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The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being sick

Al K. Hall

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#1
I've personally promoted the Black Berkey elements for years. That ended tonight.

I learned a few weeks back that one of the "laboratory tests" New Millennium Concepts, Ltd., the manufacturer of the Black Berkey elements, asserts (asserted?) to be valid in supporting the Black Berkey's efficacy was outright fraudulent. This test was alleged to have been performed at Louisiana State University, but the professor cited on the report will cheerfully tell you that the report NMC peddled was not done by him.

This got me concerned. So, I did some home testing. And what the hell, the Coliform bacteria test is positive! All this while, I believed what was said about the "greatness" of the Berkey system. Including the now-obvious nonsense of the Black Berkey elements being "self-sterilizing."

How far this scam goes I do not know. I had confidence in them, total confidence, enough to trust my family's health to them. To put it bluntly, they "conned" me. Confidence artists, nothing more.

If you use the Berkey system, you owe it to yourself and your family's well-being to do your own testing. And start demanding some real analytic reports from NMC.
 

Al K. Hall

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#2
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Further research is showing that most of the "independent distributor" type water filter/purifier companies are making claims that range from "sort of true" to outright deceitful.

ProPur, Alex Jones' favorite, claims to be "NSF certified." This is untrue. If you write to NSF, they will tell you that ProPur products are not certified. In reality, in a few cases, one component of some of their products is certified - for another company, Ceramic Filters Company, Inc., who apparently makes parts for, or the entire ProPur elements. I say "apparently" since neither company involved will outright admit the whole truth of the matter (basically, it's limited to "we have a 'relationship' with them"). CFCi's main product is the AquaCera line, but there is some question as to their continued relationship with Fairey Industrial Ceramics, the owner/manufacturer of Doulton & British Berkefeld products. It is unclear if AquaCera is a truly new product, or a re-branded Doulton. CFCi began as an importer for Doulton.

So far, it appears that Fairey Industrial Ceramics' own "Doulton" products (e.g., the white Sterasyl candles) are legit in both claims of certification and efficacy, along with the popular & ubiquitous product "Pur" (made by either Procter & Gamble or Kaz, Inc.; it's unclear who is the current owner).

This is a lesson of "take nothing on faith." Research, research, research. Especially when it involves health claims...and what could become quite real effects on your health if those health claims are false.
 

Thornapple

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#3
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

The Armchair Survivalist did a show on the history of the two companies and how New Millennium basically decided to go the cheap China crap way. The ceramic silver impregnated filters are what everyone should have. The black filters are just plain old carbon filters and are really only good for removing chlorine taste.

The show was from April 8th 2012 which you can listen to here

http://gsradio.net/armchairsurvivalist/

4/8/12 show MP3:
http://mediaarchives.gsradio.net/armchair/040812.mp3
 

Bx3

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#4
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Dump the Berkeys. Go with what works in real third world countries. Katadyn Ceradyn and Sawyer Squeeze and Point Zero Two (rated to filter 1 million gallons to include viruses). Bx3
 

Malus

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#5

Thornapple

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#6
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

I have a couple of those. You can buy it cheaper at CheaperThanDirt.com if you supply your own food grade buckets and don't mind drilling a couple of holes.

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/CAMP-352


Also have a Katadyn for the BOB because its small and packable, yet still a ceramic filter.
 
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#7
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

mm



I kept telling you guys but few would listen ...... buy American.

 

rampage

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#8
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

mm



I kept telling you guys but few would listen ...... buy American.

That's a nice design, filters through a ceramic stone.
 

ttazzman

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#9
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

mm



I kept telling you guys but few would listen ...... buy American.


i dont have any testing.....but that is what is on my shelf...........my intent would also to be to expose to sunlight after filtration
 

gringott

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#10
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Does aqua rain have a flouride filter?
 

Zilver

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#11
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

.


I love my Berkey,
the water tastes great and I think it works well.
I use the old style white filters, they have been around a long time and have been proven effective
(These water filters have truly stood the test of time)

:idea:
did you check your black filters for cracks?
Berkey has a page that explains how to check them with food coloring here:
 
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#12
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Does aqua rain have a flouride filter?
Water filters use activated charcoal to remove fluorine and chlorine, the chemicals bond to the carbon.

Ceramic filters use porous ceramic material called a "micro sieve" that blocks pathogens and heavy metals from passing thru the filter.

The ceramic filters in the AquaRain have an activated charcoal core.

Neither AquaRain nor Berkey will remove Viral contamination, use whatever means you have if your water source is suspect to virus contamination i.e., Boil, UV lamp, Ozone Injection or Chlorination.

Do not use Iodine as a long term purification process due to cumulative iodine in the thyroid glands.

Any gravity or pressure water filter that claims to be a "purifier" is using an iodine matrix filter - great for emergencies but bad for long term.

I use to carry a First Need water purifier in the backcountry but it was a short lived filter that used an iodine matrix. Now I use a MSR mini water works ceramic filter with a Steripen UV purifier.
 

earplugs

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#13
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

I drank some berkey water and thought it was nasty, tasted too chemically for me. Never used it again. what a waste of money.
 

Al K. Hall

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#14
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Water filters use activated charcoal to remove fluorine and chlorine, the chemicals bond to the carbon.
Not true in the case of fluoride compounds. Fluoride filters (generally) use aluminum to bind the fluoride. I believe certain ceramics work at mechanically blocking it.


I use to carry a First Need water purifier in the backcountry but it was a short lived filter that used an iodine matrix. Now I use a MSR mini water works ceramic filter with a Steripen UV purifier.
The First Need is the only one to my knowledge that does not use iodine for "purification."
 

Al K. Hall

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#15
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

.


I love my Berkey,
the water tastes great and I think it works well.
I use the old style white filters, they have been around a long time and have been proven effective
(These water filters have truly stood the test of time)

:idea:
did you check your black filters for cracks?
Berkey has a page that explains how to check them with food coloring here:
The food coloring "test" is one of the worst anti-scientific confidence scams in consumer products there is. Most contaminants are smaller than the dye/colorant particles, so it proves nothing.

And no, the elements are not cracked or damaged in any way. Further, cracks in this situation would be irrelevant, since the source water is not contaminated. The bacterial contamination is from the internal chamber of falsely-claimed "self-sterilizing" Black Berkey elements.

I think that the fact NMC refuses to provide real (traceable, verifiable) lab analyses, and even forged at least one of them, demonstrates that their product is something to be avoided at all costs.

If you are using the white elements, then you are using either a genuine NSF-certified Doulton Sterasyl candle, or a knock-off, but not topic of this thread, a Black Berkey.
 

Al K. Hall

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#16
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Dump the Berkeys. Go with what works in real third world countries. Katadyn Ceradyn and Sawyer Squeeze and Point Zero Two (rated to filter 1 million gallons to include viruses). Bx3
These may be fine for in-the-wilderness potable water, but are woefully impractical for daily home use. I'd also like to see credible evidence of the "1 million gallons" claim. NMC's claim of even "3,000 gallons" per element is so much crap.
 

Thornapple

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#17
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Some of the Katadyn use ceramic silver impregnated filters just like the large ceramic ones. You can take them out and clean them and reuse them just the same.

http://www.katadyn.com/usen/katadyn...s-endurance-series-products/katadyn-pocket-1/


However I agree that for daily use you wouldn't want to use a hand pump filter. A gravity drip one would be far more convenient. But the Katadyns are great for a bug out bag or to put in emergency trunk bag. They are a bit pricey, the one above is about $300.
 

platinumdude

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#18
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

So are the buckets better than aquarain?
 

j-son

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#20
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

because of this thread, i learned about sawyer squeeze...i have been watching youtube videos on it.
seems nice to have for portable water needs.


i use the big berkey in the home with black filters.

seems ok to me but then again i think my tap water is ok too.
 

Thornapple

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#21
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

So are the buckets better than aquarain?
The bucket solution's advantage is that its really, really, cheap and anyone can afford to do it. If you can afford a better made unit by all means do so. The buckets are obviously unattractive on your counter top if you use it daily. But for a cheap emergency solution where you don't care how it looks its great. Even if you buy a couple as spares to give to friends during emergency times so they can have water too.
 
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#22
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

The bucket solution's advantage is that its really, really, cheap and anyone can afford to do it. If you can afford a better made unit by all means do so. The buckets are obviously unattractive on your counter top if you use it daily. But for a cheap emergency solution where you don't care how it looks its great. Even if you buy a couple as spares to give to friends during emergency times so they can have water too.

And then there are people who actually use these water filters.

When I see peeps actually spending millions of dollars for millions of bottles of water and the millions of stupid bottles piling up ...

... I loose my faith in collective intelligence.
 

mayhem

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#23
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

I'm on well water that has some aftertaste. Had it checked and it is safe to drink, just has a little sulpher taste.(well I do live in S. FL.)

Set up the bucket filter system using three candle filters with a 3 gallon bucket for a base in the laundry room ten years ago. We have better water than you can buy, and that comes from anyone who tastes it. We store in in 1 gallon jugs.(about 10 of them) We started with berkey's but switched to silver impregnated ceramic filters the last time we changed out the filters 4 years ago. I keep 6 on hand as spares, so I'm good for another 10 years or so.

Y'all can waste your money on these expensive stainless filters if you want to, but it makes no sense to me.
 

Bx3

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#24
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

These may be fine for in-the-wilderness potable water, but are woefully impractical for daily home use. I'd also like to see credible evidence of the "1 million gallons" claim. NMC's claim of even "3,000 gallons" per element is so much crap.
Al, I never recommend any product that I don't either own or have at least first hand experience with. I happen to own and have used all of the filters I mentioned. Yes the Squeez is a portable model but the Ceradyn and Point Zero Two are both bucket or bucket capable filters. If 1g/hr for 39,000 gallons (Ceradyn) or 3+g/hr for up to 1 million gallons (Point Zero Two) isn't suitable for daily home use then please tell us what is. Are there more practical home filter systems available? Absolutely yes. But both models are in the same "gravity/bucket" category as the Berkey which is what I am comparing them against. Even if Sawyers claims for 1 million gallons is overly optimistic (which I have no reason to doubt) at 1/10th of their claim you are still at 100,000 gallons. Obviously the turbidity of the water you start with will determine the life and effectiveness of any filter system. If you need more clean water than that, you have bigger problems. Bx3
 

Garyw

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#25
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

I traveled across the country for 3 months this spring camping and used a bucket system with one black berkey filter in the center. I have used it for about a year now before I went on vacation. My question is I ran into bad water in many places and the worst was in Yuma AZ. It is salty or do I just boil it. My filter will not filter salt out of water. Is there a filter that will?
 

Zilver

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#26
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

The food coloring "test" is one of the worst anti-scientific confidence scams in consumer products there is. Most contaminants are smaller than the dye/colorant particles, so it proves nothing.

And no, the elements are not cracked or damaged in any way. Further, cracks in this situation would be irrelevant, since the source water is not contaminated. The bacterial contamination is from the internal chamber of falsely-claimed "self-sterilizing" Black Berkey elements.

I think that the fact NMC refuses to provide real (traceable, verifiable) lab analyses, and even forged at least one of them, demonstrates that their product is something to be avoided at all costs.

If you are using the white elements, then you are using either a genuine NSF-certified Doulton Sterasyl candle, or a knock-off, but not topic of this thread, a Black Berkey.
:hmmmm2:
RGC002-willis.jpg

The test will show if your filter / filters have a crack in them
they cannot "self-sterilize" if you have a crack or loose bases and unfiltered water is let through
 

stAGgering

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#27
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

mm



I kept telling you guys but few would listen ...... buy American.


Have a couple and have coiled .9999 silver wire inside the holding tank. Same as my stainless canteens.
 
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#28
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Have a couple and have coiled .9999 silver wire inside the holding tank. Same as my stainless canteens.

The water doesn't stay too long in mine, it fills the water pitchers in the fridge.

The silver ceramic do a great job ..... silver is a noble, human friendly metal.
 
Last edited:

mayhem

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#29
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

I traveled across the country for 3 months this spring camping and used a bucket system with one black berkey filter in the center. I have used it for about a year now before I went on vacation. My question is I ran into bad water in many places and the worst was in Yuma AZ. It is salty or do I just boil it. My filter will not filter salt out of water. Is there a filter that will?
As far as I know only RO will remove salt from water.
 

8bit

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#30
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Astonishing. I've been using mine for the past year and was looking for replacement filters.
 

Al K. Hall

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#31
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

:hmmmm2:
View attachment 19956

The test will show if your filter / filters have a crack in them
they cannot "self-sterilize" if you have a crack or loose bases and unfiltered water is let through
The food coloring test is not scientific.

Read that again: the food coloring test is not scientific.

The colorant/dye particles are larger than most contaminants. No food coloring in the output does not mean "pure." Cracks in the elements are just as easily found by physical examination.

And the Black Berkey elements do not self-sterilize because they have no ability to do so. Period. NMC refuses to disclose what alleged (read: non-existent) element/substance supposedly does the "self-sterilization" regardless of the structural integrity of the elements themselves. If the Black Berkey contained silver (or anything that causes an oligodynamic effect), there would be no positive result for coliform bacteria.
 
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#32
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Astonishing. I've been using mine for the past year and was looking for replacement filters.
The black Berkeys do a great job filtering potable city water.

It must be getting real popular because I'm starting to see those black charcoal filters on little water bottles at Wallyworld.
 

bubbles

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#33
Re: The Black Berkey system is a sick joke - and one that may end up with you being s

Can i use some of the Doulton filters on my big berkey? Specifically these Also if i do use these filters or get the aqua rain how do i kill the viral stuff? Thanks for the info guys. I wish i would of listen to you minimus.
 

Always

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#34
ok. i'm going to pay to have my berkey water professionally tested too. full panel. i'm sick of not knowing what's what.