It all depends upon your estimated water usage x the number of people drinking the water. Are the filters the Berkey ceramic or the "black" Berkey filters. Berkeys estimated filter life for the ceramics is 15,000 gal. per filter. The "Black" filters life is estimated at 3,000 gallons per filter. The "black" filters are actually a purifier, and remove more contaminants than the ceramics. A lot depends on how "dirty" the water is. Filter life can be extended by pre-filtering the water to remove the worst sediment. A coffee filter can be used to do this, or a standard "under the sink" sediment filter. To get the most out of your filter, the water usage is for drinking only; and for maybe washing dishes. If your "lake" doesn't have any known harmful chemicals, the sediment filter can be used for bathing type water. I have a 2 filter black Berkey system, plus two spare filters. This should purify approx 12,000 gallons. At 3gallons @ for 2-4 people, this should provide 3-6 yrs of water. Finnwolf hope this helps. dozierHas anyone used the stainless steel British Berkefeld water filtering system on lake water? How does it taste? How many filters do you recommend to keep on hand?
I figured if times get hard, water will be the most important commodity.
Thanks Dozier. Do the black filters work in the British stainless steel model? Can you strain the water thro a cotton cloth first or is a coffee filter the best? Please pardon my ignorance on this.
Finn, not sure if the "Black Berkey" is available in the stainless model. Berkey has a website that should give the answer. I just bought a pair the black filters for $99, a spigot for $10, and installed them in 5gallon food grade buckets. Saved about $125 from buying the whole unit. Yes you can strain out the bigger sediment with a cotton shirt. Coffee filter paper is a little more efficient in removing more of the sediment. The key to filter "life" is removing as much sediment before filtering. All filters have pores which water strains thru. Sediments in the water eventually plug these pores to where filter efficiency degrades. Ceramic and the black filters can be rejuvenated by removing the filters, and scrubbing them with a "Scotchbright" pad. What you are doing is scraping away the filters outer layer of clogged pores. A new layer of the filters open pores is now exposed for continued filtering. When all the filtering material is scraped away, the filter needs replacement. Getting rid of as much sediment/solids prior to filtering, will prolong the filters life. dozier