claim made is 2 years or 11,350 litres; while the manufacturer of their Doulton filter elements states the life expectancy is 1987 litres or 6 months whichever occurs first.
  5. While the company claims their elements will last for 11,350 litres on their comparison chart, we used the claims of the manufacturer, which state that the life of the elements is only 5,678 litres or 12 months whichever occurs first.
  6. Calculation based on each element producing 11.3 litres when used for 12 hours per day during 365 day maximum recommended time limitation.
  7. Calculation based on each element producing 45 litres if used for 12 hours per day during 182 day maximum recommended time limitation.
  8. Successfully demonstrates removal of microscopic red food colouring particulate from source water at 1 tablespoon of red food colouring per 4 litres.
  9. Test is designed to determine if high turbidity (larger particulate) source water will clog up elements which may render them ineffective during actual emergency conditions. 1 tbsp carbon dust per 4 litres. Flow rate reduction of <25%=Pass, >25%=Fail.
  10. NSF Claims: No listing on NSF website as of publication date. NSF has confirmed that ProPur has not been certified by their organization


Where information was available and published, this information was used. Where information was not available, information was calculated, such as in F and G above, using the available published information. Where published information on systems was in conflict with the published information by the manufacturer, such as in C, D, and E above, items are highlighted in orange.

Data is based on manufacturer's life expectancy claims rather than the claims of the manufacturer's customer. Information collected from websites, corporate literature, internal testing and outside independent sources is believed to be accurate at time of publication. Neither this chart nor it's producer assume any liability, implied, expressed or assumed.

There are other gravity fed filter systems that claim they are not to be used with microbiologically unsafe or questionable water. We chose not to include those systems in this comparison chart.

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