Why does water look troubled after filtered through the Black Berkey® elements?

A small number of customers reported that their water (which was clear before filtering) seemed troubled after filtering it through Berkey systems®Equipped with Black Berkey®Elements, and in conjunction, some are experiencing a very slow flow.

NMCL sells a large number of Berkey systems®and Black Berkey elements®replacement worldwide each year, but isolated reports on the turbidity of the water have reached a small handful of cities in North America. The largest number of cases came from the Vancouver region, British Columbia, Canada.

Regarding the problems reported by customers:

  • Water cloud:In order to investigate these assertions, nmcl has carried out simple performance tests in three different states spread across the United States (from 3 different water sources) using some of the filters of the customers in question which produced troubled water for them.NMCL has not been able to reproduce customers' assertions concerning troubled water.


  • A associated slow flow:Many filters associated with troubled water reports also had a slow flow (or in some cases, the flow was completely stopped). In several sets of filters signaling the two problems of the Vancouver region, an unidentified particles film was observed outside the filters which were accumulated there during the short use of these by customers. We installed the filters in a system and verified that they sank slowly. However, after rubbing the film with a Scotch-Brite® stamp,Remoked filters and having reinstalled them in a Berkey® system,themFilters worked as expected, providing clear water with an acceptable flow.

NMCL did not do any tests to identify what could have covered the filters or contribute to the troubled water or the slowdown in the system flow.

Potential causes
Black Berkey elements®are designed to purify water by reducing or eliminating contaminants without introducing harmful contaminants into water. A very small amount of support processing dust is expelled during the initial priming process. Therefore, the quality, the appearance and the taste of the water improves when it passes through the Black Berkey elements®After they were sufficiently started. The cases indicated in nebulosity can be caused by a number of reasons, such as insufficient priming. Alternatively, some sources of water can be very acidic and have high levels of dissolved minerals, including salts or other substances (which can be unknown to us). BlackBerkey®The elements generally increase the pH of filtered water, which can cause precipitation and suspension of "good minerals" in a natural process called flocculation, which makes them visible to the naked eye. In addition, the microscopic temperature and air bubbles present in the water can give it a milky appearance that dissipates over time. Finally, there may be a new or unknown substance or contaminant in water that affects water chemistry during the filtration process that produces the troubled water effect. Again, these are just possibilities - we do not know with certainty. What is logical is that the water is cleaner after being filtered through the Black Berkey elements®Despite the troubled water appearance.

Disturbing water emerging from Black Berkey®Elements is very rare. The reported rate of Black Berkey elements®Producing turbidity in their water is extremely low at around 0.0001 % (much less than 1 %). Given that NMCL has not been able to reproduce the reported problems, which have occurred in an extremely limited number of geographic areas,We can only conclude that problems are linked to something found in individual water supplies serving these areas.Berkey systems®Equipped with Black Berkey®The elements are powerful and reliable. They have been tested by several independent third -party laboratories to treat more than 200 typical contaminants in freshwater sources. These are only a few of the many reasons why families confronted with natural disasters, missionary organizations working in ruthless regions of the world, rescue agencies fighting against elements and everyday families rely on Berkey systems®To do what they say can do and continue to choose them again and again.

However, as powerful and reliable as our systems are, we recognize that a Berkey system®may not be the best solution for a very small number of customers due to the nature of their specific local water supply.

In the unlikely case where you encounter the problems listed above, a more frequent cleaning and priming of the elements and the Black Berkey systems®will probably restore any reduced performance of the system. Another solution may be to filter the troubled water again through your system by suckling the disturbance of the lower room and by reversing it in the upper chamber. Your Berkey system®Probably eliminated all of the minerals precipitated or flocculated during the second filtering process. Disrupted water or slower flow is not necessarily an indication of a problem with your Black Berkey system®Elements or Berkey® .

Simple test to see if local water is the cause
Buy 2 to 3 gallons (or the amount of water that your Berkey system®is designed to contain) natural spring water, ensuring that you use a brand that does not come from your region. If necessary, disassemble your system and rinse the interior of its stainless steel rooms. Rub your black Berkey elements®With a Scotch-Brite stamp®(Do not use soap). Removal and rinse the filters. Reinstall the filters, then fill the upper room with natural spring water. Wait until the water flows completely in the lower room. To assess the state of the water treated by the filters, pour tap water into a clean and transparent glass. If the water comes out clear, you can be sure that the problem is caused by something in your local water supply and that your Berkey system®works as expected.In the unlikely case where the water would still seem trouble, please contact the Berkey customer assistance team®Water Systems.