I remember days in Brooklyn when I’d turn on the tap and think: swimming pool. The chlorine was abundant, and didn’t blend evenly. Yuck.

Now that we’re out in the mountains, we’re drinking well water, but the level of sulfur in it is just amazing. The iron and other minerals I can take – they remind me of childhood in Wisconsin – but where NYC water made me think of swimming pools, the water here often brings visions of rotten eggs. Not very appetizing.

The Berkey Light Water Filter We limped along with a small Brita filter, but it really didn’t have the capacity we needed. I researched gravity-fed filters for a long time before deciding on the Berkey Light (pictured to the left). It was a bit of an investment, but the filters last a long time ( you can scrub particulate off the outside of them and keep going long after you’ve tossed your Brita filters ) and are some of the most effective available.

I definitely recommend the Berkey filters, but if I had it to do over again I’d build my own system around them. Nothing wrong with what they sell, it’s just a lot of money for a simple arrangement of two buckets with a few holes and a spout, something I could have made myself for a fraction of what they charge.