Comparison of Berkey® Systems FAQ’S

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Comparison of Berkey® Systems FAQ’S

We would like to spend the least amount of money for a system that can meet the needs of a larger group, what would you recommend?
When determining the best size for your situation, please consider that the larger the systems capacity, the less often it will need to be refilled. All of our systems are available configured with two Black Berkey™ Purification elements however; the four larger stainless steel systems are expandable which means that your first consideration should be to purchase the system, which has the capacity to best meet your groups needs. If at a later date you determine that you require more gallons per hour, you will not have to invest in another system, you can simply order additional purification elements to expand your current system.  Below is a list of our various two element systems, their capacities and the maximum number of elements each system can accommodate.

Travel Berkey™ ~1.5 GALLONS 2 Elements
Berkey Light™ ~2.75 GALLONS 2 Elements
Big Berkey™ ~2.25 GALLONS 4 Elements
Royal Berkey™ ~3.25 GALLONS 4 Elements
Imperial Berkey™ ~4.5 GALLONS 6 Elements
Crown Berkey™ ~6 GALLONS 8 Elements



What is the filtration rate per hour for the various Berkey® systems?
The chart below shows the gallons per hour for each system, when configured with two Black Berkey™ purification elements and when expanded to accommodate the maximum number of elements. Flow rates calculated with upper chamber full to top.  Flow rate decreases as water level declines.

FLOW per hour
Travel Berkey™ ~2.75 GALLONS N/A
Berkey Light™ ~4.25 GALLONS N/A
Big Berkey™ ~3.5 GALLONS ~7.00 GALLONS
Royal Berkey™ ~4.0 GALLONS ~8.0 GALLONS
Imperial Berkey™ ~5.5 GALLONS ~16.5 GALLONS
Crown Berkey™ ~6.5 GALLONS ~26.0 GALLONS


We are going to be traveling to a third world country and will require a system for a large group of people. Which system would you recommend? 
As a rule of thumb you will need two gallons per day per person for sustained use and 1/2 to one gallon per day per person for short-term emergency use.  The difference being that for sustained use more water is required for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hygiene whereas for short-term emergency use, drinking water alone is calculated. Please make a determination as to the number of people within the group and whether or not the system will be used for sustained or for emergency use, then review the above FAQ’s to make a determination as to the best system to meet your groups needs. You might also want to consider taking several Sport Berkey™ filtration bottles as well.  These systems are very compact personal filtration systems and were developed for use in third world countries. They often come in very handy when travel requires that you be away from the location of your larger purification system.

What are the basic differences between the in the Berkey Light™ and the other stainless steel systems?
The Berkey Light™ system is designed for outdoor use therefore it is about three pounds lighter in weight than the equivalent capacity of our stainless steel system. The Travel Berkey™ system is also designed for outdoor use and is the smallest of the stainless steel systems.  It is compact enough to fit within a suitcase because unlike the Berkey Light™ system, the upper chamber nests within the lower chamber during travel. This is the preferred system when mobility is a big issue.

The four-multi use systems are designed for indoor everyday use so they are of a heavier construction than the above systems but these systems can also be used outdoors or during unexpected emergencies when a source of potable water may not be available.