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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am growing weary of the prepper posts talking about George Zimmerman and other useless posts which have little to do with our craft.

So in rebellion to the dribble I am going to start a series of posts with what I feel are real prepper qualities

So here is the Big Berkley water filter, if you don't have one, you are seriously lacking in your preps.

Yes I know you have a fresh water source, maybe a lake, even better a stream, even better a spring, even better better a well, but you must prepare for the eventuality that those sources will become contaminated and for less that $300 you can solve that problem.

Water being the essence of life, the most basic item you cannot do without, why trust your entire existence to being without the most basic need?

Big Berkey Water Filter? | Table Top Gravity Filter

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It is a simple 2 part stainless steel filter using 2x 9" ceramic filters

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You can reasonably take mud from a horses hoof and drink it with this unit, it should be your next investment if you don't have one already.

I have 2 extra ceramic filters just in case although they are quite durable and can be pressure washed with few ill effects.
 

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Just to add my experience to Montana's endorsement...

We bought the same Berkey system, but our's has 4 filters instead of 2. The 2 filter model can filter up to 4 gallons per hour. The 4 filter can do up to 7 gallons per hour. We figured we will hopefully have a couple kids, a grandson and a son-in-law if SHTF, so we needed the extra throughput.

We also bought the model with the black ceramic filters (the originals were white). The black filters will actually even remove the fluoride from city tap water!

The only negative I can say about the system is that you need to filter through a couple tankfulls of water BEFORE you actually need to use the system in a live or die situation because the first 2 or 3 times through, the water does have a pretty strong chemical flavor. That is due to the coating they put on the filters to keep them from collecting particles from air during storage at the warehouse. At least that is what they told me when I called and asked about it. It does not harm you to drink the chemical-water, but it really does not taste very good. And it does go away after about 3 tankfulls through.
 

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Check out Doulton ceramic filters on ebay or amazon. These are the heart of the filtering system using activated charcoal. So you can use a 5gal bucket ontop of a 5gal bucket (grill or grate between them) with 1-4 of the filters attached to the bottom of the top bucket & purified water drips into the lower bucket. I use a lid on the buckets when not being used. Also have a colander for the top that I can use any type cloth like a T-shirt or towel as a prefilter.
 

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Check out Doulton ceramic filters on ebay or amazon. These are the heart of the filtering system using activated charcoal. So you can use a 5gal bucket ontop of a 5gal bucket (grill or grate between them) with 1-4 of the filters attached to the bottom of the top bucket & purified water drips into the lower bucket. I use a lid on the buckets when not being used. Also have a colander for the top that I can use any type cloth like a T-shirt or towel as a prefilter.
This is what I do too. A fraction of the cost.
 

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I don't know if its true, but had read the Doulton filters are what is in a Berkey which is why I checked for price of a Doulton filter & decided to just make my own unit. Less then $50 including filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great idea for those on a budget, I prefer the stainless steel resivour over plastic but anything is better than nothing.
 

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I think filters are great! With the proper filter you get clean clear drinking water - as long as the filter is working and doesn't get broken. I do use a filter system but if the SHTF I will use a still to get clean water when necessary. I have two streams that are close to the house in addition to the well to provide water for the still and the still can process more than five gallons in a single day (about seven hours). I don't need filters as long as I have a heat source and even a sunny day and a large Fresnel lens will do. (it takes watching if you use the sun and a lens)
No system is perfect and the key to survival is redundancy - always have a backup for your backup and you will do fine.
 

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FYI, copper tube over the vent where the weight goes on a pressure cooker & you will get distilled water out of it. Tube has to be long enough to get the end away from the heat source which is under the pressure canner. Three foot long tube seems about right.
 

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Emergency Water Kit

This is the product I keep at home and I keep one at the bug out property.
They are very affordable and good for filtering water needed for 5 years
for two people. I also have extra filters for each at the BOP so they can
sustain for a life time.

Berkley's are great - but illegal to have shipped in to CA due to lead
content - gotta love the great left state. (NOT)
 

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FYI, copper tube over the vent where the weight goes on a pressure cooker & you will get distilled water out of it. Tube has to be long enough to get the end away from the heat source which is under the pressure canner. Three foot long tube seems about right.
Absolutely right - pressure cookers can be used as a pot still. The problem with pot stills is that you have no way of controlling the distillates that come out of the tube which should be long enough to cool the vapors to below the boiling point of whatever you are distilling. Pot stills are still in wide use but the first two gallons is usually discarded because it may contain some of the lighter distillates that you don't want, be it alcohol or water that you are distilling. In alcohol production you can end up with benzene and other products that distill out first mixed into the alcohol, so that first and second batch are tossed out. Distilling water you are taking the temperature up another 70 degrees at least and you can end up with a lot of stuff back in your water that you don't want. That is why I have two "reflux" stills. I can control the temperature of the distillates to exclude those that have a lower and higher boiling point.

You could get less poisonous stuff in your water from just open boiling but that would leave the other "heavier" materials in it and those might be nitrites, nitrates or other products that could be lethal. A "reflux" still is the best answer for me.
 

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FYI, copper tube over the vent where the weight goes on a pressure cooker & you will get distilled water out of it. Tube has to be long enough to get the end away from the heat source which is under the pressure canner. Three foot long tube seems about right.
Pressure cooker... I'm sure the NSA has flagged both your post and my reply... oh well...
 

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When researching water filtration I chose not to use any type of ceramic system because of it's short life span and expense. While I agree they are good systems I found I could do better with a hollow fiber membrane filter than can be easily cleaned and last up to one million gallons.
 

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Water filtration is one of the areas where I have no redundancy worth speaking of. I have several portable alternatives, boiling, and of course tablets, but no real back up for a long term solution.

Gotta fix that real soon.
 

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Boiling will take care of bacteria but doesn't remove heavy metals. That is why you want to set up some type of steam unit. Steam leaves heavy metals behind.
 

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If you have berkey filters please make sure to read this and check your filters!

http://www.berkeywater.com/Element.pdf

It's been a while so most of these filters have made it out of he supply chain, but you might have them sitting on your shelf if you've bought in the past year or two. My firs set of filters fell completely off the base - and then all of my backups were from the same batch.
 

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If you have berkey filters please make sure to read this and check your filters!

http://www.berkeywater.com/Element.pdf

It's been a while so most of these filters have made it out of he supply chain, but you might have them sitting on your shelf if you've bought in the past year or two. My firs set of filters fell completely off the base - and then all of my backups were from the same batch.
Good to know - Thank-you.
 
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