May 29, 2009–Today’s Way: Although it has been established that most ordinary tap water in the United States is actually just as pure as bottled water a lot of folks, for various reasons, still like to filter their water.  The problem with this is that the carbon filter plastic cartridges that come with most of the popular systems must be disposed of every couple of months, and they are not recycled.  A greener option is to choose a water filtering system like our pal, the Big Berkey, that utilizes special ceramic filters made from natural diatomaceous earth, which has pores so small it is able to filter out 99.99% of particulates, including cysts, parasites and pathogenic bacteria (such as E. Coli, Cryptosporidium and Salmonella).  What’s more, the Berkey filters reduce chlorine, rust, sediment and organic chemicals—we have rather sulphury smelling well water, which oxidates into rust very quickly, but we run all of our water through these filters and it comes out only a little while later clean and pure and tasty as a clear mountain spring.  And these ceramic filters last for about 6,000 gallons of water (at 10 gallons per week, that’s over 11 years…we’ve had ours for 10), since all you have to do is clean them up with a scrubby sponge periodically.  The best part is, there are no changeable cartridges to replace or create a disposal problem—when our ceramic filters are spent, they’ll easily biodegrade into our garden.

The up-front cost of a Big Berkey is rather high, but the savings are really worth it over the duration.  You should definitely do a little comparison shopping because we have seen huge differences in pricing from merchant to merchant.  To learn more about the Big Berkey, check out this site.