Now is the time to think about water in the event of predicted rolling blackouts or other infrastructure crisis. When electricity goes down, this simple DIY water filter system will be worth its weight in gold.
Berkey water filter systems are one of the most popular brands for filtering water in rural areas, at disaster sites, and really anywhere the water is not safe for drinking. With a Berkey system, you can filter rain water, and even water from lakes, rivers or steams.
Berkey is a top-notch water filter system with laboratory-supported documentation attesting to its quality of performance.
The only downside to a Berkey water filter system is it’s price. The 2.5 gallon system averages over $400 including 2 reusable black Berkey filters.
While many will say a Berkey water filter system is well worth its price, there is another less expensive way to acheive the same clean water when the power is down.
Install 2 black Berkey filters into a food grade bucket set-up or a stainless steel stock pot set-up for a fraction of the cost of the official shiny stainless steel Berkey unit.
If you use the 5-gallon buckets, this makes a water system approximately equal in size to the $500 Imperial Berkey.
The food grade bucket option:
The stainless steel option:
Water Filter Materials Needed (2 Options):
- 2 food grade buckets w/ lids (OR 2 Walmart stainless steel 16 qt. stock pots w/ lids – this option requires more skill)
- a Berkey filter 2-pack (black Berkeys are still available, but with the high demand, they do nothing but go up in price because they are the best.)
- a spigot kit like this
- Optional: a sight tube (in which case the spigot is already included). Without one, I work to avoid overflows since I can’t see what the water level is in the lower chamber when I fill the upper chamber.
- and an electric drill, a 3/4″ drill bit and a 7/16″ drill bit
I highly recommend brand new food grade (BPA-free) buckets (to prevent transfer of the taste of pickles or ketchup). For the asking, we’ve gotten 2 dozen square 4-gallon buckets through the years from a local bar/grill after they’ve used the mayo or ketchup. I do have to wash them thoroughly. They are perfect to mouseproof and store dry beans, rice, etc.
Any stackable bucket with lids from 3-gallon to 6-gallon, round or square can be used.
When you’re done, stack the buckets (snap on the bottom bucket lid), fill the top bucket with water, cover with lid (don’t make it airtight) and enjoy pure gravity-fed water when you need it!
Filters can be lightly scrubbed with a clean Scotch Brite pad when water flow decreases indicating that it is time for a cleaning and a repriming.
The Berkey® filters remove all of these contaminants while keeping the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other water filter can duplicate this performance.
To some, all this sounds too good to be true, but here are third party lab results for effectiveness of Berkey filters. The cleanable Black Berkey filter elements last up to 10 times longer than their competition and are so powerful that they even remove viruses.
Each Black Berkey filter is rated for 3000 gallons. We used two filters in our DIY setup for a total of 6000 gallons of filter life. Multiple elements (1 to 4, depending on size of your bucket or stock pot) can be installed for increased flow.
The filters need to be primed before first use. Instructions come with the filter cartridges on priming, as well as a small “priming button”. Here are some videos on priming your filters.
Every 6-7 months cleaning/maintenance of your water system:
“Water is the driving force in nature.” ~
“They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them…” ~Isaiah 48:21
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