Water, Water Everywhere!

By , March 20, 2016

The British Berkfield “Big Berkey”® water filter arrived Monday evening! (See Drinking Water: Better Filtering.) The breaking in period has proven shorter and easier than anticipated.

The new water filter (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The new water filter (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The unit’s footprint is smaller than we expected. Space, always a major consideration in our tiny home, remains a concern, but we tried it in a place on the kitchen counter where we used to keep our thermoses (see The Thermos: One Small Step Toward Conservation and Savings). They can be stored individually elsewhere; the new filter fits in the vacated space, and so far seems to be out of the way. The spigot hangs over the counter edge, giving us space for filling containers beneath it.

We decided to install just two of the four included ceramic filters. At present, brand new, they filter faster than our old filter pitchers in the middle of a single filter use, plenty fast since we have the volume advantage now.

We have a large water kettle that holds about 2 gallons. We fill it to overfull and pour it all into the Berkey’s top container to fill it. Before long, we have that much water ready to drink!

I’m learning when to fill it and when to leave it alone. I filled the top while the bottom was full of water, and before long I had water all over the counter and floor. I haven’t quite found the break-even point. Hopefully, the novelty of my new “toy” will wear off soon, and I’ll settle into a drier schedule.

The ceramic is made with diatomaceous earth. I followed the assembly instructions exactly. The next time we add filters, I think I’ll give them a quick rinse before installation, as the first batch of water had a bit of a taste from the diatomaceous earth.

But who knows when that might be? If the two filters we’re using slow down, we’re supposed to wipe off each filter—once—with a plastic scrub pad, and replace. If two filters continue to serve, we wouldn’t use the second pair for years to come. We’re going to see some real savings on this new system over our old way of doing things.

Any of our minor quibbles are passing inconveniences, which will fade very soon. We rejoice in our new abundance of drinking water. We have water, water everywhere, and plenty of drops to drink!

2 Responses to “Water, Water Everywhere!”

  1. Molly says:

    Congrats on your new Berkey. Yah!!!, glad to hear that you got it:) One thing that we did was to put a matt underneath the unit. We used a placemat folded in half. With the matt underneath it, it is easy to slide around on the counter in case you need to get at something behind it. We were also surprised that it didn’t take up much room. There is a cupboard behind ours that can’t open unless we slide the Berkey off to the side.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Molly, what a great idea! Luckily for us, we have open kitchen shelves, and a “lazy Susan” behind the filter, so it can stay in place. I’m rather impressed by the no-slip foot of the thing. It keeps me from knocking it off the counter as we maneuver in our 1 1/2 butt kitchen.

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