When you're researching different aspects of living green, it's easy to "want it all". The problem with wanting it all, is that it's very hard on your bank account! Everyone has to prioritize and decide what the most important changes are....and what will affect their health the most. With that said, I wish that I would have focused on our water sooner!
Water quality is something that I thought about, but I didn't ever make it a priority. But it kept coming up. I kept reading...researching...learning. And finally decided to do something about it. We drink SO much water in our family...we couldn't just keep ignoring the quality.
I know that there are varying opinions on whether or not tap water is safe. I'm not going to debate that here. Some areas are much better than others...but I am sure we've all heard about the stuff that CAN be in tap water (drugs, bacteria, etc). I just wanted yummy and safe filtered water for my family. So instead of debating the pros and cons of each systems, I will just tell you what we decided to buy. We were primarily deciding between a reverse osmosis system and the Berkey.
For years, we have used the Brita or PUR filters. I really didn't like storing water in plastic...and they do not filter flouride. After A LOT of research, we decided to go with the Berkey water system. We chose the"Big Berkey" and ordered it from More Than Alive. Why did we choose the Berkey?
- It filters out a lot of yucky stuff. This is the filter used in 3rd world countries and can technically be used to filter water out of the gutter (although I wouldn't recommend it!).
- It doesn't require under counter installation, electricity or water pressure.
- It's portable. We wanted a system we could take with us when we traveled or if we moved.
- The filters only need to be replaced every 3000 gallons (which equates to about every 2 years for us).
- It filters out flouride (this is a hot topic...please Google it if you're interested)
- It doesn't waste as much water as a reverse osmosis system.
- It's made of stainless steel and not plastic (although they do offer a BPA-free plastic option).
We've had the Berkey for about 6 weeks now and we love it. Our water used to taste and smell horribly like chlorine and now it's yummy. Matt did have to build a stand for it so that it sat a bit higher than the counter (in order to dispense it)...but other than that, it's great. I think if I had to go back and do it over...I would probably buy the Royal (one size larger). We usually only have to fill it up once a day if it's just us...but when we have guests, etc. it would be nice to have a larger capacity unit.
Someday, I would love to have a "whole house filtration" system...but for now, the Berkey works perfect for us. In addition to the drinking water, we also ordered a Culligan filtered shower head. Our bodies take in A LOT of water/chlorine when showering/bathing...and chlorine fumes are not happy for your body at all. I didn't want by babies bathing in that! When Bella takes a bath, we just fill the tub with the shower head to ensure she is bathing in pure water.
So there you have it...water filtration fun!