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If you have the skills to make a home-made Big Berkey, then you should have no problem making a field-expedient in-line filter for a 5 gallon bucket…

The “skills” involve such difficult things as drilling four or eight holes (depending on how many filters one chooses to use), and making sure they’re lined up. That’s all – literally. For those that missed it in a previous post I did on a rainwater capture system using blue 55 gallon barrels, there was a link to a home made Berkey filter system that I used. I just upgraded the water spigot and then set ours on an inexpensive roll-around shop seat from Harbor Freight. Quite easy.


Order the filters directly from Berkey (New Millenium Concepts). There are 3rd party places using the Berkey name that are not honored by Berkey for warranty purposes – including Amazon sources. There’s little difference in filter pricing, so I’m comfortable getting it from the source and knowing it’ll be covered in the first year in case of a problem (there was one bad batch a few years ago, which became part of the reason for the warranty issue – apparently some 3rd party companies didn’t return the bad batch and sold them, and Berkey wouldn’t cover them later on when they were still being sold).

The price for a pair has gone up a bit (around $109 I think), but for 6000 gallons per pair with filtering of virtually anything you can possibly want out of the water except fluoride, you can’t beat it. We also added the fluoride filters hanging down in the lower bucket (screwed on to the output of the Black Berkey filters in the top bucket). We used a 6 gallon lower bucket (food grade), and a 5 gallon upper bucket. The roll-around shop seat is wonderful for just keeping the buckets out of sight in the laundry room and wheeling the whole thing in for refilling at the kitchen sink (we have a flexible hose extension on the sink fixture making it extremely easy to fill).