One of the safest and natural ways of water purification is the filtration method. Instead of treating the water with chemical substances such as alum or other crystalline potassium sulphate out there or boiling, most people prefer filtration.
Water filtration helps to take out any sandy or, gritty substances in water such as stones, dead woods and sometimes clay.
Water filtration existed a long time ago; It Is one of the oldest ways of water preserving as wrappers, and other clothing materials could easily be turned into water filters to filter out substances in water, Apart from clothes, there are tons of other objects and materials that could be used to filter water.
You can make a filter out of rocks, leather, plants and even household items. It’s that easy
There are also no types of water that cannot be filtered. Whether hard water or soft water, filters work the magic of making it safe for drinking as long as it’s a good filter.
Filtering any water does not require boiling or adding any substances into it, and that is what makes it the easiest method of water preservation. This water, when filtered is safe for drinking, cooking and washing.
That said here are ten ingenious ideas to explore with filtered water. Seriously, it doesn’t take a genius to do this, and you don’t have to buy materials. All that’s needed is your time and some attention.
Filter water with charcoal
Using charcoal to purify water helps you filter off dusts and other particles in the water, keeping it safe for drinking, cooking and washing as well. The Japanese are commonly known for filtering water with charcoal. If you happen to have charcoal around you, then, try this.
Wash and boil 100 grams of charcoal for 10 minutes. This will help remove the dust and other substances in the charcoal. After 10 minutes, place the charcoals into the water to be filtered or purified.
It could be well water or tap water. Then cover it up for a while… After that, you have your sterilized water. You can freeze it in a refrigerator or simply store it up somewhere for later use.
100 grams of charcoal could be used for every 1 liter of water. However, the charcoal to be boiled must be hard charcoal – Soft Charcoals could break and deplete while being boiled.
This method of water purification is efficient, and you can use the charcoal as many times as you want but be sure to clean them once in a week.
Another thing to note is that the more you boil the charcoal, the more it becomes prone to depletion. You can have two batch charcoals and use them interchangeably for purification.
There are so many benefits of filtering or purifying water with charcoal. They include:
- Absorbing chemicals and its ill smell off the water. Charcoal is a great absorbent
- It is a byproduct of trees, so it doesn’t contain chemicals so as chemicals
- There are minerals in the charcoal which help grow strong bones and muscles.
- The purified water could be used to make drinkable tea, coffee and also cook.
Filter water with cloth
Filtering water with cloth is the easiest on this list, and it’s not because clothes are easy to find. It’s because you can do it with any piece of cloth as long as the cloth is clean.
Most people pay attention to the material as well, but apart from the material and color, a cloth for filtration is mostly considered for its neatness. A clean cloth saves you the stress of worrying about bacteria and other germs that could go in from the cloth.
For the material, a loosed material will speed up the filtration process while a tight one will hold water while the filtration process is going on. Most materials don’t just hold water; they absorb it.
Let’s take the materials used to make towels, for example, you can’t filter with such materials, the water will be absorbed into the material, and you will lose half the water in the process. The cloth has to be light, doesn’t absorb water and must allow water to go through it to make a good filtration material.
To filter your water with a piece of cloth:
- Make sure the cloth is clean
- Place it over the container the water will be filtered into
- Pour the water to be filtered gently on top of the cloth and let it sieve through
- After that, check the cloth for dirt and cover the filtered water.
Water filtration could take time. A bucket could take up to 10 minutes or sometimes less, depending on the material used and how loosed it is for the water to go through.
Filter water with coal
Burnt coal makes a great water purifier without tools or extra materials. All it needs is boiling then poured into the water to be filtered. It is safe for cooking and drinking, and the water could be refrigerated.
Filter water with clay
Clear filters are not common in the world today, but they make some of the best filters. They are also easy to make and requires little or no experience. If you are however experienced with pottery, then it's an added advantage for you. The filter is made with local clay and burns out material. Most clay filters are candle shaped.
For water filtration, the clay filter is placed in the water to be filtered with a container or hose at the other end for filtered water to pass through. There are tiny holes on the filter for water to go through but too small for dirty particles and harmful pathogens.
The hose used for passing water could be any hose, and the rest of the plumbing materials needed are cheap and affordable.
Filter water with carbon
Carbon filtration uses a bed of activated carbon through chemical absorption to remove impurities, dirt and other contaminants in water.
Carbon filters mostly remove chemicals such as chlorine, benzene and other substances in water, including man-made chemicals.
It doesn't, however, remove heavy chemicals such as salts and sulphates.
You can remove these chemicals from water by adding at least one pound of carbon into the water. This will absorb a large number of chemicals in the water that poses life threatening sicknesses such as cancer. Once these chemicals are removed, the water will be safe for cooking, drinking and making tea or coffee.
Filter water with household items
Water is essential to everyday life, and it’s thereby recommended and needed in homes 24/7. There are hundreds of household items out there you could use to filter water.
Some of these household items are dangerous and therefore, will not be mentioned here but at some point, you’ll come up with a couple of weird ideas as well. Be sure to think them through before initiation.
For example, you should never filter water with a shower camp, especially drinkable water. No matter how new it is or looks do not use it.
Foam: This is done by stuffing the foam into a funnel and pouring water through it. In the absence of a funnel, you can use any other object with a hole at the other end. If you don’t find any, place the foam at the top of the containing you’ll be filtering into and pour the water carefully.
Filtering your water with foam requires usage of good foam. There are foams from manufacturing companies which should not be used for water filtration. If you happen to find foam that doesn’t contain chemicals or smell like they do, then you are good to go.
Cotton Wool: Using wool is almost same as using foam. They both filter water properly, but the difference is that you could wash your foam for later use while wool has to be discarded. Using wool for filtration also requires a large amount of wool to filter properly.
Handkerchief: A handkerchief should be your last resort in a household for filtration. Make sure it is neat and doesn’t smell like it’s been dipped into chemical substances.
Place the handkerchief at the top of the container you’re filtering your contents into before pouring your water. You can wash it for later use as well.
Dishcloth: Using dishcloths is more recommended than a handkerchief. The process and results are the same as well.
The sieve: The sieve is still the best household item for both filtering and sieving dirty water. Most sieves have small holes for better filtration than ones with large holes. Regardless, you can sieve with both and get expected results.
The secret is to combine a dishcloth with the sieve. Here’s how:
Suspend the sieve above a container with one hand and pour your water. This is the first filtration process.
Then put the dishcloth into the sieve and repeat the first step.
You can use the water for cooking and other household activities that require water. If you happen to be the lazy type then just combine the steps and do it once and for all by placing the dishcloth into the sieve and filtering once and for all.
You can filter water with a filter as well, but the results will almost be the same as before you filtered. A filter is different from a sieve. Sieves have smaller holds than filters.
Filter water with plants
Water lilies, Reeds, Sedges and a few other plants could be used to filter water. The right plant helps purify water and also remove heavy metals, parasites, and chemicals from the water.
You can also treat a large amount of water with plants - even a river. As your plants grow in the water, they help purify the ecosystem and filter the water around it.
This method is mostly used to treat sewer and waste water.
Filter water with paper
Water filtration with paper is mostly done by folding a thick paper into a funnel shaped one. This folded paper which (now) looks like a funnel can be used to filter contents like rocks out of the water, into a gallon.
This method is usually used in the absence of a funnel. This is not consistent and unreliable. So, let’s move on.
Technology has advanced. These days, there is the drinkable paper which kills germs as it filters your water. The drinkable book is a special type of filter paper coated with silver nano-particles that can eliminate diseases in water.
The drinkable book can help filter water for up to 30 days and filters up to 5000 liters. Once water is passed through it, bacteria count is reduced drastically.
It comes with a custom box for filtration, and all you have to do is place the paper at the base of the box and filter. The box comes with holes at the base, so the water will pass through and filter smoothly.
Filter water with rocks
Water filtration is hardly done with rocks these days and filtration with rocks does not remove chemicals – Mostly debris and dirt in the water. Here’s how to filter with rocks:
- Crush a couple of rocks, enough to fill a large funnel or a plastic filter.
- Wash or soak the rocks in hot water to do away with dirt and any bacteria that might contaminate the filtered water
- Place the large rocks at the bottom and the crumbs at the top.
- Pour your water through to filter.
The rocks act as a filter in layers, and it’s a very effective filtration method.
Filter water with sand
This is how water is filtered with sand around the world:
- Pour some sand grains (the gritty type) into a container
- Wash with water – Most sands do not contain bacteria, especially the hot ones.
- Pour them into a container
- Fill with the water to be filtered and lock it up for hours.
The sand will attract other particles in the water and remain at the bottom until usage. If the water is startled at any time, the contents could mix up and ruin the entire process. This method is mostly used to take out dust and other tiny particles from water.
Water is life. For water to be clean and safe for drinking it needs to be clean and germ-free, regardless the source. Some water could look clean, if it looks or smells strange, then you should filter it.