5 DIY Water Filter System Ideas

Updated July 5th, 2023
DIY Water Filter Plastic Bottle

If you’re one of those people who love trying out new DIY ideas every once in a while, a homemade water filter is a great project. Getting it right would mean you can save yourself from spending on a branded water filter while enjoying the satisfaction of completing a project successfully.

This article will discuss different DIY Filter ideas you can try and tips for making a good DIY water filter.

Tips for Making a Good DIY Water Filter

Making a water filter by yourself is a relatively simple process. However, here are a few tips that’ll come in handy:

  • DIY filters made with small plastic bottles will only be able to filter a few gallons per day. If you need more than that, opt for larger-scale methods.
  • For maximum effect, some branded filters use more than one filtration process in one system. However, most DIY methods won’t provide different types of filtrations in one system. To work around this, you’d have to combine two or more different filtration techniques. For instance, a filter that removes debris and sediment can be augmented with boiling or UV treatment.
  • Always remember to clean out your filters after a while.

If you have hard water, you’ll need a water softener to go with your water filter. You can find great combos at http://watermasterz.com.

5 DIY Water Filter Ideas You Should Try

1. Plastic Bottle Filter

It’s pretty easy to make. But first, you’ll need these materials:

  • A clean, empty plastic bottle (like a soda bottle)
  • A clean cloth, some cotton balls, or a coffee filter
  • Gravel, small pebbles, or small rocks
  • Fine sand
  • Activated charcoal

You’ll have to cut the bottom of the bottle off, then invert it, so it looks like a funnel. Then, for the construction process, all you have to do is fit the materials in the correct order into the plastic bottle. But before that, remember to rinse each of them thoroughly.

The order or arrangement is this:

  1. Cloth/cotton ball: coffee filter as the first layer
  2. Activated charcoal
  3. Gravel or small stones
  4. Clean sand
  5. Gravel again
  6. Lastly, enough space for the water to collect on top.

Once you’re done, you can pour unfiltered water through the top to test the filter. Clean water will then pass out from the mouth of the bottle.

This filter will remove any sediments or chemicals in your water.

2. Berkey DIY Water Filter

This is a simple large-scale filter. To make it, you’ll need the following:

  • Two large food-grade buckets
  • A spigot
  • 3-8 black Berkey purification elements (the most important part)
  • Food grade sealant to seal the point where the two buckets are joined.
  • A drill and ½” and ⅜ drill bits

It’s a simple process and also fun to do. All the instructions on how to make the filter are contained in a PDF compiled by the Berkey company. Your homemade filter should be as good as any manufactured filter if all goes well.

3. Tree Branch Water Filter

A tree branch filter is a peculiar idea, but it works just fine. The idea behind this filter is that the small piece of sapwood used for the filter has xylem tissue that transports water through its vessels. The filter can purify up to four liters of water a day. It removes over 90% of impurities, including bacteria like E. coli.

One good thing about this filter is that it’s cheap and efficient. So, if you’re interested in this option, Find the nearest pine, cut off a small branch, clean it and insert it into a tube. Then you can pass the water that needs filtering through it.

4. Tuna Can Filter

A tuna can filter works similarly to a plastic bottle filter.

For this filter, you’ll also need a plastic bottle (like a peanut butter bottle). You can always opt for something bigger, though. Then you’ll need 3 to 4 tuna cans, depending on the bottle size.

You’ll have to drill holes in them and then cover the holes with a coffee filter before putting your filter media. Each tuna can carry a different filter media: sand, gravel, and activated carbon, in the same order as a plastic bottle filter.

Once you’re done assembling the filter, you’ll have to secure it with a tight cord, glue, or tape.

5. Ceramic Bucket Filter

Aside from the difference in filter elements and minor details, this filter works like the Berkey filter. To make this filter, you’ll need these materials:

  • Two large food-grade buckets.
  • A ceramic filter cartridge
  • A spigot
  • Drill and drill bits

To start:

  1. Drill a hole in the bottom of the first bucket, then insert the ceramic filter so the sprout passes through the hole. If it feels too loose, you can always tighten it with nuts.
  2. Drill a corresponding hole in the top of the second bucket.
  3. Stack the two buckets together so the ceramic filter passes through the hole in the second bucket.
  4. Don’t forget to drill a hole in the bottom bucket where you’ll attach the spigot. Once completed, this setup should filter up to 50 gallons a day.

Trying out DIY ideas is a fun way to explore your creativity and improve your financial situation – these DIY projects help you save money and make your life easier. So, while the list of ideas we’ve made is not exhaustive, we hope you can try some of the methods and get them to work effectively in your home.

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