Is Berkey Water Filter Making You Sick? Here’s What To Do

Many people who own a Berkey water filtration system have been seen complaining about their health and also that the water that is typically filtered out from the Berkey water filter does not taste good either.

There are many reasons why this is the case, but first and foremost is that the claims that Berkey filters make are not up to the mark, and there is no way for the company to prove that their claims of removing 99% bacteria are valid.

Is Berkey Water Filter Making You Sick?

In fact, not only do people find the Berkey filter not properly purifying the water, but they also end up facing other problems as well, such as slow water filtration, leakage, and size issues when it comes to the Berkey system.

If you feel like you’re getting sick from drinking water from the Berkey system, then you might want to keep reading to find the exact reason why you might be getting a nauseous or disgusting feeling.

Key Takeaways

  • You will understand how berkey water filters are making you sick
  • The types of filter a berkey water filter contains
  • How activated carbon can be harmful and needs to be removed through carbon filters
  • Symptoms of illnesses as a result of consuming unfiltered water
  • Reasons not to buy a berkey water filtration system
  • Good things about berkey water filtration system
  • Reverse osmosis system is better than berkey water filtration system

Berkey Water Filter is Making You Sick, And Here’s Why!

Essentially, the Berkey water filter system claims that it removes plastics, other factory contaminants, carbon, Chlorine, and most importantly, nitrate. They specifically claim that the Berkey water filter can remove up to 95% of heavy metals and 99.9% of bacteria that are harmful to the human body.

The truth is that the Berkey water filter system is not able to do this because, in Iowa, the state asks all companies to prove their claim by performing it live, but since Berkey is not able to prove their claim, it is part of the reason why Berkey is now allowed to be sold in states like Iowa.

Is Berkey Water Filter Making You Sick? Here's What To Do

If a company denies performing the primary claim that it advertises, then there is a greater chance that it is because of the lack of being able to fulfill that claim or selling point.

Even if the claim of the company is that it removes 95% of heavy metals and other bacteria, there is still a significant amount of contaminants that the Berkey water filtration system is not able to clean. For example, it does not contain a KDF filter, which is what aids in the removal of lead, Chlorine, mercury, and chromium.

Related Article: How To Clean Berkey Filters

Chromium is a chemical that is most commonly found in the waters because of the factory waste that is dumped into water streams; hence not owning this filter can actually lead to severe illnesses, which is why there is an excellent chance that you are falling sick because of this.

Even though the Berkey has Carbon filters but it does not include a Granular Activated Carbon filter. A conventional carbon filter is able to remove impurities with a micron rating of 0.5 to 1.0.


But any contaminants with a micron rating smaller than that, for example, Chlorine, disinfection byproducts, and pesticides, are not able to be removed; hence many people end up becoming sick in the long run.

Even though a Berkey water filter is easy to install as opposed to a conventional multi-stage water filter, the problem is that a Berkey is not advanced enough to have UV purifiers in them.

A conventional reverse osmosis system or a multi-stage water filtration system will always contain a UV purifier system which is when a UV light is sent into the system to remove any tiniest bacteria that was able to penetrate through all the filters, but at the same time, it ensures that no ‘good’ bacteria or minerals are being removed.

How to Know If You’re Getting Sick from Your Berkey Water System?

Before we begin with the symptoms of how to notice whether you’re sick or not, we believe that listing down the exact nasty bacteria that contaminate water is essential; for instance, bacteria like E Coli, norovirus, and rotavirus along with Giardia and Cryptosporidium are most commonly found.

I don’t want to scare you, but I believe that many people just let go of this significant issue in the hopes of saving ‘cost’ but try to understand that even though you might be currently saving cost over a better filter but in the long term you might end up paying more because your health concerns that will rise as a result of polluted water.

Putting everything aside, the symptoms of consuming bacteria-filled water are as follows:

  • First thing first, you might notice that the water flavor that you drink from the filter is entirely different and, in fact, seems too sour at times. This is because contaminants like Chlorine and chromium are not being filtered properly
  • Second, you might notice that you’re constantly suffering from diarrhea or muscle cramps. This is because of metal poisoning. Even though Berkey claims to remove these metals but they are not able to prove this, which is why if you are experiencing these systems, then it’s best to get a blood test done for metal poisoning.
  • In severe cases, you might even start suffering from memory loss and nerve damage, so it’s best to start avoiding any water that tastes different to begin with.
  • Additionally, you might see that you feel unhealthy internally, and even though you are drinking enough water but it will still seem heavy and might give you a feeling of being bloated. This is because you are not only consuming metal contaminants but also plastic bits as well which will pave the way for future complications
  • You might also experience issues with your hunger; for example, you might find yourself eating excessively or not being able to eat at all. This might be because of tapeworms within your body, which can be found in contaminated water.

(Note: This might not always be the case, but it’s better to take relevant precautions)

Reasons to Beware of the Berkey Water Filteration System

Asides from the water not being filtered properly, there are other issues that come along with the Berkey water filter, so it’s best to keep those in mind before you spend your precious buck.

Too big to store

Many people have been found complaining that the Berkey water filtration system is complicated to store in different locations.

Even though it is one of those products that is easy to install, and there’s no denying that, but even the smallest Berkey water filter cannot come into a typical American household cabinet, so you might have to buy a completely new table just for this system (trust me, it’s not economical at all).

Many people try to fit such small water filtration systems in their fridges, but that is neither wise nor smart since the Berkey water system is not only heavy in its weight, but even the smallest of the five Berkey water sizes is too large to fit into the fridge.

The taste of the water is too weird!

There’s no denying that the Berkey water filtration system is no advanced multi-stage system, which is why it cannot possibly clean the water to such an extent as which it claims.

Since proper contaminants are not properly removed, like Chlorine, the water ends up tasting like chemical water and almost seems too sour or chemically to drink, which is why you have to end up boiling the water again to remove it (nothing about this is easy).

It Claims to be ‘easy-to-use’ but is actually not!

The one thing that Berkey sells itself on is that it is easy to install and that you will not need any professional help to come in because it’s that easy, but the problem is, it’s all lies.

Even though you don’t need to attach or install the system into any wall or other places, you do need to fill the Berkey water filtration system.

Now the main concern with this is that imagine yourself going to the sink (which is so tiny that your Berkey filter will never fit); you will have to fill up water in your jug, go fill the Berkey filter, and come back again to load the pitcher again, fill the Berkey again, and so and so forth.

It’s definitely a hassle, so the purpose of making it easy to use is automatically defeated when consumers have to keep running to access clean filtered water.

Slow water filtration!

As if running toward and back from the kitchen wasn’t enough, the Berkey water filtration system is too slow and will never filter the water on time. You might have to keep it overnight and access clean water in the morning, so it doesn’t sound easy.

In fact, it ends up taking so much of our time, and on top of that, you don’t even get to have clean drinking water, so it all just seems like a waste in the end. Consumer morale just wholly goes down, so it’s best to avoid a system that creates more hassle than ease.

Loads of instructions!

Berkey’s most significant unique selling point has been the easy installation of the system as opposed to those complex and technical filtration systems, but someone who has never had to set up any water filter might find this confusing.

The first thing that clueless people like me do is read the instruction manual to know exactly what to do and how to do it, but the problem with Berkey is that their instruction manuals are not only in bulk amounts, but it’s also super tiny to read.

This might sound a bit exaggerated but try to understand from the perspective of someone who has to have glasses to read. The instructions are so tiny that in order to read them, you just trigger a headache, and you end up delaying the whole process.


The priming of the carbon filters is one extensive exercise. Those filters are massive that they simply cannot fit into a conventional kitchen sink, so you end up having to take them to the bathroom or somewhere else to have them primed.

On top of that, you need to have a spigot on deck in order actually to do the priming process, but Berkey does not send a spigot with the packaging, and you have to end up placing a separate order for the spigot, which costs you more dollars.

Some Good Aspects About Owning a Berkey Water Filteration System

Even though I personally believe that it does not do what it claims to provide the consumers however I do think that it might be helpful to some specific types of consumers, for example, college or university students.

Since students cannot afford to buy water bottles daily and they cannot afford to get sick by consuming the tap water, owning a Berkey might not be all that bad because you don’t have to install it anywhere, and you can place it on a desk in your student accommodation.

However, I do recommend that students should not completely rely on Berkey and should mix in with bottled water as well because, with so many deals on board, many stores sell four 200ml bottles for 4 to 5 dollars, depending on where you shop.

It’s best to keep alternating because not only are you saving your cost, but you are also keeping yourself safe from overuse of contaminated water.


Remember that Berkey water will not make you sick immediately, but it might make you prone to greater illnesses in the long run, for example, after 6 months, depending on how frequently you drink from it.

Even though the Berkey water filtration system is quite large but it is still easy to carry to different places, so if you’re someone who’s constantly traveling or maybe lives in a recreational vehicle (RV), then this product might become your best friend.

Not only is it easy to carry in an RV, but many people have to make do with the water facilities around them, so this will do a good job of purifying them so that you can drink and stay hydrated for the time being, but as I said, don’t completely depend on it.

Additionally, a larger family might benefit more from it as opposed to a family of one or two because of its large quantity and size; however, this might not always be the case because I have seen some students being happy with it, so it really depends on your situation.

Wrapping Up! Berkey Water Filter Making You Sick

To sum it all up, Berkey water does not do what it claims to do. For example, it is not able to remove all the metal contaminants, and neither is it able to remove all the bacteria, but it still does an excellent job of eliminating different sediments and carbon particles.

But, I do believe that solely depending on this system is like deliberately allowing yourself to get sick, so it’s best to alternate with bottled water or another form of clean water as well.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

Recent Posts