Does The Berkey® Remove Minerals From Water?

minerals in water

Some people want to know if the Berkey® water filter system (Black Berkey filter elements) will remove minerals from the water.

The answer is, it removes some of them.

Is that a good or bad thing (not removing all of them)?
Answer: It’s all good. Let me explain…

The Berkey® will filter out sedimentary minerals (such as iron oxide and others). The Black Berkey® elements will also filter out heavy metals such as lead and mercury (and others – more on that in a minute).

However (and it’s a good thing), it will not filter out beneficial “ionic” minerals.

Your Body Needs Minerals

From the “mothership”:

The media within the Black Berkey® Purification Elements is not designed to remove beneficial (ionic) minerals from your water supply.

These kinds of minerals can be reduced if they are in high concentration, but some will still be allowed through.

We have not done any testing for the removal rate of ionic minerals, as they are not supposed to be completely removed to begin with.

There are no water filtration companies on the market that publish a test of that nature.

Electrolytes are compounds such as sodium, potassium, calcium, etc.  They help perform the functions of muscle contraction and heartbeat among other various bodily tasks.  Many electrolytes also fall under the category of beneficial minerals.

RO (Reverse Osmosis) systems and water distillers?

I’ve read advice indicating that it’s not a good idea to drink water on a long term basis from these filtration systems.

Evidently RO or distilled water methods “remove all the beneficial minerals from the water making the water an acidic “hypotonic” solution. “

With that said, many or most minerals that one consumes will come from the food they eat. So I’m not so sure about the negative statements of RO or distilled water methods. Though it may be good general advice (having dug into more research/detail – beyond the scope of this article).

Berkey® Water Filter System

A commenter recently said, “In city water there are a a lot of dissolved chemicals/micro plastics/ prescription meds/etc, which city water treatment plants do not remove. (so I have read).

She’s concerned whether or not the Berkey® removes any of this contamination. Some time ago I discovered a website page (from Berkey® ) which lists many of their test results. The list of what the Black Berkey® removes is extensive once you start to browse the reports.

A few quick links to their test results:

Heavy Metals, Pharmaceuticals, Coliform, E.Coli, VOCs, Chloramines, Petroleum, etc.

Cryptosporidium & Giardia

Virus & Bacteria

The takeaway is that RO and distilled water systems will apparently remove minerals from water. However there may be negative effects if drinking this water long term. A gravity filter system such as the Berkey is (in my view) the best you can get in this particular category of water filters. Browse the test results lists for contaminants that this filter will reduce.

As most of you know, I highly recommend “” (The Berkey Guy) for all of your needs in this regard. Filters. Replacement elements. Accessories.

You might also email him with further questions (let him know you came from us) ;)


  1. I got my Berkey maybe five years ago. I invited a friend over and we were talking. Her four year old daughter said she wanted a drink. The little girl tasted the water, her eyes opened wide, she said it was “really good” and proceeded to drain three full sized glasses. Her mother said her daughter wasn’t a water drinker, but apparently her body knew what it needed.

  2. A concern I have about the Berkey’s is an ability to filter out toxins. Lake Erie had an algae bloom about 5 years ago that was serious enough that people were advised not to swim in it or drink from it. As I recall the toxin could not be filtered out and it could damage the liver. Ingesting enough of it would be fatal. Caveat here is beware of water containing algae. Many different kinds producing various toxins. Some more damaging than others.

    1. me
      Since you have that issue in your area, why not call the company Berkey and ask about that particular toxin.
      I would also check with Seychelles on their filtering unit, it was/is designed for radiological waste.

    2. @me,
      Have you identified the toxin? And have you cross-referenced with the hundreds listed from the links in the article above?

      The Black Berkey filter elements are the best there is in that department, at least in my research of gravity water filters. If you have a concern, shoot them an email (site link in the article above).

      With that said, RO and distillers have their own advantages. Though none of them work in an emergency without power. Maybe good to have both gravity filter and RO / and/or distiller for extreme concerns?

    3. me— is this what you were referencing?
      “a severe bloom of blue-green algae began spreading across the western half of Lake Erie. The dominant organism—a Microcystis cyanobacteria—produces the toxin microcystin, which can cause liver damage, numbness, dizziness, and vomiting”

      1. Jane Foxe, Sounds like the one I recall reading about and I did recall that it couldn’t be filtered out. That article could have referred to the equipment they were using which might not be as capable as the Berkeys.

        In our area we have a problem with crabs, clams and mussels accumulating domoic acid toxin. The level is monitored by Fish and Game in Calfornia, Oregon and Washington. I don’t worry about it as I don’t take crab when the levels are high. They always recommend not eating the organs as that is where the levels are highest.

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