Are any of the Gravity water systems worth it?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Primefactor, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Primefactor

    Primefactor Neophyte Monkey

    Hi all,

    Over the past 4 months I’ve been trying to find the best water filter for my family & settled on gravity based water filter systems because of their usefulness in survival situations (no need for electricity) & no water waste like RO systems. Like numerous posts I’ve read on various sites, I have become frustrated with the lack of transparency & trustability related to the effectiveness of the products that are out there. At this point, I don't know which to trust or if I should buy any of these systems. The only way I’m going to be sure that any of these systems do what they say they do is to have the output water of each of the systems tested & compare the results. I would fund all the costs & then you could go to a website to purchase the results. The results would show Los Angeles tap water compared to the filtered output of the Berkey, Propur & Aquarain systems. Would you be willing to pay $5 for the test results?

    If you wouldn’t mind making a selection in the associated poll, I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to leave any other comments or suggestions as well. I’m also interested to hear if anyone has ever tested the water from any of the gravity based systems themselves (I know about the tests done by Mike Adams/Water Filter Labs but don’t trust them much due to potential conflicts of interest & the fact they didn’t track the performance over time). I am not affiliated with any of these companies & my only motive is to see which one (if any) of these systems are truly worth it.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    No link to results, so I can't say my 5 bux would be well spent.

    True, gravity filtering works well, BUT you need to backwash the filter beds now and then, which will take some power, even if it's your arms doing the pumping.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Berkey Filters are the Gold Standard for Potable Water Filters.... AlaskaChick (my wife) is one of the Senior Trainer for MDs w/o Boarders in the USA, and each Team they send out, goes with a Berkey System, and two spare Filters... It is useless to send these Teams into Third World Countrys, to help the local Population, if the TEAM, is down with Dysentary, because of contaminated water... They have a Ptotocol in place that they use NO Water, that hasn’t been thru the Berkey, FIRST, PERIOD, NO EXCEPTIONS... When Training a Team, they spend a whole Day, on just the operation and maintainance of their Berkey System...
    Here in the Alaskan Bush, we have very good water, straight from the Sky, but it still goes thru our Fitration System... First is a 30 micron Trash Filter, then a 5 micron Filter, then an Actvated Charcoal Filter, and finally thru a UV Sterilizer Tank, before heading into the Cabin.. In 30 years, never had an issue with our Winter Water, and we do test it regularly, thru the State approved Water Quality Lab...
  4. Primefactor

    Primefactor Neophyte Monkey

    Thanks for the quick reply ghrit. I haven't done any of the testing or anything so there's no results yet. just throwing a line out to see if anyone would be as interested in the results as I am. i estimate it will cost around $3k to buy the systems & have them tested. I couldn't afford to fund that all myself so the idea is to see if there would be enough people to purchase the results so i could break even or at least come close to it. The results that you'd purchase would be a 1-3 pg pdf document that shows all of the minerals/chemicals/other compounds etc that are present in los angeles tap water & then columns to the right of that (for each system) showing the concentrations of those compounds once they've been run through the filters.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    So you DO have an interest, you are promoting a testing service that so far is non-existant? Methinks you might be steps ahead starting a gofundme page. You are going to find SM members to be lukewarm about a poll that has nothing to evaluate. (Your poll results so far, 0 and 0 with 11 lookie loo's) point toward a lack of interest.)
    Sorry for the cynicism, but the site gets a bit of that sort of thing.
    chelloveck likes this.
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    So, Whatca selling?
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Me thinkith the best advice is the many online posts of actual products, by actual users who have used the products for realz! Just my .02!

    Berkey for the win!
    chelloveck likes this.
  8. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Living in southern New Hampshire, no single system will work. Big Berkley etc will do a good job on cleaning up most water, but hydrocarbons, viruses, organic chemicals, radon, etc require I think a multiple treatment. Chemical means, chlorine, iodine, or ozone, seem to be best for viruses, pore size, Big Berkley, Liifestraw, etc, seem to be best for bacteria, protozoa, cysts, etc, and carbon absorption seems to be best for most chemical pollutants. I have a system with chlorine and settling tanks followed by carbon filtering to treat my well water to make it drinkable, but there are some areas near here contaminated with some of the Teflon precursors that no system will clean up and they haul in drinking water. It seems to me that it would be counter intuitive, but for me treating known contaminated surface water would be safer as it doesn't have hydrocarbons, heavy metals, radon, PTFE, etc, that the deep wells have.
  9. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I live in a Third World country, Cambodia. I've resided in SEA for about two decades. Here in Cambodia, the filters that are most commonly used, especially in the provincial villages, are sand filters. They seem to work very well, albeit slowly. They are also considerably cheaper to build than gravity systems are to buy. $12 - $15 US can build you a single sand filter large enough for one to two families here. You could supply clean, filtered water for an entire village, for the same cost as a single, commercially made gravity filter.

    We decided a gravity type system was not for us. Firstly, they are too costly in this part of the world. Secondly, they are too slow to filter enough water for our needs. We use a lot of fresh water, daily. That does not include the 6 to 8 liters that I personally consume each day. We would need several of them to keep up with the water demands at the farm. Not to mention, we would need at least two more for our apartment in the city.

    We weren't going to go with any water filters at first, due to primarily consuming rainwater here. (We also have bottled water we can drink.) But, since we are going to have a bore (well) drilled sometime after the first of the year, we figured we should go ahead and install a good filtration system in line.

    The filters we went with are whole house, 4" x 20" filter canisters, offering 1" NPT ports on both input and output sides. I don't recall the specifications for each filter. But, two of them filter down to x number of microns. The third one is a charcoal filter. Of course, the water that is run through these filters is pushed by an electric pump, not gravity fed.

    The only thing I can see that I would consider adding to our system, would be a UV light. But, at the moment, I don't really see a reason to add one.

    I purchased a number of well water test kits, by Watersafe. I also purchased a like number of Arsenic test kits, as it is naturally occurring in many areas of Cambodia. So far, we are all...

    duane likes this.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    No, I would not pay $5 for a report on that water system. Water filtration systems are costly but worth it. I put a filter and ultra-violet on my old water system. My advice would be to call up a few well companies. I do not think many will want to help fund your filtration system.
  11. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    No sale here either - if and when you actually have something to sell.

    I use a Sawyer and the results worldwide speak for themselves. EPA test data for the Sawyer are also on line.

    Many, if not all, here do their homework before they plunk down any hard earned cash.

    Since the OP just joined to day, I tend to look at these kinds of posts (selling vaporware) as SPAM.

    But, that's just me.
  12. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Nope. A Nigerian prince already got my 5 bucks.
    Primefactor likes this.
  13. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    No, especially since your equipment is only estimated at 3000 but a cheap used mass spectrometer is over 20k.

    water as a control is not very good either...or from any other municipal system. Loss of pressure, leaking lines, power losses can all compromise the system, potentially skewing your results.

    Or one could go here instead...for free: Countertop Gravity Water Filters: Which is Best? | 2017 Edition
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  14. Primefactor

    Primefactor Neophyte Monkey

    That's exactly what i'm doing. I've combed the internet for reliable information so i can make an informed choice before i make the purchase. Problem is there's massive amounts of doubt about the effectiveness of all of these products. This is why i was going to do some testing my self.

    Where did you find the EPA test data on sawyer? Haven't been able to find that. I found some Sawyer test results but that was geared more towards reduction of bacteria & viruses. This is very important but i also want something that will pretty much eliminate all the other crap dumped into our water.
  15. Primefactor

    Primefactor Neophyte Monkey

    I wouldn't be doing any testing my self. I would send the samples to a certified lab for testing.

    That is probably the first article i read when starting my research. It does offer some really good information but there is nothing there that is conclusive, just a bunch of pulls from each companies websites which leaves me to trust what the company is saying. This is not something i want to do after reading about people calling the test lab used for the Berkey results & finding out that this test lab denies that they ever performed any testing for Berkey. Then propur claims that they're NSF 53 certified but that's not true according to the NSF website (same for Aquacera)
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You are looking for current costs. Try this -
    How Much Does Water Testing and Treatment Cost? -

    After you figure out what you want to test for, you can narrow it down. One thing is for sure, you won't get isotopic tests done for 5 bux a sample. And you will not find a monkey willing to buy test results for you.
    Your OP is unanswered the way you hoped, simply because you have not provided a list of what you want to test for. Start by calling your local certified testing service and ask what the standard well test costs, and at the same time get a list of what is regarded as standard. If you REALLY want to pursue the question, ask them for a price for (say) 200 tests.

    You are also going to need some means and method of sample custody control, especially if you are thinking to serve as an intermediary. Who's paying for shipping and handling?

    Reduced to simplest terms, your study is incomplete and sadly shallow. With a DYI test kit running 10 or more frns, who in his/her/its right mind would pay you 5 for a pig in a poke? Unbeluckin' feevable.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Here's an idea for you, @Primefactor
    Ask around on as many sites as you can find for those that use your chosen filter system, then offer to send them a DIY test kit and report the results to you for a (say) 5 frn reward. That will get you filtration results for as many different systems as found. You'll need to decide if you trust those that participate to send you real results, not something strange like grape koolaide results.

    If I had a filter system, even I would participate, but Penn State tested my well and I don't need a filter.
  18. Primefactor

    Primefactor Neophyte Monkey

    Thank you for your input but i have all the costs & logistics covered. & Of course it's incomplete, i haven't started it yet. I just wanted to get a count of how many people i could expect to cover the costs if i were to buy the systems & have them tested myself (Market research i guess you could call it). over the past several months i read hundreds of posts about you can't trust the results of this brand or that brand & that these other filters suck & so on. So my questions is, if there are enough of us that would like to see test results that have don't have any alterior motives attached to them (not supplied by the companies themselves), wouldn't you want to pay $5 for $600 worth of testing before you pay $250 for a system so that you know if the system you purchase actually reduces what you want it to reduce? To me it's a no-brainer.

    DIY kits only test for a handful of contaminants so they don't meet the needs of most people looking for lab test results.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Let's start simple, then. Tell me what my 5 frns is buying. THAT is the no brain part. You are telling me that my fiver might be getting 600 dollars worth of test results, but you are not telling me what they are.

    The thinking part is this: What is being tested for, who's doing the analysis, and what assurances do I have of the accuracy of the test results? Additionally, who am I trusting with my test results?

    I don't think so, or you would be more than willing to tell us what we get for our 5 bux. Then again, maybe all you have covered is what you will need to get a filter system for yourself. That breeds skepticism of the type that points toward a scam trying to get the participants to pay for your system with no intent to provide any test results. The deal as presented so far stinks to high heaven, and smelling worse by the minute. Help me find a reason to not believe you are trying to victimize our members. Should be easy to tell us what we get for our money and remain welcome here.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    techsar and Gator 45/70 like this.
  20. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Click to expand on your OP to see my reply s.

    Based on my location, my plans and the demonstrated needs I have scoped out, the Sawyer fill the bill For me.

    You? Well, you get to do your own planning...
    ghrit, techsar and Gator 45/70 like this.
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