Free Shipping on Orders
Over $50
Browse Categories
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.
Browse by Manufacturer
Doulton's Rich Water Filter History
British Berkefeld water filter in the galley of Discovery


John Doulton founded his first pottery in 1815 in Lambreth, England on the banks of the Thames river. The main products of the original company were ceramic busts, figurines, canning jars and tableware. Influenced by the unrelenting progress of the industrial revolution, Doulton placed equal emphasis on industrial applications for ceramic technology. As early as 1827, this fine china manufacturer was in the water filter business, using various earth and clay materials in the first Doulton water filters.

In 1837, Queen Victoria recognized the present health dangers in her drinking water and commissioned Doulton to produce a water filter for the royal household. He created a gravity fed stoneware filter that combined the technology of a ceramic filter with the artistry of a hand crafted pottery water container. In consideration with the pleasure of her new device she bestowed upon Doulton the right to embellish each of his units with the Royal Crest.



Early ceramic water filter on display at the Dundee heritage trust in Scotland.

John Doulton's son, Henry, introduced the Doulton Manganous Carbon water filter in 1862, the
same year that Louis Pasteur's experiments with bacteria conclusively exploded the myth of
Spontaneous Generation. This more advanced understanding of bacteria made it possible to direct
Research and Development efforts to the creation of a porous ceramic capable of filtering out these
tiny organisms.

By 1901, King Edward VII  knighted Henry Doulton and honored the company by authorizing it to use
the word ROYAL in reference to its products. In 1906, Doulton introduced a filter that proved to be
equal to the one Louis Pasteur had developed in France. It was rapidly adopted by hospitals,
laboratories and for use in domestic water filtration throughout the world. The popularity and
effectiveness of even the early 20th century designs has resulted in their continued use in Africa and
the Middle East. The range and efficiency of Doulton domestic water filters has been widely
extended over the years to meet the demands of increasingly sophisticated uses.

At the core of the Doulton ceramic filter element is the most basic of elements ...EARTH. This is the
same substance which artisans, first in Asia then in Europe, refined into exquisite porcelain and
pottery of the Shoguns and Kings. This material is Diatomaceous Earth [D.E.], a fossil substance,
made up of tiny silicon shells left by trillions of microscopic, one celled algae called diatoms that have
inhabited the waters of the earth for the last 150 million years.

Diatoms have one property that sets them apart from other algae. They weave microscopic shells
which they use for the protection and locomotion. These shells are covered with a pattern of tiny
holes so regular that even the slightest change in their design usually signifies a different species. As
the diatoms died, their shells survived, slowly piling up in deposits at the bottom of geological lakes
and lagoons. When these lakes dried up, what remained were huge deposits of "diatomaceous
earth". Today there are over 1500 uses for Diatomaceous Earth, from abrasives for toothpaste,
filtering agents for water and milk, heat insulators for kilns, to polishing agents in nail polishes, and
many more.

The latest designs of Doulton and British Berkefeld filter elements incorporate Oligodynamic silver impregnated into aporous ceramic outer shell [80,000,000 pores] that can trap bacteria down to as low as .22 of a micron in particle size [1/100,000 of an inch]. Laboratories consider a filtering medium with an
effective pore size of .01 micron to .45 micron to be bacteriologically sterile and .45 micron to 1.0
micron to be bacteriologically safe. Regrowth of bacteria that becomes trapped either on the
outside of the element or in the ceramic's pores is controlled by the silver which, on contact with
water, releases small quantities of positively charged metals ions. These ions are taken into the
enzyme system of the bacteria's cell and thereby neutralize it. The flow rate of the ceramic filter can
be easily renewed by simply brushing its outer surface under running water. As the top layer of
ceramic and the contaminants are brushed off and flushed away, a new layer becomes available. This
process can be repeated several hundred times before the ceramic material is exhausted.

Doulton water filters have been manufactured since 1827 and available in the United States since
In 1985 the British Berkefeld® brand was acquired by Doulton Industrial Products, the manufacturer of Royal Doulton® water filters, a company whose name has been synonymous with high quality and reliability since the early years of the twentieth century. Together the two companies combined centuries of water filter knowledge and technology and incorporated it into the British Berkefeld line of gravity flow water filters.

Doulton holds Certification, Accreditation, or Membership with the following
ISO 9002 Quality Standard
National Sanitation Foundation standards 42 and 53
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Water Quality Association
Department of Health (Toronto, Canada)
Spectrum Labs (Minneapolis, USA)
Water Research Council (UK)
British 5750 Quality Standard
England's Water Research council (WRc) Performance Standards
California Department of Health
Over 50 Independent Laboratories Worldwide