*Cheap Homebrew Gravity Water Filter*
By: Pointman

At a recent prepardness expo myself and several other rubies were looking at a $400 gravity water filter and we were all thinking the same thing-why does this cost $400?It was quickly realized that it would be simple to make a similar device using 5 gallon plastic buckets and lids.

First and formost, the filters needed to be procured.Sitkastan and Grinch had both had good experience with Pure Water Products,so I checked out their website http://www.pwgazette.com/index.html. I decided to go with the Doulton Super Sterasyl Cartridges which list for $36 for one and $66 for two.Two were specified as being able to filter approximately 12 gallons of water per 24 hour period and that seems like plenty of drinking/cooking and teeth brushing water for our clan.At this rate this setup would last for many Years.Make sure when you order that you ask for the screw on do dads for the bottom of the cartridges as they will be necessary.You might also want to purchase the Style "A" Siphon kit so that you have the option of building a system like in Sitkastan's article.The siphon kit cost an additional $6.

After purchasing two 5 gallon buckets and lids from Wal Mart I started looking for a suitable "spigot",and this turned out to be the most time consuming part of the project.I was looking for a type found on large commercial coffee machines with the hendle on top that you just flip down to dispence the coffee,but after trying several hardware stores,discount stores and even the Sears parts department I decided to give up for now and just go with the replacement parts for Igloo coolers which consist of a push button style spigot and a drain plug.I used both so that for when the need arises to dispense water into a larger container like a cooking pot we can use the drain plug as the small push button spigot is kinda slow.

Construction of the system is a real no-brainer.Take one bucket which will be used for the bottom and drill an appropriate size hole for the spigot that you intend to use near the bottom (low on the side)but not so low that it interferes with the bucket sitting flat on a table etc.Next,take the other bucket and drill the holes for the filter cartridges in the bottom of the bucket.Just offset them so that one is on each side as you look at it from the top or bottom.Now take one of the lids which will sit between the buckets one on top the other and cut or drill holes that will correspond to where the bottom of the filters protrude from the bucket above it.Clean and disenfect the buckets and lids and then assemble the finished system.Install your spigot of choice in the bottom bucket,put the lid with the cutouts on top of this bucket,install the filter cartridges in the top bucket using the screw on pieces to secure them from underneath,mount the top bucket on the lower bucket and you are ready to go.Use is super simple-pour questionable water in to the top bucket and replace lid.Water will be filtered and gravity fed to the lower bucket where it can be dispensed as needed.

Total cost for this project was under $100 including sales tax,which is much better than the store bought version and time needed once all the parts were gathered was about 20 minutes.

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright 1996 - 2002 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.