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How do Berkey® Systems compare to Reverse Osmosis and Distillation?

Powerful Purification

Black Berkey® Purification Elements are Unique

Berkey® Water Purification Systems address a broad universe of potential contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and even radiologicals while leaving in the healthy minerals your body needs.

  • Addresses pathogenic bacteria without a UV light
  • Removes dead bacteria bodies during the purification process
  • No need to turn off water pressure to the home
  • There are no coils to maintain
  • Addresses chlorine, chlorine byproducts and VOCs (among many other chemicals)
  • Not susceptible to contaminants that may pass through Distillation systems in a gaseous state

Black Berkey® Purification Elements Leave in Beneficial Minerals

Berkey® purification systems leave in the beneficial minerals your body needs. Enjoy powerful purification without sacrificing positive components of your water.

Learn More About Black Berkey® Purification Elements

Explore other articles for additional, in-depth performance information:

Convenient to Maintain

Berkey® systems can be easily cleaned by removing all filter elements and then washing the top and bottom chambers of the system in warm water and dish soap. For users in areas of hard water, calcium scale may build up on the spigot and chambers after prolonged use. To remove, simply soak affected part(s) in vinegar or a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water for about 15 minutes.


A Berkey® system also typically costs less than either Reverse Osmosis or Distillation at about 1.8 cents per gallon. Also, Berkey® systems use all of the water that flows through the purification elements, leaving only the contaminants behind.

  • Enjoy a 6,000 gallon lifespan per pair of Black Berkey® Purification Elements
  • Uses water more efficiently, reducing “waste” water and expense
  • Powered by gravity- no electricity or other fuel cost
  • No professional installation cost
  • Limited maintenance required

Fits Virtually Any Need

Berkey® systems are available in seven different sizes, from a 1 quart system to a 6 gallon system capable of producing up to 26 gallons / hour in an emergency. In addition, larger systems may be expanded to accommodate additional purification elements. This speeds up the process, and reduces wait time. Visit our “Find your Berkey® System” page to determine what might work best for your family or group.

Essential During an Emergency

Berkey® systems are portable, require no electricity or water pressure to operate, and are made for the extreme. Berkey® systems can easily purify ordinary tap water and well water, yet are powerful enough to efficiently purify raw, untreated water from sources such as remote lakes and streams. Berkey® systems used several different independent labs, took multiple samples and performed Extreme Testing for Lead and PFC’s in order to review the effectiveness of our Black Berkey® Purification Elements. Test results for Black Berkey® Purification Elements are readily available to interested customers.

Berkey® Sytem Benefits

Make your choice with confidence, based on detailed, high-quality information.

Berkey® Systems are the top choice for everyone who is considering a gravity-fed system. We hope that demonstrating how to evaluate major performance factors assists you in making a great decision.

Berkey® System Benefits

Powerful– Berkey® purifiers remove a broad universe of contaminants, from toxic chemicals and minerals to pathogenic bacteria and virus, while leaving in the healthy minerals your body needs.

Efficient– Berkey® purifiers are the fastest-producing gravity fed water purification systems on the market, purifying water up to eight times faster than other available systems.

Convenient– The purification elements may be cleaned, eliminating frequent replacements.

Effortless– The design replaces slow and exhausting manual pumps with the natural force of gravity. At the same time the system remains simple to use, making it a breeze; whether in the kitchen or deep in the Rocky Mountains.

Portable– Berkey® purifiers travel easily and function without electricity or water pressure.

Durable– Constructed of highly-polished surgical grade AISI 304 stainless steel, the housing is built to last.

Economical– Two Black Berkey® Purification Elements, which come standard with most systems, average 2 cents per gallon of purified water, and last up to 6,000 gallons, or approximately 5-8 years with typical use.

Proven– Used by individuals, missionaries, and relief organizations worldwide, Berkey® systems have truly stood the test of time.

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(1) Biology Online Dictionary- Osmosis
(2) Puretec- What is Reverse Osmosis?
(3) A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use
(4) Cornell Cooperative Extension, College of Human Ecology- Reverse Osmosis treatment of Drinking Water
(5) A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use
(6) Puretec- What is Reverse Osmosis?
(8) What is Reverse Osmosis?
(9) Cornell Cooperative Extension, College of Human Ecology- Reverse Osmosis treatment of Drinking Water
(10) Wikipedia.com- Distilled water
(11) Drinking Water Treatment: An Overview
(12) Contaminants Removed from Water by Distillation
(13) Drinking Water Treatment: An Overview
(14) Water Distillers
(15) Environmental concerns of desalinating seawater using reverse osmosis.
(16) Dr. Jacqueline Gerhart: There’s good and bad to using reverse osmosis water systems
(17) Wikipedia.com- Tonicity
(18) What Are the Dangers of Drinking Distilled Water?

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