How to choose the right Berkey Water System for your needs

Berkey Water Systems work on the principle of gravity and alleviate the need for specialized plumbing and electrical installations in your space. The right Berkey Water System will give you the best quality of pure drinking water, no matter its source.

The superior filters of the Berkey Water System ensure that each droplet of water slowly passes through the system, filtering all potentially harmful elements, chemicals, and particles from the water. These filters also remove bacteria, viruses, unpleasant odors, and tastes.

Tap, well, pond, river and any other water can be poured into the upper chamber of the Berkey Water System. From there gravity takes its course and the water gets forced through the filters passing it into the lower chamber. Your water is now ready to drink.

There are six countertop sizes, which are all portable making it easy to take them with on trips, in emergencies, and for any other outdoor activities. There are also two personal models, perfect for carrying in a sports bag or to hold while doing your daily exercise or errands.

The 6 Counter Top Berkey Water Systems are:

System Holding Capacity Fully Expanded Flow Rate @ Full Expansion
Travel Berkey ~ 1.5 Gallons 2 Elements(Filters) ~ 2.75 Gallons / Hr
Berkey Light ~ 2.75 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 7.5 Gallons / Hr
Big Berkey ~ 2.25 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 7.0 Gallons / Hr
Royal Berkey ~ 3.25 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 8.0 Gallons / Hr
Imperial Berkey ~ 4.5 Gallons 6 Elements(Filters) ~ 16.5 Gallons / Hr
Crown Berkey ~ 6.0 Gallons 8 Elements(Filters) ~ 26.0 Gallons / Hr


The Black Berkey is what the filters are called and depending on the type of water problems in certain areas, some people also include PF-2 fluoride filters into their system. As you will see in the table above, each Berkey Water System uses the same Black Berkey filters, with only one difference, some can hold more of them at one time. All the systems can work with just two filters, but if a faster speed of filtration is required, then the more the filters the better.

You will get 2 Black Berkey filters with whichever countertop model you acquire. The rest of the holes can be plugged with the blocking plugs that are included when you purchase the system.

How to choose the right Berkey Water System?

  • Firstly, decide which size is convenient. Take into consideration how much space you have available on the counter or table where your Berkey will stand. Another important consideration is whether you will be taking it on trips with you and how much space is available in your car or camper van. This can be solved by getting two models, a bigger model (Imperial or Crown) for the home and a smaller one (Travel or Big) for your outings.
  • Secondly, take into consideration how often you will need to fill the Berkey Water System. The bigger it is the less often you will need to refill.
  • Thirdly, the speed with which the water is filtered. The volume of water in the bigger systems helps the water to flow at a faster rate without affecting its quality.
  • Fourthly, cost should not affect your decision at all because of the strength and durability of the outer housing. It is designed to last at least 20 years.
  • Lastly, the two Black Berkey filters will not need replacing before they have filtered 6,000 gallons of water. If you are going to use your system with 4 filters you will double the volume of water that can be filtered o 12,000 gallons.

If you want to work out the amount of water consumed by your family on a daily basis here is how:

If each person drinks 8 glasses of water per day then you multiply 8 glasses by 8 ounces per glass totaling 64 ounces per person per day. That is half a gallon per person daily. If you are planning to use the filtered water for cooking, then you choose a model with a larger capacity.

Taking this consumption into mind the Travel Berkey is perfect for a small family of up to three people, the Royal Berkey for up to 6 and the Crown Berkey can easily accommodate  6-12+ people.

Now that you have all the facts it will be easier for you to decide which Berkey Water System works best for your family’s needs.