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Using Countertop Water Filtration in Your Kitchen

Have you considered installing a water-filtering system in your kitchen?

If you are like me, you may have been curious about water filtration systems and how they can improve the quality and taste of your tap water for some time. Every year about this time I get a report from my town about the quality of water it supplies. It always makes me stop and wonder if I can do better.

Installing Stand-Alone Countertop Water Filtration in Your Kitchen

The Big Berkey water filter on a counter in a kitchen beside the stove.

So when BigBerkey gave me the BigBerkey countertop water filtration system to try in my home for the first time, I was very excited. Here are some of the reasons why I decided to give it a try and what I have learned so far from the experience.

Reasons to Consider Water Filtration

We know water is essential for life, but not all water is created equal. Depending on where you live, your water source, and what kind of pipes you have, your tap water may contain contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride, lead, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, and more. These can affect not only the taste and smell of your water but also your health and well-being.

Some of the potential risks of drinking unfiltered water sound pretty scary:

- Increased risk of cancer and other diseases

- Damage to your immune system and digestive system

- Hormonal imbalances and reproductive problems

- Skin irritation and hair loss

- Dental fluorosis and tooth decay

All of this makes investigating home water filtration a good idea. You can read more about home water treatment here.

The Benefits of Water Filtration

By using a water filtration system, you can remove or reduce these harmful substances from your water and enjoy many benefits:

- Better tasting and smelling water

- Improved hydration and fewer toxins

- Enhanced immune system and overall health

- Reduced environmental impact and plastic waste

- Savings on bottled water

So, I decided to test a water filtration system from a popular, well-regarded brand, Berkey. I found the model I tested, the BigBerkey, is easy to set up, offers a range of benefits, and is a great way to ensure that you and your family consume safe, clean water.   Information about BigBerkey test results can be found here.

Setting up your BigBerkey water filtration system

Setting up your BigBerkey water filtration system is a simple process that can be completed in just a few steps. 

First, you'll need to assemble the system itself. The Berkey system comes with a set of easy-to-follow instructions that will guide you through the simple process. It comes with a lidded upper chamber that holds the filters, and the unfiltered water, a lower chamber that holds the filtered water, and a spigot for dispensing the filtered water

Prime the filters: Before using your Berkey system for the first time, you'll need to "prime" the filters by running water through them for a few minutes. This will remove any manufacturing debris or dust that may be present. It sounds like a bigger deal to do than it is.

This presented a bit of a challenge for me because the head of my kitchen faucet is too large to accommodate the priming tool, but I figured it out by switching to my bathroom faucet for this step.

Install the Black Berkey filters: The Black Berkey filters are the heart of the system, and they're what remove impurities and contaminants from your water. Installing them is easy; just screw them into the upper chamber of the system. This is very easy to do.

Fill the upper chamber with water: Once you've installed the filters, fill the upper chamber with water. The water will filter down through the filters and into the lower chamber.

And that's all there is to it. Enjoy clean, filtered water, and let the system do its job.

The Benefits of Using a Berkey Water Filtration System

There are a number of benefits associated with using a Berkey water filtration system.
Here are just a few:
Removal of contaminants:  The most important benefit is that Berkey systems can remove a wide range of contaminants from your water, including bacteria, viruses, pesticides, and heavy metals. This means that you can be confident that the water you're drinking is free of harmful substances.

Taste: We prefer the taste of filtered water to unfiltered water. This is because the filtration process removes impurities and other substances that can affect the taste of your water.  I love to use filtered water when making my morning coffee.  The BigBerkey makes this very easy.

Cost savings: Using a Berkey water filtration system can save you money in the long run. Instead of purchasing bottled water, you can produce your own clean, filtered water right in your own home.

Reduces plastic waste: When you buy less bottled water you will have fewer plastic bottles to recycle.

Attractive:  The BigBerkey is bright and shiny.  It looks sleek and clean in my kitchen. Guests notice it right away and want to know about it.

The Ways to Use Filtered Water at Home

Once you've set up your Berkey water filtration system it's time to start using it daily to enjoy the healthy benefits of clean, filtered water.  I've been using my BigBerkey system for a month. If you are like me, you will use filtered water in several ways in your daily life.

Drinking water: The most obvious use for filtered water is as a source of drinking water. The spigot on the Berkey makes it easy to pour a filtered glass of water. I like ice water so I also use filtered water to make ice cubes. When I’m on the go, I fill a stainless water bottle with filtered water to take with me. I love the savings from not buying bottled water.

Making coffee: If you're a coffee drinker, you'll appreciate the improved taste that filtered water can provide to your morning coffee. I use Berkey filtered water to brew my coffee and enjoy a deeper, smoother flavor. The improved taste of the coffee is delightful!

Cooking: When you're preparing meals, you may overlook using filtered water to wash fruits and vegetables, cook the vegetables, rice, and pasta, and make soups and stews. I’ve started using filtered water to help remove impurities and improve the taste of food for my family.  The BigBerkey sits beside my stove making it very handy for using filtered water when cooking.

Some Other Things to Consider

There are many things to like about the BigBerkey water filtration system but there are some things to consider before jumping in.

Filtration speed: Berkey systems filter water at a relatively slow rate. This means that it can take several hours to filter a full tank of water, which can be inconvenient if you need to use a lot of water at once.  This hasn't really been a concern for me because I tend to plan ahead.

Overfilling:  You can overfill your system and have spillage. It takes monitoring and paying attention to the water levels in the chambers to ensure there are no mishaps.  I check both chambers before adding water.

The BigBerkey is large: It takes up a fair amount of counter space. If you have a small kitchen, you may find that the system is too big for your needs.  The system is too tall to fit under most cabinets and you'll want it to be on the edge of a counter for ease of dispensing water.

I've moved my BigBerkey around a bit to find the best spot for my family.  Right now we are liking its spot on my kitchen counter next to the stovetop.

System maintenance: Replacement filters can be expensive. The good news is the Berkey filters last quite a while.  The two black filters that come with the system will filter about 6000 gallons of water.
Additionally, the system needs to be cleaned about once a month, and maybe more difficult if your filters develop a buildup of minerals or other substances over time.  My filters have not required cleaning yet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Countertop Water Filtration

Q: What is a countertop water filtration system?
A: A countertop water filtration system is a convenient and portable device designed to purify tap water directly from your kitchen countertop. It typically consists of a filtration unit that sits on the counter and connects to your existing faucet, effectively removing impurities and improving the taste and quality of your drinking water.

Q: How does a countertop water filtration system work?
A: Countertop water filtration systems use a combination of filtration technologies such as activated carbon, ceramic filters, or reverse osmosis to remove contaminants from tap water. These systems are equipped with replaceable filter cartridges that capture impurities like chlorine, heavy metals, sediments, and bacteria, providing you with clean and refreshing drinking water.

Q: Can a countertop water filtration system remove all contaminants?
A: Countertop water filtration systems can effectively remove a wide range of common contaminants, including chlorine, sediments, heavy metals, and some bacteria. However, you'll want to do your research because the filtration capabilities may vary depending on the specific system and filter technology used. For more advanced filtration needs, such as removing specific contaminants or treating well water, you may need to consider specialized systems or additional filtration methods.

Q: Can I use a countertop water filtration system for hot water or cooking?
A: Most countertop filtration systems are designed for cold water use only. It is important to check the product specifications and recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Hot water can potentially damage or reduce the effectiveness of certain filter materials. If you require filtered hot water, consider alternative options like an under-sink filtration system or a separate faucet filter designed for hot water use.

Q: Are countertop water filtration systems easy to maintain?
A: Yes, countertop water filtration systems are generally low-maintenance. Regular maintenance typically involves replacing the filter cartridge as needed and periodically cleaning the system according to the manufacturer's instructions. Maintenance requirements may vary between models, so it's essential to consult the user manual for specific guidelines.

All-in-all, I'm enjoying the BigBerkey in my kitchen.  It delivers clean, good-tasting water, was easy to set up, and has been easy to use on a daily basis.  While I didn't have major concerns about the quality of water provided by my town's water department I do appreciate having clean, filtered water. 


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