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Water Filter Comparison

There are number of options available for filtering your drinking water. Among the all options available including under counter water filtration systems, countertop water filtration, pitcher water filtration and faucet attachments, I’ve compared countertop water filtration types, specifically Gravity Water Filter type.

Below, I have compiled important information for you to consider when choosing a Gravity Water Filter including a product by product comparison, filter contaminant reduction capabilities, replacement time limitation, and ongoing costs per gallon.

Company NMCL AquaCera AquaCrock Pro Pur Doulton Aqua Rain Katadyn
Model Big Berkey Ceragrav-LP5 AquaCrock Pro Big GSS-2 Model 400 Gravidyn
[A] = Purification Standards: Element must remove/inactivate all types of pathogenic organisms. Specifically, element must remove two species of virus to 4 Log10 (=> 99.99%) and remove pathogenic bacteria to 6 Log10 (=> 99.9999%) and remove cysts to 3 Log10 (=> 99.9%). This makes Berkey systems the only true gravity fed purification systems.Purification Challenge: The Standard has selected 3 types of challenge organisms: Bacteria (Klebsiella terrigena), Viruses (Polio and Rota) and Protozoan Cysts (Giardia or Cryptosporidium).

  1. VIROLOGY – Demonstration of a 4 Log10 (99.99%) reduction is required on the combined polio/rota virus challenge matrix.
  2. BACTERIOLOGY – Demonstration of a 6 Log10 (99.9999%) reduction is required for the Klebsiella terrigena bacterial challenge.
  3. CYST REMOVAL – Demonstration of a 3 Log10 (99.9%) reduction is required for the cysts using Cryptosporidium or Giardia.


[B] = Number based on 2 gallons per day per person, system used 12 hours per day.

[C] = Aqua Crock, Doulton GSS-2, Ceragrav LP-5 all use Doulton Filter Elements – life expectancy is 525 gallons or 6 months, whichever occurs first.

[D] = Claim made is 2 years or 3,000 gallons; while the manufacturer of their Doulton filter elements states the life expectancy is 535 gallons or 6 months whichever occurs first.

[E] = While the company claims their elements will last for 3,000 gallons on their comparison chart, we used the claims of the manufacturer, which state that the life of the elements is only 1,500 gallons or 12 months whichever occurs first.

[F] = Calculation based on each element producing 3 gallons when used for 12 hours per day during 365 day maximum recommended time limitation.

[G] = Calculation based on each element producing 12 gallons if used for 12 hours per day during 182 day maximum recommended time limitation.

[H] = Cost per gallon presumes maximum gallon claims reached prior to “replacement time limitation” above and calculated based on “max daily output” above, whichever is less or occurs first.

[I] = Successfully demonstrates removal of microscopic red food coloring particulate from source water at 1 tablespoon of red food coloring per gallon.

[J] = Test is designed to determine if high turbidity (larger particulate) source water will clog up elements which may render them ineffective during actual emergency conditions. 1 tbsp carbon dust per gallon. Flow rate reduction of <25%=Pass, >25%=Fail.

[K] = NSF Claims: No listing on NSF website as of publication date. NSF has confirmed that ProPure has not been certified by their organization

Where information was available and published, this information was used. Where information was not available, information was calculated, such as in F and L above, using the available published information. Where published information on systems was in conflict with the published information by the manufacturer, such as in C, D, and E above, items are highlighted in orange.

Data based on manufacturer’s life expectancy claims rather than the claims of the manufacturer’s customer. Information collected from websites, corporate literature, internal testing and outside independent sources is believed to be accurate at time of publication (5-15-12). Neither this chart nor it’s producer assume any liability, implied, expressed or assumed.

There are other gravity fed filter systems that claim they are not to be used with microbiologically unsafe or questionable water. We chose not to include those systems in this comparison chart.

Virus Removal [A] Yes No No No No No No
Element Rating Purifier [A] Filter Filter Filter Filter Filter Filter
Base System Cost $263 $139 $399 $239 $229 $239.99 $219.95
Max Daily Output (Gal/Day) Base 84 10 18 9 14 12 24
Max Daily Output-Max # Elements 168 25 18 18.5 20 24 24
Approx. People Served [B] 42 6 5 4 5 6 6
Maximum Gallons/Element 3,000 535 [C] 535 [C,D] 1,500 [E] 535 [C] 1095 [F] 730 [G]
Replacement Time Limitation No Time Limit 6 Months[C] 2 Years[C,D] 12 Months[E] 6 Months[C] 1 year [F] Up to 6 months
Price of Elements (Each) $54.50 $30.00 $36.00 $49.50 $36.00 $42.99 $56.00
Approx Cost Per Gallon (Cents) 1.8 5.6 [H] 6.7 + electric [H] 3.3 [H] 6.7 [H] 3.9 [H] 7.6 [H]
Maximum Element Capacity 4 5 3 4 4 4 3
Food Color Test [I] Pass Fail Fail Pass Fail Fail Fail
Turbidity Flow Rate Test [J] Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Fail Pass
Test Results Available Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Tested to NSF Standards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NSF Certified Claimed No No No Yes [K] No No No
Guarantee 6 Mos (elem 2-Yr) None Published 1 Year Ltd. 2 Year None Published None Published None Published
System Cost-Max Elements $363 $274 $399 $338 $299 $319.99 $219.95
System Material AISI 304 Stainless HDPE Ceramic Stainless AISI 304 Stainless Stainless Silicone
System Production Plasma Welded Molded Kiln Deep Drawn Plasma Welded Deep Drawn Molded
Element Composition Proprietary Formula Ceramic / Carbon Ceramic / Carbon Ceramic / Carbon Ceramic / Carbon Ceramic / Carbon Ceramic / Carbon
Number of Elements 2 2 3 2 2 2 3
Element Height 9″ 7″ 5″ 9″ 7″ ~9″ 10.4″
Elements cleanable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage Tank Capacity (Gallons) 2.25 3.5 Not Stated 2.75 2.25 3 2.6
Electricity Required No No Yes No No No No
Plumbing Required No No No No No No No
Post Filters Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Height 19.25″ 28.5″ 17.5″ 21.5″ 19.25″ 20.5″ 18″
Diameter 8.5″ 11.25″ 11″ 9.25″ 8.5″ 11″ 11″
Dry Weight (Approx.) 6 lbs 5 lbs 26 lbs 5 lbs 5.5 lbs 7 lbs 6.5 lbs

The obvious winner is the Berkey Water Filter.

Among the so many water filter systems in the market, it looks obvious to me that Berkey Water Filter is the best bang for the buck. What I am really impressed with the Berkey water filter is that it completely purify your water, whereas other units do not.

The filter formulation used in Berkey water filters makes up for the incredibly small pore size by utilizing an exponentially greater number of micro pores in each purification element than that found in other filter elements. This is the reason Berkey water filters produce approximately 8 times more water per hour than do other gravity filters.

The manufacturer warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 6 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey purification elements have a 2 year prorated warranty calculated in 6 months intervals.

The manufacturer will replace or repair any product that it deems is not properly functioning during the stated warranty period. If you’ve ever want to make sure that your water is clean and healthy for your family, the Berkey system is the perfect solution for your needs.

Click Here To Order The Berkey Water Filter System.