How to Filter Water

Is Tap Water Safe For Drinking
Water Filter Advice

Drinking untreated water poses a great risk to your health. This is because this type of water is usually contaminated by dangerous chemicals and bacteria that can cause you to get sick. Nowadays, there are modern water filters that can clean the water much faster.

This sophisticated type comes with indicators and meter testers that let you know when they should be changed and the intensity of water contamination. But if you live in a remote area, you may not have access to such advanced filters. That ‘s why you must improvise your own filter to ensure that you can always drink water that is free from impurities.

Making the Water Filter

You can make a water filter from the things that you already have at your home and will hardly have to buy anything because the materials needed are used on a daily basis for other purposes.

Below is a list of items that can be used to construct a water filter that’s both cheap and reliable.

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Kitchen knife
  • Hammer and nail
  • Coffee filter or piece of cloth
  • Large mug
  • Activated charcoal
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Jar for holding treated water

Putting the Pieces Together

Start by making a cut around the bottom of the bottle. The open bottom will now be the top of the filter. A clear bottle is preferred so that you can see how water is being filtered and be able to detect malfunctions early. Drill a hole on each side of the open bottom so that you can tie the entire system onto a bottle and hung it on a nail.

A small hole should be made on the bottle cover to make water drip slowly. You can use a nail and a hammer to drill this hole, and if you don’t have a nail and a hammer, you can make a star-shaped cut on the bottle top using a knife. Then place a coffee filter or piece of cloth underneath the bottle top. The coffee filter is used for stopping the charcoal from falling off and the bottle top is meant for fastening the filter or piece of cloth.

Turn the bottle upside down and drop it in the mug that will hold clean water. That will prevent the bottle and the mug from shaking when you’re pouring water. To avoid mishaps, it’s recommended that you support the bottle with one hand when pouring water. Crush the charcoal pieces into small sizes with the hammer so that they can fit into the bottle. Charcoal is used to remove any smells and tastes that may be inside your water. Charcoal is also naturally dusty and so you should wear a dust mask and some gloves.

Fill the middle of the bottle with sand. If possible, put in the finer sand immediately after the charcoal and then the coarse-grained sand last. Sand is used for removing debris and other particles that could be present in water. The last layer should contain gravel. Fine gravel should be put into the bottle first, followed by coarse-grained gravel. Don’t fill the bottle to the top because the water may spill. Leave enough space to hold water that is waiting to be filtered.

Pouring Water through Filter Layers

Now that you’ve arranged the filtering materials, you should pour water into the bottle for it to be filtered. Use a jug or a cup to do this, but before you get started, you should ensure there is a container below the bottle to trap the water that comes out. The container should be large enough to hold the amount of water that you intend to filter.

Pour the water slowly and take a break when you can’t spot the gravel. Doing so will keep spillages at bay and allow water to be sieved slowly and efficiently. Wait until water has started dripping into the jar below the bottle before adding more. The process will take approximately seven minutes to be completed.

Once all the water has dripped into the container below the filtering bottle, observe whether it’s clean. If it’s not, pour it into the bottle for the second time. You should repeat the process until you get clean water.

Boil the Water

Even if you have filtered the water, it’s still not safe for drinking because activated charcoal and sand cannot remove bacterial and other harmful micro-organisms. It therefore helps to boil the water for a few minutes. Boiling kills the bacteria and other contaminants that might have been left in by the filter system.

To guarantee your safety, don’t store boiled water for too many days in case more bacteria accumulates in it. Wait for the water to cool before you drink it. If you have a fridge, you can put the water in a container and place it inside.


Though you can filter your own water in a pinch, some of the best water filters available are affordable to buy, and often do a better job than anything you can make at home.

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