The Science Behind the Berkey Water Purification Process
Water filtration and purification is a complex science. The primary element used in all Berkey systems is the Black Berkey Purification Element. The following describes some of methods used to produce this element. It is the combination of these several methods or processes that make the Berkey system a truly unique water purification process that is second to none.
At the first level, the Black 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 simply cannot pass through them and thus become trapped, hence eliminating them from your drinking water. This is known as micro-filtration.
For those impurities that are able to somehow navigate their way through this “torturous path”, Berkey’s media formulation has the unique property that causes these impurities to physically stick to the surface of the media. This process is known as adsorption. Adsorption works to create an ionic barrier similar to surface tension. This ionic barrier effectively allows the microscopic pores to block water contaminants that are smaller than the pore size itself. This second level blocking process is how the Black Berkey Purification Element is able to remove sub-micron sized viruses that other brands of water filters cannot without the use of obnoxious chemicals like iodine or chlorine.
Finally, the heavy metals ions (dissolved 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.
Because the Berkey system uses only gravity to draw the impure water through the element, this causes the water molecules to be exposed to the filter media for a much longer period of time (unlike most other systems which uses pressurised water). This longer contact time between the water molecules and the filter media provides much greater removal rates of harmful water contaminates.
The end result is the production of drinking water with unmatched purity and quality. And all this is achieved with what can only be described as a profound simplicity. All the user has to do is to pour water to be purified into the upper chamber, and to physically clean the elements 2 or 3 times a year. The purification elements themselves will last for many years without needing to be replaced, hence literally giving the user very high quality purified drinking water at a price lower than any other system available in the market today.