DIY Ceramic Water Filters

Low-cost, easy-to-use ceramic water filters can keep your family safe in emergencies.

| July 5, 2012

  • Parallel Filters
    Placing filters "in parallel" can will increase output, but costs more to implement.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • Filter Components
    Basic components of a ceramic filter.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • 2-Bucket Set-up
    This cutaway version shows how the water moves through the filter to collect in the lower bucket.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • Pressurized Set-Up
    Adding pressure will increase the speed of water flow, but increases system costs and requires additional labor.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • Adding a Siphon
    Adding a siphon can increase flow rates, but decreases the time the water has contact with the carbon filter.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • Siphoning Set-Up
    Be sure the lower bucket is covered to prevent other contaminants from getting into the filtered water if you use the "separated bucket" system.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD
  • Emergency Water Kit Components
    Emergency water kits like this cost $35 including shipping and can provide your family with clean, safe water in an emergency.
    PHOTO: RUSS MICHAUD

  • Parallel Filters
  • Filter Components
  • 2-Bucket Set-up
  • Pressurized Set-Up
  • Adding a Siphon
  • Siphoning Set-Up
  • Emergency Water Kit Components

(Editor's note: Russ Michaud owns Homespun Environmental, which sells a variety of ceramic water filters in both do-it-yourself and ready-to-use kits. For more information about his company's offerings, see the link at the bottom of this story.) 

Everyone agrees that water is a must-have essential at the top of the list for survival preparations. Consequently, there are a lot of products on the market for cleaning up contaminated water to make it fit for human consumption. Here’s a quick look at the advantages of ceramic cartridges versus other filter types and discussion of a few key issues.

What is a ceramic water filter? 

The ceramic filter consists of a porous ceramic shell and usually is sold as a sealed cartridge that contains some additional water purification media. A picture of a dome-shaped filter is shown here, but they can be manufactured in various shapes and sizes. The outer shell of the ceramic cartridge filters out bacteria using sub-micron sized pore openings. (A micron is a millionth of a meter). In addition, many chemicals can be filtered out using “broad spectrum” activated carbon inside the shell. Specialized filters to remove particular chemicals such as fluoride or arsenic can also be manufactured by using other media in place of the carbon.



What are the advantages of these filters? 

Some popular types of filters just use small pore openings to strain out bacteria but do nothing to treat the water for pesticides, fertilizers or petroleum-based products that may be present in water from lakes or rivers. Other types of water filters will just use activated carbon for the chemicals but not have small enough filter pores to eliminate bacteria.

Lygrrr
7/27/2014 6:24:22 PM

They also have a system that does not require stacked buckets. It is a hanging bag that rolls up very compact and is great for hiking and camping: http://www.homespunenvironmental.com/Bag_Water_Filter_p/tk-1001.htm


cristiana.faria.14
6/14/2013 3:36:28 PM

Great article! Ceramic filters ensure clean fresh water, I love these filters. Here in Brazil Ceramic filters are very common, especially from the company Ceramica Stefani http://www.b2brazil.com/hotsite/ceramicastefani/. I recommend!


mariana.favero.50
6/14/2013 3:32:28 PM

Great article! Ceramic filters ensure clean fresh water, I love these filters. Here in Brazil Ceramic filters are very common, especially from the company <a title="Ceramica Stéfani" href="http://www.b2brazil.com/hotsite/ceramicastefani/">Ceramica Stéfani</a>. I recommend!







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