watermatters has moved!

May 22nd, 2020

watermatters is now located at 3622 W. 4th Ave in Vancouver, BC.

Berkey® Water Filters Details

The Berkey® line of durable water purifiers are constructed of easy-to-clean, high quality 304 stainless steel. Compare 6 sizes of stainless water filters to find the one that best meets your needs.

Berky® Water Filters are collapsible for transport and storage.

Black Berkey® replacement filter cartridges are called ‘elements’. They are capable of filtering pathogenic bacteria, and parasite cysts. They can extract harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. They also reduces nitrates, nitrites and heavy metals such as lead and mercury.  They are so effective that they can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Each purifying element can filter up to 3000 gallons of water!

All Berkey® filtration systems are standard equipped with 2 purification elements (except for the compact Go Berkey® Kit which houses one element only). Most models can incorporate additional elements, if needed, for faster yields of purified water.

Water filtration and purification combined

In addition to being water filters, Berkey® systems are classified as water purifiers, meaning that they can intercept more than 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria (log 6 reduction). Water purifiers are microbiological barriers, a distinction not shared by water filters which intercept chemical and heavy metal contaminants (and possibly organisms like cysts that are larger than bacteria and viruses).

Black Berkey® purification elements are a very compact carbon matrix containing millions of microscopic pores, so minute that pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, and sediment cannot pass through them. They also utilize the properties of adsorbtion and absorbtion to remove a wide range of chemical contaminants and heavy metals.  Berkey® systems have the capabilities of water purifiers and water filters, combined.

Gravity pulls water through the Berkey® elements. This natural process gives water effective and lingering contact with the purifying media. In contrast, most other filtration systems force water rapidly through filtration media resulting in reduced contact time and sacrificing effectiveness.

Black Berkey® purification elements compared to white ceramic water filters

Ceramic filters are excellent at removing harmful bacteria from sediment heavy, contaminated drinking water but they do not filter chemical contaminants. Black Berkey® Purification Elements remove bacteria plus they reduce many chemicals, viruses, heavy metals, fertilizers and some radiological contaminants from drinking water. Berkey purification elements are so effective they can remove food coloring introduced into water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs.
Do not use Berkey® elements to filter salt water.

Guidelines for calculating water consumption

For sustained use (ongoing water needs for drinking, cooking, cleaning & hygiene), figure one to two gallons per day per person.
For short-term and/or emergency use, figure one half to one gallon per day per person.

Speed of refilling

Several factors influence the rate of refill.
–  By adding more elements to a Berkey® system the water is given more pathways and the speed of refilling increases.
–  Bigger systems hold more water in the upper reservoir creating more weight and pressure which forces the water through the elements at a faster flow rate.
–  As water levels drop, flow rates decrease.

Choose the right size Berkey® by your peak water needs

Bigger Berkey® systems have a larger holding capacity providing more reserve to meet peak consumption needs. Imagine maximum potential demands from all possible users converging simultaneously on your Berkey® for filtered water. Choose your Berkey® size to meet your peak water demand.

All units produce the same quality of water. The bigger systems produce more water.
The chart below is based on maximum flow when the upper chamber is full of water. The speed will decrease as the water level drops. If you use lots of water you should probably purchase the next size up from that indicated on the chart.


System Holding Capacity (Gal) Flow Rate* (GPH)
Travel Berkey® 1.5 2.75
Berkey Light® 2.4 3.75
Big Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 2.1 3.5
Big Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 2.25 7
Royal Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 3 4
Royal Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 3 8
Imperial Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 4.5 5.5
Imperial Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 4.5 11
Imperial Berkey® w/ 6 Filters 4.5 16.5
Crown Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 6 6.5
Crown Berkey™w/ 4 Filters 6 13
Crown Berkey™w/ 6 Filters 6 19.5
Crown Berkey™w/ 8 Filters 6 26


* Flow rate when upper chamber is full of water. Flow rate decreases as water level descends.

Black Berkey® elements can be cleaned and re-used repeatedly

After prolonged use (quality of source water will determine how long) the flow rate will start to slow. This is an indicator that the elements should be cleaned by scrubbing their exterior under running water with a 3m or ScotchBrite scrubbing pad (without soap!) or a stiff toothbrush. This cleaning process can be repeated many times as needed.

When should Berkey® elements be replaced?

Black Berkey® purification elements have an approximate filtration life capacity of 3000 gallons. However, capacity for some contaminants will be exhausted more quickly than for others. Therefore we recommend replacing elements approximately approximately every 18 – 24 months, especially if used with chlorinated water. Most certainly, if you have repeatedly cleaned your cartridges and cleaning no longer increases the flow rate, then it is time to replace the cartridges.

List of Contaminants Reduced

Pathogenic Bacteria, Cysts, and Parasites – REDUCED TO BELOW DETECTABLE LEVELS
E. coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia,  Cryptosporidium

Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane

Radon 222


Alachlor, Atrazine, Benzene, Carbofuran, Carbon Tetrachloride, Chlorine, Chlorobenzene, Chloroform, 2,4-D, DBCP, p-Dichlorobenzene, o-Dichlorobenzene, 1, 1-Dichloroethane,
1, 2-Dichloroethane, 1, 1-Dichloroethylene, cis-1, 2-Dichloroethylene,
Trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1, 2-Dichloropropane, cis-l,3-Dichloropropylene,  Dinoseb, Endrin,
Ethylbenzene, Ethylene Dibromide (EDB, ) Heptachlor, Heptachlor Epoxide, Hexachlorobutodiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Methoxychlor, MTBE, Pentachlorophenol, Simazine, Styrene, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, o-Xylene, m-Xylene, p-Xylene,

Heavy Metals – UP TO 95% REDUCTION
Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper
Nitrates, Nitrites, Rust, Silt, Sediment


Berkey® systems are warranted for 12 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey® purification elements have a two-year prorated warranty calculated in six months intervals.

Berkey® Test Results

2014 Independent Laboratory Test Results for the Black Berkey® Purification Elements were conducted by Envirotek Laboratories in New Jersey. Some highlights from these tests are that the Black Berkey® Purification Elements were found to remove Chloramines, Pharmaceuticals and  BPA, as well as an expanded list of pesticides and heavy metals.