For most families, drinking water, free of bacteria and viruses, is most cost effectively produced by the NTM Tech Center three stage water purification system. The three stages consist of pre-filtration to remove dirt and leaves, microfiltration via a ceramic drip filter to remove bacteria and microscopic particles, and a final UV (ultraviolet) light to kill viruses. All three stages can be cleaned and reused to produce hundreds of gallons of drinking water, even if the water source is questionable.
Recently a missionary in Indonesia had his well water tested. It was found to have so many bacteria and viruses that it would be considered sewer water! The water was tested again after passing through the three stage water filter and was found to have no detectable bacteria or viruses.
However, since the NTM Tech Center three stage water purification system is designed to produce all the drinking water for a household, it is not very portable. It also requires a small amount of electricity which would typically be available at home.
Although many websites claim to be able to provide clean water without electricity, most either add chemicals or do not remove the threat from viruses. We have researched and tested many such technologies.
Missionaries have used the Super Sterasyl silver impregnated ceramic drip filters from British Berkefeld for decades. Although it is quite effective at removing bacteria, it is not capable of removing viruses. Since most missionaries face a host of water borne viruses, it is essential that we also face this challenge.
Filters are available that can remove contaminatesas small as .02 microns. This represents about half of the known sizes of viruses. Because the pore size is so small, the .02 plugs quickly and is somewhat difficult to back-flush. Any water filter capable of physically removing all viruses would have a pore size that is so small that water would not be able to get through.
We have been in contact with the developer of the Black Berkey filtration technology. He explained the reason why they have not published the technical data about how it works. Publishing such information would make it easier for people to ignore patents and make a clone that is not effective.
At the developer’s request, we will not be publishing the details about how it works, but we are now convinced of the following:
- Bacteriostatic (will keep bacteria from reproducing)
- Antimicrobial (destroys or inhibits the growth of microorganisms)
- Will physically remove bacteria
- Will totally disable viruses, regardless of the size of the virus
- Must only be used in a drip filter (never pressurized)
Please see additional specifications and capabilities at: http://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-water-filters/black-berkey.html
We have found that the Black Berkey is both very effective and easy to use. For most families, the NTM Tech Center three stage water purification system will deliver purified water more cost effectively. However, if you use less than 3.5 gallons (19 liters) of water per day for your cooking, hygiene and drinking needs, you should consider using the Black Berkey.
The Black Berkey will fit in an ordinary drip filter canister and should be used and cleaned much the same way as the ceramic filters. The Black Berkey will not fit in an ordinary pressurized canister because pressurizing it will render it ineffective against viruses.
Before its first use the Black Berkey needs to be primed by back flushing it with clean water.Each Black Berkey filter is rated for 3,000 gallons of water. Although the Black Berkey can be cleaned up to 300 times, it is unlikely that you will ever do so as the total capacity will likely be consumed first. Please keep track of the amount of water that you filter to make sure you replace the filter after 3,000 gallons.
The Sport Berkey is a small portable version of the Black Berkey, perfect for visiting remote villages. Both are available from the NTM Tech Center. However, please be aware that many similar clones appear on the internet that do not remove bacteria or destroy viruses.