How Does Berkey Water Filter Work?

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How does Berkey water filter work? The Berkey water filtering system may be used standalone, unlike many other countertop water filters we’ve used. Fill the Berkey up with water and let the filter do its thing. 

Up to four people can share the Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter, a portable water-purifying device made of stainless steel. More than 200 pollutants can be removed from the water by simply letting gravity pull the water through the filter medium.

So, how does Berkey water filter work? Since it operates on gravity alone, no power source is necessary. The upper chamber accepts water from virtually any source, while the water in the lower chamber is completely pure and safe to drink.

How Does Berkey Water Filter Work?

Berkey has created the best, most sustainable, and cost-effective filtration system for water on the market by fusing the modern process of reverse osmosis with the time-tested process of micro-porous gravity filtering.

Filtered water is collected in the bottom chamber of the Berkey system after being manually put into the top chamber and allowed to trickle down through the Black Berkey elements.

Berkey water Filtration Systems stand out from the competition thanks to their use of the patented Black Berkey purification elements. Experts in the fields of invention, purification, research, and engineering spent approximately 200 years perfecting and testing these water filters. When it comes to purifying water to an unprecedented degree, the proprietary Black Berkey elements employ three separate yet complementary filtration processes:


Berkey purification elements have millions of small pores in a dense matrix thanks to a special formulation of more than six different media types.

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These pores are so minute that they create a “Tortuous Path” that contaminants such as pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, VOCs, detergents, cloudiness, silt, sediment, sedimentary minerals, foul tastes, and odors must take to reach the water supply.

These channels are so narrow that the contaminants can not possibly fit through them and are instead trapped, meaning that they’re not present in the water you drink. Microfiltration is the technical term for this method.


Ion exchange is the method used by Berkey at this stage of the filtration process. An analogous method would be to leave an unclosed box of baking soda in the fridge to do the same thing. In an ion exchange process, heavy metal ions (molecules of chromium, lead, or copper) are removed from the water by being attracted to and transformed by electrically bonding with the media. Ions are unbalanced molecules in which the number of electrons does not exactly balance the number of protons. To do this, they seek out other molecules with similar charges to reestablish harmony. 

Contaminant molecules are repelled by the ions in Black Berkey filters. These molecules are captured and chemically bound to the filter, so they never make it into the Berkey’s drinking water.


Similar to the way that surface tension forms a physical barrier, adsorption forms an ionic one. This barrier works wonderfully with the micro-porous water filter by preventing impurities smaller than the pore size from passing through.

Because of this blocking mechanism, the Berkey water filter can remove submicron viruses without the need for harmful chemicals like iodine or chlorine, unlike other brands of water filters.

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The next step is an Ion Exchange process, in which the ions (mineral molecules) of harmful heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, aluminum, and so on are removed from the water by being attracted to and chemically altered by electrically attaching to the medium.

Exposure Time 

Finally, the gravity flow feature of a Berkey causes water molecules to take numerous minutes to pass through the filter elements, while in other filtration systems, this process takes mere seconds. By allowing more time for the water molecules to interact with the filter medium, dangerous water contaminants can be eliminated at a rate that is just not possible with traditional pressured water filtration technologies.

What harmful substances a Berkey water filter will block out?

Over 200 common drinking water contaminants, including hazardous heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminum, have been successfully removed by a Berkey water filtration system equipped with the standard Black Berkey filter components, according to independent laboratory studies. A wide variety of these pollutants are eliminated at concentrations that surpass the EPA 7 ANS/ISF (Std 53) guideline. Since Black Berkey water filters kill bacteria at >99.9999% and viruses at >99.99999%, they are technically considered water purifiers rather than just water filters.

FAQs: how does berkey water filter work 

How long does the filtered water have to sit in the storage tank before it goes bad?

If you want the best results from your Berkey system, you should not let water lie in the holding chamber for more than three days. If that is the case, you should get rid of the old water and start over with a new filter.

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Does the water’s pH change when using the Berkey system?

No. Black Berkey filters are effective in cleaning municipal water, but they do not change the water’s pH. They are effective in getting rid of acidic pollutants, but they also get rid of alkaline ones, so the overall effect is neutral.

Final Words: how does berkey water filter work

Final Words 

Independent laboratories have found that the Berkey Elements are superior to EPA and ANSI/NSF (Std. 53) standards for the reduction or elimination of mercury, lead, and disinfectant byproducts. Additionally, parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, volatile organic compounds like dichlorobenzene, trichloroethylene, methyl tert-butyl ether, radon, and pesticides.

A variety of cutting-edge scientific techniques are used in the Berkey Water Filter System to provide water of unparalleled quality. Very effective and simple to use technology. The Berkey Water Filter System only requires water to be poured into the top chamber. Due to the longevity of the filter, we can get clean water for just a few cents per gallon. Time and again, microfiltration, adsorption, and absorption have proven their worth.

I hope that now you know how does Berkey water filter work.

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