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Can the Black Berkey® Elements Remove Volcanic Ash from Drinking Water?

Berkey Filters

According to the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program via the National Museum of Natural History, the most recent continuing eruption of a volcano worldwide is Ecuador’s Wolf Volcano. Wolf began erupting on January 6, 2022 and recently stopped erupting on March 17, 2022. As of Wolf’s eruption stop date, there were 48 total volcanoes reported with the status of continuing eruption. Smithsonian Institute defines a continuing eruption in this way:

An eruption marked as “continuing” does not always mean persistent daily activity, but indicates at least intermittent eruptive events without a break of 3 months or more. 

About Volcanic Eruptions

To those safe from the threat of a volcanic eruption, these natural phenomena are captivating to say the least. For those who find themselves within volcanic danger zones, the threat is constant and immediate, not to mention devastating and unforgiving. With temperatures able to surpass 2,000° F, lava can destroy any and everything in its path, leaving hardened rock and devastation in its wake. Typically, lava is contained to within about 100 miles from the eruption site. Volcanic ash, gases, and smoke can veil the sky from sunlight and clean air, killing all forms of life within distances of hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

Volcanic ash contains microscopic shards of both glass and rock and can contain deposits of heavy metals, minerals, and various chemicals. Of the chemical threats, some are harmfully corrosive, contaminating the ground, water supplies, and vegetation.

Outside of natural disaster scenarios, public drinking water utilities are often able to deliver potable water where needed. However, during a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption, water treatment plants often become damaged and/or overwhelmed beyond the point of meeting emergent needs of those within the danger zones. What results is limited access (if any) to local water supply as it is cut-off, rendered unsafe, or undesirable to drink.

Due to the real threat of such events, it is essential that individuals and families within volcano zones have reliable and powerful water filters that can turn contaminated water into potable water.

While it is difficult to anticipate every potential contaminant to be found in volcanic ash, Berkey® systems equipped with Black Berkey® Elements should be able to remove or reduce contaminants commonly found in volcanic ash for which Black Berkey® Elements have been tested—and greatly improve the condition of any drinking water that may have been contaminated by volcanic ash.

Learn about the contaminants tested in the Black Berkey® Elements Lab Test Results.