Big Berkey Water Filter in the House!

Water is pretty much the only thing we drink in our household.  I love the taste of the Lake Michigan water that comes out of our faucet. It is crisp and clean tasting, and before we leave the house we always fill up a jumbo Klean Kanteen to keep us hydrated.  Not only is water the healthy and cheap choice, but avoiding packaged beverages saves a lot of waste from the landfill.

We recently added a Big Berkey Water Filter to our kitchen.  Considered by many to be the gold standard in water filtration, the Berkey is so effective that I could drink water ladled water directly from Lake Michigan!  Even though our tap water tastes great, I started looking into a water filtration system when I became concerned about the fluoride added to most municipal water supplies.  While the American Dental Association insists that approved fluoride levels are safe for human consumption, I am skeptical.  Most countries do not add fluoride to public water (more people drink artificially fluoridated water in the U.S. alone than in the rest of the world combined).  And, fluoride does not just affect the teeth – it can affect bones, brain, glands and blood sugar levels.

But, what really motivated me to add a Big Berkey to our kitchen was a Harvard study that found that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have significantly lower IQ scores than kids who live in areas with low-fluoride water. I don’t think the supposed benefits outweigh the risks for my family.

I asked our dentist about fluoride, and even he admitted that fluoride has no positive impact on the dental health of people over the age of 7.  If that is the case, then why are cities adding this non-essential medicinal supplement to our water supply?  My kids don’t drink sugary pop or eat sugary cereals, they brush teeth twice a day with regular toothpaste, and we visit the dentist regularly. I just don’t think we want to take the risk when we are cautious in so many other ways.

My interest in the Berkey didn’t stop at fluoride. A recent study found 18 unregulated chemical contaminants in water samples from 30% of our nation’s water utilities.  The chemical toxins included eleven perfluorinated chemicals, two solvents, a herbicide, an antibacterial compound, a metal toxin, an anti-depressant and caffeine.  Eek!  Fortunately, our Big Berkey filters out this spooky stuff.

The Big Berkey has been a wonderful and seamless addition to our daily life.  I perched it next to our kitchen sink for easy refills, which I have to do only once a day thanks to the Berkey’s large tank.  The kids can easily reach it, too, so they are drinking a lot more water.  And, it is made from stainless steel (not plastic, which I avoid whenever possible).  Hooray for Big Berkey!

For more information about fluoride, check out two opposing teams and make your own informed decision:



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9 Comments for this entry

  1. Great Grandma Smithe says:

    The number one “prescription” to avoid kidney stone formation in adults, is 64oz of pure water….every day. Believe me—do everything you can to avoid having to pass a kidney stone..Having Big Berkey on our kitchen counter just might encourage that healthy hydration every day !

  2. Brooke says:

    How does the Big Berkeley compare to water filters built into refrigerators? Does it filter much more effectively?

    • Maureen says:

      It is my understanding that the ones in refrigerators are not nearly as effective. The Berkey’s filter fluoride, and I believe the ones commonly found in refrigerators do not. The Berkey really gets everything out!

  3. Chris Filter says:

    Nice share Maureen I will add some review about /Big Berkey soon.

  4. Jenine says:

    Great water is essential to life, and I do not mean the stuff that comes from the tap. All tap water should be filtered with a water filter in some way, however, the 18 contaminants that are suggested above, are only a fraction of the contaminants that are found in the water. And, to remove all of them, something more effective needs to be used, such as reverse osmosis, as they are the only systems to provide truly safe water.

  5. Katy Hinsdale says:

    any particular reason you chose the big berkey over the royal berkey? Just curious as i’m a family of five (kids are 6, 4 and 1 1/2). Thanks!

    • Maureen says:

      The Big Berkey does hold a lot of water, and so far we have never run out (I fill it once a day). I think I based my choice on cost and overall size, but in reality the Royal is less than $30 more and only 3 inches taller so if you worry about having enough water go for the bigger one.

  6. Louise says:

    Fluoride is something that needs to be removed from the water, at all costs. It is the main active ingredient in rat poison, and is very poisonous in the form they use, which is sodium fluoride. Normal, natural fluoride, is healthy, but not the stuff they put in the water. And, there are hundreds of other contaminants in the water that need to be removed, but this water filter will not remove them all. It will remove some of them, the common ones, that people are aware of, and the ones listed in water quality reports or water tests. But when a thorough test is done, by a private lab, which is about $200, the list is about 3 pages long. Even the EPA has stated that they cannot monitor all of the contaminants in the water, and have outsourced the job to several other water quality groups to watch designated contaminants.

  7. Vencent says:

    I also have a big berkey water filter in my house. Before that, I used some RO system, but I find that the big berkey water filtration system is the most effective water filter I have used.

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