Algae on the calm shallow water

Filter It Out: The Dangers of Blue-Green Algae in Canada’s Lakes

As temperatures rise, blue green algae blooms make their annual appearance on the surface of Canada’s lakes. Although they make their presence known in a big way during the summer months, the cyanobacteria causing the blooms are present in the water year round. Worse yet, the algae not only looks disgusting, but is also quite toxic. So, whether you are on well water and live by a lake or just want to go for a swim on occasion, it is important to know where the cyanobacteria lurks and how to best avoid it.

Prevalence of Blue Green Algae

Nearly all of the lakes in Canada contain at least a small amount of cyanobacteria that ebbs and flows throughout the year. It does not land on most people’s radar until the blue green algae blooms come out in full force and the city issues a warning. They may let people know not to swim in the water, but the warnings can come too late for those using well water.

If you consume water that contains the bacteria, it could cause:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Irritation to your nose and throat
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

You could even start having trouble breathing, necessitating a quick trip to the emergency department. Breathing in the contaminated water and getting it on your skin is also harmful to your health.

Thankfully, you do not need to wait for official warnings to take action. You can install a Berkey water filter in your home to remove cyanobacteria and provide true peace of mind year-round.

How a Berkey Water Filter Can Help

Berkey water filters go beyond the norm by removing 99.99999% of bacteria, 99.999% of viruses, and many other contaminants from your water. The system works by processing water through ultra-tiny micro-pores that block nearly all the harmful particles from passing through. The only thing that comes through the other side of the filter is fresh, clean drinking water that you can trust.

You have your choice of many different Berkey water filter systems, too. They come in a variety of sizes that are all easy to clean and self-sterilizing. You can base your choice on the type of well you have, your family size, and your budget. You can install one or many in your home plus pick up water bottles for use on the go. No matter what you choose, the system will provide at least five years of dependable service, keeping cyanobacteria and other contaminants away from everyone in your household.

Since blue green algae is seemingly here to stay, take a look at your filter options today to make sure your household always has clean water on tap. If you need help selecting your ideal setup, give our team a call at 1-705-305-2225. Otherwise, feel free to shop Berkey water filters at our online store. Learn more about cyanobacteria and how a Berkey water filter can help by reading our FAQ’s

Wells: Common contaminants and maintenance concerns

Water is one of the few things we can’t live without. People can’t live more than 24 to 48 hours without safe, clean water. In some places that can be a challenge. If you live outside of the reach of municipal water systems, you probably rely on a well for your drinking, cooking and household water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 14 percent of households (about 15 million households) get their water this way. Wells are deep holes with pumps attached to access pockets of ground water deep below the surface. These resources are replenished by rain, irrigation and run off. However, wells can be subject to contaminants found in the ground and surrounding water sources. They can also be time-consuming to maintain.

Common well contaminants and maintenance concerns

Private wells can be contaminated by a number of sources. The EPA lists six major categories of well contaminants. They are heavy metals, microbiologicals, radionuclides, organic chemicals, fluoride and nitrates. As a private well owner, you are responsible for keeping up the quality of the water you get from your well. While most townships and states have rules regarding the construction of a well, few have ordinances regarding water quality.

To help maintain your well drinking water and to catch any potential problem early, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends having your well tested at least once a year for nitrates, coliform bacteria, pH levels and dissolved solids. Of course, you should have this done more often if you notice a change in the color or taste of your water or if there are known problems with wells in your area. 

If you reside in the US, you can find a testing company near you by calling the EPA Safe Water Drinking Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or by contacting your local health department.

For residents in Canada you can access multiple departments at or you can call the hotline directly 1-866-793-2588

Solving well quality issues with a Berkey water filter system

A Berkey water filtration system is a great way to make sure that the water your family is drinking is safe from contaminants. This gravity-fed system removes a large variety of contaminants, ranging from toxic chemicals and minerals to pathogenic bacteria and viruses. However, it leaves the healthy minerals your body needs in place. This system is affordable, portable and will last between five and eight years with regular use.

To learn more about getting a Berkey water filter for your household and enjoying a constant, reliable, pure water source for your family and friends, contact Conscious Water at (insert contact info). Our mission is for everyone to have a safe, reliable water source, at home, when you travel and when you are out in nature.

gravity fed stoneware Doulton water filters, Doulton first filter

History of the Berkey Water Filter

Conscious Water is proud of our almost decade of service as Canada’s number one Berkey Water Filter Distributor. Our customers appreciate the benefits of safe, health-giving drinking water, and also want to protect our sacred earth by diverting hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from landfills each and every day. They select from our expansive line of Berkey Water Filter Systems, including the top-selling Big Berkey Water Filter, to find the best solution for their home, travel, emergency, and day-to-day water filtration and purification needs.

Berkey’s commitment to producing the world’s most powerful and cost-effective gravity-fed personal water purification systems is what first attracted the attention of Scott Miller, our healthful water-loving founder. As he searched for ways to provide a constant pure water source for family and friends, he traced the history of water purification all the way back to the Victorian age in London!

Big Berkey Water Filter Goes Back Centuries

The need to create a safer water drinking supply was first recognized in 1835 in London, England. Queen Victoria realized that unclean water led to cholera and typhoid epidemics for her royal subjects. She turned to John Doulton, of Royal Doulton fame, and asked that he use his knowledge of ceramics to create stoneware that could serve as a gravity water filter.

This royal beginning improved in 1862 when John’s son, Henry, introduced a carbon water filter to provide an efficient, easily renewable, purifying medium. This coincided fortuitously with the great Louis Pasteur’s advancements in understandings of bacteria. It showed how porous ceramic can filter out those dangerous, tiny organisms, culminating in the discovery of gravity-fed water filtration

By 1901, the now Sir Henry Doulton and Royal Doulton were gaining in world-wide popularity for use in hospitals, laboratories and residential water filtration systems. The company continued to modify and improve its ceramic filters to make them self-sterilizing, and registered the new trade name, “British Berkefeld.” Relief organizations soon realized the benefits of using these filters to provide clean water to over 140 countries world-wide.

Fast forward to 1998 and the U.S.-based New Millennium Concepts signs a distribution partnership with British Berkefeld. They then create the extraordinary Black Berkey Purification Element, which is far more powerful than any other gravity filter element in removing harmful pathogens in drinking water. Something that began with a Queen is now serving the royal needs of everyday water drinkers.

As an authorized distributor, Conscious Water now purchases directly from New Millennium Concepts. Together with our healthful, naturally-alkalizing mineral stores, we bring our customers the best quality, most economical and fully-guaranteed water filtration products available today.

Two centuries of experience make it easy to see why Conscious Water and Berkey Water Filter Systems are such a great combination to keep your drinking water safe from bacteria, chlorine, viruses, pesticides, herbicides and other harmful toxins. Visit our website, email, or call 705-305-2225 to learn more about using the Big Berkey Water Filter to keep your family safe and healthy.

A photo of a group of people gathered around an office water cooler having a conversation

Water Cooler vs. Conscious Water

It’s always fun to gather around the office water cooler to chat with your colleagues about the big game, trending news or weekend plans. But have you ever really thought about the quality of the water you’re consuming during these times? While standard water cooler jugs can offer a refreshing break, there’s actually a healthier, more beneficial alternative to the standard water cooler – and that’s by consuming conscious water via a Berkey water filter. In this post, we’ll take a look at the key benefits of choosing a Berkey filter for your office break areas.

The Berkey Water Filter Difference

So what’s the key difference between a Berkey water purifier and a standard water cooler jug? Berkey filters are examples of conscious water, which is water that is far more than just thirst quenching, but invigorating and healthy. Specifically, these filters are able to remove any viruses, bacteria and other contaminants that a typical water filter would not be able to do, providing a far more healthier beverage for your office. And unlike a typical water cooler jug that you need to purchase, Berkey Filters are able to purify water on demand.

Another key difference between conventional water coolers and conscious water is how the water is filtered. Typical water jugs are filtered via a process known as reverse osmosis, which tends to be acidic in nature and mineral deficient. Berkey filters work using gravity, so in addition to healthier overall water, there’s a savings to be realized in utility costs as well. In fact, the Berkey filters are so efficient that they’re able to properly treat both previously treated and untreated water. This makes them convenient for more than just the office, but also for camping and sourcing water from lakes and streams.

Benefits of Mineral-Rich Water

All water is not the same. And the mineral rich water that you can attain from using a Berkey filter has a wide range of benefits, whether it’s in an office setting or elsewhere. Here’s a look at some of these benefits:

  • Blood circulation: Mineral rich water contains the likes of calcium, magnesium and potassium – and these minerals all help support strong bones and good blood circulation. The human body is unable to create these minerals itself, so consuming them from water is key in attaining them. These minerals can also help decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of certain heart diseases.
  • It’s doctor approved: More than just medical professionals approve of conscious, mineral-rich water. Nutritionists, wellness coaches and personal trainers are also among the professionals that recommend regular consumption of it.
  • It contains other key minerals: Aside from calcium, magnesium and potassium, mineral water also often contains other key elements, such as iron, zinc and sodium.

Contact Us Today

For more information on the benefits of conscious, mineral-rich water and why it’s such an ideal, convenient and affordable alternative to conventional water coolers, contact us today.

Royal Berkey system for water filtration

How Often and How Should I Clean My Berkey Water Filter?

Having a Royal Berkey Water Filter means you can count on having healthy, clean water for household purposes. While these types of water filtration systems are easy to use, it’s important to make sure you clean the purification elements on a regular basis. This helps ensure that your water system will continue being able to provide your home with a clean source of water.

How Often to Clean Your Berkey Water Filter

This depends on certain factors, such as how clean or dirty the water in your area is. If you live in a place where your local water supply contains a lot of contaminants and other harmful particles, you should plan on cleaning your water filter more often. In fact, you might consider running water from your faucets through a clean cloth or coffee filter before you add it to your Berkey water filtration system if you’re in an area with very dirty water. This helps filter out sediment and other debris that could clog your system. 

How can you tell if it’s time for you to clean your water filter? You don’t have to clean the purification elements each time you clean your filtration system. You should plan on cleaning these elements when the water flow from your filtration system slows down significantly. This can indicate that the pores in these elements have become clogged with debris.  For most people this is about every 2-4 months, depending on your source water quality.  

You also have the option of cleaning your system’s purification elements regularly rather than waiting for the water flow to slow down. If you want to clean these elements on a routine basis, you can do so roughly every six months or more often if needed. For example, you might want to clean them every few months if you’re in an area with a dirty water supply. When you regularly clean your purification elements, you should have a lower chance of having the water flow slow down.

How to Clean Your Royal Berkey Water Filter

How should you go about cleaning your water filter? To get the purification elements clean, use the following steps:

  • Wash the lower chamber once per month with soapy dishwater.
  • Remove the purification elements from your water filtration system, then disassemble them.
  • Hold the purification elements under cool water from your faucet while scrubbing vigorously the outside surfaces with a kitchen brush or a ScotchBrite® cleaning pad.
  • Prime your water filters before putting the purification elements back together.
  • Reassemble the purification elements, and put them back into your water filtration system.
  • Perform a system test. Your purification elements are powerful enough to remove food coloring from water. Simply fill the upper chamber with water and add one tablespoon of red food coloring. If the food coloring is removed entirely, your purification system is working properly.  See here for all the details:

If you need additional information on caring for your Royal Berkey Water Filter or if you’re interested in purchasing one for your home, please contact Conscious Water. We can provide you with the cleaning information you need or help you select the right water filter system.

Advantages of Countertop Water Filters

Having access to clean water at all times is important for your household. You can find different kinds of water filter options available, which provide your home with water that is as clean as possible. However, countertop water filters offer certain advantages over other types. Having a countertop Berkey water filter system in your home provides you with the following benefits.

More Convenient

Countertop water filters are simple to use, and they don’t take up a lot of space in your kitchen. These filtration systems don’t involve a complex installation process either, making them easy to set up and start using as soon as possible. Berkey water systems do not require special tools or plumbing services for installation, so you don’t have to wait long before being able to start enjoying cleaner water in your home.


Whether you’re moving to a different home or going on vacation, you can take your countertop water filter with you. These types of water filtration systems are simple to remove, so that you can pack them for travel or bring them to your new home. With their straightforward installation process, you can also set them up in minutes and use them at your destination or new residence right away. If you’re taking a countertop water filter with you while traveling, you can easily remove it to bring back with you. These water systems are also important to have available in case your area is hit with storms or other emergencies that prevent your local water supply from being properly treated. With a countertop water filter system, you’ll have plenty of clean water to use.

Improved Quality

Household water can contain many germs and other harmful particles, such as chemicals and pollutants. Using Berkey water filters means you’ll have healthier and cleaner water for drinking, washing and other household uses. These countertop water filters are able to remove viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fluoride, contaminants and other harmful particles from your home’s water supply without removing important minerals.


Countertop water filtration systems offer a cost-effective way to provide your home with clean water on a regular basis. These kinds of water filter systems are typically more affordable when compared to other systems, such as point of entry systems that require plumbing services for installation. This affordability helps ensure that you have healthier water all the time. 

High-Quality Countertop Berkey Water Filter Systems

If you need more information on a countertop water filter system for your home, please contact Conscious Water today. We offer a wide range of Berkey water filter systems ranging from 5.7 litres to 22.7 litres to help ensure that your home always has clean water available. At Conscious Water, we can help you choose the right water filter system for your household.

Top 25 Questions About the Big Berkey Water Filter

The Big Berkey water filtration product is an excellent product for people who want to drink pure, clean water.

1. What is the Big Berkey water filter?

Big Berkey is a water purifier that filters up to 22,700 liters of freshwater in its service life.

2. How much water does the Big Berkey filter at one time?

The Big Berkey holds 8.5 liters of water at one time.

3. How long does the Big Berkey last?

This depends on how much water you drink, but for most folks, the Big Berkey Water Filters can last about 5 or 6 years.  The actual stainless steel unit will last for generations.

4. How long will it take for my product to ship after ordering?

Provided that the Big Berkey is in stock when you place your order, it will ship out within 1 to 3 business days of placing your order.

5. Will the Big Berkey remove lead?

Yes, the Big Berkey removes >99.9% lead from your water.

6. Is the Big Berkey portable?

Yes! The upper chamber slides into the lower chamber for easy transport.  If you’re seeking a more portable model, see our Go Berkey.

7. How long does the Big Berkey take to filter water?

This depends on how many purification elements you own. With two elements, your Big Berkey will complete its filtration cycle in about 5 hours. Put in two more elements, and your Big Berkey will complete its filtration cycle in half the time.

8. How many people does the Big Berkey serve?

The Big Berkey is an excellent product for a family of up to four people.

9. Can I use the Big Berkey for cooking and making coffee, etc?

Yes. However, depending on the size of your family, how much water you use for cooking etc, the next larger size (Royal Berkey) may be more suitable.

10. How does the Big Berkey compare to other filtration products?

See for yourself! Look at our comparison charts between Big Berkey, Aquasana and Brita, and our comparison chart between Big Berkey and Santevia.

11. Does my Big Berkey come with everything it needs to function?

Yes, your Big Berkey water filter will arrive with all the parts to get started.

12. Will the Big Berkey filter water from streams and ponds?

Yes, your Big Berkey can filter stagnant water from outdoor sources.

13. Does the Big Berkey need to be plugged in to work?

No, the Big Berkey water filter requires no electricity to function.

14. Does the Big Berkey remove viruses?

Yes, Big Berkey removes viruses and bacteria.

15. What is Big Berkey made from?

The exterior shell of the Big Berkey is made from food grade stainless steel.

16. Is Big Berkey good for the environment?

Compared to bottled water, which produces plastic waste, the Big Berkey is very eco-friendly.

17. Where can I find out what else Big Berkey water filter removes from the water?

Take a look at our lab results.

18. How can I tell how much water is left in the Big Berkey?

You can simply tilt back the upper chamber to look inside the lower chamber or buy the optional Sight Glass Spigot.

19. What happens when filtration elements become clogged with impurities?

The Big Berkey will become slow once it becomes clogged. It will need to be washed every 1 to 6 months.

20. Does water need to be treated before being put into the Big Berkey?

When drawing water from a pond or stagnant water source, it’s best to treat it with 16 drops of bleach or iodine before putting the water in the purifier. This is an added precaution.

21. Will the Big Berkey purify ocean water?

No, the Big Berkey cannot purify water from the ocean.

22. I have a water softener, can I use the Big Berkey?

Water softened with salt cannot be used with the Big Berkey.

23. Are the parts of my Big Berkey water filter replaceable?

Yes, if parts of your Big Berkey break or become used up, you can buy replacement parts on our website.

24. Will I be provided with all instructions to use and maintain my Big Berkey?

Instructions can be found on our website and also come included with your Berkey. 

25. I want a product more suitable for large groups. Which filter should I buy?

Take a look at our Crown Berkey or Imperial Berkey filters.

Royal Berkey system for water filtration

Choosing the Right Water Filtration System

Access to clean, filtered water is more important than ever. But with so many systems available — from a countertop model like a Royal Berkey water filter to a whole-house system — how can you decide which is right for your home?

Under-Sink Mount

If you’ve seen homes with a second, smaller faucet next to the main one, there’s probably a filter system installed under the sink. Models range from $100 to $400, with the additional cost of filters.

Pros: It provides filtered water “on demand.”

Cons: The smaller models tend to have low output, while the larger ones take up storage room under the sink. If you lose your home water source, you won’t be able to use your under-sink filter to purify rain or river water. Some models can be hard to install, and call for expensive filters, while only removing some contaminants.

House-Wide Systems

House-wide, or whole-house, water filtration systems are put into place at the entry point in which water comes into your home. For that reason, it can provide filtration for any faucet and shower head in your home.

Pros: You can access drinkable tap water from any sink in your home.

Cons: Whole-house filtration systems are the most expensive option, especially if you don’t need every shower head and faucet filtered.

Water Pitcher

This type is the most recognizable, and the most initially-affordable, type of water filtration system. You fill the pitcher’s top from faucet, and the gravity-fed filter provides some purification.

Pros: You won’t have to lay out as much cash at the outset as you would other systems, and they are convenient to fill.

Cons: Over the course of the year you’ll pay almost 10 times as much per liter as a Berkey model, because of the frequent need to replace filters. On a day-to-day basis, you may get tired of refilling the pitcher several times a day. They also can’t safely filter rainwater, lake and pond water, or river water.

Royal Berkey Water Filter and Other Countertop Systems

The Royal Berkey water filter is an example of a countertop filter. This model is ideal great for families and groups of up to 10 people. It offers a much safer, cost-effective solution than many other options. It’s simple pour-in, gravity method is similar to filtration pitchers, yet the Royal Berkey water filter holds much more water — 12.3 Litres — than a pitcher.

For many users, the biggest draw of the Royal Berkey water filter over other brands’ countertop models, is the large range of contaminants it eliminates — including viruses, bacteria, lead, chlorine, chemicals and other unwanted substances

Pros: The Royal Berkey water filter per-liter cost is much lower than pitchers, under-sink filters and other types, because it doesn’t require constant replacement of the filters.

Cons: The Royal Berkey water filter may be too large or small to meet your specific needs. If that’s the case, take a look at our range of Berkeys, from the  5.7 Litre Travel Berkey to the 22.7 Litre Crown Berkey.

Crown Berkey system plus two elements for water filtration

What are the best Countertop Gravity Water Filters

The quality of the water you drink has a huge impact on your health. With a quality water filter, you can get clean, fresh drinking water at your convenience. All you need to do is supply the unfiltered water. Gravity takes care of the rest; no plumbing or electricity needed. We review some of the most popular water purifiers to help you decide which one is best for you.

Berkey Water Filter

Rating: 5/5

The Berkey family of water purifiers is internationally renowned for quality craftsmanship, efficiency, and longevity. A family of four can cover all of their bases with the Big Berkey.

With an 8.5 L capacity, the Big Berkey measures 49 cm tall and 22 cm wide. It includes two purification elements with an estimated lifespan of 22,700 L. You can purchase additional purification elements to increase the purification speed. Using state-of-the-art micro-pores, Berkey filters trap viruses, bacteria, inorganic minerals, heavy metals, and many chemical pollutants. However, the Big Berkey cannot purify salt water. Its stainless steel construction is both durable and easy to clean. With normal use of filtering 10-12 liters per day, the Black Berkey filters typically last five years. Depending on your water filtration capacity needs, you may prefer one of these other Berkey water filter models:

  • Travel Berkey – 5.7 L capacity, ideal for individuals and small families
  • Berkey Light – 8.5 L capacity, a lighter, BPA-free plastic version of the Big Berkey designed for group travel and outdoor use
  • Royal Berkey – 12.3 L capacity, ideal for groups of up to 10 people
  • Imperial Berkey – 17 L capacity, ideal for groups of up to 50 people
  • Crown Berkey – 22.7 L capacity, ideal for groups of up to 100 people

AquaCera Pioneer SS4

Rating: 4/5

With a stainless steel casing and filtering capabilities similar to Berkey, the AquaCera Pioneer SS4 is a solid choice for a household water filter. It offers several choices in terms of installed filters. The carbon block filters can only be used with treated water, while the ceramic filters capture more contaminants such as lead, fluoride, and chlorine. AquaCera offers two sizes: the Pioneer, which is about as big as the Big Berkey, and the Traveler, which is designed for portability. What places the AquaCera behind Berkey is that the filters are rated to last only 12 months, compared to Berkey’s 2 years.

Alexapure Pro

Rating: 3.5/5

A simple and sturdy water filter, the Alexapure Pro features a stainless steel construction and a carbon/ceramic filter. As with the Berkey, you can add more filters to speed up the process. The Alexapure removes most harmful substances, but only removes about 96 percent of lead. This is concerning because even tiny amounts of lead can accumulate in the body, leading to various health issues. Additionally, Alexapure offers a vague warranty on opened water filters, stating that return requests will be reviewed individually.

Whether you’re at home, on the go, or in an emergency, you need a reliable water filter to provide clean drinking water. As the international standard in water filtration, Berkey water filtration systems lead the way in water purification for optimum health and wellness.

Berkey Shower Filter how does it work?

You have probably read up on how beneficial it can be to filter your water in the shower. While there are other shower filters on the market, the Berkey shower filter is simply the most effective and best option. But why? How does our shower filter work? When you understand the basics, you will more than likely be even more convinced of the benefits of our filter. 

First, you install our shower filter on your existing shower head with just a few simple tools. You can utilize many common shower heads with our product and installation takes only minutes. Once the installation process is complete, you’ll see that we filter out chlorine and many other impurities from the water source before it flows into the shower head and onto you while you shower.

You’re probably most familiar with carbon filters as they are one of the more common methods of filtering water. The Berkey Shower Filter unit does not use carbon like most filters on the market. Instead, we use a patented filter media which more-effectively removes chlorine from the water source and it is also efficient in hot water as well as cold. Because the Berkey Shower Filter reduces the impact of algae, fungus and hydrogen sulfide, the chance of new bacteria growth in the unit is much less noticeable than with other products on the market today.

In addition to providing the best filtration on the market, the Berkey Shower Filter also reduces the flow of water into your shower. This helps the filter to be even more effective, giving the filter time to work. However, there are other benefits too as you’ll see an immediate reduction in the amount of water used while you’re showering–while still leaving you with a comfortable flow to help you feel clean and relaxed.

Best of all, The Berkey Shower Filter Lasts 75,000 liters (25,000 gallons), or one year whichever comes first

If you find that flow is limited over time, you can easily back flush the unit and get it working again with just a few simple steps. Once you have our filter installed and ready to go, you can relax with the knowledge that you’ll be clean and protected for months to come.

 If you haven’t tried filtering your shower water with the Berkey shower filter yet, why not check out the options on our website? Or, if you have any further questions about how our filters work or you whether it is a good choice for you, reach out to us by email or phone today.