Why is Water Filtration Important, and What Kind do I Need?

Working at Berkey, I’m asked all the time about water filtration, but underneath most questions I receive is really something simple: Why? And it’s a good question. Why is filtering water important, and why does it matter?

Now, if muddy, lumpy water flowed from our kitchen taps, the absolute necessity would be obvious. But for the vast majority of us, water flows clear and fresh from our sinks. So what am I filtering out and what is the point? 


Although it looks clear and fresh, tap water goes through a whole lot before it arrives at your faucet. The water arriving at your house rushed through miles of pipes, the majority of which probably hadn’t been cleaned for decades. On the way, it picked up contaminants and buildup. Before all that, it was disinfected with chlorine and treated with hundreds of chemicals - lots of them not regulated by the EPA. The vast majority of us don’t even know what’s in the water we drink. Tap water has been known to contain lead, arsenic, nitrates, chloroform, and even microorganisms, like E. coli. We’re getting a whole lot more out of the tap than just H20. Some additives found in tap water are known to cause neurological disorders and cancers, some bacteria cause stomach flu. In rural areas, disinfection byproducts are created when chlorine reacts with organic matter like manure - and that stays in drinking water. Discharges from industrial areas, aging pipes, and under-regulated water treatment facilities all create an environment where unsafe tap water largely goes unchecked. 


So what’s the solution to problematic water? Resorting to bottled water sounds like a possible way to avoid all these issues - but bottled water comes with a host of other problems - the extensive environmental impact, the enormous cost to purchase over time, and it turns out bottled water doesn’t necessarily mean less contaminated. The bottled water industry is mostly unregulated, and can contain the same harmful toxins found in your tap. 

A more sustainable solution is filtration. At Berkey, we believe everyone can have access to water the way nature intended it. And that’s what our filters can do. A Berkey filter removes all of those damaging additives so your water can return to the way nature intended it. 

So we’ve established the necessity of filtering our water, but there are lots of filters on the market - how can I determine which one is best for my family? There are two main categories of filters, they either filter all the water coming into your house at the point of entry, or they filter only the water you put inside. 


Counter Top Filtration System VS Whole House Filtration system

COST

Having a whole house filter seems like a great choice - this means every drop of water coming out of your shower, your kitchen, and your garden hose went through a cleansing process, usually reverse osmosis (RO). The problem with a whole house system is firstly, the cost. A RO system for your entire home can cost a small fortune. While a countertop filter can range in price from about $300 - $600, a whole house system can run you thousands. Add to that the installation costs. A countertop filter is the clear winner when it comes to affordability. 

INSTALLATION

A whole house filtration system is able to ensure that any water flowing through any faucet in your house is clean through a built-in system. This system, which includes pipes, tanks, and filters needs to be installed by a plumber or technician.

A Berkey countertop filter isn’t installed by a technician - it doesn’t need to be. It’s portable, and requires no tools or specialized knowledge to use straight out of the box. Typically, you can have your Berkey filter running in about twenty minutes. If you’re planning to move, or in a rental, or not sure if you want to invest into a home you might leave in the next few years, you need something that can work anywhere. A Berkey filter can be used in a small city apartment, on vacation, or even camping. A Berkey  countertop filter requires no pipes, water lines, access to electricity, or special tools. 

SPACE NEEDED

A whole house RO system has lots going on - the water lines from the house, the filters, the pipes to attach them both, and enough room to access the parts so the owner can change the filters as needed. All this takes up space - sometimes lots of it, depending on the configuration. 

Our most popular Berkey filters are less than 24” tall and need no wires, no plumbing, and are not tied up to the pipes of the house. 

If you’re short on space, a portable Berkey filtration system can be a perfect choice. At Berkey we have multiple sizes to suit any type of space.

TASTE

A whole house RO system cleans water by using pressure to force it through a membrane, and results in water that is free from chemicals, bacteria, additives, and minerals. While this water is extremely clean and safe to drink, it’s lacking in minerals that are desired. These minerals are also what contribute to good taste. 

With a Berkey filtration system, minerals like calcium, zinc, or magnesium are left intact. Customers report their water has a pleasant slightly sweet taste after being filtered. 


PERFORMANCE

Some naturally occurring minerals in water are desired - magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, just to name a few. Our bodies rely on these minerals to promote all sorts of functions.  A point of entry system - or whole house system - usually relies on reverse osmosis to purify water. It does a very good job at producing extremely clean water, although some might argue it’s too clean. Reverse Osmosis (or RO) can strip water of everything inside, even the stuff you actually want to keep. 


A Berkey system ensures water still keeps the beneficial natural minerals, even while eliminating contaminants and toxins. A system like this is ideal for drinking water - as our bodies need to ingest minerals it can’t create itself. At Berkey, we understand the importance of access to clean, pure water that’s good for the environment, and good for you. For this reason, our filters are designed to produce a perfectly balanced water including all the stuff you want, minus the stuff you don’t

 

At BerkeyHome, we sell only the products we completely trust. Our team members personally test and compare different kinds of filters and water purification systems. There’s simply no other filter on the market with the quality and performance we guarantee. Whether you’re looking for a small travel system, or a filter that can handle a family of six - we’ve got you covered. Don’t know which to buy?  Our team is up to date on the latest in water purity and filtration - so you don’t have to do any of the guesswork. Our customer support team can help you determine which system will best fit your needs so that your family can enjoy only the best nature has to offer.