Drinking water filters are excellent life companions. They should do the filtering instead of your kidneys. A well-chosen water filter can do a great job of capturing your local water contaminants, however there are limits to the capacity of its filtering components. When those limits are exceeded excess contaminants may dump into your ‘finished’ water. At that point your water filter is no longer working for you; you would be better off drinking tap water. Your water filter cartridges, and any water treatment equipment, should be replaced and/or maintained at regular intervals.
The photo above shows an example of an overused drinking water filter cartridge (on the right). Discolouration and slow flow are two obvious indicators of an exhausted cartridge. However some of the most serious health hazards in drinking water do not discolour or clog your water filter. Chlorine and chlorination by-products (THMs) are in this category. These contaminants are gases or liquids that are filtered by adsorption. This means that they cling to the walls of the tiny cavities inside your carbon block cartridge. Eventually the holding capacity of your filter cartridge will max out. With chlorinated water there is no visual indicator for when this is about to happen. Regular cartridge change outs are the best way to avoid overuse.
Some water filter brands include service life indicators. These battery-operated alarms typically monitor the volume, but not the quality, of the water that is running into the cartridge. Given the great variability of water sources, watermatters™ prefers to monitor filter life based on our experience of local water conditions.
Watermatters is not a fan of 3-letter government agencies such as the EPA. However, we are also not sympathetic with Berkey’s dilemma, which includes other legal challenges that have been eclipsed by the fanfare about the EPA Stop Sale/Pesticide issue. The owner of Berkey has emerged from concealment to portray Berkey as a victim...an all-too-common tactic that is deflecting attention away from Berkey’s real shortcomings.
Watermatters now supplies Coldstream FTO Plus ceramic gravity filters which fit in existing Berkey systems. These replacement filters are also fluoride reduction filters. They do the work of both the Black Berkey elements and Berkey's PF-2 fluoride elements, combined in a single filter.