big berkey countertop water filter

Why Are Berkey Water Filters Banned in California?

Are you a resident of California?

Why are Berkey water filters banned in this state?

Find out about this here.

Berkey Water Filters

Berkey countertop filters have an outstanding reputation in the U.S and beyond when it comes to water filters. If you have had any interest in water filtration and have done some digging into this, the chances are that you’ve come across various product options offered by the company.

One of the most popular countertop filters is the Big Berkey, which can eliminate over 200 contaminants from drinking water utilizing black Berkey filter components.  

This filter is amazingly very easy to use and doesn’t task you much; you’ll just need to set it on the counter, fill it up with water, and within a fraction of time, you get your purified water.

With all this awesomeness, getting your hands on this filter is somewhat tricky if you are a resident of California.

But why?

According to the laws of the state, these products are banned.

Why is Berkey illegal in California?

The chances are that you met with a ‘’ they are banned’’ notice while trying to get your hands on a Berkey water filter.

But, do you know why?

In 2009, California enacted a new law, and AB1953, SB1935, HSC section 116875 and popularly known as the ‘’ no-lead law’’. 

According to this law, third-party certification by an ANSI/ NSF- compliant third party company confirming that any equipment purposed for dispensing water for human consumption along with parts that make up the equipment is lead-free before being sold in California.

This law covers all types of water purification systems and water filtration products, as well as their various components, even those made without any steel alloys.  Even if a system claims to have eliminated lead or to be free of the toxin as the Berkey products claim, it must get a third-party certification.

However, Berkey has not complied with this law, making Berkey water filters illegal in the state. 

Why is Berkey not NSF certified

So, what’s stopping Berkey from submitting its water filters and replacement components for testing by an independent NSF- approved third party availing its goods to California state residents?

Well, simply put, Berkey’s unwillingness to let out its manufacturing secrets has made it impossible to get this certification. 

Boasting of the best water filters available, Berkey fears that disclosing this information may bring up fierce competition if it leaks to the market.

So to protect itself, Berkey remains unwilling to provide this crucial information hence failure to acquire the certification.

What water filters are NSF certified?

 Aquasana Optim H20 System

This is a reverse osmosis setup that’s designed to eliminate more than five times water contaminants than what the majority of reverse osmosis setups cover.

The versatile equipment has several NSF certifications fulfilling standards 42, 53,58, 401, and P473. What’s better, this premium filter comes with a remineralizer to add healthy minerals back to filtered water. Although quite pricey, this filter is worth every coin as it comes with everything you need, including a holding tank, reverse osmosis setup, and a stylish faucet.

Culligan FM-15A

This cost-effective water filter connects directly to your faucet and is well-made with sturdy metal and plastic components. 

In addition, it features a simple on/off button that enables quick access to non-filtered, higher-flow water. It’s NSF-certified to fulfill standards 53 and 42 and eliminates a wide range of water pollutants.

The machine comes with affordable filters designed to hold 200 gallons of filtered water. Quite impressive, don’t you think?


How long do Berkey filters last?

This depends on the filter capacity. The Black Berkey can filter up to 3000 gallons of water before replacement is required. If your Big Berkey has two filters, and you consume 5 gallons of water daily, the filters will last for over three years.  

Is the Berkey water filter worth it?

In our opinion, a Berkey water filter is a worthy investment in your home. Berkey filters have the ability to remove most of the viruses and pathogenic bacteria in your water for clean healthy water.

Do I need to boil water if I have a Berkey?

If you are running your water through a Black Berky purification element, you do not need to boil it.


When it comes to water filters Berkey filters are among the best water filters available with the ability to get rid of more water contaminants than other filters.

Joshua Perkins

Joshua spent ten years as a water systems technician in California before settling down with his wife and two young children in Nashville in 2018. Through all of his experience, he learned the benefits and shortfalls of so many different types of water filtration systems, from pitchers to whole-house installations. He started Water Filter Authority in 2019 to empower other families to make the right decision for their long-term health and wellness.