diy water filter

Is It Possible to Create Your Own Water Filter?

Last Updated: November 2, 2022By Tags:

Clean water is one contemporary commodity and because of it we often overlook how difficult it can be to actually make water safe to drink. Some situations can leave households without access to clean drinking water and this is where some know-how and preparation will come in handy. It’s not an everyday situation for many, but sometimes, road works, accidents, or natural disasters occur and water is one commodity that gets affected and whose absence is greatly felt. Water is vital for survival and as such, we need access to it every day.

Is It Possible to Create Your Own Water Filter?

Easy Homemade Water Filter

There is not much to it if you want to make your own water filter. Multiple layers are usually the way to go and there are certain things that need to go on those layers. 4 layers are the minimum for a water filter and each will have a different coarseness and level of filtration.

  1. The first layer at the bottom of the container is where cotton balls or a mesh layer are to be placed. This will be the last layer through which water will come out, and it has to be about 2 inches thick.
  2. The next layer, or the second to be placed, is an inch of activated charcoal. This filtering medium is the bread and butter of the whole thing as the small pores from the charcoal work perfectly to catch many contaminants from water. Charcoal is used in store-bought water filters, so it’s only natural to make use of it in a DIY water filter project.
  3. The third layer needs clean sand that will be a little taller than the previous two, about 3 to 4 inches to be exact.
  4. The last layer has to be the coarsest, so this will mean using gravel, pebbles, or smaller stones. This is necessary to catch larger particles as the water flows down.

Gravity will be the driving force for a filter like this. There should be enough room at the top to pour water in and have it flow slowly. Depending on how much water you may want to filter the containers will need to be larger or smaller. This can range from a large bottle cut and filled with the layers, to a bucket or barrel for larger quantities.

Water Distillation System at Home

Cleaning water by way of distilling it sounds more complicated than it actually is. This method doesn’t need a lot of supplies, and most of every house will surely have them. These supplies are a large cooking pot, a glass bowl or larger jar, a metal lid that will be placed upside down, and ice on top of the lid.

When water boils it will cool off on the bottom of the lid and drip down into the glass bowl. The water in the bowl is now distilled. It will take a while to get through the whole water but it’s a slow and steady process.

This version with the pot and home supplies is a basic one. There are other options that can be more complex, with spiraling pipes more akin to alcohol distillers, but it works the same way for water.

A great resource for water treatment methods available can be readily found at:

Chlorine or Bleach

Gravity filtration or distillation is all well and good but sometimes the surest way to kill bacteria is with bleach. There is of course the option to boil water, but bleach is the more direct way to tackle water sanitation. This method is one that can be more accurately described as water treatment rather than water filtration. But, filtration will surely be needed to take out larger particles like sediment so bleaching is only the last stage, if at all necessary after filtration.

To treat water with bleach you need to measure the amount of water and use a ration of bleach for that specific amount of weather. Usually, for one liter you will need to add about 5 to 6 drops of bleach. Make sure it’s not scented bleach as that will not work to clean water properly.


It is absolutely possible to make a water filter at home. The activated charcoal model is one that is used in a lot of settlements that do not have access to clean water. This method can be thus employed at home as well and makes for a great way of cleaning home water.

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