Black Berkey or Super Sterasyl?
The most common question we are asked by far is; what is the difference between Black Berkey Filters and the White ceramic Super Sterasyl Filters. The simple answer is that they are basically the same but here is a little more detail.
Both filters are basically comprised of the same materials and operate in the same manor. They are both designed to remove most bacteria’s and cysts from water. The Super Sterasyl filters remove cholera as well, the Black Berkey filters have not been tested for cholera. Neither filter is to be used with salt water.
The Super Sterasyl filters are comprised of a silver permeated ceramic shell that is about ¼ inch thick, the core of the filter is then filled with granulated carbon.
The Black Berkey Filters are comprised of ceramic and carbon and extruded into a solid unit.
The Super Sterasyl filters have been around more than 180 years in one form or another, they have been used extensively worldwide in third world and developing countries for decades, as well as usage by missionary and relief organizations. The Super Sterasyl is manufactured by Doulton and is sold under 2 labels, Doulton and British Berkefeld, both products are identical except for the name on them.
In the late 1990’s a company called New Millennium Concepts LTD, procured from Doulton, the rights to be the American Distributor in North America for British Berkefeld products, NMCL thus created the Big Berkey by using a 9” ceramic filter in a British Berkefeld Stainless steel Housing rather than the traditional 7” filter. Sometime around 2000, NMCL created their own products as well resulting in Black Berkey Filters as well as their own version of the Big Berkey along with a variety of sizes of the Stainless Steel units.
The Super Sterasyl filters come in a few different sizes, the information here relates to the 7” x 2” size.
Black Berkey filters are claimed by the manufacturer to have up to a 3000 gallon capacity based on water quality. The Super Sterasyl filters are claimed by the manufacturer for up to 500 gallons based on water quality.
Blacked Berkey filters must be primed before use, DO NOT prime the Super Sterasyl filters
The Super Sterasyl filters are less expensive than the Black Berkey Filters.