To keep ourselves healthy, humans require nine to thirteen cups of water intake daily. For such a vital element of our health, it’s needless to say that it’s essential that the water we are drinking is free of harmful impurities.
Because clean drinking water is a vital part of our health and survival, it’s worth considering strengthening our survival skills in the event filtered water sources become unavailable.
Arguably, although stocking commercially manufactured water filters is part of preparing for a water availability emergency, this plan does not cover any event where you are in the wilderness or away from your water filter stock.
Fortunately, learning how to make a homemade water filter is relatively easy to do. Follow these eleven easy steps on how to make a water filter, and you will be well on your way to being completely prepared for any clean-water availability emergency.
Why Water Needs Filtration
The earth is made up of 71 percent water. However, only 2.5 percent of that water is fresh, and only 1 percent is accessible. As this small amount is what solely keeps us hydrated and alive, we, of course, would prefer it taste good as well as be free of harmful ingredients. Water filtration systems can accomplish this essential task.
Filtering Water Tastes, Smells, and Looks Better
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Although some particles found in our freshwater are non-harmful, they can make the water taste metallic and salty, smell sulphuric, and look colored or cloudy. These particles are:
Furthermore, although chlorine can disinfect our drinking water by killing bacteria and viruses effectively, it can leave us with bleach-flavored water.
Only by filtering non-harmful particles and chlorine water through an activated carbon filter will the water taste, smell, and look as good as it is for our bodies.
Filtering Water Removes Harmful Ingredients
Of this one percent of the globe’s water sources, 25 to 40 percent of our clean water comes from the ground. Typically filled with dirt, clay, and silt in groundwater, water also contains:
Moreover, due to the molecular structure of water, it has the added negative of easily dissolving and absorbing elements in which it comes in contact.
These particles found in most freshwater can cause illness and disease. Water-borne disease is the cause of approximately 3,575,000 deaths per year. The health problems linked to the ingestion of polluted water include:
Also, this polluted water (linked to several illnesses and disease) seeps into our food crops increasing the danger to our health. You can begin to see why drinking only filtering water is a non-negotiable task for our health and well-being.
Modern Water Filters
The two ways to filter water are physical filtration (straining water through a sieve) and chemical filtration (passing water through an active material). There are also several methods to filter water:
However, the most commonly used filters in modern-day households is an activated carbon water filter. Charcoal is the most widely used carbon in water filters. The process of using charcoal to filter water is called absorption.
Charcoal absorbs and traps impurities in the water, and then the purified water is pushed through a sieve to remove any large particles. The water is then considered filtered.
Why Having Water Filter Making Skills is Important
Although we have water filtration systems at the reach of our fingertips with brands such as PUR, Brita, and AQUACREST, these products may not always be readily available due to location, situation, and financial ability.
Thus, there are several reasons why you might want or need to make a water filter:
Types of Homemade Water Filters
Solar Water Disinfection
Solar disinfection of water is the process of putting the non-filtered water into a clear plastic bottle and setting it directly in the sun for a couple of days. However, this process won’t ultimately make your water pure. Additionally, not everyone has access to direct sunlight (or enough sunlight).
Boiling water is just as it sounds. Heating water to a rolling boil for one to three minutes (depending on your altitude) can purify your drinking water. However, although boiling water kills any bacteria and parasites in the water, it does not remove other harmful elements such as lead, pesticides, toxic chemicals and the like.
Stove Top Distiller
The Stove Top Distiller works by attaching a copper pipe to the opening of a kettle full of boiling water and placing the opposite end of the copper pipe into a clean container. The idea is that the steam from the boiling water in the kettle will travel through the pipeline, and change back to water as the steam cools.
Although this process does purify the water properly by stripping it of harmful elements, it’s not the most convenient, easy, or quickly-made water filter.
Biofiltration is the process of running water through activated materials to remove levels of impurities. Biofiltering removes odors and toxic compounds and particles from our drinking water.
Because the biofiltration process is simplistic, easy, made with everyday supplies, and is above 90 percent in low concentrations of contaminants and volatile organic compounds, it is the obvious choice when choosing a homemade water filter to make.
The biofiltration process can include elements of other methods. For example, the detailed steps in this tutorial of how to make a water filter show you how to create multiple layers of the same material to ensure most of the particles are being removed (which is one of the elements of the reverse osmosis method).
But how difficult is creating a homemade water filter? Is it as simplistic as it sounds? Learn how to build a homemade water filter in eleven easy steps for clean water in any given situation.
Collecting Water Filter Supplies
There are four main layers to any biofiltration water filter:
The layers of filtration materials to collect for your own homemade water filter include:
Additional materials required to create a homemade water filter include:
How to Make a Water Filter in Eleven Easy Steps
Using the craft knife or scissors (or any tool that will cut through plastic), cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle (approximately 1 inch).
Using the hammer and nail, poke a hole in the top of the cap of the plastic bottle (large enough to let water pass through) by hammering it into the cap, then removing it when there is a hole. Leave the cap tightened on the plastic bottle.
Tip: For extra filtration, take the cap off the bottle and place a coffee filter over the top of the plastic bottle. Then replace the cap over the coffee filter and screw on tight.
Set the plastic bottle, open side up and cap side down, over the clean container. This way, the water will flow through your filter and right into the container. Also, there is no need to awkwardly hold an upside-down bottle while trying to fill it with layers of materials.
The bottom layer (the fourth layer) of filtration material (the sieve-like material) used here is the coffee filter (or porous cloth). Stuff the coffee filter down as flat as you can at the bottom (inside the plastic bottle near the bottle cap).
The coffee filter can be crumpled, but you will need to ensure that the bottom of the plastic bottle is fully covered. A flattened coffee filter can cover the bottom of the plastic bottle, and several crumpled coffee filters can accomplish the same task.
Obtain charcoal (from campfire or BBQ coals) and place inside the plastic ziplock bag. Using the hammer, break the charcoal up into the smallest pieces you can manage. Make sure the charcoal pieces are no larger than pea-sized.
Please be advised to avoid any instant-light charcoal products because they are soaked in chemicals to aid in quick fires.
Pour approximately 3 inches of the broken down charcoal on top of the coffee filter layer in the plastic bottle. Level out the charcoal layer to the surface is as flat as possible.
Tip: Add another coffee filter layer on top of the charcoal to keep the charcoal from getting too displaced during the filtration process.
Pour approximately 3 inches of fine sand on top of the charcoal layer in the plastic bottle.
Tip: Avoid any sand that is utilized for highways ice and snow prevention, as they tend to also include sane and other particles not appropriate for water filtration. Also, avoid using any colored craft sand. The idea is to get as pure as you can.
Add another 3-inch layer of extra-coarse sand or extra-small pebbles into the plastic bottle, on top of the fine sand.
Add a second layer of the fine sand on top of the extra coarse sand or extra-small pebbles in the plastic bottle.
Add a 3-inch layer of gravel or small pebbles on top of the second layer of sane inside the plastic bottle. Although the gravel (or small pebbles) does not assist in removing particles or harmful elements in the water, it helps keep the second layer of sand in place as the water passes through the bottle.
Cover the open side of the bottle (the end where you initially cut) with cheesecloth or clean cotton (such as a bandana), and attach it to the bottle with the rubber band.
How to Use Your Homemade Water Filter
Congrats! You’ve just made your first water filter! Now you can slowly pour the water into the open side of the plastic bottle and allow the water to flow through all the layers, and come out the other end purified into the clean container.
It’s important to note that although we, and water filter manufacturers alike, can remove as many harmful impurities from the water as possible, no technique or filter will remove all contaminants from water.
Constant attention, care, and maintenance are required to ensure your water source remains as clean as possible. However, with the new water filter making skills you’ve obtained by following these eleven easy steps, there is no doubt you will be able to do so.
What’s more, is that in any event, serious or fun, you will have the survival skills necessary to hydrate yourself.
Featured Image: Image via Pexels