For years I was a die-hard Berkey user and would refuse to touch any other water. I would refill my Berkey daily, using it for drinking, filling water bottles, cooking, washing veggies, literally anything you can use water for. We even went as far as unplugging the water line to our fridge so that our kids couldn't go up to the water dispenser on the fridge to fill up their glasses or bottles; we forced them to use the Berkey as well.
But as time went by I thought there had to be another option when it came to getting good, clean water without having to constantly fill up the container.
We looked into reverse osmosis systems, whole house filtration systems, other Berkey-type gravity filters, and multi-stage under sink filters. We looked high and low for every option out there. Let's just say we were very skeptical. We weren't upset with the Berkey's filtration effectiveness but more so the practicality of the system in general. It's just not very practical!
The goal was to get clean and safe water on-demand
During the research phase of what our other options were, I came across an Instagram post from Clearly Filtered showcasing recent information about the water quality in our state. The post talked about contaminants like Arsenic, Pesticides, Bacteria, PFOAs, Lead in the drinking water. Basically all the things that I knew were in our water, hence the Berkey, but also I was unaware any other water filter was even capable of removing those things.
And here's the straw that broke the camel back (no pun). I was trying to wash all of my organic veggies (we grow a lot of these in our yard) in my sink. This requires a lot of clean, contaminant-free water. And it is sooooo frustrating having to use my Berkey to do this! Haul the Berkey over to the sink, open the spigot and frantically clean the veggies with the water, refilling the Berkey and waiting for it to filter again, to then clean more veggies. I was done. This could not be the best solution.
Here were my issues with the Berkey:
Filling up WAY too often
For the amount of water that our family was drinking (and using) we were filling up the system way too often. Even though the filters last so long it didn't matter. The frustration of filling up the Berkey trumped the filters life span. We go through gallons of water a day drinking, cooking, baking, for the pets, for the house plants. It's amazing how many things preferred the clean water. And a Berkey is far from clean water on-demand, which is exactly what we needed.
Portability was a nightmare
Like I said above, to carry that huge tank across the kitchen, fill it up, and then lift a VERY heavy jug back over to the other side of the kitchen. It wasn't a question of if I was gonna hurt myself, it was when. I actually dented the side of my Berkey because I dropped it while moving too. Water shot EVERYWHERE! It weighed way too much for me to be moving it around.
Cleaning often was a must
Once the water is filtered through a Berkey, it basically creates the perfect environment for Bacteria and Mold to grow; a dark, cool, wet place. I would constantly find myself worried about whether or not we were drinking water that had been sitting in a moldy drum. They state the container is anti-microbial but I oftentimes was able to clean mold pores from the inside of the clean water holding tank. And the worst part is you can't even see in to know if you should be cleaning!
It is not convenient
Clean water is great and there's no doubt Berkey did a good job at making our water clean, but when we found Clearly Filtered it made it apparent how inconvenient the Berkey was. With the Clearly Filtered systems you actually remove more contaminants and they fit right into your daily life. Our Under Sink System has free'd up so much of my times and made my quest for clean water SO MUCH EASIER! Straight from the tap. Couldn't be easier.
I reached out to Clearly Filtered to see if they could help with what we were looking for in a filter but also to see if they could help with the frustrations we were having with our Berkey. Here are the questions that I asked and the answers provided:
First off, can I say that I received a response to my first questions in a matter of hours. The answers were thorough and got me most of the information that I needed.
We decided on purchasing the 3-Stage Under Sink System because it just made the most sense for us when we looked at the amount of water we drink and use for the other things. I guess my decision wasn't that difficult because I was already so frustrated with my Berkey that I knew i needed to find a better option for me and the family.
We order the system, it was delivered within a few days. My husband wasn't home when it was delivered and I was so giddy about getting the system in, I crawled under the kitchen sink myself just to see if I thought I could do it. I was convinced I could but cooler heads prevailed and I waited until my husband got home so he could instal the system.
He installed it it less than 10 minutes (just like the video Clearly Filtered has about the instal) and turned around to me as he reappeared from under the sink and his exact words were, "That was so easy. You could have easily done this!" Well, thanks babe!
I will say, one thing that took some getting used to was to make sure that the water needed to be on the all-the-way-cold setting to know that we were getting clean, filtered water, but once that became second nature, we've had no issues.
Couldn't be happier with our new water, and now the Berkey is packed away in storage waiting for another day. Clean water on-demand with Clearly Filtered has really changed our lives.