I purchased the Berkey Light water filter a few months ago. When I made the purchase I also had the option of getting a free accessory. I decided that the portable sport bottle would go well in my 72-hour kit (Bug out Bag).
Here are some of the stats on the Berkey Light filter:
- Can process 6000 gallons of water
- 2 1/2 gallon storage chamber
- Filters 3.75 gallons of water per hour
- Includes elevated base
Set up for the water filter is quite easy. There are three main pieces: the upper chamber, lower chamber, and base. All three simply snap together. The spigot and filters are fitted with some washers and thumb nuts. Setup is 5 minutes if you are taking it slow.
The first thing that you must do before filtering water is to prime the filters. Berkey provides a rubber gasket that you can to prime the filter from any water tap. My concern is that what if you are using an untrusted water source to prime your water? In that instance you are going to have to toss out the first couple of gallons of water, then thoroughly clean the bottom chamber. If you don’t have access to any pressurized water source then you can get your filter to 70% efficiency by soaking the filter nozzle side up in water for several hours. If you use this method then make sure that the nozzle is above water. The Berkey FAQ provides additional insight into how the filters work.
After setting up, priming and filtering a few gallons of water I decided a taste test was in order. I got three glasses of water: 1 from the tap, 1 from the Berkey, and one from by refridgerator which has a Brita water filter installed. After letting all three glasses come to room tempurature (so the cold water didn’t have an advantage) I did a rather informal blind taste test.
The Brita and Berkey filter water both tasted excellent. The tap water was obvious. I actually ended up picking the Brita water as my favorite in the test, but it was very close. I’m sure that since I’ve been drinking the Brita water for so long that my taste buds were more attuned to that. My conclusion though was that the Berkey water was just as good as any filtered water I’ve had.
At this point I would definitely recommend the Berkey Water filters. The Berkey Light fit my budget, and had a good capacity. Looking back however I would probably get one of the stainless steel models. The main reason for this is that they look much nicer. I had the Berkey Light in the kitchen for about a week when I first got it. By the end of that time my wife wanted it gone because it was too ugly.
Originally posted at http://www.thelances.net/james/2009/08/berkey_light_water_filter_revi.html