Big Berkey Product Overview
The versatile Big Berkey water filter is the ideal system for use at home with small or medium-sized families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. It’s a Health, Wellness, and a Survival tool in one.
This powerful system purifies any freshwater source, including 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. Big Berkey water filters are perfect for everyday use, outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available.
Big Berkey FAQ
What does my purchase include?
The Big Berkey system includes upper and lower stainless steel chambers, 2 Black Berkey purification elements, 1 priming washer, 2 blocking plugs, and 1 BPA free nylon spigot, home, and backcountry instructions.
How many people does this system serve?
For normal everyday use, this system easily serves: 1-4 people.
NOTE: After listening to our customer’s feedback we highly recommend purchasing an extra set of Black Berkey Purification Elements and using all four together. This makes your unit twice as fast and more convenient. For example, a full 8.5-liter cycle purified takes approximately 5 hours with 2 elements. This is reduced to 2.5 hours with 4 elements.
Many families of 4 who drink a lot of water, use it for cooking, coffee, tea, plants, pets, and visitors report back they are very happy they chose the next model larger, the Royal Berkey instead.
What will this system remove?
Berkey Lab Results
(Independent 3rd Party Laboratory Tests, scroll down for the links to reports.)
- Black Berkey® Purification Element Test Results: Cryptosporidium & Giardia
- Black Berkey® Purification Element Test Results: Leptospira
- Black Berkey® Purification Element Test Results: Microcystin LR Toxin & Microcystis Algae
Black Berkey® Purification Elements are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available. The elements have a unique purification capability that is due to their unique structure. The micro-pores within the Black Berkey® Elements are so small that viruses and pathogenic bacteria are simply not able to pass through them.
Many water filters on the market may claim to be a water purifier, but do not meet the performance specifications required for this classification. In order to be classified as a water purifier, a water treatment device must remove at least 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria and reduce viruses by 99.99%. The Black Berkey® Purification Elements can be classified as water purifiers because they remove 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses, which greatly exceeds the standard. The Black Berkey®Purification Element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53.
The Black Berkey® Purification Elements have been tested and confirmed to remove or greatly reduce the contaminants listed below:
VIRUSES – Removed to >99.999% (Log 5)
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 4):
MS2 Coliphage ; Fr Coliphage.
PATHOGENIC BACTERIA (AND SURROGATES) – Removed to >99.9999999%
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 6): Bacillus atrophaeus (Anthrax surrogate); Raoultella terrigena (Pathogenic Bacteria Surrogate); Salmonella Enterica.
TRIHALOMETHANES – Removed to >99.8%
(Below Lab Detectable Limits):
Bromodichloromethane ; Bromoform ; Chloroform ; Dibromochloromethane.
Removed to Below Lab Detectable Limits: Chloramine; Chloride; Chlorine Residual (Total Residual Chlorine); Free Chlorine
HEAVY METALS (HIGH & LOW pH LEVELS)
Aluminum (>99%); Antimony (>99.9%); Barium (>80%); Beryllium (>99.9%); Bismuth (>99.9%); Cadmium (>99.7%); Cobalt (>95%); Chromium (>99.9%); Chromium 6 (>99.85%); Copper (>99.9%); Iron (>99.9%); Lead (>99.9%); Mercury (>99.9%); Molybdenum (>90%); Nickel (>99.9%); Vanadium (>87.5%); Zinc (>99.9%).
PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS CONTAMINANTS – Removed to >99.9%
Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Carbamazepine; Ciprofloxacin HCl; Erythromycin USP; Sulfamethoxazole; Trimethoprim; Bisphenol A; Diclofenac Sodium; 4-para-Nonylphenol; 4-tert-Octylphenol; Primidone; Progestrone; Gemfibrozil; Ibuprofen; Naproxen Sodium; Triclosan.
Pesticides & (Semi) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Removed to Below Laboratory Detectable Limits
Also removes or reduces:
Arsenic (>99.9%); Escherichia coli (E. Coli) (>99.999%); Fluorene (>99.9%); Manganese (>99.9%); MBAS (>96.67%); Nitrites (>95%); PCB’s (>99.9%); Petroleum Products (Gasoline, Diesel, Crude Oil, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits, Refined Oil- All >99.9%); Selenium (>99.9%); Thallium (>99.5%); Rust; Silt; Sediment; Turbidity; Foul Tastes and Odors.
View the 3rd party lab test results:
Mike Adams, the ‘Health Ranger’, via ICP-MS instrumentation with parts per billion sensitivity independently tested the most popular water filters for removal of toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic) and elements with radioactive isotopes (uranium, strontium, cesium). Click here to see the proof that Berkey was by far the best Gravity Water Filter tested.
What materials is this system made of?
The Big Berkey system is constructed of highly polished AISI Food grade 304 polished stainless steel.
How does the Big Berkey Compare with Competitors?
Berkey water purifiers are the most powerful at removing contaminants and the best value for your money. View this comparison between Berkey, Aquasana, and Brita products. Also, View this comparison between Berkey and Santevia products.
Big Berkey Product Specifications
- Included Black Berkey Purification elements last for 22,700 Liters (6,000 Gallons) as a pair, are cleanable, and self-sterilizing. For most families, this works out to a 5-6 year lifespan.
- Holds 8 L (2.1 G) of water
- Purifies 13 L (3.5 G)/hour with 2 Black Berkey Elements when the upper chamber is full. As the water level in the upper chamber declines, the purification rate slows due to less pressure on the elements.
- Purifies 26 L (7 G)/hour with 4 Black Berkey Elements (when upper chamber is full)
- Height while in use: 49 cms (19.25″), Diameter: 22 cms (8.5″)
- Packed height (upper reservoir slides into lower): 33cms (13″)
- Weight when empty: 3.4 kg (7.5 lbs)
This system comes with two Black Berkey® Purification Elements which have undergone Independent 3rd Party Laboratory Tests.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
- Read and follow ALL included instructions before setting up your unit.
- If the lower chamber is full of water, do not add water to the upper chamber or your unit will overflow where the chambers connect. If the lower unit is half full, you may fill the upper chamber half way.
- If purchasing the PF-2 Fluoride filters, note they operate in-line with the Black elements. So if you are using 4 Black elements, you require 4 PF-2 Fluoride filters. See this page for pictures to understand better.
- PF-2 Fluoride filters last for 3,785 liters (1,000 gallons), as a pair. This is about 1 year for most folks.
- Berkey filters will not purify ocean water and cannot be used with salt-softened water.
- Complete descriptions here: