Paradox
©
Fisana

Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

DIY Black Berkey Water Filter


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:32 AM

In case your not in the know about Black Berkey filters they are the only gravity powered filtration sytem on the market (to the best of my knowledge) that meets the EPA standards to be called water purifier.

Here is an clip from Berkeys website. https://www.berkeyfi...specifications/   I'm not going to post here everything it filters out as it takes a lot of space with all the herbicides, pesticides, petrochemicals, dangerous metals, pharmaceuticals, ect...

But you should click and look, as its an impressive list.

 

Many water filters on the market may claim to be a purifier but do not meet the performance specifications required for this classification. In order to be classified as a water purifier, a water treatment device must remove at least 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria (known as a log 6 reduction in the water treatment industry) and reduce viruses by 99.99% (log 4 reduction). Our Berkey water filter systems can be classified as a water purifier because the elements actually remove 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria (log 9 reduction) and 99.999% of viruses which greatly exceeds the standards.

 

 

​Their complete systems can be quite expensive, but with a pair of replacement filters, and a pair of food grade buckets you can save your self quite a bit of coin for a very functional filter system.

 

It should be said that the filters themselves are expensive ($100-$120 a pair), but when you take into account that they filter 3000gal apiece the unit is good for 6000gal before you need to replace them.  That works out to 4gal a day of filtered water for over 4 years, at a price of <$.02gal.

 

You only need two 5gal food grade buckets, and a threaded spigot like you would put on a water cooler.

 

Here is vid on how to assemble the system.

[Direct Link]

 

 

 

 


  • coorsmikey, wharfrat, SteampunkScientist and 2 others like this

#2 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:44 AM

Here is pic of my Frankenstein. I've been running it for about 6 months now, and it easily supplies all the drinking, cooking, and animal water we need. You have to clean it every couple of months when it starts to slow down, but that just requires disassembly and a little scrubbing with a green kitchen scrubby pad, you just remove the slightest bit of the outside of the filter, and then it works as good as new again.


It isn't pretty, but it sure is ugly :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_0086 (1).jpg

  • onediadem, coorsmikey, SteampunkScientist and 1 other like this

#3 onediadem

onediadem

    Insidious Drivel

  • OG VIP
  • 14,402 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:54 AM

Thats pretty groovy!


  • Juthro likes this

#4 coorsmikey

coorsmikey

    Hippiecritical

  • App Administrator
  • 5,612 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:48 AM

Thanks Juthro! I may have to add some ugly to my Kitchen after seeing this. I’ve alway been kinda wanting one but DIY just makes that much more fun.
  • Juthro likes this

#5 pharmer

pharmer

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 3,654 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

If one was distilling things and inclined to filter them would this device get the job done without changing the distillate or stripping run output?


  • coorsmikey and Juthro like this

#6 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:41 PM

I should note that all the filters Berkey offers are not the same. The ones I used are the black filters, and are their premium filter, they also offer ceramic filters in their systems.

The ceramic filters are about half the cost of the black ones, but their life span is much shorter in the number of gallons they can filter before they are used up. They also don't filter to the level of being able to be called a water purifier. Combine that with the fact that deliver less then half the flow rate of the black filters.

The one thing the ceramic filters have going for them is they are much more durable, the black ones need to handled with care.

Amazon carries both kinds, if you want to look at them in comparison. Look for Berkey Black filters, and Berkey ceramic candle filters.

@Pharmer: I don't know how the filter would react to high% alcohol. But I'll poke around and see if I can find anyone who has tried.

#7 pharmer

pharmer

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 3,654 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:06 PM

I hadn't even considered what the alcohol would do to the filter, shame on me.

 

I was wondering if the filter would in any way squirrel the taste of the distillates.

 

Both are important.


  • Juthro likes this

#8 425nm

425nm

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 445 posts

Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:39 PM

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here but Berkey filter's website is raising a lot of redflags for me. This company is selling a black box and if you live somewhere you need to filter your water you should never trust a black box. Pick a system that is honest and transparent in how it works. Learn it so you can recognize when it stops working and fix it if you need too.

There is an awful lot of fake explaining going on. In several places where they're supposed to be explaining how their system works in "common terms" they basically dodge the question. Explaining a Scientific process in "common terms" or by analogy by no means excludes also specifying process names so that those that are interested can actually learn more on their own time. Yes, they link pages on the Science behind the methods they use but they are just Wikipedia pages for the general methods not the specific methods so you're left still not know how their system actually works. See here:
https://www.berkeyfi...erkey-purifies/

Paragraph 2 vaguely describes micro-filtration without specify what kind or a micron size (ie. how big the pores are on their filter).

Paragraph 3 sounds like their describing both a carbon filter (adsorption) but then goes on to talk about "ionic barriers" which if you read the Wikipedia page they link for adsoprtion is not how adsorption works. If you look here:
http://support.berke...-Berkey-Filters
They do list carbon derived from coconut shells. Pretty standard water filtration media but its not going to remove viruses. So we are left to trust that one of those other mystery medias does indeed remove viruses.

Paragraph 4 describes a de-ionization process which again is standard but they also don't specify what kind. Additionally there is no mention in any of this as to how this system raises the pH of the water which is listed in an FAQ elsewhere on the site. See:
http://support.berke...cation-Elements
Even there they don't answer the question. They just reassure you that its "healthful" nor do they specify how much it raises the pH which is important for if you actually want to inhibit bacteria. That is assuming high pH water will inhibit all pathogenic bacteria and that you don't have to achieve such a high pH that its actually bad for you to be consuming that water.

As far as I can tell this company doesn't hold a patent (I searched the US patent registry for the company and got nothing) for their revolutionary system which frankly is a little suspicious to me. If its so revolutionary why not patent it? That way they could be transparent about their process without having to worry about other companies knocking off their system. I'm not a huge fan of patents but I'm even less of a fan of proprietary hand waving and trade secrets. I'm sure their system does something but I suspect its just off the shelf parts using gravity to push water so it may well do something maybe even water they claim (which I highly doubt). I'd have to tear one apart and test it myself to believe it.

Us Patent database if you'd like to look for yourself:
http://patft.uspto.g...earch-bool.html

Edited by 425nm, 13 January 2018 - 05:40 PM.


#9 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:45 PM

Are you aware that Berkey is the American offshoot of the British company, Daulton, who has been making water filtration systems for the British military since the 1820's?

Almost two hundred years in the same business makes me think that they are not a flash in the pan, and selling a scam. And they are the only gravity system for sale that has been certified by the EPA to be called a water purification system.

I did my own research, and I don't think they are a new upstart trying to sell me a 'black box'.

But I'm not their salesman, you can make up your own mind and follow your own path.

edit: If you want to see the results of lab testing look at the bottom of the page from the first link I gave you. I think it was the one page that you didn't link to from Berkey's web site, lol.

Edited by Juthro, 13 January 2018 - 10:40 PM.

  • coorsmikey likes this

#10 sandman

sandman

    Darth Cultivar

  • Honorary Former Staff
  • 3,411 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:57 PM

I have actually made this exact thing last year. I found that the berkey black filters do not remove hardly any minerals at all from the water. 300 TDS in, 280 TDS out is what I was getting. I ended up just buying a reverse osmosis filter. 



#11 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:55 PM

I have actually made this exact thing last year. I found that the berkey black filters do not remove hardly any minerals at all from the water. 300 TDS in, 280 TDS out is what I was getting. I ended up just buying a reverse osmosis filter.


Their systems never claimed to deliver distilled water. It is made to remove potential pathogens and dangerous metals to supply clean drinking water.

They state right on their sight that they don't remove much in the way of minerals. That is actually a bonus for drinking water, and makes it taste better then distilled. Many bottled water companies actually add some minerals to their water to make it taste better.

I can tell you from my experience that it removes most of the iron from my water, by the fact the filtered water doesn't leave orange rings in my pans. Though it still leaves some white deposits if you boil the pan down all the way. I assume that it's calcium and lime. So I totally see where it wouldn't work for you if what you really wanted was an RO system.

If your suffering from very hard water, or your water has that nasty sulfur smell, this system works well IME. It lets me make good tasting beer with my well water, where before I had to buy water from the store. And it makes my morning coffee taste a LOT better. All this for a very affordable price, and a long life span.

EDIT: A clip from Berkey's FAQ page.

Berkey purification systems do not remove the beneficial minerals from the water, but they do extract harmful heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide. Therefore, the TDS (total dissolved solids) reading will not typically change much unless there are a lot of heavy metals or sedimentary minerals in the source water.


Edited by Juthro, 14 January 2018 - 02:55 PM.

  • sandman likes this

#12 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:38 PM

You know the one person here that I think could benefit from a system like this would be Alder Logs.

IIRC, he gets his drinking water from a spring or stream, and was concerned about the deforested land uphill being sprayed with glyphosate herbicides. That is one of the things that this filter is able to remove.

I also like the security of having it incase of a SHTF scenario happens. There is one road on and off the peninsula I live on. If we were to have a big earthquake or other natural disaster that cuts us off from power and supplies, we could be stuck here for quite awhile.

This way I could always run lake water through it to make drinking water. Entirely to much duck butter in that water to not have some means to clean and sterilize it before consumption.

What I really want is a generator, and transfer switch set up, so I could run the well pump....
Its on my x-mas list, but I think Santa is still waiting for me to be good.

Edited by Juthro, 14 January 2018 - 04:40 PM.

  • coorsmikey likes this

#13 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 12,759 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:10 PM

Never live downstream from a white man.

~an old  Indian proverb

 

I will check out this thread, Juth.  Thanks.


  • Skywatcher likes this

#14 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:38 PM

Never live downstream from a white man.
~an old  Indian proverb


If it were only an option :)

Hope you find something useful here, Alder.

#15 pharmer

pharmer

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 3,654 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:42 PM

another old saying

 

You can take cooking advice from a skinny man

But never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.


  • Skywatcher likes this

#16 onediadem

onediadem

    Insidious Drivel

  • OG VIP
  • 14,402 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:24 PM

another old saying

 

You can take cooking advice from a skinny man

But never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.

 

 

Whoa. That would make for one messed up prank.. I am out of likes lol.



#17 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:54 PM

LOL, that is pretty messed up :)

#18 425nm

425nm

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 445 posts

Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:53 AM

@Juthro - I'm not saying its an out and out scam. It just seems fishy to me. There are numerous "Berkey" websites all with slightly different domain names. I'm honestly not sure which one is the canonical one so to speak. Makes the thing hard to evaluate. I was not aware that they are affiliated with Doulton water filters partially due to that. Looking at a variety of those different Berkey website some have a history page and some do not.

As for their EPA certification. In their own words:
"The Black Berkey purification element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53 but has not yet been certified."

So initially I had missed the lab analysis PDFs on that first page you linked. I haven't scoured those thoroughly. The labs listed across sites match at least, though they don't all how the complete set of reports from the three companies. Specifically one has the Analytical services Inc report from 2009 and one does not.

If you look at theberkey.com 's test results page:
https://theberkey.co...ges/test-result
We're going to ignore the first part of that page because its just an un-cited comparison chart and then a graph that came from naturenews which is entirely unreliable as a source of any information.

Further down they actually specify which labs they used along with scans of the reports which is excellent. They used Enivrotek Laboratories, Inc., New Jersey, Environmental Toxicology Laboratory, LA, and Analytical Services, Inc (ASI). All the hyperlinks do go to actual websites except for Environmental Toxicology Laboratory which goes to the LA county website listing that mentions Environmental Toxicology Laboratory that is blank other than the name. So I am not sure what's happening with them.
Regardless you can actually get the list of EPA accredited laboratories. See:

https://www.epa.gov/...ing-rule-ucmr-4

If you click that hyper-linked PDF and scroll through you'll see that none of those labs are on the current list. Now to be fair that is from 2017-2021 and those reports are dated between 2014-2016. So lets hop over to the list for labs accredited by the EPA for 2012-2016. See, once again click that hyper-linked pdf:

https://www.epa.gov/...ing-rule-ucmr-3

Once again none of those labs are on the list.
Even going to Analytical services, Inc. Own website's accreditation page there is no mention of EPA accreditation:
http://www.analytica...ifications.html

If we look at Envirotek's info page:
http://www.enviroteklab.com/info.html
They have an EPA ID (If you can figure out how to actually look that number up please post it. The EPA website is a nightmare) certainly but they make no claims about being accredited by the EPA.

I still think there is something fishy going on but my determination to ferret it out is waning. I could be using the EPA's website incorrectly but that thing is a beast and not even a governmental agency I need to worry about. I'm not even saying that the filters do nothing. They may well do something. I am just unsatisfied with their level of transparency and I think it is reasonable to characterize it as a black box based on how vague their website is. Lots of tech is a black box doesn't mean it doesn't work though.

Edited by 425nm, 16 January 2018 - 01:54 AM.


#19 coorsmikey

coorsmikey

    Hippiecritical

  • App Administrator
  • 5,612 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 16 January 2018 - 02:21 AM

I'm not in the know of all the scientific data of the Berkey, and probably won't even go that deep into domains and labs. What I do know is when I was in Alaska my tap water came out brown or rust colored. The best description of the taste I can give is it tasted like blood. The same set up Juthro has posted left me with clear water that didn't stain everything it came in contact with nor did it taste like blood anymore. To me at the time was pretty damn helpful. So even it don't make whoevers specifcations or whatever lab report, this exact ghetto set up helped me out. I don't see why it couldn't help others either. Sometimes people just need better water because that's what's available. Some of us are in a different place that can be a lil more picky about their water. I don't believe this help tip for a water filter makes any claims to deliver anything but filtered water. Can we start another topic that goes more specifically into lab data and EPA guidelines? Let us folk with shitty water have a cheap improvement.

Edited by coorsmikey, 16 January 2018 - 02:24 AM.

  • Juthro likes this

#20 Juthro

Juthro

    dope smoking hillbilly

  • OG VIP
  • 6,720 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:42 PM

Tastes like blood? Have you been hanging out with Soliver again, Mikey? Actually, that's a pretty good descriptor.

Got to love that good interior Alaskan water :) I've been places here that you had to decide if showering was going to make you smell better, or worse, lol. (for real)

I'm not going to check web domains, or see what sites have history or not. I just know what works for me. And I'm also aware of the other systems out there. This by far is the cheapest, most effective setup I know of, and it makes my life a lot nicer by having it.

I said before, I'm not a salesman, I have no vested interest in Berkey. I encourage you to do your homework, and make your mind for yourself.
  • onediadem and coorsmikey like this




Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!