When it comes to survival, water filtration is one of the most popular subjects. We are heavily dependent on water. A lot of people are very concerned about ways to purify or filter water to make it safe to drink. There are many do so water such as tablets, UV rays or boiling. However, purifying alone is usually not enough to make sure your water it’s 100% safe. By doing both, you can rest assured that it will cause you no harm. There are numerous ways to filter water. However, most of them require periodic replacement of the filter element. In a SHTF scenario, with all commerce disappearing, it is unlikely that such a filter will be a sustainable solution.
Natural or bio-filters are a great alternative. The best part is that you can build them yourself. They are widely used around the world and have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. The main principle is to have several layers of different materials to filter impurities and pathogens. In order to build it, you’ll need gravel, sand, activated charcoal and some large containers, like barrels or paint buckets. You’ll also need a fitting or a tap that will be connected to the bottom of the filter to collect the water.
Step 1: Materials required
You’ll need gravel, sand, charcoal, plastic plumbing fittings, some plastic cups, a whole saw and some five-gallon buckets. Make sure that the fitting that’s going inside the bucket has fiberglass screen stretched over it. You should be able to hold it in place with a rubber band or an O-ring. Gluing the fitting will make it even more secure.
Step 2: The fittings
Pick one of the buckets and attach the fitting on the side, near the bottom. You’ll have to drill or cut a hole and secure the fitting nicely. You could consider adding a valve or a fitting with a flexible tube. You should be able to collect the water coming out of the filter in another bucket or container.
Step 3: Connecting the buckets
Take some other two buckets and two fittings. Drill a hole in the bottom center of each of them and secure the fittings. Use an O-ring or a rubber washer between the fittings to create a seal.
Cut a hole in the center of each bucket lid. This doesn’t have to be too tight around the fitting. Just make sure it’s stable enough.
Step 4: Filling the buckets
Drill some holes in the bottom of the plastic cups. Glue them on top of 2the fitting, on the inside of the first two barrels. Its purpose is to protect the fittings from the weight of what’s in them while allowing the water to pass through.
Rinse the buckets and the materials that you will use. The gravel, sand and charcoal need to be as clean and clear of dirt and dust as possible. You will fill each bucket up to 2/3 or 3/4 of its total capacity.
Start by filling the bottom bucket with charcoal. Cover it with a lid that has a hole and place the bucket filled with sand on top. Then cover the top bucket with a lid that has a hole and place the bucket with gravel on top. Now, cover it with a normal lid to keep anything from falling in and you are done.
The filter can process a few gallons of water per day. Make sure you aerate the water after filtration. Do this by pouring it between some buckets and pitchers, allowing it to absorb air. You could use a wider variety of containers for this project. You could even use one large wooden barrel, and add the layers of materials in a similar fashion. By using a few buckets, it’s easier to control the water flow and you make sure that materials don’t migrate. If the layers get mixed, filtration might be incomplete in some areas, allowing contaminated water to pass. By having each material in a bucket, you can be sure this will not happen.
How will you find water that’s safe to drink in an SHTF, off-grid scenario? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.