Why Are Berkey Water Filters Banned In California?

In the filtration sector, Berkey water filters are a well-known brand; their best-selling Big Berkey is ubiquitous. However, if you reside in California, you might not have as much luck due to a well-intentioned rule that can go a bit too far. The nation’s strictest health restrictions are found in California. 

Their anti-lead regulation effectively outlawed Berkey water filters in 2009. A lead-free NSF certification is required for any “end-use equipment intended to transmit or dispense water for human use through drinking or cooking” in order to be marketed in California.

When Berkey refused to cooperate, the noose tightened. The regulation makes sense in terms of public health. Lead-containing water filters are not something we desire, and neither should you. However, the regulation is onerous and punishes businesses for wanting to safeguard their own technologies.

History of the Berkey Filter

In Colorado, Berkey Filters was founded in the late 1990s. Berkey is made by New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. (NMCL). They began with the Big Berkey and then added it to their product line, which now includes more than 6 other systems. They are now predominantly an internet business, selling their products through a dealer network of other online businesses.


Berkey has not yet received certification from an impartial, third-party testing organization like the NSF, as is required by NSF Standard 53.

Although they assert that their tests have demonstrated they meet or surpass NSF criteria, they have not yet received certification. A major water filtration firm like Berkey could seem to consider validation by a reputable organization to be less vital than it actually is, but we disagree.

The Water Quality Association’s industry standard for certifications of water filtration equipment is WQA gold seal certified however the WQA gold seal has not yet been awarded to the Berkey filter.

Water Tests

The Berkey website states that numerous testing has been conducted by EPA-certified labs and academic institutions. Actually, none of these departments’ or laboratories’ findings are displayed.

Reasons for California’s prohibition of them

1. Nitrates are not removed by Berkey filters.

Nitrite and nitrate levels in drinking water must be controlled since they can have a major negative impact on health, particularly in young children. Due to their environment and method of filtration, Berkey’s claim that they can remove 95% of nitrites is untrue. Given the ongoing legal action Des Moines Water Works is conducting against three northern Iowa counties, nitrates have received a lot of local attention lately. Although Berkey employs carbon filtration to filter water, the EPA states that only ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and electrodialysis have been shown to successfully remove nitrate from water.

2. Berkey filters are cumbersome and slow.

Berkey products take time to filter water into pitchers, so when you need cool, refreshing water, it’s not always there. The pitchers are very large and take up room on your countertop or in the refrigerator.

With a water system from Crystal Clear, you can always have ice-cold, refreshing water. they put in a chiller in your basement that can pump purified ice cubes directly to your refrigerator and a special water faucet for drinking.

3. Berkey filters need unnecessary upkeep.

Berkey filters must be cleaned frequently in order to function. Just to make sure it works correctly, owners of Berkey products must take out the filter and cleanse it with a scouring pad. In other words, any attempt to clean the filter could potentially make the water you drink unhygienic.

In California, where can I purchase Berkey water filters?

The good news for Californians is that you can purchase Berkey filters without running the risk of going to jail, but your options are constrained. The law has been updated since 2009 and does not now apply to the purchase of outdoor water purifying devices. Therefore, the Berkey Light and Travel Berkey water filters may be marketed within the state.

California Berkey Filters

The construction and functions of the Berkey Light and Berkey Travel filters are identical to those of their flagship models.

The smaller, more affordable Berkey Light water filter is advertised as a replacement for Big Berkey’s bulkier design. Despite being categorized as an outdoor filter, it may be installed anywhere. It is lightweight, portable, and has a 2.75-gallon capacity.

Berkey Travel Filter – The travel filter from Berkey is an exact replica of its larger relative. The construction is made of 304 stainless steel, which is great if you want to stay away from plastic. It is guaranteed for a lifetime and is portable yet strong.

The 1.5-gallon Berkey Travel filter has a 2.75-gallon per hour maximum flow rate. It takes up less than a square foot of space and assembles and disassembles in a matter of seconds. ideal for travel.

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