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Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Make a Gravity Water Filter

Is your drinking water really safe? Just because it has no odor and tastes fine doesn't mean it is. Many contaminants are too small to see and have no odor. Of course, you can have your water tested and this is the best option to be sure it is safe. But some people still feel their water isn't as pure as they would like.

If you have decided you ought to filter your water but are unsure if it will make any difference, why not make your own trial carbon water filter? It isn't difficult or expensive, and it will give you the option of seeing what carbon can do to improve your water quality.

To begin this project, obtain these items: a twelve inch length of 2 1/2 inch PVC pipe, a 2 1/2 inch cap, a quantity of activated carbon, a piece of vinyl hose, and a paper coffee filter. You will also need a drill and bit the size of the outside diameter of the vinyl hose.

Drill a hole in the center of the PVC cap. Insert the vinyl hose into the hole, making sure it fits tightly. If it leaks, silicone sealant should be used. Push the cap onto the PVC pipe and, if needed, seal it with PVC sealer. Next, fold the piece of filter paper and push it into the PVC pipe so that it covers the hole in the cap.

Add the carbon to the open end of the PVC and pour water over it until it is full. Point the vinyl hose into a container where the filtered water can collect. You may want to discard the first batch of filtered water since it might have washed out contaminants from the project.

A stand can be made with two 4 inch squares of wood, a wooden base and attached upright. Drill a hole in each 4 inch square large enough for the PVC. Then screw the wood blocks to the upright piece and insert your filter. A setscrew can be used in one of the square supports so the PVC does not slide down.

Here are a few things to consider if you make your own filter. First, the longer the pipe, the more water it will hold and the more charcoal it will pass over before exiting the unit. In other words, the longer the PVC pipe, the better it is. Second, periodically replace the carbon and clean out the PVC pipe while it is empty. How often this needs to be done depends on how much water you filter through it.

You may not get a great quantity of water using this inexpensive method, but it will be enough to drink and, if the container is refilled regularly, you can store the purified water for future use.

If this sounds like too much work, consider the Berkey Water Filter line. The Black Berkey purification elements that ship with the Berkey Filters are so powerful, they can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. And since they are gravity fed, no electricity is needed. Virtually no other filtration element can duplicate this performance.

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