Why are Berkey Water Filters Banned in California? Does the state know something others don’t? Keep reading to uncover the real reason for the ban.
If you’ve heard of Berkey water filters, you’ll know that these gravity-fed water filtration systems are widely used because they’re inexpensive, portable, and powerful. They are also some of the best water filters you can find on the market. However, if you live in California, you might not find them in your local store.
You’re probably asking yourself why California stores don’t stock Berkey filters. Are these water filters expensive and out of reach for the majority? Is it because of a political, economic, or quality reason? There are many answers to this question. If you are questioning why are Berkey water filters banned in California, here are the reasons.
But first, let us understand more about Berkey water filters.
Berkey Water Filters are a popular choice among consumers today. Part of the reason is that they’re unique from other water filtration systems. The Berkey system is unique from other water filters as it uses a gravity-fed system rather than electricity. It also blends absorption, adsorption, and microfiltration processes in its work. Furthermore, Berkey stands alone and can purify water from any source preventing many health complications such as fluoride intake dangers.
The working system is simple. When water enters its upper chamber, it leaves the lower chamber being crisp, clean, fresh, and ready to drink. The filtration system is known as the black Berkey filtration and is believed to remove over 200 contaminants.
Berkey filters are also easy to use; all that’s required is to set the filtration, add water and wait for dispensation of contaminant-free water.
Some of their popular water filter types are:
- Travel Berkey water filter
- Royal Berkey water filter
- Crown Berkey water filter
- Big Berkey water filter
- Berkey light water filter
- Imperial Berkey water filter
The Reasons for Banning Berkey Water Filters in California
Despite the high efficiency of Berkey water filtration products, California has banned the shipping, sale, and distribution of these filters in its jurisdiction. The main reason for the ban is:
In 2009, California passed the HSC Section 116875, SB 1395, and AB 1953 law. This law is christened the ‘no-lead law.’ The enactment and implementation of this law saw many Berkey water filters fail to meet the set standards of being sold in the state of California until it is third-party certified by an ANSI/NSF-approved, independent company that confirms the unit is “lead-free”, thus locking them out of the California market.
The law states that any device intended to dispense water for cooking or drinking must be certified by an independent third party and approved by the relevant government authority. So, even if the company claims its water filters are the most effective, it needs approval from other parties, which the company has not yet done.
However, tests have been done on the products though not in an official capacity where the company is involved.
Why Doesn’t the Company do the Tests?
Berkey states on it’s website that it ‘has conducted are much more rigorous than those required by NSF for the certifications mandated by the state of California.’ They also publish and make their test results available to all consumers on their website.
The California market is vast, and the company stands to benefit if it accesses this market, but there is a significant predicament. The enacted law requires a company to reveal information on manufacturing and other production systems. However, the company feels that such a move may be high risk, and if competitors get such information, the company will lose in many aspects. Plus, there are high costs with obtaining and maintaining required certifications.
Additionally, Berkey water filters have been imitated, although no imitation has come close to the company’s success, which makes the company’s products more trusted.
Which Berkey Water Filters can you Purchase in California?
Despite the ban, some Berkey filters are readily available without the risk of contravening the law.
This is because, over the years, there has been a redefining of the law, which has led to the differentiation of Berkey water filters.
Some of the company’s products you can still purchase are:
1. Berkey Travel Filter
Berkey Travel Filter is a travel-friendly water filter identical to the full-sized type. The water filter is made of stainless steel, which guarantees a longer shelf life.
- It is easy to use and transport
- It is long-lasting
- It has been tested and approved by several third party institutions
- It has a high purification efficiency of up to 99.99%
- Can purify water for 1-3 individuals up to 6000 gallons
- Slow filtration rate
- Sometimes there are issues with leaking
- Not ideal if you are on a budget
2. Berkey Light
The Berkey light water filter is a portable system ideal for small groups. It is one of the allowed water filters in California with excellent features.
- It is light and easy to transport
- It is easy to install
- It is easy to clean
- Economical and long-lasting
- There are reports of water leaks
A General Guide on Purchasing Water Filters
Berkey water filters have been known to be among the best water filters on the market, but if you’re unable to acquire the one you want, this guide will help you choose the right water filtration system, even if Berkey is your preferred brand.
Here are questions you should ask before investing in a water filtration system:
- Is the water filter tested by third parties, and is it NSF certified?
- What is your water source? Some water sources may contain more contaminants than others, thus needing a filter with more capabilities.
- What are the water filter’s capacity and system? You should choose a filter that is powerful and can meet your needs.
- What is the number of users in the home? Water filters are designed to accommodate a specific number of users. The more the users, the more you need to choose a bigger filter (and change your filter).
- What is your budget? This is the most critical consideration. However, you should match your budget with other factors to help make the best decision.
It is impossible to find all Berkey water filters in California stores, although there are two types available you can purchase. If you need other Berkey types, the only way to get one is to travel out of the state or buy the water filter online and ship it to a non-California address.
Now you have the answer as to why Berkey water filters are banned in California. It is mainly because of the no-lead law, which prohibits the sale of non-tested and non-certified water filters.
Cheryl tcu hi Crowder says
This really sucks 😞 I hate buying bottles of water that are getting harder to recycle what’s up with that.
Ron & Lisa Beres says
For sure, Cheryl! We agree.
I bought a berkey in January of this year and shortly after drinking water from it I became sick. I had been drinking, reverse osmosis water, prior to that for over 30 years. I had to add a mineral supplement to my diet due to how reverse osmosis filtering water systems take everything out of water.
Something is definitely off and I went back to my previous water consumption to get better. So now I need to sell my berkey?