Do Berkey Filters Change Your pH Level?
(and how to improve your Alkalinity)
Depending on the type of water you use, the pH of the water may change after filtering water with a Berkey. The pH level may increase after Berkey filtration due to the Black Berkey Filter® and the purification process. Learn more below.
The Purification Process
When water goes through the filtration process in a Berkey System, the Black Berkey filters remove 200+ contaminants, which are mostly acidic in nature. As a result, the purified water has fewer contaminants, which can result in a slight change of the alkalinity of water. The Berkey purification process typically causes pH levels to rise 0.5 - 1.0, making it more alkaline.
What is pH?
pH is a term in chemistry that is used to determine how acidic or alkaline a solution is, including water. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with higher level solutions considered alkaline and lower level solutions considered acidic. Any solution with a pH below 7 is acidic and any solution with a pH above 7 is alkaline. Solutions which measure in the middle of the scale are considered neutral.
If you’re drinking pure water, the pH level is neutral at 7. The EPA recommends that clean, potable water should have a pH level within the safe range of 6.5 to 8.5. However, the pH of water is not regulated, which is more of a reason why you should filter your water
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is slightly more "sweet" than pure water. In other words, it has a higher pH. While pure water has a neutral pH of 7, alkaline drinking water has a pH between 8 and 9.
The data is mixed on the health benefits of alkaline water, but several studies have found that it helps with acid reflux, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. More research is still needed to support the benefits, but when it comes to filtering normal water, more alkalinity isn’t a bad thing.
As noted previously, pollutants can increase the acidity in the water and if you use a filter like the Black Berkey filter to filter your drinking water, it will filter out those contaminants and raise the alkalinity, providing clean drinking water.
How to Increase the Alkalinity of Water
The best way to increase the alkalinity of your water is to raise the pH level. The higher the pH level, the higher the alkalinity. To do this, here’s a good process to follow.
1. Purify Your Water with a Black Berkey Filter
All Berkey systems use Black Berkey filters, which will take out the unwanted, acidic substances that decrease water pH, thus increasing pH by 0.5 to 1.0. By doing this, it also serves as an alkaline water filter by increasing alkalinity.
2. Test the pH Level of your Water
This can be done using a pH tester, most use pH test strips, which you can find online or at pool stores. Most kits include a scale to refer to to determine what pH level your solution is.
3. Add Alkaline Enhancing Elements
If the water pH level still isn’t high enough, add other basic products that increase alkalinity such as baking soda, fresh lemons or alkaline drops as directed. For the baking soda, you only need a small amount (½ teaspoon per one gallon of water) stirred into the water to make alkaline water. However, we do not recommended adding alkaline enhancing elements in a Berkey system to avoid impacting the quality and longevity of your filters.
4. Re-test your pH level
Test your pH levels again to see if the alkalinity has improved.
5. Add Reservoir Elements to your Berkey System
Increase the alkalinity of your water during the purification process by adding reservoir elements to your Berkey system’s bottom reservoir. Mineral stones such as Maifan stones boost macronutrients while the bio-ceramic energy balls reduce contaminants, like Black Berkey filters. These reservoir elements are normally used in tandem and they help Black Berkey filters reduce more contaminants, which increases the pH even more and thus, increases alkalinity.