Question? Contact Us Or Call Toll Free
877-99Berkey - (877-992-3753)

Big Berkey Water Filters

  • Corroded Underground Gas Tanks Pose Water Contamination Threat

    Lab tests have shown that underground gas tanks at over 150,000 US gas stations pose a potential water contamination hazard. Many of the underground gas tanks have corroded parts that could lead to failure or leaks that may contaminate groundwater, from where much of US drinking water supplies originate. Field inspections conducted across 9 states have revealed that key components of gas storage tanks, such as sump-pumps, are commonly corroded. In most of the reported cases the corroded tanks stored a mixture of gasoline-ethanol fuels, together with the existence of Acetobacter aceti -- a strain of bacteria that is able to convert ethanol to acetic acid, a highly corrosive agent.

    gas tank

    Upon conducting a follow up laboratory study, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that corrosion of steel alloy components was severe when exposed to the combination of ethanol and vaporized acetic acid, often eating 1mm of steel per annum. Considering these findings, researchers from the NIST recommend that gas stations should consider replacing casings of submersible pumps constructed from cast iron or steel at much shorter intervals. However, at a cost of anywhere between $1500 - $2500 per storage tank, these retrofits could be costly, especially tanking into account that there are over 500,000 underground gas storage tanks dotted around the US.

    The NIST assessment only looked at components of sump-pumps, which are found immediately below tank access covers and thus were readily accessible. The sump-pumps pump fuel from the gas storage tanks below, to the gas pumps at filling stations. While only the sump-pumps were tested, researchers are concerned that pipes, and even the gas storage tanks themselves, could be constructed from steel, which would make them vulnerable to corrosion too.

    "We know there are corrosion issues associated with the inside of some tanks. We're not sure, at this point, if that type of corrosion is caused by the bacteria," says NIST co-author, Jeffrey Sowards.

    Most of the gas storage facilities across the US were designed to contain unblended gasoline. Now, ethanol, a fuel derived from corn, is being widely used as a fuel additive due to the benefits it offers. An earlier NIST study showed that pipeline cracking was accelerated when ethanol-loving bacteria were present.

    For their latest study, the NIST research team studied the effect on samples made of steel and copper alloys exposed to conditions similar to those found at sump-pumps -- samples were either placed in a solution of ethanol and water to which bacteria was added, or exposed to vapors above this mixture. They then measured the rate of corrosion over a 30-day period. Their results echoed the findings reported by field inspectors.

    Steel components exposed to vapors experienced the most damage, with copper components experiencing some damage, albeit slower, both when immersed in the fuel and when exposed to vapors. Immersed steel corroded slowly, which the authors suggest may be attributed to a protective biofilm coating produced by the bacteria.

    Even though corrosion on copper was slow and could take approximately 15 years for holes to form in copper tube with a wall thickness of 1.2mm, the researchers observed localized corrosion on cold-worked copper, as used in tubing for sump-pumps. Consequently, stress-corrosion cracking is an area of concern where copper tubing is bent, as it would substantially reduce the lifetime of the tube and lead to leaks.

    Journal Reference:

    J.W. Sowards and E. Mansfield. Corrosion of copper and steel alloys in a simulated underground storage tank sump environment containing acid producing bacteria. Corrosion Science. July, 2014. In press, corrected proof available online. DOI: 10.1016/j.corsci.2014.07.009.

  • Groundwater is Rapidly Being Depleted in the Parched West

    A recent study conducted by NASA scientists in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Irvine has found that more than 75% of the water lost in the parched Colorado River Basin originated from groundwater resources. The researchers are concerned that the loss of such a large percentage of the groundwater resources could pose a far graver threat to water supplies in the western states than initially thought.

    water canyon

    This study, which was recently published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is the first scientific study to quantify the contribution of groundwater in satisfying the water requirements of the western USA. The Colorado River Basin has been severely water-stressed for a prolonged period, having suffered the driest 14 year spell over the past hundred years.

    Using data gathered by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite project, the scientists recorded monthly changes in water volume of both surface-water and groundwater resources. Data recorded between 2004 to 2013 have shown that the approximately 65km3 of freshwater reserves equates to nearly twice the capacity of the largest freshwater reservoir in the US -- Lake Mead in Nevada. More than 75% of this total (50 km3) has been attributed to loss of groundwater.

    "We don't know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don't know when we're going to run out," said Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at the University of California, Irvine, and the study's lead author. "This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking."

    The US Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for managing surface water resources in the Colorado River Basin, and this management body records these water losses. However, water extraction from underground sources is controlled by individual states, and in many cases losses are rarely if ever recorded.

    According to Jay Famiglietti, a senior water cycle scientist at JPL and senior author of the study, satellites provide the only solution for observations of such a wide scale, as is the case in this study. GRACE acts like a massive airborne scale that is able to measure changes in mass in the land below. Fluctuations in water levels affect the strength of local gravitational forces, so by regularly recording these gravitational measurements GRACE provides information on regional water fluctuations over any given period.

    As the single major river supplying water to the 40 million residents and 4 million acres of agricultural land across 7 states in the southwest, the Colorado River is essential for the survival of millions of people -- both for drinking water and for food.

    Considering that water levels in Lake Mead are currently at record low levels, the research team wanted to assess whether the Colorado River Basin, lake many other regions across the world, is relying on its underground reserves to supplement the surface-water shortfalls. This study shows that there is indeed a strong and long-term dependence on groundwater to meet the shortfall between water supply and water demand.

    According to Famiglietti, this rapid rate of water depletion will exacerbate the water woes of the nation by further reducing the rate of stream flow of the Colorado River. "Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico," Famiglietti notes.

  • Researchers Provide Guidelines for Conserving Water in the Home

    More and more families are trying to do their bit to save water, and in so doing, bring down their household utility costs. If this includes you, a research article titled: 'The Water Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Water Use', which was recently published in the scientific journal Environment, may help you in your quest.


    The article, authored by Benjamin Inskeep and Shahzeen Attari, outlines how you can substantially reduce water consumption in the home by implementing simple measures such as changing your day-to-day water consumption habits and installing appliances that are water-efficient. While much of the advice is old news, the paper is the first to actually provide quantitative estimates of how much water can be saved in the household by implementing the suggested measures. The researchers also reveal that many of the commonly proposed water conservation measures actually save less water than what they consume.

    As water is likely to become increasingly more scarce in the future, it is encouraging to learn that there are readily available measures that US households can take to drastically cut their water consumption.

    The article looks at measures households can take to reduce water consumption both indoors and outdoors, and focuses on enhancing water-efficiency by curtailing water use and upgrading technology that utilizes water to perform its function, or supplies water to the household. Using data obtained from the USGS and the Water Research Association, the researchers estimate that by implementing simple measures such as upgrading dishwashers and washing machines with water-efficient replacements and installing water-efficient faucets, showerheads and toilets, indoor household water consumption can be drastically reduced by as much as 45%.

    A household can cut their water consumption by a whopping 18% just by installing a WaterSense certified toilet that meets EPA standards for water efficiency. Water consumption can be reduced by a further 30% by curtailing water use through actions, for example reducing the number of toilet flushes by 25%, spending less time in the shower, and only using the washing machine when you have a full load of washing.
    Outdoor water consumption can be drastically reduced, or practically eliminated by installing a rain-harvesting system such as rain barrels to collect rainwater for watering the garden, installing a drip irrigation system, watering the garden early in the day before the sun is high in the sky, to reduce evaporation, and opting for warm grass over cool-season grass.

    They also note that some previously proposed 'water-saving' tips are in fact counter productive, such as brushing your teeth or washing your face while taking a shower, as much less water flows from an average bathroom faucet than a normal showerhead.

    This article expands on Attari's previous paper published in PNAS in March, which showed that Americans were typically clueless with regards to the water consumption rates of different activities, and therefore not in a position to make effective changes.

    The authors acknowledge that water availability is an area of growing concern, with many cities across the US anticipating water shortages in the future ahead. Yet, because the cost of water is relatively cheap, US citizens have little incentive to reduce their consumption, which is currently 98 gallons per day on average -- seven times greater than what they actually require for their daily needs. However, while replacing water-hungry home appliances and plumbing fittings with more efficient technology may produce financial savings, for many households the upfront costs are a major deterrent. The authors suggest one way around this stumbling block is to offer financial incentives, such as larger rebates on water-efficient household appliances, that would encourage consumers to upgrade.

    The full article can be found online at:

  • Berkey Water Filters and TDS Readings

    Many customers experience an increase in TDS readings during the initial break-in of the black berkey filters. Since we often get the question asking why this occurs, we decided to provide a more in-depth and scientific explanation.

    Total dissolved solids (TDS) is the combination of all inorganic and organic contents contained in a liquid having a molecular, ionized, or micro-granular (colloidal sol) dissolved form. Total dissolved solids are normally only discussed for freshwater systems, since salinity comprises some of the ions constituting the definition of TDS. The principal application of TDS is in the study of water quality for streams, rivers and lakes, although TDS is not generally considered as a primary pollutant (e.g. it is not deemed to be associated with health effects), but it is rather used as an indication of aesthetic characteristics of drinking water and as an aggregate indicator of presence of a broad array of chemical and mineral contaminants that could be in water.


    The Black Berkey element formula utilizes two ingredients that will add TDS to any water passing through the elements. Firstly, all filters that utilize any form of carbon in their formulation increase TDS, as carbon fines (invisible) will attach to water as it passes through the element. Many filters utilize nano-sized particulate in high quality carbon micro fines to create the outer "mean porosity" and interior tortuosity of the block or cross section of the filter elements. Several tests are performed on automated lines to insure exact porosity and final destructive tests determine the durability of the element. Two of these tests purge or remove most of these fines, which enable the flow of water through the element through open micropores. Additional fines are removed during purging, however there may still be some non-harmful nano size carbon micro fines present in the water after filtration.

    The Drinking Water Regulations in the United States typically regulate TDS not to discover micro fines of carbon but rather unsuspecting organic and inorganic chemicals along with other micro pollutants. TDS cannot help define any one category of constituent detected in liquids or water, only the presence of a total amount of dissolved solids, whether harmful or not.

    The second and probably most common reason for increased TDS in water run through a Black Berkey element is the ion exchange media. Ions are a form of TDS, and as indicated above, are found in sea water and in water subject to any substance that ionizes liquids and or air (air ionizers) etc. There are millions of ions in the air and they are essential to life. Ions do not comprise a health risk but rather, a health benefit. While TDS will likely be on the very low should continue to exist for the life of the filter.

    Another simple test would be to test water before and after a pass through an inexpensive Carafe style water filter. You will observe the same increase in TDS.

    We hope this helps with any questions or concerns. TDS is actually the least effective type of test to determine whether water is suitable to drink. In actuality, most involved in this type of discussion are unaware and don't understand the variety of sciences concerning water filtration. Typically this type of discussion arises from those promoting the use of RO and Distillation methods, which drastically reduce TDS. Unfortunately, such water is acidic, is never found in nature, and therefore can confuse the body, which typically will attempt to re-mineralize such water by robbing essential minerals from the body. For more information on this issue please see the below references:

  • Are Antibacterial Soaps Doing More Harm Than Good?

    Triclosan, an antimicrobial additive commonly used in toiletries (including hand soaps and some toothpastes), cleaning agents and other household products, is causing concern amongst some health officials. In Minnesota they have even taken the drastic step of banning this germ-killing agent from hand soaps that are produced for the consumer market effective 2017.  An article titled 'Triclosan Under the Microscope', which was recently published in the American Chemical Society's weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), investigates whether these concerns are justified.

    soap and hands triclosan

    When triclosan was first introduced onto the market it was used exclusively in hospitals and other health care environments as an antimicrobial agent to kill germs and prevent the spread of disease. Triclosan is in fact a pesticide -- it kills tiny critters that could potentially make us ill. But it was considered a more harmless option for use as a surgical scrub compared to the biocides that were being used before it was available. However, once it became the standard antimicrobial agent in hospitals, it was marketed to consumers and soon become available to the masses. Today it is added to a wide range of toiletries, including toothpastes, deodorants, cosmetics, hand soaps and detergents, as well as general household products that we use on a daily basis, such as cutting boards, tooth brushes, toys and carpets, to name a few. In one study 75% of the studies participants had triclosan in their urine samples. So what?

    According the EPA, triclosan is unlikely to pose a health threat to most people who come into contact with it. However, triclosan may accumulate in the system of certain individuals who are unable to metabolize the compound, who would then have higher levels of triclosan in their blood. Studies on animals have shown that triclosan can cause hormone disruptions and negatively affect the heart and muscles. The most vulnerable members of the population are breastfeeding babies and developing fetuses in the wombs of pregnant women with high exposure levels. Concerns of breast cancer have also been raised as a result of some lab tests.

    Triclosan can also potentially lead to antibiotic resistance, which is another area of concern. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) questions whether triclosan actually plays a significant- if any role in reducing infections, and has proposed stricter regulations that require manufacturers of antibacterial body wash and hand soap to prove that their products are more beneficial than ordinary soap and water in reducing the spread of infection and preventing illness.

    “Antibacterial soaps and body washes are used widely and frequently by consumers in everyday home, work, school, and public settings, where the risk of infection is relatively low,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) in a statement. “Due to consumers’ extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using antibacterial soap to balance any potential risk.”

    Considering that after washing your hands with antibacterial soap or using an antimicrobial body wash in the shower, this soapy water -- now laced with the antibacterial agent (read pesticide) triclosan -- then flows down the plughole and enters the sewer, freshwater systems and/or soils, it also has environmental implications. Furthermore, as it may not break down readily in the environment, it is becoming increasingly likely that you may also be exposed this pesticide as a drinking water contaminant.

  • Fracking Wastewater Disposal Induces Earthquakes in Oklahoma

    Natural gas may be hailed as the next big thing, and is considered by some to be the answer to our energy problems. But it brings with it its own set of problems, many of which are far greater than energy/fuel shortages. Problems associated with fracking and fracking wastewater disposal include health and safety concerns, largely as a result of groundwater/drinking water contamination and methane leaking into the atmosphere, which happens to be one of the worst greenhouse gases. The recent spike in seismic activity and associated earthquakes in some states where fracking activity is prolific, has also been blamed on fracking activities.

    earthquake damage

    Oklahoma has seen a dramatic rise in the number of earthquakes since 2009, which according to a recent study published in Science (3rd July, 2014), is likely the result of subsurface injection of fracking wastewater at only a few wastewater disposal wells.

    According to lead author, Katie Keranen, a professor of geophysics at Cornell University, approximately half of all seismicity recorded in eastern and central USA between 2008-2013 occurred in Oklahoma; many of the quakes recorded occurred in areas where there is a high rate of subterranean wastewater disposal.

    Induced seismicity is one of the primary challenges for expanded shale gas and unconventional hydrocarbon development. Our results provide insight into the process by which the earthquakes are induced and suggest that adherence to standard best practices may substantially reduce the risk of inducing seismicity," said Keranen. "The best practices include avoiding wastewater disposal near major faults and the use of appropriate monitoring and mitigation strategies.

    According to the study's findings:

    • After analyzing pore pressure increase models for relocated earthquake hypo-centers, the study concludes that just four of Oklahoma's wastewater disposal wells (roughly 0.05% of wastewater disposal wells) that account for the highest volumes of wastewater could be responsible for triggering around 20% of earthquakes experienced in central USA over an area of around 1240 square miles.
    • Earthquakes can be triggered at distances more than 20 miles from wastewater disposal wells, which far exceeds the current criteria of 3 miles from wastewater disposal wells for diagnosing induces seismic activity.
    • The area of pressure increase relating to these wastewater disposal wells is continually expanding, thus increasing the likelihood of converging with a large geological fault, which further increases the danger of inducing an earthquake of higher magnitude.

    Earthquake and subsurface pressure monitoring should be routinely conducted in regions of wastewater disposal and all data from those should be publicly accessible. This should also include detailed monitoring and reporting of pumping volumes and pressures," said Keranen. "In many states the data are more difficult to obtain than for Oklahoma; databases should be standardized nationally. Independent quality assurance checks would increase confidence.3

    Journal Reference:
    K. M. Keranen, M. Weingarten, G. A. Abers, B. A. Bekins, and S. Ge. Sharp increase in central Oklahoma seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection. Science, 3 July 2014 DOI: 10.1126/science.1255802

  • Fracking Chemicals Disrupt Hormones Much More Than Initial Studies Revealed

    Many industrial chemicals that are used in the hydro-fracking process are known to be hormone disruptors that negatively affect reproductive hormones in humans. A recent study has now revealed that they can also disrupt thyroid and glucocorticoid hormone receptors, which play a vital role in maintaining optimal health.

    According to researcher Christopher Kassotis, a PhD student at the University of Missouri, Columbia:

    Among the chemicals that the fracking industry has reported using most often, all 24 that we have tested block the activity of one or more important hormone receptors. The high levels of hormone disruption by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that we measured, have been associated with many poor health outcomes, such as infertility, cancer and birth defects.


    Kassotis points out that any wastewater spills that occur during the fracking operations -- which involves pumping vast amounts of water mixed with chemicals into the ground to crack open rocks deep underground to release the shale gas trapped within -- could contaminate both surface water and groundwater sources.

    In a previous study, the researchers examined water samples collected from fracking sites in Garfield County, Colorado, where spills were known to have occurred, and compared them to water samples collected from areas situated some distance from hydro-fracking sites. The water samples collected from the drilling sites spills exhibited moderate to high levels of EDC chemicals that disrupted both female (estrogen) hormones and male (androgen) hormones, while the water samples collected in areas distant from fracking operations had little effect on human reproduction hormones.

    This latest study expands on the earlier research to gain a better understanding of whether fracking chemicals disrupts other vital hormone receptors in the human body besides the estrogen and androgen reproductive hormone receptors (receptors are cellular proteins that hormones bind to in order to carry out their function). The researchers were particularly interested to see whether the chemicals had any effect on the following hormones: progesterone, glucocorticoid, and thyroid, which respectively play vital roles in reproduction; immune response and fertility; and metabolism, brain development and maintaining good health.

    After testing 24 the hormone disrupting ability of the most common hydro-fracking chemicals the researchers found the following:

    • 20 prohibited estrogen from binding to the cellular protein receptor, and thus disrupted natural functioning
    • 17 blocked the androgen receptor
    • 10 chemicals inhibited the progesterone receptor
    • 10 chemicals inhibited the glucocorticoid receptor
    • 7 chemicals inhibited the thyroid receptor

    According to Kassotis, these chemicals have not been measured in local drinking water samples. Although they may not show up in the same high concentrations in drinking water at areas situated in close proximity to drilling sites, he cautions that tested drinking water typically contains an array of EDCs, and when these chemicals are mixed together their hormone-disrupting effects can be exacerbated and become far worse than that of any of these chemicals acting alone.

    We don't know what the adverse health consequences might be in humans and animals exposed to these chemicals," Kassotis said, "but infants and children would be most vulnerable because they are smaller, and infants lack the ability to break down these chemicals.

  • Pollutants in Urban Rivers Suppress Chick Development

    A new study has revealed that hormone disrupting contaminants found in urban waterways are stunting the development of wild bird chicks and having a negative impact on the health of wild bird populations nesting on urban river banks in South Wales.

    The results of the study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, shows that urban Eurasian Dipper chicks -- a bird that dwells near rivers and depends entirely on insects, invertebrates and fish from upland streams for its survival -- weigh much less compared to chicks of the same species sampled at rural nests.


    Birds nesting along urban rivers also have disrupted hormones, and fewer females are being produced in urban populations compared to their rural counterparts. Biologists are concerned that this could ultimately negatively impact future breeding and survival of the affected urban populations.

    Mad-Made Pollutants Hurting The Wildlife

    After analyzing the available data, the research team consisting of biologists from the Universities of Saskatchewan, Cardiff and Exeter, and the Natural Environment Research Council, concluded that urban pollutants such as PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) chemicals used in flame-retardants and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) that the birds ingest with the food they eat are the culprits. The results of the study showed that PBDE and PCB contamination was strongly correlated to a reduction in thyroid hormone levels in urban chicks -- with one particular thyroid hormone level being as much as 43% lower than chicks assessed along rural rivers.

    "Our findings are important in showing that pollutants are still a source of concern for the wildlife along Britain's urban rivers despite very major recovery from the gross pollution problems of the past", said Professor Steve Ormerod from Cardiff University School of Biosciences, a co-author of the paper, who has been researching river systems for 35 years. "Wild birds, such as dippers, are very important indicators of environmental well-being and food-web contamination, and we need to know if populations, other species – or even people - are also at risk."

    While this study is UK based, these are common urban pollutants and the implications to wildlife and possibly human health is universal.

    "We've known for some time that endocrine disrupting substances – the so-called 'gender-bending' chemicals from sewage and other waste water – can affect normal sex development in fish," said lead author Dr Christy Morrissey from the University of Saskatchewan's School of Environment and Sustainability. "These are some of the first data to show that PCBs and PBDEs might be causing thyroid disruption in wild birds and interfering with normal animal development."

    Previous studies conducted by the researchers have shown that Dippers residing along once heavily polluted urban rivers are exposed to a concoction of chemical pollutants, dominated primarily by PCBs and PBDEs -- both known endocrine disruptors. Scientists have recognized that changes in thyroid hormone levels can be used to predict developmental effects in wildlife resulting from exposure to these contaminants.
    Exposure to thyroid hormone disrupters can affect birds in various ways, including: stunted growth; impaired immune system; impaired cognitive ability; abnormal behavior and motor activity that can continue through to the adult life-stage.

    Dipper Birds Are An Indicator Species

    Dippers are apex predators, and are therefore a valuable indicator species that can be used to monitor river health and to assess whether urban pollutants are having an impact on wildlife reproduction and the development of young. The biologists plan to continue this research, with the next phase examining whether the changes in thyroid hormone levels and sex ratios will impact the fitness and survival of individual birds, and whether this could impact the dynamics of the broader population. Another key focus is to pin-point the exact source/s of the contamination.

    John Clark, a Futurescape Officer at the Royal Society for the Protections of Birds (RSPBs), sums up the findings: "The return of Dippers to urban rivers is a fantastic outcome of pollution reduction in the UK. However, this study highlights the importance of birds as an indicator that some pollutants still persist in our rivers at harmful levels. We need to work in partnership with water companies, regulators, statutory agencies and communities at a catchment scale to address those practices that continue to introduce damaging chemicals to our rivers."

    Journal Reference:
    Christy A. Morrissey, David W.G. Stanton, Charles R. Tyler, M. Glória Pereira, Jason Newton, Isabelle Durance, Steve J. Ormerod. Developmental impairment in eurasian dipper nestlings exposed to urban stream pollutants. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/etc.2555

  • The Relationship Between Snow and Streamflow

    A new study has revealed that water levels of rivers in watersheds fed by snowmelt are significantly dependent on what percentage of the precipitation consists of snowfall. What this in effect means, is that with climate change induced localized warming, if there is less snow falling – even if this is replaced by rainfall – less water will flow through the rivers than is currently the case.

    The research study, which was conducted by Wouter Berghuijs, who is completing his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol, together with two research associates, was published online in the scientific journal, Nature Climate Change.


    What Affect Does Snow Have on Water Levels in Rivers?

    Currently relatively little is known about river flow mechanisms of rivers sited in snowy areas. Past studies have focused largely on the role that snowfall plays in determining seasonal streamflow rates during a specific period or time of the year, assuming that snowfall did not affect the average streamflow rates. This is the first study to look at the role that snow plays in determining the average flow rates of rivers in catchments fed by snow.

    Analyzing historical records from hundreds of catchment areas spread across the US, the research team assessed the effect of snowmelt in relation to the volume of water discharged by rivers. Their results have revealed that snowfall plays an important role in the average rate of water discharged by rivers.

    We are very likely to see a significant reduction in snowfall due to climate warming in future – even with a temperature increase of just 2°C – which could in turn have a significant impact on catchments that rely on snowmelt. The study suggests that there will be a reduction in water levels and flow rates of affected rivers due to a temperature induced decrease in the amount of snow feeding these river systems.

    According to the authors: “With more than one-sixth of the Earth's population depending on meltwater for their water supply, and ecosystems that can be sensitive to streamflow alterations, the socio-economic consequences of a reduction in streamflow can be substantial.”

    This can have a serious impact on the availability of drinking water as well as other sectors that depend on this water supply.

    “Our finding is particularly relevant to regions where societal important functions, such ecosystem stability, hydropower, irrigation, and industrial or domestic water supply are derived from snowmelt,” said the authors.

    Considering the importance of streamflow rates and the potential impact on society should there be drastic changes in streamflow, the research team have proposed that further investigation is necessary to enable us to respond to a temperature induced shift in precipitation from snowfall to rainfall so that we can cope with the consequences in the event of such as shift.

    Journal Reference: A precipitation shift from snow towards rain leads to a decrease in streamflow, W. R. Berghuijs, R. A.Woods and M. Hrachowitz, Nature Climate Change, Vol 4, June 2014.

  • New Berkey Filter Calculator App Launched

    We are excited to announce the release of our Berkey Calculator Phone/Tablet app for both Apple and Android devices. This calculator provides a quick calculation based upon your daily usage and how many filters you have installed. It answers the age old Berkey question "When should I replace my berkey filters?" and will let you know whether your filters need replacing or tell you approximately how many months you have left.

    This Berkey Filter Calculator app covers the popular black berkey and PF-2 fluoride filters, in addition to the older generation 7" and 9" white ceramic filters.  Also, don't forget you can also always verify black berkey filter performance by performing a red food coloring test on them.  Below are some screenshots of the app.

    Iphone appiphone app 2unnamed


    For Apple users, the app can be found here.  For Android users, the app can be found here.

Items 21 to 30 of 276 total