If you don’t trust the cleanliness or safety of your water, a water filtration system can ease your mind and make your water safer to consume. However, if you don’t want to purchase an expensive filtration system, there are ways to filter water yourself. Here are some simple and inexpensive tips for DIY water filtration.
Charcoal In expensive and readily available, charcoal can remove many agrichemical contaminants and synthetic organic chemicals, including pesticides, from water. Water treatment plants use a high-grade type of charcoal called Granular Activated Carbon, but you can filter water yourself using the charcoal you buy at the store. Please note that this is a very basic design, and you may want to tailor it based on your needs and supplies. You will need about five grams of charcoal to purify a liter of water, so calculate how much water you want to purify over the life of the system.
To create this system, connect two containers with a pipe (the pipe should rest at the bottom of each container). In the larger container, place one layer each of gravel, pulverized charcoal, and sand on top of the pipe. Water will filter through each layer, and the purified water will then flow into the second container.
You can also create a small-scale version of this system using a two-liter bottle, a coffee filter, and a rubber band. In this filtration system, wrap a coffee filter over the neck of the bottle and secure with a rubber band. Put cotton balls in the neck of the bottle to plug all available space in the neck. Pour in one layer each of fine sand, charcoal, coarse sand, and gravel. Pour water into the top half of the bottle, and allow the purified water to drain into the bottom half of the bottle.
Sand a slow water filtration system using sand will look very similar to the charcoal filtration system described above. If you don’t have charcoal available, you can still filter water effectively. Create an outlet or spigot at the bottom of the bucket, and then layer on top of the spigot (in this order) gravel, coarse sand, and a large layer of fine sand. A diffuser plate above the top layer of sand will leave room for the water to sit after it’s been poured into the bucket.
Ceramic Like charcoal
Ceramic filtration can remove organic and agrichemical contaminants from the water. A ceramic filtration system doesn’t require anything except a ceramic pot and a receptacle for filtered water. Clean the ceramic pot thoroughly (without soap!) before using it for the first time, and soak it in water overnight. Pour water into the ceramic pot and cover it with a lid. The clean water will then filter out into the receptacle tank. If the water is especially dirty or is filled with a lot of small particles, cover the ceramic pot with a mesh cloth before filling it with water.
Ultra violet radiation functions as a germicide, removing biological contaminants from water. UV radiation used to be too expensive and complicated for household use or for use in developing countries. Now, there are several simple and inexpensive UV systems available for home water purification.
Please note that UV radiation will not remove pesticides or other agricultural contaminants from the water. If you want to add a layer of purification to your charcoal filtration system, use a UV system on the water that has already been filtered through a charcoal, sand, or ceramic system.