Water filter questions answered easily...

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I learned this from Gary North's postings. Instead of buying the expensive Big Berkey (approx. $300.00) water filter, get one of the replacement elements for it. This will run $30.00 to $40.00, depending on who you buy from. Drill a hole in the bottom of a clean container, and install the filter inside, and then fill that container. Then, put another container underneath the first one to let the filtering water drip into. I used tupperwares and so-forth from Walmart, and got the whole set-up for a total of around forty- something dollars. You can get those 2-gal. water dispensers that have a little pouring tap at the bottom for around 5 or 6 dollars. My water is Berkey clean for a paltry fraction of the price of a Berkey.

Store up that water from the water system in 2-gal. pop bottles. Even though it is true that stored county or city water is not too good to keep past a certain amount of time, wouldn't you rather pour THAT through your filter than creek water if at all possible?

Hope this helps folks save money and lives.


-- Toothperson (a@a.a), October 26, 1999


Yeah, you can do this if money is a problem for you. But your wife won't like it.

Someone will come into your kitchen and unless you use first-class materials, they find what looks like a piece of junk on the kitchen counter. I've seen some homemade filters and they look terrible. I'm sure Toothperson's model is much better, however.

If you spend more money can have a very nice looking stainless steel Big Berkey that will last a lifetime. Your wife won't mind it sitting there and will even show it off to friends.

Take it from one who's been there...done that.

-- walt (longyear@shentel.net), October 26, 1999.

Here's an idea, sir: How about taking the $300.00 for one Berkey outfit and putting together 6 or 7 of the type I mentioned. You don't have to have them out in the open, but can store them away for later use when you want to help people who are without water. (Actually, our set-up is quite attractive, even though it isn't the $300.00 stainless model.

You know, buying the pretty one so as to have a Beverly Hills 90210 look in the kitchen is understandable, but if things really get nasty, I think that we will all be glad that we did not buy those Polo shirts and Vaurnet sunglasses, but instead, put things away for the rainy day that came.

Respectfully submitted, Tp

-- Toothperson (a@a.a), October 26, 1999.


Great idea - thanks for sharing. Many of us are indeed looking for effective, inexpensive things we can do - this one could be a lifesaver.

For more ideas and a little more $$, check out http://www.pwgazette.com/gravity.htm Their solutions may be a little more tolerable to the interior decorator types - to each his own. I bought their "style B" as an emergency filter and am quite happy with it. My wife is DGI and doesn't know about it yet, and when she does, I doubt she will care what it looks like. I also bought an undersink unit that they fitted with a Doulton ceramic. For those looking for something they can use now, PWP also sells several smart looking countertop units that can easily be converted to an emergency filter, which they'll help you do. PWP is definitely worth checking out - they have solutions for all prices, starting at $6 adapter + $31 Doulton cartidge, on up from there.


-- Eyell Makedo (make_do@hotmail.com), October 27, 1999.

Well, it might turn out that your savings aren't quite as great as you think.

Berkeys use 4 filters. Those provide them with a given output (gallons per hour) and a total filter life time (gallons of water filtered until filters have to be replaced). If you go to 1 filter, it will take 4 times as long to filter the same amount of water. You'll need to change the filters after only 1/4 the amount of water as the Berkey.

To put it another way, in order to gtet the same performance as from a Berkey, you'd need 4 filters (at $40 each), so you're up to $160 before you even consider the cost of the containers ($20, $30?)

BTW, the Berkey doesn't cost $300 -- more like $260. So, you really haven't saved a lot, have you?

-- berkey (owner@satisfied.yes), October 27, 1999.

I did not want to answer the above comment, as it was no-doubt from the individual who flamed the little lady who was nice enough to post the rice pudding recipie (or someone just as quarrelsome), but here goes:

No, you do not get the same production from a one-filter set-up. If you really insist on comparing apples-to-apples, get the four-filter package deal for $106.00, which is listed in various places on the 'net. Again, the tupperwares will cost $6-$10 for everything. THERE! You satisfied? Got the SAME production for $116.00 instead of your $260.00.

You know, it looks like most DGI's don't get it because they really are DWGI's, as with the whole Y2k issue. Most DWGI's don't wanna get it because it will upset their applecart of comfortable living and finances. In this simple filter solution case, the dont't wanna get it because they bought an expensive unit, and they dislike seeing someone finding their solution for much less...OR...they are Berkey dealers, and they don't want their business finances upset.

Are you so very insecure that you cannot admit that there may be a better way than the one you chose. Hey, even if you paid more than you had to, you still get great, life-saving water. And if you are dealers, shame on you for trying to smash competition. Be happy, you flamers.

BTW, I bought a $250.00 Katydine months ago, so I had to admit that there was a better way than my first one as well, so chill!


-- Toothperson (a@a.a), October 27, 1999.

The latest Real Goods hard-copy catalogue has an easy-to-read water filter comparison chart. Features included (besides the usual) are cost (initial unit and replacement filters), number of gallons of water purified by filter, and organisms and impurities filtered. It may be on their site bhut a quick seqarch didn't uncover it. Here is their water filters page:


-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 27, 1999.

I think everybody better go take a water break.

-- Thirsty (notachance@no.way), October 27, 1999.


Thanks for the good post and clear instructions - I appreciate it. (I'm known as the tp lady to a GI friend, but it doesn't stand for Toothperson!)


Nice that you can set your priorities on things to show off to the neighbors - I never have - but money IS a problem for some of us, especially now, when we've spent to the bone and have 5 more paydays left, possibly in our lives. Who cares if something basic to survival is pretty to look at? Cockeyed values are apparent in all groups, I guess. It ain't Beverly Hills at my house.

-- Scat (sgcatique@webtv.net), October 27, 1999.

I have the cheap pump filters from Real Goods--will work for 500 gallons each and filter all the bad little germs. I have ordinary Britta filters that I'm using for water right now, so I can use them to filter my germ-free water to remove chemicals. Voila.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), October 27, 1999.

Mara, am using the same! I have two of those British pump filters (about $30 from realgoods.com), 500 gallons each. And I also have some activated charcoal and sand to make my own filter (if needed) down the road for the rainwater I catch and (possibly) the nearby reservoir and creek. Oh, and lots of coffee filters to take out the big bits first, save wear and tear on the filters.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 28, 1999.

TP i think this is awesome. I have a katydyn but never thought of this approach. So at least when people are looking for ideas once TSHTF, I can share this idea.

-- tt (cuddluppy@yahoo.com), October 28, 1999.

You bet! And when you understand that this will filter over 15,000 gallons...Whooeee...let's go swimmin'


-- Toothperson (a@a.a), October 28, 1999.

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