I just filled our tea kettle and a couple of water jugs from our Berkey water filtering system. We've had our own filtered water from the Berkey for a couple of months now, but I still feel like jumping up and down with happiness whenever I remember that I don't have to fill a cart with re-filled jugs of drinking water every time we go to the grocery store!
We live in town, so the water from our faucets is city water. The city water here is horrible! Sometimes it smells very strongly of chlorine. Other days, it smells like dirt. Yes -- clear "clean" water that smells like dirt! Sometimes the city issues warnings about not consuming the tap water during periods of high levels of nitrates in the water.
Taste issues aside, we have never drank the city water here due to health reasons. We bought gallon jugs at the grocery store and each week, we refilled our jugs at the refill station. Refills were about 40 cents each -- much cheaper than buying bottled water or pre-filled jugs of water.
As time passed and our family size increased, we were consuming about 2 gallons of water every day just for drinking water (not cooking water unless it was soup!). The carts at the grocery store aren't made to hold 14 gallons of water plus some groceries. Our car trunk was always packed when we went grocery shopping.
And if we somehow forgot our huge string of empty jugs, we'd have to run back home and get them and refill them... because we couldn't go longer than about 8 days without getting water.
I had looked into other possibilities, but they all seemed too costly. Expensive startup costs, filters that were costly, renting equipment, or having the water delivered from Culligan -- nothing seemed like the right choice. So week after week, we toted our jugs to the store and back.
Then one day, my friend Crystal posted about the new water filtering system they had gotten. Filtered drinking water was something on my mind frequently (at least once a week! ) and my heart lept when I read about her new filtering system. Seriously! Okay, try dragging 14 gallons of water to and from the car every week... then you'll understand!
I had no idea how expensive this "Berkey" thing was, so I clicked on the link while holding my breath... just over $200. But -- the company was offering a limited-time promotion of 10% off! So this was something we could actually afford! After all, we were spending about $25 a month on our jug refills as it was.
The Berkey water filtering systems are a countertop unit with filters in the top section and a filtered water reservoir underneath. They require no electricity. The filters will last for 6,000 gallons of water (they can be cleaned). The units with 2 filters inside will filter water at the rate of 4 gallons per hour. The filtered drinking water ends up costing about 1.6 cents per gallon!
Joshua will attest to the fact that I very very excitedly told him about the new water filtering system that Crystal had recommended. We did some research and reading to determine if the Berkey would adequately filter our water. Soon we were convinced of the quality and safety of the Berkey water filtering systems, and I very thankfully placed an order for one!
We decided to order the Big Berkey rather than the Berkey Light that Crystal had gotten, since the prices were comparable. We were more comfortable with stainless steel than plastic for health reasons, and we also wanted something very durable. And while I would never pay extra money just for a "look", the stainless steel is beautiful!! (You can see in the photo at the top of this page how shiny and pretty it is!)
Our order was placed, amounting to $225. This included free shipping, along with a free gift of our choice (Update from 2012: More Than Alive no longer offers a free gift with Berkey purchases.), and we chose the arsenic and fluoride filters. From the moment I clicked on "submit", I started counting down the days until we could stop buying jugs of water at the grocery store!
However, we were informed that Berkeys were on backorder everywhere -- including the company with which we had placed our order, MoreThanAlive.com.
Berkeys are especially sought after for emergency preparedness and off-the-grid lifestyles since they do an extraordinary job of filtering water, all without electricity.
MoreThanAlive.com contacted us and said that the Big Berkeys were backordered, but that if we wanted to upgrade to the Royal Berkey it would only be $22.50 more. Upgrade we did -- and I haven't regretted that decision in the least.
Finally, our Berkey arrived! I washed it and assembled it easily and within 15 minutes. I ran a huge container of our icky tap water and poured it into the Berkey.
Since we had been accustomed to drinking reverse osmosis water, I was prepared for a period of adjustment to the taste of the Berkey water. And when I poured that awful-smelling tap water inside, I was really hoping that this thing worked!!
Thankfully, it did! It exceeded my expectations and hopes! The filtered water did have a slightly different taste from the reverse osmosis water, since the Berkey water has beneficial minerals still in it. However, it was a taste I knew I could easily get used to within a week.
The addition of the arsenic and fluoride filters (our free gift with our order!) made the water taste even better. I think it tastes quite similar to the reverse osmosis water and the taste adjustment (for me) took only a couple of days.
And the company, MoreThanAlive.com -- I cannot say enough good things about them! Their shipping is fast. They try to ship every order the same day it was placed, which is ideal for the impatient folks like me! They return phone calls and answer emails. They're just all-around friendly and helpful! I have been amazed by their customer service and would not hesitate to order from them in the future.
I just received an email from Joy at MoreThanAlive.com and she informed me that their stock of Berkeys has once again been replenished. (I was waiting to share my excitement until the Berkey systems weren't all backordered!) She also has very generously offered to allow me to be a part of their affiliate program and earn 10% of every order placed!
I asked Joy if there was a possibility of passing some savings along to you, my blog readers, and she said "sure"!
So for the next three days only (Wednesday - Friday) you can get 10% off of any order at MoreThanAlive.com by using this code at checkout: tr4u9q
Okay, I know this is a long post, but I'm just still so happy with our Berkey... and we've already had it for 10+ weeks! :)
Just one last note. I thought that the Big Berkey, which holds 2.25 gallons, would be big enough for our family's needs (2 adults, 3 small children). We ended up upgrading to the Royal Berkey, which holds 3.25 gallons -- and I'm so glad we did! Since the filters are inside the unit, the water capacity is slightly reduced. Also, we seem to go through a lot of water now that I can use it for cooking, too. While a smaller unit would still be functional, a bigger unit is convenient. :)
Do any of you use a Berkey water system? I'd love your input! Which unit do you have, what are your likes and dislikes, and would you get the same thing again in the future? :)