California’s revised ‘no lead law’, which took effect in January 2010, frames the sales of all water filter and purification systems in the state.

As it stands, this law prohibits the sale of Berkey water filters to California and all products that come in contact with drinking water, such as upper/lower chambers, filters, and sports bottles.

Per SB 1334 (1), all “end-use devices intended to convey or dispense water for human consumption through drinking or cooking,” including each of their individual components and materials, as well as every “pipe, pipe fitting, plumbing fittings, or fixture,” MUST be tested and certified by an ANSI-accredited third party testing organization in order to confirm that they are indeed “lead free.”

According to Section 116875 (2), a product must be certified by a purification system, despite products and each of its components being certified as free of metal alloys associated with lead.

While this law has certainly raised some challenges for many companies and manufacturers, it is ultimately designed to ensure that all California residents have access to safe, clean drinking water. And while it may seem burdensome at first glance, the benefits of this law far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

The Berkey sport water purification bottle is one example of this. The body of the sports bottle uses LDPE, which needs to be certified even though it’s a widely known fact that LDPE doesn’t have any lead in it. In addition, many food and water companies use LDPE regularly, and it falls under federal regulations.

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Manufacturers are also expected to disclose private information about their systems, suppliers, and manufacturers without any guarantee that this information will remain confidential. Despite these challenges, many companies are working to implement the new law and ensure that their products are compliant.

Understanding Berkey water filters.

Berkey Water Filters are one of the top water filtration systems available today. The system is unique in that it uses gravity instead of electricity to filter water, Berkey also claim to purify water from any source , including municipal water supplies, lakes, streams and rivers.

In addition to purifying water, Berkey filters remove many harmful contaminants including heavy metals like lead and arsenic. They are also known for removing bacteria, viruses, parasites and other harmful microbes from the water.

The Berkey filtration system is one of the most reliable and efficient systems available on the market. Water enters the upper chamber, passes through several filters, and exits clean from the lower chamber. It’s believed that this system can remove over 220 contaminants.

Berkey filters are so easy to use; all you need to do is fit the filter, allow the water to run through the system and you’ll have clean water at your disposal.

Some of their most well-known water filter types are:

  1. Berkey Light: a compact, lightweight water filter that is perfect for travel and backpacking.
  2. Big Berkey: designed for larger groups or families, this system can easily handle large volumes of water at once.
  3. Royal Berkey: similar to the Big Berkey but with even greater filtration capabilities.
  4. Travel Berkey: the portable version of the Berkey Light, this filter is perfect for hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures.
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Why Berkey Water Filters Were Banned in California

Though Berkey water filtration products are highly efficient, California has banned their shipping, sale, and distribution due to the ‘no-lead law’ mentioned above.

After the passing of this law, many water filter companies did not pass the standards to sell their product in California. In order for a filter to be sold in California, ANSI/NSF must approve it and certify that it is “lead-free”. Unfortunately, Berkey filters have not been able to meet this standard, and so they have been banned from the California market.

Berkey water filters are still some of the most dependable and useful filtration systems, even though they’re banned in California. They do an excellent job of getting rid of pollutants such as bacteria.

Before a water filter system can be used for cooking or drinking, it must first be certified by an non-affiliated, third-party source. After that, the appropriate government authority needs to give its approval. Even if the company says its filters are better than anyone else’s on the market, it still has to go through these steps. As of now, the company has not done this yet.

Testing their Products

Berkey’s website not only states that the company conducts extensive tests, but they also make their results available to anyone who wants to view them.

While the company stands to make a killing by expanding into California, they must first overcome a significant hurdle. In California, companies are required to divulge information about their production systems – a high risk considering competitors might copy their products and processes.

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Doing business in California requires various certifications, the acquisition and maintenance of which can also be a costly and time-consuming process. Some companies may find it more efficient to focus on other markets instead, where the regulatory requirements are not as strict or comprehensive.

About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.