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Pat’s Product Review: Just Water Brand Ceramic Drip Filter System

The past several months, I have been buried in products to test and evaluate for SurvivalBlog readers. While this is a good thing, it’s also a “bad” thing – some products take quite a bit of time to test. My time is limited each day, and I do my best to give all the products a fair and honest evaluation for SurvivalBlog readers. And what you read in my articles, are findings based on my testing and my final opinion of the products. No one pays me to feature their products in my SurvivalBlog articles. I know a lot of folks believe that gun and knife companies pay magazine writers to write about their products, and that simply isn’t true, at least in my case. I’ve been writing magazine articles for 20 years, and I’ve never once had any company offer to pay me to write favorable things about their products, and I don’t know of any other reputable writer who has been offered money to write favorable things about anyone’s products.

Chad, who runs the Internet Prepper [1] web store contacted me about a month or so ago, and wanted to send me one of his Ceramic Drip Water Filter System [2], made by the Just Water Company. Chad e-mailed and asked: “Pat, I’d really appreciate an honest review of the filter system…” That’s refreshing to hear from someone. I’ve had a few companies contact me, and asked me if I would give their products a favorable review and asked what I was going to say about their products – before they even sent me their products. I make no promises to anyone, other than I’ll give their products a fair shake and write an article. I’ve also been asked if I can guarantee them that the article will appear on SurvivalBlog. I refer them to Jim Rawles, he is the editor of Survival Blog for that answer. (Be advised that the editorial calendar is packed, so there are often delays.)

Chad told me that he is a USAF veteran, and he picks and packs each filter order personally. They ship from Dallas, Texas, usually the next business day via Priority Mail. True to his word, my sample filter arrived in short order, via Priority Mail.

Some water filtration systems can cost hundreds of dollars. Some are as little as $15 – but they don’t all filter well, and they don’t filter a large volume of water, either. There are many products on the market these days, and you are only limited by your imagination and funds, when it comes to water filtration systems. Like most folks, my funds are limited, and I carefully shop around for the best products for my budget.

The Just Water Company had their Ceramic Filter Drip System tested by Johns Hopkins University and a number of other independent labs, and they all concluded that it exceeds FDA and NSF standards for filtering water. Cooper was kind enough to send me a copy of some of these reports along with the sample filtration system. Keep in mind that this filtration system does not remove viruses – so if you are concerned about this in your water, it’s best to add a bit of chlorine to the water. However, most water filtration needs are easily met by this system, including the removal of Giardia and Cryptosporidium – two of the really nasty bugs in water, that can kill you.

Johns Hopkins noted in their letter that the treated water should be protected from recontamination in a safe storage vessel – which is part of this filtration system.

Okay, what I received from Chad was the filtration system, which consists of the silver-impregnated ceramic water filter, with a “sock” pre-filter that goes over the filter for keeping out larger particles that could clog the ceramic filter. The system also comes with a spigot and other neat things for getting this filtration system up and running. What this system does not come with are two standard 5-gallon plastic buckets. Those you must purchase yourself. No big deal here, the local big box store had food grade buckets for under $10 each. You will also need a drill and a couple drill bits in order to make the two buckets into a complete filtration system. It doesn’t take any special handyman skills to drill a couple holes in the buckets to connect the upper bucket to the lower, and install the spigot. You’ll also need a rubber band or two. I won’t go into the details of how to get this system up and running. You can read it on their web site – but it only took about 10-minutes of time to get it all up and running . It was a piece of cake!

The biggest concern you have to be aware of it that, you make sure there are no leaks between the two buckets – or the water will get re-contaminated – as pointed out by Johns Hopkins. And, if you’ve installed everything correctly, there won’t be any problems.

Okay, I’m the first to admit, that I’m not the most patient person in the world – far from it. In the instructions that came with the filtration system, it talks about the flow rate you can expect from this simple system, which is about 3/4 to 1 gallon per hour. The flow rate increases as the ceramic shell and mixed media inside the ceramic shell become saturated with water – this can take a couple of days for the flow rate to really get going. So, don’t try to rush it – there’s nothing you can do to make the filtration system flow faster to start with – a couple days is what it took in my case – just as advertised.

With daily use, you can expect a year’s worth of filtered water with this system. When the flow rate decreases, this indicates that the “sock” and the filter might need to be cleaned. All that is needed is a pair of rubber gloves to remove the sock and rinse it in clean water, and a green Scotch-Brite pad to gently rub the surface of the ceramic filter. Rinse with clean (filtered) water and you’re good to go for another year – or whenever you see the flow rate decreasing. You should be good for another year or so, depending on the turbidity of your water source.

The two 5-gallon buckets that you stack on top of one another takes up considerable counter space,. However, anyone can find a suitable place for this simply filtration system in their home. And, if the filter is only going to be used in a SHTF scenario, then who cares if it takes-up some counter space? Clean water is vital to your survival.

My water well has a large filter between the well and my house, and I have to have the media replaced every couple of years. We have what is commonly called “rust bacteria” in our water – and it comes out of the well brownish and it doesn’t taste very good at times. Still, even with the big filter installed, we used a water filtration pitcher for our drinking water that removes the taste from this rust bacteria. So, I had a little something to compare thise Ceramic Filter Drip System to. I ran this system for couple weeks, and found that our drinking water actually did taste much better, that the water from the filtered water pitcher.

And, as mentioned above, if I were concerned about viruses in my drinking water, I’d add the appropriate amount of plain hypochlorite bleach to the water before drinking it. That is no big deal in my book.

You can get all the information you need about the nasty stuff that this filtration system removes from the water you run through it from the web site. The one important thing to remember is to never use any kind of soap when cleaning the filter, pre-filter sock and buckets, as it will ruin the filter.

I like to save the good news for last, and in this case, the selling price for this water filtration system is only $29.97 – and no matter how you look at it, that’s one of the best bargains around. Why would you spend hundreds of dollars or more, each year, for that bottled water, that isn’t nearly as clean as most people think it is? Personally, I think you are throwing your hard-earned money away when you purchase bottled water – and a lot of this is water from the same tap water you already drink – it’s just placed in a plastic bottle – and you’ll spend a buck apiece for this water – that you can already get out of your own tap. If you feel the need to drink bottled water, then buy a couple of bottles, and after you’ve emptied them, fill ’em up with filtered water from this filtration system. You’ll find the water taste better than what you spent a buck for at the big box store. Just think of the savings on not buying bottled water alone. And, think of how much you’re going to appreciate this filtration system when the SHTF and your only source of water might be a puddle of dirty rain water in your back yard?

The bottom line is the quality of the filtered water that comes out of this simple and inexpensive system. I don’t care how stretched your finances are, you can pull together $29.97 plus shipping for this system and another $20 or less for a couple 5-gallon food grade plastic buckets, to assure your family of clean drinking water for a year or two. It’s a great investment, especially for those on a tight budget, as many are today.