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Berkey's FAQ's



Do the Black Berkey® Purification Elements have silver in them?

Yes, silver is used as an antimicrobial to self-sterilize the Black Berkey® elements. Testing was conducted both internally and by Analytical Services, Inc. to insure that the silver used does not leach into the purified water.

“All controls samples, including stock samples, analytical positive and negative controls, and the negative control collected prior to seeding yielded appropriate results and were accepted. The results of the leaching control samples (effluent sample spiked with MS2 and R. terrigena and analyzed at two time points) were quite similar, suggesting that no active antimicrobial agent is leaching into the treated water.”

The ASI test report results can be seen here.


How do I transport my Berkey system?

Prior to transporting or moving any Berkey® system, the Black Berkey® Purification Elements must first be removed. Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. Place the elements in secure and water-tight packaging. The top and bottom of the stainless steel systems nest within each other for easy transport (remove spigot from lower chamber).

Please note: Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. This is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.


Do the Black Berkey Purification Elements remove GenX?

GenX is the trade name for a chemical that was introduced in 2010 as a “safer” replacement for a toxic contaminant known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid, commonly called C8). Like its predecessor, GenX enables the production of common household products including non-stick pans, firefighting foam and water-repellent fabrics. Although few health studies are available on GenX, toxicologists say GenX is almost identical to C8, thus sparking concerns about adverse health effects. GenX is not currently regulated by state or federal health agencies such as the EPA, and officials agree that more research is needed.

GenX was in the news recently after the contaminant was found to be present in a number of North Carolina drinking water supplies. A plant in North Carolina produces GenX and it is suspected that discharge of GenX from the plant seeped into the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

PFOAs are “Organofluorine Compounds.” The Black Berkey® Purification elements are very effective at removing organic contaminants in water, to levels of 99.9% or greater. Further, the Black Berkey® Purification elements have been tested for PFC reduction and achieved levels down to two parts per Trillion…extremely small.

PFOA Test Results

As such, the expectation is that the Black Berkey® Purification elements would reduce GenX in water. It is important to note that NMCL does not have actual testing for these particular contaminants, yet. Without specific testing we cannot make any claim on this specific chemical, but the data suggest that we would likely be very efficient at removing GenX, given that it is a fluoropolymer resin similar to PFOA.

New Millennium Concepts, Ltd ALWAYS recommends that you use the cleanest source of water available; however we understand that during emergencies a clean source of water may not always be available.


Is the base of the Black Berkey® Element Purification Element BPA free?

Yes, the base of Black Berkey Purification Element is BPA free.


Do the Black Berkey® Purification Elements remove healthy minerals or electrolytes?

The media within the Black Berkey® Purification Elements is not designed to remove beneficial (ionic) minerals from your water supply.  These kinds of minerals can be reduced if they are in high concentration, but some will still be allowed through.  We have not done any testing for the removal rate of ionic minerals, as they are not supposed to be completely removed to begin with.  There are no water filtration companies on the market that publish a test of that nature.

Electrolytes are compounds such as sodium, potassium, calcium, etc.  They help perform the functions of muscle contraction and heartbeat among other various bodily tasks.  Many electrolytes also fall under the category of beneficial minerals, so we do not have specific test results for electrolytes.  We do have test results for one particular electrolyte, chloride, which is reduced by the Black Berkey® Purification Elements in excess of 99.6%.  If you would like to add electrolytes to your water, we recommend using electrolyte additives in the lower chamber of your Berkey® System.


Do the Black Berkey® purification elements remove estrogen from water?

What are estrogenic compounds?

“Estrogenic compounds are part of a larger category of chemicals known as endocrine-disruptors (EDCs), chemicals that can alter the hormonal and homeostatic systems enabling an organism—like a human being or other animal—to communicate with and respond to its environment.”


What types of estrogen are found in drinking water?

“The major types of estrogen found in our water supply include estrone, estradiol, estriol, and the synthetic ethinylestradiol from medications like the oral contraceptive pill….The trouble however, is that many of the other more than 100,000 chemicals in wastewater effluent also have an estrogenic effect on our bodies. These include dihydrofolliculin, octylphenol, nonylphenol, polyethoxylates, trihalomethanes and bisphenol A.”

One of the most common potential contaminants of concern is “ethynyl-estradiol, or EE2, a synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills, patches, rings, and injectables.”


Where can I find a list of brand and generic names for EE2?

A list of common names/brands of EE2 can be found here:
Note on this list, that Medroxyprogesterone is listed. This is a form of Progesterone.
How can I remove/reduce estrogen from my drinking water?

“In general, activated carbon filters are your best choice if you are on a tight budget. They remove a wide range of different contaminants, including steroid estrogens and many estrogenic substances like trihalomethanes.”

“Estrogens (estron: E1; estradiol: E2; estriol: E3) are major water pollutants. For the removal of estrogens, activated carbon (AC) and ozone treatments were employed, and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and pH of a single solution and multiple solution systems were investigated. The removal of estrogens increased with the amount of AC. The percentage of removed estrogens by AC in the single solution system was greater than that in the ternary solution system.”


Do the Black Berkey® purification elements remove estrogen from water?

Black Berkey® purification elements have been successfully tested for reduction of several EDC’s; including Progesterone, Octylphenol, Nonylphenol, THMs and BPA. And, while estrogen and EE2 have not been specifically tested, the assumption is that these contaminants will also be removed from water, based on the reduction testing conducted on similar EDC’s. See testing link below:

Black Berkey Heavy Metal, Chemical, VOC, Pharmaceutical Petrol Removal Test Report


While existing testing strongly indicates that the Black Berkey® purification elements will reduce estrogen, based on currently available information, NMCL does not have specific test data to that end. As such, we do not make a claim that the elements will reduce estrogen, only that indications are strong that Black Berkey® purification elements should do so.

New Millennium ALWAYS recommends that you use the cleanest source of water available; however we understand that during emergencies a clean source of water may not be available.


If your questions were not answered here, please use the Live Chat box to the right of your screen and we will answer any questions you have!