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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.

CompanyNMCLAquaCeraAquaCrockPro PurDoultonAqua RainKatadyn
ModelBig BerkeyCeragrav-LP5AquaCrockPro BigGSS-2Model 400Gravidyn
[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]YesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Element RatingPurifier [A]FilterFilterFilterFilterFilterFilter
Base System Cost$263$139$399$239$229$239.99$219.95
Max Daily Output (Gal/Day) Base8410189141224
Max Daily Output-Max # Elements168251818.5202424
Approx. People Served [B]42654566
Maximum Gallons/Element3,000535 [C]535 [C,D]1,500 [E]535 [C]1095 [F]730 [G]
Replacement Time LimitationNo Time Limit6 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)1.85.6 [H]6.7 + electric [H]3.3 [H]6.7 [H]3.9 [H]7.6 [H]
Maximum Element Capacity4534443
Food Color Test [I]PassFailFailPassFailFailFail
Turbidity Flow Rate Test [J]PassPassPassPassPassFailPass
Test Results AvailableYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Tested to NSF StandardsYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NSF Certified ClaimedNoNoNoYes [K]NoNoNo
Guarantee6 Mos (elem 2-Yr)None Published1 Year Ltd.2 YearNone PublishedNone PublishedNone Published
System Cost-Max Elements$363$274$399$338$299$319.99$219.95
System MaterialAISI 304 StainlessHDPECeramicStainlessAISI 304 StainlessStainlessSilicone
System ProductionPlasma WeldedMoldedKilnDeep DrawnPlasma WeldedDeep DrawnMolded
Element CompositionProprietary FormulaCeramic / CarbonCeramic / CarbonCeramic / CarbonCeramic / CarbonCeramic / CarbonCeramic / Carbon
Number of Elements2232223
Element Height9″7″5″9″7″~9″10.4″
Elements cleanableYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Storage Tank Capacity (Gallons)2.253.5Not Stated2.752.2532.6
Electricity RequiredNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
Plumbing RequiredNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Post FiltersYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Dry Weight (Approx.)6 lbs5 lbs26 lbs5 lbs5.5 lbs7 lbs6.5 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.