• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

water filter  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 23965
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to have a reverse osmosis system, but that seemed to waste a lot of water.  And replacing the filters was really expensive.

I did about 30 hours of research and came up with the berkey water filter. 



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001AKTW2Q/rs12-20

Apparently, it is what missionaries to south america used a hundred years ago.  You put your nasty water in the top and hours later you get decent water from the bottom. 

I remember seeing something where they put food color in water at the top and clear water came out the bottom. 

It seems to be a very popular water filter with homesteaders. 

So - I've had this for several years now.  I still really like it.  The only thing that has been a problem has been that newbies to it tend to put too much water in the top when the bottom is already full, and ....  then there's a mess.

 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
31
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And here are the product details:

Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters) and when in use it stands 19.25" in height with a diameter of 8.5". The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13" in height.Configured with two Black Berkey® purification elements the system will purify up to 3 1/2 Gallons (13.3 liters) per hour*. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 7 Gallons (26.5 liters) per hour*. The PF-2TM reduction elements screw onto the bottom of the Black Berkey water purification elements and work in conjunction to adsorb the following unwanted elements found in drinking water. * Fluoride * Arsenic V and pre-oxidized Arsenic III * Other residual heavy metal ions
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I looked long and hard for info on how the filter works.

It seems to be a ceramic filter, but I'm not certain.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a Big Berkey units just like the picture.  We have used the filter for 6+ months now.  The filter do look like a hard white ceramic although they state that it is diatomaceous earth.  Very little complaints on my part, my Wife has only one complaint.  She does not like the spigot that they provide which is a small lever that you turn on or off.  She prefers a small button that you push and hold down until you want the water to stop just like a jug that you take camping.  I cannot convince here that her fingers will get tired holding down the button to fill a pitcher of water at a time, but I just never get around to chaging that little lever spigot.  Funny about that.

The units itself is well made, the unit might be stainless, but there appears to be a flash chrome over top of it.  I cannot tell is this will hold up well over time yet.  The unit does filter the water as decsribed, we had an option to take our water in for free testing at our county extension agency.  We took before and after samples to be tested which they did gladly.  The unit does what it says.

We have also considered adding the Fluoride/Arsenic filters into our unit, we just have not saved up the money for it.  There is always something to save for.

We paid $172 for our unit with shipping, I found the sellers on Ebay but I then went to their websites.  I found that they offered better prices off of Ebay because they did not have to pay for their fees which saved me $10-12 dollars.

Vince
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 23965
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I bought it, I was under the impression that it was a ceramic filter. 

I was in one of those jags where I spent too much time researching something.  This was a few years ago.  I suspect I put about 30 hours into research on top of the 30 hours of research I did about four years before that.

7 gallons per hour?  Uh - that's not what mine does.  In an hour it might do a bit more than a pint. 

When moving, I dropped mine and it seriously dented it and broke one of the ceramic filters.  So I now have new filters that are just as slow as the old filters.

And the dent didn't flake off anything - I think it is just highly polished stainless steel.
 
                              
Posts: 28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul,

You are correct, it is a ceramic filter.  The info I was looking at was pertaining to the porous structure of the filter not the actual material of the filter.  Here is the description provided from the manufacturer.

The Sterasyl Ceramic Shell
The Sterasyl grade ceramic is designed to remove suspended solids and pathogenic bacteria (>99.99%). The filter elements are produced using the latest ceramic techniques to provide a hollow porous ceramic, which is fired at a temperature in excess of 1,000ã C. They are designed to operate with water flow going from the outside to the inside of the element. The ceramic shell exhibits a strictly controlled pore structure, so as to provide efficient sub-micron filtration, a proven defense against hard-shelled parasites such as Cryptosporidium as well as pathogenic bacteria. The ceramic also removes other less harmful, but equally unpleasant particulate debris such as rust and dirt.

Composition of the Sterasyl ceramic contains pure silver. This silver is a material designed to significantly inhibit bacteriological mitosis or grow through. The result is that bacterial growth is inhibited from occurring within the Sterasyl ceramic element (which is possible with the other ceramic filter elements). This silver content insures that filtered water contains levels well below those required by international standards.  Because of the silver, Sterasyl filter elements do not require sterilization after cleaning.

The Sterasyl filter, when used in in-line housings, is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) as meeting their Standard No 42 for materials.

The Super Sterasyl Water Filtration Element
The Sterasyl ceramic is the ceramic shell used for the Super Sterasyl filter element. Accordingly, this filter element will have, at a minimum, the filtration benefits of the Sterasyl ceramic.  Additionally, the bore of the ceramic shell is filled with granular activated carbon, which enables the filter to reduce chlorine and organic chemicals while improving the color, taste, and odor of the source water. The re-cleanable Super Sterasyl filter elements remove suspended solids, parasites, cysts and pathogenic bacteria (>99.99%) and reduce organic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, trihalomethanes, SOCs, VOCs and foul tastes and odors. The top of the Super Sterasyl element is closed with a unique ceramic dome. This prevents the possibility of breeching (leakage), which can occur with filtration elements that are closed with a plastic cap.

Only 30 hours research, my Wife accuses me of weeks before I move on a project. 

Vince
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
as a permie this might be sacrilidge, but when i bought a new refrig i got a water and ice in the door model (to prevent people from running water forever to get it cold)..and it has a filter in it..man they are expensive to replace too..and i'm not totally thrilled with fileterd water anyway.. but i did replace it when it died.

only use it for drinking water..we have super good quality water here and if it wasn't part of the unit we probably would never filter our water
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Whats the cost and lifetime/duration per filter with this particular filtering machine mentioned above.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Brenda Groth wrote: refrig...has a filter in it..man they are expensive to replace too..and i'm not totally thrilled with fileterd water anyway.. but i did replace it when it died.



Did you keep the dead filter?  You might save some money with a method like this one:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-refill-a-disposable-Brita-brand-water-pit/

Presumably the details differ, but the filter technology should be similar.
 
Posts: 296
Location: Orcas Island, WA
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If anyone wants to make their own filter I've attached a PDF from ECHO with instructions on how to make a simple slow sand filter out of a 5 gallon bucket. This is what folks often use in the tropics.

For a larger scale system you can check out Blue Futures Filters as well (http://www.bluefuturefilters.com/). They have an office in Bellingham and one in California. I first saw one of their systems installed at Penny Livingston's place in Bolinas. They seem to have some great solutions for using surface water as potable water at a variety of scales.

Dave
Filename: Sand-Water-Filter.pdf
File size: 138 Kbytes
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 23965
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Excellent research Vince!

Dave's stuff is excellent for a longer term general solution.  Along those lines, I would recommend Art Ludwig's excellent book Water Storage
 
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought a Travel Berkey a few months ago, and while I haven't tested the filtered water, it tastes great from the filter. I'm glad to hear from vkirchner about his test results. I'm also a little worried about the flash chrome--especially since I recently got an email saying that as of January 1, the Berkey filters won't be able to be sold to CA anymore (already the only one you could get is the plastic one or the travel) until they get them independently tested for lead. There was much wringing of hands in the email about rampant government interference. I should order my replacement filter components in advance, but I'm not going to; these are brand new and should probably last me about 2 yrs at the rate I'm using them--besides I don't have the $99 lying around right now. When the filters are done, maybe Berkfield will have figured out some way to get their filters independently tested and I'll be able to get them again, or maybe I'll be someplace that feels more permanent where I can set up a sand filter.
 
                              
Posts: 28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is the link for the book water storage.

http://www.amazon.com/Water-Storage-Emergency-Use-Ferrocement/dp/0964343363/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261571169&sr=8-2

I know we would be lost without our Berkey, my Mother stayed with us for a few weeks around Thanksgiving.  She liked the Berkey so much she bought one to be delivered in Texas when she returns home.  They have a very strange system with water rights.  They can drill a well, but they must obtain and pay a license for water rights.  They do not own the water that is running underneath their own property, that's just wrong.
 
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
are you filtering rain water,city water, POnd water ??       

Try solar distillation for drinking water.
 
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been drinking my rainwater for about a year. I use a standard, inexpensive whole house pre filter, then a Berkey http://cart.berkeyfilters.com/bigberkey.aspx?gclid=CPewqYnD56gCFcTd4AodyhZtEw
3 gallon ceramic filter. These filters are excellent at removing all heavy metals, pathogens, bacteria and fungi.
http://www.berkeyfilters.com/watertest.htm They are gravity fed and stainless steel. I'm super glad I purchased one.



I'm putting a metal roof on my house in a few years and will keep on using

this set up. I only use the Berkey for drinking and cooking. I use the whole house filter only for cleaning. It's a system that works well for me.



Ron McCorkle

The Urbiculture Foundation

ron@urbiculture.org

540 982 8289
 
Posts: 126
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Berkeys are rated the best by almost everybody, but you don't need the fancy stainless steel pails.  If you have two five-galon buckets with tight lids, you can make a "bucket Burkey"  Just drill a hole through one lid and the bottom of one bucket and use the filter to 'bolt' them together.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
296
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you pour your water through a paper coffee filter before running it through your main filter, you can greatly reduce the solid mater, thererby extending the life of your expensive in-line filters.
 
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just an FYI -- Berkey water filters cannot be sold to residents in California or Iowa.  This is because they make claims in their advertising about removing certain things from water.  Until they pay the money to have these claims certified by an approved 3rd party lab, the consumer protection officials in these states won't allow the filters to be sold there.

Bummer.
 
Posts: 120
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They've been doing something like it (albeit a little more retro) for a hundred years or more in Cuba.  I've also seen it done in Indonesia (although I stuck to the brand name bottled, thank you). 

 
Posts: 438
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Muzhik wrote:
Just an FYI -- Berkey water filters cannot be sold to residents in California or Iowa.  This is because they make claims in their advertising about removing certain things from water.  Until they pay the money to have these claims certified by an approved 3rd party lab, the consumer protection officials in these states won't allow the filters to be sold there.

Bummer.



That's not what I was told when I contacted the company. They said that certain states require them to have every single component of each of their units tested for lead content to the tune of thousands of dollars per component (for many components for each unit, and all of them need testing) even if they are not manufactured with metal or lead of any kind. Doesn't matter, they have to have everything tested. It would bump up the price on an already expensive item so they chose not to sell in those states. It had nothing to do with advertising certain things being removed from that water that aren't.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have a month-old Big Berkey and haven't been happy with it's matching up to specs about volume of filtered water produced. We have the fancier "black berkey" filters and that might be making a difference but we can only get maybe 0.5 gallons per hour. We are filtering relatively clean pond water (no visible discoloration due to algae or sediment).

The filters have such small passageways for water to pass through that surface tension is a factor hindering flow rate. To get around this you need to "prime" them. This is a simple process of basically forcing water from a  tap or hose backwards through the filter - the problem is if you do not have a faucet handy to do it. We seem to have to re-prime every week or two.

So far I would give the unit a 6 out of 10 rating and its pretty expensive for a "6".

Note also that so far have received no reply from email inquiry to the manufacturer.

Note #2 that the company berkeyfilters.com is NOT the manufacturer. They were kind enough to answer my first inquiry about slow flow rate and even go through 3 email cycles including mention that I bought mine elsewhere before they mentioned that they weren't actually Berkey - just a cleverly named URL!

Note #3: got ours from survivalcampingworld.com. Initially they were terrible to deal with after a long shipping delay and no response from attempts to contact customer service email and phone. Eventually got through to the owner of the company and he made things happen a lot faster - and also sent two freebies of their water bottle unit (this is a plastic water bottle that has a small black berkey filter at the bottom attached to a straw that you suck on. So I fill it with pond water and can drink well-filtered water from the straw. Pretty nice. (I wonder if it filters out the BPA from the plastic ??!)


 
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
SO amazing to get all this wonderful info, and thanks so much Paul for doing 30 hours of research on this!

For my purposes we need to get past the "departments of making you sad" as someone put it. From what I gather, you need to have water pressure of at least 20 lbs per square inch, and so I would imagine that if you have a gravity-fed filter that would satisfy that requirement; that if the system is qualified for filtering pond water it'll be good enough for a stream or spring (I'm hoping!), and that this would actually all work out to WAY less than the 5,000 we were looking at havnig to spend to put in a well (+ ecological damage and the fact that the drill rig would have to get over our bridge--see my other thread. Well, actually I guess I didn't start a thread on that one, but I htink i posted on the awesome bridge thread. Anyway.)

Is my idea bullet-proof? can y'all take your best shots at poking holes in my evil plan for spring water for the land (which I personally will try to drink pre-filtered if it's not against the law, but which if we're charging money or people to come here we have to satisfy codes of a Public Water Supplier for New York State)?

I'll cut and paste the hoops I have gathered we must jump through, whether by ground or by surface water (hopefully my mixed metaphors won't get me booked by the Department of Grammar Enforcement [sic]):


POTABLE WATER supply--legal requirements


basic requirements
__ not more than 100,000 gallons per day
__ not near 100-year flood mark nor below low tide mark
__ be clean--test must not be over "maximum contaminant levels"
__ have backflow valve/air gap, and be monitored
__ reservoirs must be covered/disinfected
__ pumps, pipes, etc., must be disinfected prior to installation
__ water survey of watershed / aquifer + spills, discharges, natural season occurrences
__ must be 20 lbs/sq. inch pressure at all points in distribution system
__ blow-off must not flow back into supply
__ pumping must be installed to prevent contamination, unless later treated
__ if fecal matter, must remove 99.99% of viruses
__ chlorination or "other microbial treatment acceptable to the State" acc. section 5-1.22
__ chlorine if treated must be < .2 mg/L
__ turbidity < 5 nephelometric turbidity units
__ copper and lead levels must be low, can report once every 3 years if you have consistent low levels
(max levels can be waived if scientific evidence presented that it's OK for health)
__ coliform monitoring system must be implemented (e. coli)
__ activated carbon filter must meet specifications
__ can't have too high levels of other disinfectants
__ total organic carbon must be < 1mg/L for a year or you need to report it monthly
__ must notify state within 30 days of being over limits
__ turbidity monitoring of filter systems must be recording every 15"
__ monitor virus load and record daily



max levels allowable:

Antimony 0.006 Arsenic 0.010 Barium 2.00 Beryllium 0.004 Cadmium 0.005 Chromium 0.10 Cyanide(as free cyanide) 0.2 Mercury 0.002 Selenium 0.05 Silver 0.1 Thallium 0.002 Fluoride 2.2 Chloride 250.0 Iron 0.32 Manganese 0.32 Sodium No designated limits3 Sulfate 250.0 Zinc 5.0 Color 15 Units Odor 3 Units Bromate5 0.010

Compliance is based on a running annual average of monthly samples, computed quarterly. If the average of samples covering any consecutive four-quarter period exceeds the MCL, the system is in violation of the MCL and must notify the public. Chlorite6 1.0 Compliance is based on an average of each three-sample set taken in the distribution system in accordance with Table 8B. If the average exceeds the MCL, the system is in violation of the MCL and must notify the public.



Yeah, that's a lot of making you sad to deal with, but the question is What is the most permacultural--ethical and sustainable-- solution we can find while meeting the letter of the law?

Thanks much! ANd isn't it nice to know that we could serve salt water in our taps as long as it doesn't have too much manganese.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1326
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for posting that! I search a little filter for fluoride (I don't care for any germs).
 
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

Yeah, that's a lot of making you sad to deal with, but the question is What is the most permacultural--ethical and sustainable-- solution we can find while meeting the letter of the law?

Thanks much! ANd isn't it nice to know that we could serve salt water in our taps as long as it doesn't have too much manganese.



This uses the same style of ceramic filters, but puts them in a big blue filter housing to use them with normal household plumbing: http://www.amazon.com/Rio-2000-Ceramic-Sterasyl-Filters/dp/B000VDTJ7G

(full disclosure--I bought one, but haven't installed it yet)

I plan to use a cheap pre filter to keep it cleaner, and would use a charcoal element as well if you are worried about organic chemicals in your water source.

But this thing will tie into normal plumbing and should get you to meet code for cleanliness. You may need a boost pump to meet the 20 psi requirement, but that isn't hard for low volume.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, R., I assume we only need a pump if we're not able to use gravity and a jumbo tank? we're on hill--it's nothing but hill here, a permaculture dream!--and the water is about 50 feet elevation above us at least, I'd guess.

Are you saying that we shouold adapt it for regular plumbing for legal reasons or just convenience? I'm picturing a berkey filter up on a tower and then a tank under that. Valve to the berkey accessible from down below. I guess it could be tank, non-gravity regular-plumbing filter, then pipes and spigots. Problem wiht that is we have no heat, winter would freeze pipes. I was trying to envision the whle thing without any pipes. Just rubber tubes. So, then it's up to burying pipe, which means digging (not ideal since there's not much access and you'd run over a lot of nice plants and wetland), or some kind of failsafe to make sure no one lets hte pipes freeze...can we trust the guy who lives here to take on one more job? Hm...

We've done fine with a pump pumping stream water up through a hose into a huge holding tank, using that for dish washing (boil it, dump in chlorine and whatever else the law requires, etc.). So I'm imagining our next step woulod be just throw a Berkey filter in on the hose with the diverter valve that's already there. Now, drinking water supply, voila, without any difficulty.

Question: do rubber pipes burst too if they're left with water in them in a freeze?
is it necessary to have pipes just not be able to keep any water in them (for example, the water only gets up into the pipe when you turn on an electrically powered pump)?
if the pipe is gravity-fed but not buried, will gravity be enough to a) draw water down into the pipe in sufficient quantity that it freezes and then b) have it freeze without "climbing" back up the pipe against gravity?
what exactly is the factor that makes pipes freeze off of a municiple water supply?
can there be an automatic pressure-release valve that will protect the pipes from a freeze if pressure goes above a critical amount?
.
Only problem there would be if someone doesn't know to turn hte valve off again when the Berkey is full. Permaculture and common sense work really wel when you have only one dumb-ss to deal with, but as soon as there's a community it gets more complicated.

And for some reason that's reminding me of hte one hurdle that seems really a challenge--in NY State a "hotel" or other lodging accommodation provider is supposed to provide _30 gallons per guest per day of potable water_. I think if you drank tat much water you would be dead several times over, but that is on the books. The estimate of what we actually use is about 30 gallons per day for all the people who come to our gatherings, and we would like to triple that so we can have more people and a buffer. So 100 gal per day. One Berkey can handle 60 days of that, at $.02 a gallon that's a good price for replacing cartridges.

Prefilter is a good idea, thanks for that, but I'm pretty sure our water is clean. Even the creek tested clear for giardia, so I would imagine that the spring can't possibly have anything. THer'e nothing on the satelite view uphill of us, no buildings, just some logging .

any other holes in this plan?

BTW Angelika, a Crown filter can take out fluoride without even needing a pre-filter from what I'm told (the company originally made you buy a pre-filter, then the last time I reordered they sold me both but when I got them you had to put hte fluoride filter first, and the "pre-filter" after, which tells me they sold me something I didn't need. I don't like that they dealt with me that way, but the product and company had been recommended to me by a source I trust several years ago. They seem to have changed, both the product and their way of doing business, but it's an option to look into. Another would be harvesting rain water--no fluoride there--and then Berkeying it...I'm guessing even acid rain can be made potable that way?)

Paul, what water source--rain, pond, well, spring, etc.--are you filtering with your Berkey?


Thanks so much for all the valuable information! You folks have already saved us probably thousands of dollars and a lot of ecological disturbance!

 
R Scott
Posts: 3366
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The filters cause a fair bit of pressure drop, and 50 ft. is only 21 PSI so you may no longer meet the 20 minimum. That is why I suggested a boost pump.

I was suggesting tying it to plumbing mainly for legal reasons. It would be convenient, but probably overkill to run ALL water through it. But you never know what an inspector will want you to do.

Muni water prevents freezing by being far enough underground to not be freezing and/or insulated. Laying a 4 foot wide insulation over the pipe will help a lot, but it can still freeze. Rubber hose can stretch some, but it has it's limits before it will break--it may be how cold or how many times it froze but eventually it will break. Fittings usually break first, though. I really am not an expert for climate. I can tell you that the ceramic filters are extremely sensitive to freezing and need to be kept warm.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks so much! wow, I am just amazed at the resource of this forum. Wouldn't it be nice if the whole world were this way?

Well, I think we may have closer to 75 feet, but still we could include a pump and one day that could go solar, it's better than drilling a well still.

If the filter can freeze, then that will mean it has to get stored off season -- November through May-- or I guess we can put it int he middle of the compost pile, that should pass inspection, right? Seriously though, could we...bury the filter, if we're gonna have to pump anyway...nice cool water in summer too...it's not regulated, seems to me...

I think we're gonna have to just remember to turn off the water when we leave for hte winter and store the filter. It's not that high-maintenance, in the big scheme of things.

Now if y'all can poke any other holes in this plan, that'd be great.

Or,give me ideas how to sell this to my community with the most clarity. We're a community of chefs and only one soup.

My thought at this point is to say, I've done the research and it looks like we have one to two viable options wtihout drilling, so let's hire the expert (permaculturist, teaches PDC's, is local and knows NY State, and knows water, offered a reasonable price that's a discount off what he'd do for a general design) and see what he says, and he's offered included in that to dig out the spring so we'll actually know its flow rate. Problem is, then if we still end up needing to drill a well and we've spent $1600 just for a design that tells us the same thing--"you need to drill a well" (and I say "drill" because of NY State law) well we're out more money. But I don't see how we could not have enough rainwater to harvest or use creek water filtered. Well, still it seems like it's the closest to a sure thing I can get this.

Thanks again!

 
Posts: 132
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11
solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
*cracks knuckles* Thread necromancy!

I've been away from the site for a while and while digging around here today I was reminded that I have done a few things recently that might be useful to people here. One of those things involves making a water filter system similar to a Berkey. I had been using a cheap, store bought, all plastic, rather low quality system that was certainly better than drinking straight out of the tap, but had room for improvement. It had served its purpose and after the last filter I had on hand had been through its useful life cycle I decided to upgrade.

I had seen a few times in the past on youtube where people used plastic buckets to recreate the Berkey system using replacement filters, but I didn't want that. I knew I could dig around and find some cheap stainless steel stock pots to do the job and I had eyed a few on Amazon, but held off at the time. Then I saw in a Harbor freight ad that they had a 4 pot set for $25 + tax at the time. I picked up the set when I was near one of their stores and ordered a pair of Doulton Super Sterasyl 7" ceramic filters for $49, and a total investment of under $80.

I used the largest pot of the set (16 quarts) as the base and cut a hole in the lid to accommodate the next smaller pot (12 quarts) on top. This removes the handle and allows the water to drain from the upper pot into the lower. I just arbitrarily marked out where the filters would be in the top section (I think I drew a line across the bottom and then came in 2 1/2" from each side and drilled holes) and then cut out the hole in the lower lid to leave clearance for the filter retainer wing nuts while allowing plenty of material to hold up the weight of the upper pot when full. A person could also just remove the handle and drill out holes to allow for the filters.

That is pretty much it! My camera ate the batteries again so no pics, but it was very easy to make. The riveted handles will leak if you fill it up beyond that point, but it can still hold over 2 gallons which almost completely submerges the filters. I set up a little stand with my water system and a few accessories on top and glass jugs to hold water on the bottom. I use an old plastic bowl to set the top section on since it won't sit flat with the filters sticking through, not to mention trying to avoid contamination. There isn't a spout, although I imagine one could be added rather easily. No sight glass either. I figure doing 1 batch at a time is plenty for me and I am the only one who uses it. I use a funnel and pour the water into my jugs.

The first batch took the better part of a day to run through, but after that it has been under half a day to filter 2 gallons. I was going to get 4 filters but I have been purging money and decided to just get the 2. It works perfectly fine for me as it is and I am very glad I finally did it! The water is much cleaner than anything I have ever had before. If you can't afford the big system and want to get the same level of filtration then this is a great way to go. Those Harbor Freight stock pots are on sale for $22 right now if anyone is interested.
 
Posts: 79
Location: Nomadic
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great input and info on filtration.
Is this thread active? A couple nuggets I've picked up: When traveling in Kenya I saw Gravity filter systems similar to Berkey in a hardware store. They said made in Brazil and were much less expensive.
The other thing I heard but have not verified is that hydrogen peroxide cleans activated charcoal so it might be reused? My friend says it might dissolve away the surface down to fresh carbon?  To bad my 5 gallon bucket of activated carbon was left behind in a move.
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!