Filtering your water

No doubt a lot of posters will know about BPAs, heavy metal, estrogen contamination in tap and shower water, etc, but has anyone any verifiable knowledge or experience of home filtration ideas to remove or reduce the harmful content?

Silver or carbon filters are supposedly reliable for filtering dirty water, i.e. bacteria, but will they stop anti-androgens from getting into your glass or your morning cold shower?
If not, will anything else?
 

Ensam

Ostrich
Gold Member
An ion exchange resin water softener followed by an activated carbon filter should get rid of most things. If you're really paranoid tack a reverse osmosis filter on the tail end and you'll have super clean water. You might want to take some mineral supplements though because you'll be stripping out most of the calcium and magnesium in the process (which is good for filtration because they interfere with the effectiveness of the activated carbon).
 

vinman

Hummingbird
Gold Member
I have a Berkey system for my condo, and a I have a Katadyne for camping. I also have Life Straws on hand just in case.
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obrero

Sparrow
I've been considering getting the office-style watercooler thing in my place for drinking water. Does this type of bottled water contain all of the garbage that they put in municipal water?
 

poledaddy

Robin
Gold Member
Anyone have experience/knowledge of reverse osmosis filters?

I was told that they are superior to Brita-type filters in that it will get flouride and other additives out of the water, where as the Brita will not. But I'm of limited knowledge on the subject.
 

Hypno

Crow
I have a Sawyer for backpacking which is great as a back up in the grid goes down and the city doesn't have electricity to filter the water. Its basically a plastic bag that you use to collect water, and then gravity pushes it through a fist sized filter. There is a 0.1 model and a 0.0 model, the latter is a more thorough filter. Amazon's price was about half of REI's.

A book I recommend about filtering waster is called The Drinking Water Book by Colin Ingram. I bought this book because I wanted to learn how to filter flouride from my drinking water. I learned that there a lot of things besides flouride one should be woried about (for example, chlorine) and the type of filter you buy depends on what you are trying to remove. City water kills a lot of the bacteria and gets most of the heavy metals, but then they add stuff like chlorine and floride. If you are using well water there are other things you would worry about. This book explains it well and helps you to understand what your filter system can and cannot do. For example, some filters claim to filter get flouride but the reality is you need a pretty expensive set up (large volume charcoal filter tank) to do that job, so a lot of these claims regarding small, moderately priced filters are greatly exaggerated.

A lot of people like Berkeys, but there have been sporadic reports of them not working. Some good information here:

https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/forum/3214/berkey-black-water-filter-issues

Other than that I don't have a view on how effective a Berkey is compared to other alternatives. They are certainly better than nothing, and they are widely used in the Third World, etc. People swear by them. I just don't know if they are getting everything so I don't offer an opinion one way or the other. One thing I will point out is that if you use city water, there is likely a lot of chlorine in it. You will absorb a lot of this through the skin and your lungs when you shower, so the Berkey is not useful for that.
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
I have a whole house system. RO and softener.

My house is at the shit end of the city water supply.

The big difference is the showers dontnget filthy. You don't get soap scum. I would install one on any new build if you are putting in fancy stone shows stuff.

Water tastes better too.

Aloha!
 

kamoz

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Bumping this thread. I drink a lot of mostly bottled water. Looking to transition into something without microplastics and other various chemicals in tap water. What do you guys use that’s reasonable in terms of size, cost, and installation? In other words I’m not looking to filter all the water in my house, just what I drink. Also how does typical filtered fridge water compare?
 

stugatz

Pelican
My roommate had a Berkey and it was wonderful. This was about four years ago though, maybe they’ve nosedived in quality. I remember that the water was so effectively filtered, I thought it actually tasted strange. None of those usual tastes were present, almost like it was dis

I currently use a Brita, which I know doesn’t do much.
 

RKS

Sparrow
Agree on the Berkey. Had 3 of them so far in many locations in the world over the past 10 years. I gave 2 away and they are still using them. Works great. The filters last years. If it it leaking then it is not assembled correctly or the small silicon $5 gasket is defective, filter is too tight, or not tight enough. Never had an issue.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
If it it leaking then it is not assembled correctly or the small silicon $5 gasket is defective, filter is too tight, or not tight enough. Never had an issue.
The limit between too tight and not tight enough is quite tricky though, with their filter's shitty plastic threads.

Also even if you do everything by the book, it will get contaminated eventually and you'll have to seriously clean it, so it's not as low-maintenance as advertised either.
 

stugatz

Pelican
My roommate had a Berkey and it was wonderful. This was about four years ago though, maybe they’ve nosedived in quality. I remember that the water was so effectively filtered, I thought it actually tasted strange. None of those usual tastes were present, almost like it was dis
“Nome of those usual tastes were present, almost like it was distilled.”

What I meant to post. I need to avoid posting on here when I can’t keep my eyes open.
 

RKS

Sparrow
The limit between too tight and not tight enough is quite tricky though, with their filter's shitty plastic threads.

Also even if you do everything by the book, it will get contaminated eventually and you'll have to seriously clean it, so it's not as low-maintenance as advertised either.
I agree it takes some getting used to. I have over tightened 1 filter once and had to use another fastener from another spare filter. After that I haven't had a problem after i knew their tolerance. As far as water quality goes, you really cant beat them as far as I am concerned. They can filter puddle or even salt water, use zero energy and are gravity fed.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
I use a Berkey and bought a third party metal spout. So far very pleased with it. I was very skeptical at first. Also bought a filter for my shower.
 
I have been using a Berkey with the black filter elements for almost 20 years now and they work well. Reverse osmosis is the gold standard in terms of removing contaminants, but it also removes most of the beneficial minerals from the water as well. I recently installed a HomeMaster KDF85/Catalytic Carbon + Sediment whole house filter and it makes me feel like I'm living in opulence for only $300 + installation (have to change it once every year or 2). I still run the drinking water through my berkey with the PF-2 floride filters as well. Most water companies have their water tests posted online that will tell you what you might find in there. Many municipalities have switched from sanitizing with chlorine to chloramine which is much harder to get rid of with the standard carbon filters.
 
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