How Does Berkey Water Filter Work? 2 Minutes Guide!

The Berkey water filter is a freestanding, effective water purification system that can provide drinking water for everyday use or emergencies.

Due to their gravity-fed nature, Berkey Water Filters work without electricity which is their main advantage. Using a Berkey water filter, you can drink safe and healthy water anywhere.

You have to pour the water into the upper chamber of the unit, and by time, the water reaches the lower chamber and is the safest and healthiest water to drink.

Moreover, in this article, we have discussed in deep detail how the Berkey water filter works. So let’s jump into it.

How Does Berkey Water Filter Work? (In-Detail Guide)

working of berkey water filter

The Black Berkey water Filters are sometimes referred to as Black Berkey Purification Elements, and they are the backbone of the entire Berkey System.

Here is the answer to your question “How Berkey Water Filter Works””. It works on three main principles Absorption, adsorption, and microfiltration. Combining and blending these principles creates a unique filter process.


Black Berkey Filters’ material is the first line of defence against contaminants.

More than six media types are used to construct each cylindrical filter, a compact matrix containing millions of microscopic pores.

Water passes through millions of tiny holes in the surface topography of the filter elements.

Pollutants can’t physically pass through these holes because they are so small. Additionally, these micropores follow a tortuous path through the filter shell.

Moreover, it provides even more excellent protection against bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediments, and sedimentary minerals.

A Berkey filter is similar to the old Royal Doulton or British Berkefeld filters.

Today, there are more contaminants to contend with than just germs. Industrial and agricultural activities can introduce pollutants into the water, such as heavy metals or volatile chemicals, that require more than just microfiltration.


During this step of the filtering process, Berkey uses ion exchange technology. Leaving a box of baking soda open in the fridge will similarly absorb the funny smells.

In the ion exchange process, the ions of heavy metals (chromium, lead or copper) are attracted to and transformed into metallic gases by electrically bonding to the media.

Molecules with ions are unbalanced since the number of electrons is not equal to the number of protons.

When molecules seek balance, they are attracted to molecules with the same charge. A Black Berkey filter is charged with ions, which attract contaminants.

Berkey’s bottom chamber prevents those molecules from entering the drinking water as they are permanently bonded to the filter.


The process of adsorption creates ionic barriers similar to those made by surface tension. Micropore barriers block contaminants such as submicron viruses that are smaller than the pores themselves.

The Berkey water filter uses the electrostatic charge of viruses to pull them against tunnel walls in the “tortuous path” of the filter.

Like static cling, it grabs onto tiny viruses and never lets them go.

In addition to its ability to filter out viruses, Berkey is classified as a water purifier and a filter. Other water filters can not do this without using harmful chemicals, such as chlorine or iodine.

Advantages Of Using Berkey Water Filter

Using a Berkey water filter is very beneficial due to its unique features. Here is the list of the top significant advantages of using a Berkey water filter.

1. Provides Healthy Water

Berkey water filters are more reliable than other filtration systems because they often remove viruses, harmful pathogens and parasites.

Furthermore, it also removes unhealthy chemicals, impurities, and contaminants from the water, while retaining essential minerals for your body.

Using a Berkey system, you will be able to produce healthy, clean, and delicious water.

2. Convenient

Berkey water filters are highly convenient. They have a super easy installation which you can do in just a few minutes without any tools, electricity, plumbing or water pressure.

Moreover, these filters are very easy to operate. You can get healthy and safe water in just a few seconds.

These filters do not require too much maintenance and are very easy to maintain.

3. Economical

Among all water filtration systems, Berkey is the most economical choice. With their unique design, the purification elements can be easily removed and cleaned over and over again.  

This set of two Black Berkey filters will provide clean water for approximately 5-7 years (22,700 liters). Also, these filters are self-sterilizing.

4. Powerful

The Berkey system is so powerful it can efficiently purify untreated water from remote, untreated sources, such as lakes and streams.

The Berkey system is the perfect water purification system to have on hand during natural disasters like blackouts, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, as well as local and national emergencies when treated tap water may not be available.

5. Flexible

Berkey’s water purifier is so convenient and easy to use that you can take it anywhere: on vacation, on hunting trips and camping trips, in college dormitories, on pleasure boats, in cottages, and on camping trips.

6. Elegant Design

Berkey systems have an elegant high-grade polished stainless steel design that adds style to any home or kitchen while remaining durable and rugged.

Is Berkey Filter Removes Contaminants?

Independent laboratory testing of the Berkey allows it to be classified as a water purifier instead of just a water filter

The Berkey water filter removes numerous contaminants. Its priority is to remove rust and sediments from your water.

Secondly, it also removes bacteria, cysts, parasites, viruses, radiological contaminants, heavy metals, chemicals, other organic and inorganic compounds, etc.

Moreover, the black Berkey water filter also removes chlorine and chloramine, making it tasty and prevents bad odor.

In How Much Time Berkey Filters The Water?

It can theoretically filter 3.5 gallons per hour if it has two black Berkey filters and the upper chamber is filled to the top.

The water flow rate also decreases as the level at the top goes down. Because of this, it’s best to fill it to the top and keep refilling it often. Additionally, adding more filters can accelerate the process.

How Long The Berkey Water Filter Lasts

The answer depends on your usage. Black Berkey filters last for 3,000 gallons. Using 3 gallons of water a day, a set of two filter elements will easily last for five years.

Every 1000 gallons of water should have one or two fluoride filters replaced. It takes about 11 months for a 3 gallon per day system to fill.

If you calculate the cost per gallon of filtered water based on the replacement filter price, you get a price of about 2* per gallon with the Black Berkey filters only.


After going through the above article, we hope that you now understand the working of Berkey of water filter.

Moreover, using a Berkey filter can be very beneficial for you. Furthermore, we have addressed some critical questions concerning the Berkey water filter.


What are the disadvantages of Berkey Water Filter?

Apart from dozens of advantages, there are some downsides to the Berkey water filter. The big downside of these filters is a high upfront cost; compared to the Brita and PUR water filters, Berkey systems are expensive. Secondly, you have to refile the Berkey system regularly for best results.

Can Berkey Water Filter Remove Ionic Minerals?

No, the Berkey filter can’t remove ionic minerals from water. However, it effectively removes contaminants and dirt from the water and makes it clean.

Is Berkey Water Filter Better Than Brita Filters?

Berkey is the most powerful filter that can remove 99.99% of viruses and bacteria from any water compared to Brita filters. It also eliminates fluoride, arsenic, and other heavy metals from water. At the same time, the Brita water filter is not much effective in removing heavy organic metals. Also, Berkey is very durable and long-lasting than Brita.

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