Water filtration is a complex science, we try to use common terms when possible so the explanation is more understandable, if you are interested in the science behind specific water purification methods used by Berkey, please follow the links contained within this page below.
Several well known methods are used to produce the Black Berkey® purification elements. These methods are combined and blended to produce a unique filter process the likes of which the world has never seen.
The first line of defense is that the Berkey purification elements are composed of a formulation of more than six different media types, all constructed into a very compact matrix containing millions of microscopic pores. These pores are so minute that they produce what we refer to as a torturous path that pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment and sedimentary minerals must travel through. These paths are so small that these pollutants physically cannot pass through them and become trapped eliminating them from your drinking water this is known as microfiltration.
Secondly our media formulation uses unique adsorption and absorbtion properties. Adsorption works to create an ionic barrier similar to surface tension. This barrier is perfectly suited to the micro-pourous water filter because it effectively allows the tiny pores to block water contaminants that are smaller than the pore size itself. This blocking process is how the Berkey water filter is able to remove submicron viruses that other brands of water filters cannot without the use of obnoxious chemicals like iodine or chlorine.
Next, the heavy metals ions (mineral molecules) are extracted from the water through an Ion exchange process where they are attracted to and transformed by electrically bonding to the media. Finally, because of their gravity flow nature, water molecules can take several minutes to pass through the filter elements whereas these water molecules passing through other filtration systems pass through in only fractions of a second. This longer contact time between the water molecules and the filter media, provides much greater removal rates of harmful water contaminates not obtainable through conventional pressurized water filtration methods.
Finally, Berkey systems are so effective at removing contaminants from water because of the extremely long “contact period”. Other filtration systems rely on water pressure that forces water molecules through the elements at 60-90 PSI. These water molecules come into contact with the filter media for a mere fraction of a second. By comparison, water molecules passing through the structure of the Black Berkey elements are drawn gently by gravity and stay in contact with the media for a long period of time. This allows the filter media to be more efficient in capturing contaminants. This advanced technology was developed, refined, and proven through years of diligent, investigative research and testing performed by water purification specialists, researchers, and engineers. The flow rate or time of exposure through the Black Berkey purification elements has been calculated to yield the greatest volume of removal of viruses, toxic chemicals, and bacteria.
As you can see, the Berkey water purifier incorporates several different scientific methods to produce unmatched drinking water quality. We are able to do all of this and still maintain simplicity. All that you as a Berkey user are required to do is simply pour water into the unit. All of the processes mentioned above will continue to work for you behind the scenes for many years to come. This long filter life allows you to produce purified drinking water for pennies a gallon.