For the past few years my family had been filtering our water with faucet filters. I have to admit, I got sick and tired of constantly replacing the filters. Sick of changing them and sick of paying for them.
One of the reasons I started my series on a “real food” food budget is that my family has been on an extremely tight budget. We’re doing the best we can with what we have and at the same time working on being debt free.
When I first found out about my third pregnancy I immediately knew my water consumption had to increase. If you haven’t had a chance to see just how much water I’m talking about, check out my post on a real food diet during pregnancy over at Keeper of the Home.
Unfortunately, our faucet filter had broken and without extra cash to go out and buy a new one, I resorted to drinking tap water. What I found was that in my first trimester of pregnancy I had a headache almost every day of the week. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing differently and started to eliminate certain things from my diet.
As soon as I eliminated tap water and started drinking bottled water, my headaches went away.
Toxins in our water supply
How foolish could I have been.
I live in Iowa, a top agricultural state in the country. We’re surrounded by commodity crops and factory farms. Not only does our water supply get contaminated by pesticide and insecticide runoff from industrial fields but even worse, factory farm manure spills into our rivers and streams which leads directly to our water supply. A “clean water” battle that Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is constantly fighting for.
Iowa has more than 572 polluted waterways – the highest ever on record – and has suffered more than 700 manure spills since 1995.
I also live in the metro which means our water supply is also tainted by pharmaceuticals (including animal antibiotics from CAFO’s), fluoride, and chlorine.
Many people probably wonder, “how do pharmaceuticals end up in my drinking water?”
It’s estimated that almost half of all Americans take prescription drugs with 80% popping some sort of pill every single day. Their bodies absorb some of the medication but the rest of it is passed through and flushed down the toilet.
The wastewater is cleaned and treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants where it leads directly to our faucets. However, most treatments do not remove all drug residues where low levels of pharmaceuticals are tested to be present in our water.
The problem with bottled water
Besides being expensive and wreaking havoc to our environment, most bottled water is dead water.
Most companies bottle up tap water and filter it to the extent that it is void of all minerals including calcium and magnesium.
The Berkey Water Filter
After I realized the source of my headaches, I started buying 5-6 gallon jugs of bottled water a week. We were spending at least $20-$24 a month. I wanted something that would be more cost efficient and healthier for our family.
Our solution was The Berkey Water Filter.
The Berkey is a gravitational based water filtration system. It’s the best stand alone unit on the market and filters out just about everything while leaving the minerals our bodies need in the water.
The Big Berkey® system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.
I also received the fluoride filter.
I love my Big Berkey
My stand alone unit sits in my dining room. I enjoy that the boys are old enough to get their own glasses of clean water. Unfortunately, little brother likes to drink straight out of the spicket.
It stands about 20″ high and holds about 2 gallons of water.
My husband put it together pretty simply, however, we did seek out a youtube tutorial to make sure we were placing the filters correctly in the right chambers. Once they were locked in place it was ready to go.
We filled it up once and drained it to make sure it cleaned out the filters.
The water empties from the top chamber to the bottom pretty quickly and what I most enjoy is that the filters should be good for about 2,000 gallons of water before having to be replaced. Definitely a great investment to save your family money in the long run.
So how does it taste? Wonderful – clean and pure.
My only complaint is that I wish I had received the Berkey Royal which holds about 3 gallons of water.
I find that we need to fill the top chamber nearly every day since I also use the water for cooking and to fill up water bottles now that baseball season has started for the boys.
The Big Berkey is a great unit for a family of 1-4 where the Royal is a much better investment for a family of 2-6. Now that we’ll soon be a family of five, we’ll probably have to upgrade in the future.
So, in my honest opinion, the Berkey is a great solution for those on a budget and wanting the best in real food and health for their families. A “real food” food budget solution.
The Big Berkey Filter System Giveaway!
Guess what, the great people at LPC Survival Ltd were not only kind enough to give me my own system (my thoughts and opinions are my own), but they’re going to give one of my readers one as well!
The giveaway starts today and ends on May 25, 2012. Good Luck!