Humans need water for sustenance. However, your tap water or well water may not be safe for you and your family when consumed directly. That’s why you should install a water purification system in your home to get rid of chemicals and harmful microorganisms in the water. Some of the commonly used systems for water treatment include Berkey, reverse osmosis, and distillation.
In this post, we will focus on Berkey vs. reverse osmosis. We will get deeper into each water purification system to show you how they function, including the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Hopefully, this review will give you better insight into the filtration system to install. Why? That’s because it would be inconvenient for you to have more than one water purification system installed in your home.
Without further ado, let us get down to these processes, including the benefits of taking purified/filtered water.
Why should you consume clean water?
Everyone needs to have access to clean and safe drinking water, regardless of where they live. However, there is a myriad of things that are happening in the modernized world, which have compromised the quality of water in most places. Contaminants continue to increase by the day, and that’s why people have come up with water purification systems to avert health issues related to taking contaminated water.
Water itself is life, and that’s why you need to make sure that you and your family have access to purified drinking water. Here are some of the upsides to taking clean and safe water.
- Clean water helps to boost your immunity
- When you’re well-hydrated, your mind works better
- Your strength is boosted when you remain hydrated
- Clean water gets rid of junk from your body
- It boosts energy levels in the body
With that in mind, you can now tell why you need to have either a Berkey or reverse osmosis system in place.
Berkey vs. reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis is a process where water is forced across a semi-permeable membrane utilizing a high-pressure pump. The huge force from this process helps to eliminate contaminants present in the water. It is hard for contaminants not to get eliminated through this process because reverse osmosis systems also feature sediment and carbon filters.
Which contaminants get eliminated through reverse osmosis?
Reverse osmosis (RO) is an effective filtration process, which is capable of removing up to 99 percent of dissolved salts, bacteria, organic compounds, colloids, and other particles from the water. Albeit effective, you should not rely on an RO system to get rid of 100 percent of viruses and bacteria. Why? It blocks contaminants based on their size. Also, RO systems can’t remove gases. That means that if your water has a lot of CO2, then there’s a high likelihood that your water will have a lower pH.
Nevertheless, reverse osmosis can be relied on to treat, surface, ground, and brackish water for both small and large flow applications. An RO system follows simple and easy steps to give you clean and safe drinkable water, and that’s why some industries have adopted this system.
However, there is an issue with RO systems. Which one? You might ask. Well, reverse osmosis removes beneficial minerals from the water, such as calcium, potassium, iron, cobalt, and manganese. Therefore, if anyone in your home is not on a well-rounded diet and you fail to re-mineralize your RO water, they risk mineral deficiency.
There have also been studies that indicate that RO water is not ideal for cooking. Why? Well, it will lead to a significant loss of essential elements in foods such as meat and vegetables.
- Gets rid of impurities, chemicals, and potentially harmful microorganisms
- Easy to install
- Easy maintenance
- Improves the taste by removing bad odors and tastes
- The RO process is fully automated; hence, efficient
- The initial setup is quite costly
- Produces a lot of wastewater
- Removes essential minerals from the water
Now, let us delve into the Berkey purification process. What is it, and what does in remove? Succinctly, the Berkey purification process is made up of several purification methods. Combining these methods makes your water clean and safe for consumption. What’s more, this method offers a couple of options, and each is designed to suit your specific needs.
The multiple purification methods are combined to make one impressive purification system, the Berkey purification process. An aspect that makes this purification process outstanding is that it’s comprised of six different media types. As a result, microfiltration comes into play.
So, what is microfiltration in water treatment? It’s the process whereby microscopic organisms get eliminated from the water. The Berkey purification process is composed of six distinct media types, which together, form millions of tiny micro-pores on the filters.
As a result, they make it impossible for microscopic contaminants to get through the filter. As you can see, this is a very effective method to get rid of sediments, parasites, protozoa, bacteria, and other foreign material in the water.
Adsorption in Berkey purification
Apart from microfiltration, there’s also adsorption in the Berkey purification process. Adsorption works by blocking the microscopic pores in the filter. That way, it obstructs contaminants that are smaller than the filter’s pores from passing through. Adsorption is quite effective in removing contaminants from the water.
Berkey purification process also relies on ion exchange. Ion exchange ensures to remove heavy metals from the water effectively. As a result, the flow rate of the water purified through this process is quite slow. And that goes to show how effective a method it is.
- Filters up to 99.9999 percent of microscopic organisms and 99.9999 percent of viruses
- Filters chlorine effectively
- Can filter about 3,000 gallons of water
- Does not eliminate essential minerals from the water
- Removes up to 95 percent of heavy metals
- You are required to refill the chamber
- The flow rate is quite slow
- You’ll need a different filter to get rid of fluoride
Berkey and reverse osmosis systems are some of the most commonly used to purify water. You can choose the one to get installed based on your preferences. But looking at Berkey vs. reverse osmosis, we prefer Berkey because it eliminates 99.9999 percent of microorganisms, and it does not get rid of essential minerals from the water.
ABOUT LEON SMITH
Leon is a Thirty-something-year-old blogger from Mauritius who is currently studying for a Master’s degree in chemical and processing Engineering at the University of Eldoret in Kenya. Read more about him.