Hubby pointed out last weekend that this water filter is one of the best investments we've ever made. It's not difficult to fill and we always keep a pitcher full in the fridge.
An added benefit to this setup is that we drink more water than we ever have in our lives! That right there is a miracle!
The water bottles are key to making the Berkey work for us. After an extensive search for an insulated, stainless steel water bottle, we found the "Thermos Armour" brand and it keeps our water cold for 12 hours - even if we leave them in the car in Florida summer heat! Seriously! It's wonderful to get back in the car and have a cold drink at hand. A lot of water bottles are difficult to drink out of, or to open, or both. We looked at a LOT of water bottles. Most don't even have any kind of insulation. These Armour bottles have a clear lid so you can drink while you're driving and still see where you're going! LOL! You just push a little button and the lid pops open. Even my terrible hands can manage to open it with no problem. The rubberized sides make it easy for me to hold, too.
So here we are, almost a year into the Berkey experiment, and we are still amazed at how much we love the taste of the Berkey water, and the Stainless Steel thermos bottles we found make it all "work". No more buying bottled water!
So let's do some math (a year ago prices):
Royal Berkey with 2 Black Filters and 2 Fluoride filters on Amazon = $305
Thermos "Armour" 24 oz Stainless Steel bottles (at Bass Pro) = $60 ($30 ea)
Total investment: $365
The black filters will filter 6,000 gallons of water! My calculations below show that we won't need to replace these filters (just clean them) for 10 years!
Let's compare the cost of bottled water:
A 24 pack of 16.9 oz. bottles = 405.6 oz / 128 oz/gallon = 3.17 gallons @ $4.50 (Publix brand)*
So, to purchase the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of bottled water, you would need to buy 1,892 cases X $4.50 = $8,514 (6000 / 3.17).
Even if you bought cheap water at $3.00 a case it would be $5,676 freaking dollars!
*We found that most of the "cheap" bottled water tastes terrible and it did bad things to my stomach - I have chronic gastritis thanks to Lupus. So we stuck to Publix Spring water and our fridge filtered water. The problem with the fridge filter was that it only lasted about 3 months, then my stomach would start to complain and I knew it was time to change the filter, even though the indicator on the fridge wasn't saying so. Those filters are very expensive at $44 a pop.
If your eyes haven't glazed over and you're still with me on this, here's some more math:
3.25 gallon tank filled every 2 to 3 days, so say 15 fills a month X 3.25 gallons = 48.75 gallons of tap water a month. We have seen no difference in our water bill, mainly because we had been using the fridge filter anyway. We no longer use the ice machine on the fridge either. We fill trays, like the olden days, because the water is so good. You can "see" the difference in the ice cubes.
We were buying 4 cases of spring water a month (minimum), plus the fridge water - with filters at the time being about $44.
4 cases @ $4.50 = $18 X 3 months = $54 + $44 fridge filter = $98 every 3 months for drinking water! The Berkey clearly paid for itself within 4 months. It's galling how much our City charges for water. You can't even drink the stuff! I don't know one person who drinks from the tap!
How long will these filters last? Yep, more math:
3.25 gallons X 15 fills/mo = 48.75 X 12 months = 585 gallons a year
6,000 / 585 = 10.25 years. Even if the filters last half as long as they say they will, I'm shocked at the amount of money we are saving! Not to mention all the plastic we're keeping out of the landfill!
Anyway, long story short, we have no regrets about coughing up the $305 for the Royal Berkey Filter! And my stomach is much happier!
Okay, end of math lessons! And, I swear I'm not a salesperson for Berkey!!!