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Posted: 9/15/2009 3:24:29 PM EST
My brother (from another mother, LOL) , fellow prepper and ARFCOM member bwm20 and I were talking yesterday about different ideas of supplies to lay in for our group. we were brain storming water storage and filtration idea's for SHTF time. We were talking about making a large gravity flow trickle water filter using fine sand and charcoal layers to run the water through (either using a 5 gallon bucket or larger 55gallon plastic drum) . I came up with using activated fish filter charcoal instead of having to either get brickets (and worrying about other additives in the brickets) or getting the natural chunk charcoal and breaking it up further.

Figured at least someone here would have had the same idea and possibly even made something like this. What says the hivemind on this issue, is the Activated Fish Tank filter charcoal a good choice for this? Anyone know where to get this in bulk size? I was at Petco today and looked and the biggest box I found was about 1/4pound, LOL which would mean I would need about 1000 of these to make a sizeable filter, LOL

Anyone have a link to any plans for a filter like this? pics etc?

Thanks in advance,
J-
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:40:53 PM EST
We had a thread about bulk carbon in one of the SF forums not too long ago.
There are a couple of places where you can get it by the ton.

I patronize a large dedicated aquarium store that has carbon in gallon jugs and 20 lb sacks.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:44:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 4:47:44 PM EST by ehunter30]
Ok I had athought on this, I thought about useing the fish filters but I found that reguliar carbon charcoal was much cheaper(not briquets).
Anyway I just took a 6ft piece of 6 in PVC and placed several layers of cheese cloth over one end and pushed a cap that I drilled several 1/8 holes in.


I put in aprox 2 inch alternating layers of pure bleached sand and charcoal until the pipe was 3/4s
I gently tamped the material by gently tapping the tube on the ground
I mounted the pipe to the wall with plumbers tape and screws(for easy removial).
put two layers of cheese cloth on the top wit ha rubber band to hold it on (debree removial)
I put a clean new 5 gal bucket under it and got a old 1 gal pitcher from the kitchen.
Pour water in the top and wait.
I have no way to test water quality, so I dont know if it really works, however, I poured in some bleech treated water and when it came out it didnt taste bleachy anymore.
I poured in some slightly muddy rain water and it came out clear as a bell
It doesnt take very much sand or charcoal so it can be cleaned easily and the cheese cloth can be changed also.
ETA the sand and charcoal can be changed anytime you want I ment to say and pour slowly
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 6:17:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 6:23:56 PM EST by mylt1]
Originally Posted By ehunter30:
Ok I had athought on this, I thought about useing the fish filters but I found that reguliar carbon charcoal was much cheaper(not briquets).
Anyway I just took a 6ft piece of 6 in PVC and placed several layers of cheese cloth over one end and pushed a cap that I drilled several 1/8 holes in.


I put in aprox 2 inch alternating layers of pure bleached sand and charcoal until the pipe was 3/4s
I gently tamped the material by gently tapping the tube on the ground
I mounted the pipe to the wall with plumbers tape and screws(for easy removial).
put two layers of cheese cloth on the top wit ha rubber band to hold it on (debree removial)
I put a clean new 5 gal bucket under it and got a old 1 gal pitcher from the kitchen.
Pour water in the top and wait.
I have no way to test water quality, so I dont know if it really works, however, I poured in some bleech treated water and when it came out it didnt taste bleachy anymore.
I poured in some slightly muddy rain water and it came out clear as a bell
It doesnt take very much sand or charcoal so it can be cleaned easily and the cheese cloth can be changed also.
ETA the sand and charcoal can be changed anytime you want I ment to say and pour slowly


5gal water cooler bottle(plastic) with the bottom cut out and a piece of hose(connect between the bottle and the "filter" and you dont have to pour slow. or a 5 gal pucket with a spigot attached to the bottom. that would allow some of the sediment to settle out while the water is trickling down the filter.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 6:49:28 PM EST
I have not had sediment in the clean water yet , the two cheese cloth filters take care of everything the sand/charcoal miss, I am looking very hard for one of the large crocks that have a spigot,
However your idea about putting a spigot on the bucket has merit.
The pour slow comes from you will be either pouring above your head or on a ladder etc. the cheese cloth filter on top is also a factoer for slow pouring .
I was in the make it as cheap as you can phase..
I had lots of other ideas for collecting roof water, etc.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 6:52:19 PM EST
activated carbon.
the dull stuff not that shiny crap
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 1:58:04 AM EST
cool thanks guys, I have a large aqaurium/fish shop not to far from me and I'll check there for bulk charcoal. it they do not have it I would guess that a pond shop would have it and luckly have a couple ofthem in the area too.

Thanks

J-
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 2:08:46 AM EST
I believe that someone post links to youtube about making DIY water filters. I remember watching one and the person made holes in a plastic water bottle by heating a nail over a candle and simply pushing the nail into the bottle. A layer of cotton, layer of carbon, another layer of cotton and your done.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 4:00:43 AM EST
None of what is being proposed here will filter down to 1 micron which is what you need to make water sake to drink with any certainty (btw- a micron is about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye)

WATER is #2 only behind AIR on the list of what you need to survive. Buy a Katadyn or similar quality water filter made for the treatment of suspect water and follow the directions. A spare parts set is a must as well.

Also, in the spirit of 3=1, have other PROVEN methods for treating water on hand at all times as well. The two most basic are;

BOILING - Pre-filter the water with a coffee filter or water column and bring the water to a rolling boil for a 1 minute (or more if the water is turbid)

CHEMICAL- Chlorine (6% hypochlorate household bleach) or Iodine.

These are both cheap and easy to do but all these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Boiling requires fuel and adds the danger of fire and scalding. Bleach is cheap but has a finite shelf life. Know your methods and their limitations.

Please, Please, Please, forget this nonsense about building filters from a layer of cotton and a layer of charcoal in a water bottle or 5 gal bucket. That simply will not work (not to a level that you would want to risk your health with). I have built slow sand filter purifiers and they are measured in several feet of head (eg. 20' or more) not 12-18".

BTW- My credentials include working with community drinking water systems as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and living in Nepal for more than two years where I had to make every drop of my drinking water "safe" all by myself.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 5:34:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By ehunter30:
I have not had sediment in the clean water yet , the two cheese cloth filters take care of everything the sand/charcoal miss, I am looking very hard for one of the large crocks that have a spigot,
However your idea about putting a spigot on the bucket has merit.
The pour slow comes from you will be either pouring above your head or on a ladder etc. the cheese cloth filter on top is also a factoer for slow pouring .
I was in the make it as cheap as you can phase..
I had lots of other ideas for collecting roof water, etc.


with the bucket and spigot you can fill the bucket while its on the ground then lift it to where it needs to be. i would either build a rig for this or just use a ladder. turn spigot off, fill bucket, place bucket in rig, connect hose to filter/spigot and turn spigot on. done.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 5:39:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
None of what is being proposed here will filter down to 1 micron which is what you need to make water sake to drink with any certainty (btw- a micron is about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye)

WATER is #2 only behind AIR on the list of what you need to survive. Buy a Katadyn or similar quality water filter made for the treatment of suspect water and follow the directions. A spare parts set is a must as well.

Also, in the spirit of 3=1, have other PROVEN methods for treating water on hand at all times as well. The two most basic are;

BOILING - Pre-filter the water with a coffee filter or water column and bring the water to a rolling boil for a 1 minute (or more if the water is turbid)

CHEMICAL- Chlorine (6% hypochlorate household bleach) or Iodine.

These are both cheap and easy to do but all these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Boiling requires fuel and adds the danger of fire and scalding. Bleach is cheap but has a finite shelf life. Know your methods and their limitations.

Please, Please, Please, forget this nonsense about building filters from a layer of cotton and a layer of charcoal in a water bottle or 5 gal bucket. That simply will not work (not to a level that you would want to risk your health with). I have built slow sand filter purifiers and they are measured in several feet of head (eg. 20' or more) not 12-18".

BTW- My credentials include working with community drinking water systems as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and living in Nepal for more than two years where I had to make every drop of my drinking water "safe" all by myself.




Agree

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 5:52:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
None of what is being proposed here will filter down to 1 micron which is what you need to make water sake to drink with any certainty (btw- a micron is about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye)

WATER is #2 only behind AIR on the list of what you need to survive. Buy a Katadyn or similar quality water filter made for the treatment of suspect water and follow the directions. A spare parts set is a must as well.

Also, in the spirit of 3=1, have other PROVEN methods for treating water on hand at all times as well. The two most basic are;

BOILING - Pre-filter the water with a coffee filter or water column and bring the water to a rolling boil for a 1 minute (or more if the water is turbid)

CHEMICAL- Chlorine (6% hypochlorate household bleach) or Iodine.

These are both cheap and easy to do but all these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Boiling requires fuel and adds the danger of fire and scalding. Bleach is cheap but has a finite shelf life. Know your methods and their limitations.

Please, Please, Please, forget this nonsense about building filters from a layer of cotton and a layer of charcoal in a water bottle or 5 gal bucket. That simply will not work (not to a level that you would want to risk your health with). I have built slow sand filter purifiers and they are measured in several feet of head (eg. 20' or more) not 12-18".

BTW- My credentials include working with community drinking water systems as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and living in Nepal for more than two years where I had to make every drop of my drinking water "safe" all by myself.


no offense but neither of those treatments(boiling/bleach) is going to remove chemicals in the water. thats what the activated charcoal(carbon) is for. once water is run through any type of filter those become viable means to kill any bacteria/parasites. there is no reason a small filter like the poster i replied to would not work. best thing is to try it and send a sample of the water off for testing. send bot treated and untreated to see what was filtered out. if anything living remains after the filtering then boiling/bleach will take care of it. as for boiling for over a minute, that is just a CYA thing. once water hits above 170*F anything living in it isnt living any more. boiling is used so you KNOW the water has hit 170* or higher to kill bacteria/parasites. there is no evidence that stated water has to be boiled for a min or even more, just that it needs to hit a boil. the point is to make sure it hits that magic 170* mark which you couldnt tell unless you had a thermometer. boiling is easy to spot.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:02:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By mylt1:

no offense but neither of those treatments(boiling/bleach) is going to remove chemicals in the water. thats what the activated charcoal(carbon) is for. once water is run through any type of filter those become viable means to kill any bacteria/parasites. there is no reason a small filter like the poster i replied to would not work. best thing is to try it and send a sample of the water off for testing. send bot treated and untreated to see what was filtered out. if anything living remains after the filtering then boiling/bleach will take care of it. as for boiling for over a minute, that is just a CYA thing. once water hits above 170*F anything living in it isnt living any more. boiling is used so you KNOW the water has hit 170* or higher to kill bacteria/parasites. there is no evidence that stated water has to be boiled for a min or even more, just that it needs to hit a boil. the point is to make sure it hits that magic 170* mark which you couldnt tell unless you had a thermometer. boiling is easy to spot.


No offense taken, and you are correct that boiling and bleaching will not remove suspended chemicals such as hydrocarbons, heavy metals and others that may be present in suspect water however, the "homemade filter" systems being proposed here are not going to do much for them either. A few seconds of exposure to activated charcoal is not going to instantly pull these contaminants out of the water. True charcoal filtration systems either use several feet of column or continual recirculation to absorb chemicals out of the water. Pouring contaminated water over a couple inches of AC will not cut it.

When working in the third world, sucessful programs depend on the use of appropriate technology. Activated charcoal does not remain activated very long once exposed to the environment. I believe most commercial systems require a media change every 90 days at a maximum. A reliable post-SHTF AC source may be hard to find in the quantities you would need for a true filter system and just to dispell the this myth; charcoal brickets (eg. Kingsford) is NOT activated charcoal nor is what remains in an open air campfire.

You are also correct that once the water reaches boiling all living organisms are killed or rather once the living organisms reach the boilng point. However, altitude will affect the temp at which water boils and using the "one-minute" rule cues people to actually see a rolling boil before removing the water from the heat. Additionally, turbid water should be boiled a bit longer due to the fact that some living organisms can be insulated by the mud,silt, dirt, etc. surrounding them. In a training I attended we were taught the old practice of boiling for "ten minutes" but this really was extreme and very fuel intensive. When you had to walk several km to haul water and firewood it just didn't make much sense to see it needlessly be burned and boiled off!

FWIW- to clarify my drinking water prior to boiling I used a five gallon bucket with a spigot located 1/3 from the bottom. I would pour water in the top and 24hours later I would drain the middle third into a kettle for boiling. Most of the solids would drop to the bottom while most of the lighter hydrocarbons would float to the top or evaporate (chemicals with a specific gravity <or> 1).

Distillation is the only way to truly remove EVERYTHING from your water source.

Again, my $.02, spend a few hundred $$ and buy a quality filter (like a top end Katadyn) plus spare parts and you have your safe water supply covered. Keep a back up plan to boil and or chemically treat and you should be set for whatever comes.


Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:49:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 8:51:23 AM EST by mylt1]
damn double taps.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:51:04 AM EST
i dont see why his idea wouldnt work. as i said best thing to do is try it and have the water tested. both "treated" and untreated should be sent to a lab for test. 6 feet of 6 inch pipe with alternating layers of sand and activated charcoal/carbon should filter out pretty much anything. he isnt talking about filtering out hundreds of thousands of gal's of water. as a slow feed system it should work. but again, i wouldnt drink it till the labs came back clean.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 9:15:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 9:25:09 AM EST by Makarov]
Originally Posted By mylt1:
i dont see why his idea wouldnt work. as i said best thing to do is try it and have the water tested. both "treated" and untreated should be sent to a lab for test. 6 feet of 6 inch pipe with alternating layers of sand and activated charcoal/carbon should filter out pretty much anything. he isnt talking about filtering out hundreds of thousands of gal's of water. as a slow feed system it should work. but again, i wouldnt drink it till the labs came back clean.


Even if this did work, how long do you think you can expect to keep dumping contaminated water into the top of a 6'x6" tube and keep getting clean water out of the bottom? At some point (rather quickly, I believe) the AC will become saturated and the nasties will be thriving in the filter media guaranteeing the water will come out unsafe. If this is a toy, fine play with it but if you are depending on supplying your family and yourself with safe drinking water in a post-SHTF situation I think there are easier, better, and proven methods for providing this. Resupply of activated charcoal and lab testing facilities are not something you can depend on when it hits the fan.

Because this is so important, I will say this again;
My $.02, spend a few hundred $$ and buy a quality filter (like a top end Katadyn) plus spare parts and you have your safe water supply covered. Boiling and or chemical treatment are proven alternatives. Thousands survive everyday in shitholes all over the world using these methods without getting sick.

Also, please don't think I am trying to argue with anybody. This is a GREAT topic and I like to see people really thinking about how they are going to provide for their #2 basic need post SHTF instead of just debating about the latest Zombie defeating rounds offered from Hornady




Link Posted: 9/16/2009 9:46:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
i dont see why his idea wouldnt work. as i said best thing to do is try it and have the water tested. both "treated" and untreated should be sent to a lab for test. 6 feet of 6 inch pipe with alternating layers of sand and activated charcoal/carbon should filter out pretty much anything. he isnt talking about filtering out hundreds of thousands of gal's of water. as a slow feed system it should work. but again, i wouldnt drink it till the labs came back clean.


Even if this did work, how long do you think you can expect to keep dumping contaminated water into the top of a 6'x6" tube and keep getting clean water out of the bottom? At some point (rather quickly, I believe) the AC will become saturated and the nasties will be thriving in the filter media guaranteeing the water will come out unsafe. If this is a toy, fine play with it but if you are depending on supplying your family and yourself with safe drinking water in a post-SHTF situation I think there are easier, better, and proven methods for providing this. Resupply of activated charcoal and lab testing facilities are not something you can depend on when it hits the fan.

Because this is so important, I will say this again;
My $.02, spend a few hundred $$ and buy a quality filter (like a top end Katadyn) plus spare parts and you have your safe water supply covered. Boiling and or chemical treatment are proven alternatives. Thousands survive everyday in shitholes all over the world using these methods without getting sick.

Also, please don't think I am trying to argue with anybody. This is a GREAT topic and I like to see people really thinking about how they are going to provide for their #2 basic need post SHTF instead of just debating about the latest Zombie defeating rounds offered from Hornady






this 6ft x 6in "filter" is what, 20x bigger or more than a camping filter? i think a design like this would last a LOT longer than a camping filter considering they are using basically the same idea to filter. one uses sand and carbon and the other uses fiberglass and carbon. i agree that finding the life span of the filter would be important but thats not impossible. since the S hasnt hit the fan yet he could start testing it now and after x number of gal's send a sample off to have tested. keep a log of how many gal's and how much time has passed and when the water comes back not drinkable he will know how long the filter would last and also that would allow him to figure out how much of each item he would need to store for later down the road. i do agree that he should have some sort of "normal" filter but again, he would have to store parts for that and what happens if/when it brakes and cant be used any more? PVC, sand, and activated carbon are cheap as apposed to buying extra parts and even an extra filter or two for "just in case"
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 2:01:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov:
None of what is being proposed here will filter down to 1 micron which is what you need to make water sake to drink with any certainty (btw- a micron is about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye)

WATER is #2 only behind AIR on the list of what you need to survive. Buy a Katadyn or similar quality water filter made for the treatment of suspect water and follow the directions. A spare parts set is a must as well.

Also, in the spirit of 3=1, have other PROVEN methods for treating water on hand at all times as well. The two most basic are;

BOILING - Pre-filter the water with a coffee filter or water column and bring the water to a rolling boil for a 1 minute (or more if the water is turbid)

CHEMICAL- Chlorine (6% hypochlorate household bleach) or Iodine.

These are both cheap and easy to do but all these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Boiling requires fuel and adds the danger of fire and scalding. Bleach is cheap but has a finite shelf life. Know your methods and their limitations.

Please, Please, Please, forget this nonsense about building filters from a layer of cotton and a layer of charcoal in a water bottle or 5 gal bucket. That simply will not work (not to a level that you would want to risk your health with). I have built slow sand filter purifiers and they are measured in several feet of head (eg. 20' or more) not 12-18".

BTW- My credentials include working with community drinking water systems as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and living in Nepal for more than two years where I had to make every drop of my drinking water "safe" all by myself.


I assume you would highly recommend the sawyer pt. zero 2 filter. Which I already have. but think a pre filter would be an even better idea.

I have stockpiled about 10 21lb bags of plain charcoal...no fast lighting stuff. the dust and particles from those bags I saved, probably 3 cups worth..can I use it in some type of filter. A prestage filter....just curious....thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 2:15:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By Sparks59:
Originally Posted By Makarov:
None of what is being proposed here will filter down to 1 micron which is what you need to make water sake to drink with any certainty (btw- a micron is about 40 times smaller than what can be seen with the human eye)

WATER is #2 only behind AIR on the list of what you need to survive. Buy a Katadyn or similar quality water filter made for the treatment of suspect water and follow the directions. A spare parts set is a must as well.

Also, in the spirit of 3=1, have other PROVEN methods for treating water on hand at all times as well. The two most basic are;

BOILING - Pre-filter the water with a coffee filter or water column and bring the water to a rolling boil for a 1 minute (or more if the water is turbid)

CHEMICAL- Chlorine (6% hypochlorate household bleach) or Iodine.

These are both cheap and easy to do but all these methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Boiling requires fuel and adds the danger of fire and scalding. Bleach is cheap but has a finite shelf life. Know your methods and their limitations.

Please, Please, Please, forget this nonsense about building filters from a layer of cotton and a layer of charcoal in a water bottle or 5 gal bucket. That simply will not work (not to a level that you would want to risk your health with). I have built slow sand filter purifiers and they are measured in several feet of head (eg. 20' or more) not 12-18".

BTW- My credentials include working with community drinking water systems as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and living in Nepal for more than two years where I had to make every drop of my drinking water "safe" all by myself.


I assume you would highly recommend the sawyer pt. zero 2 filter. Which I already have. but think a pre filter would be an even better idea.

I have stockpiled about 10 21lb bags of plain charcoal...no fast lighting stuff. the dust and particles from those bags I saved, probably 3 cups worth..can I use it in some type of filter. A prestage filter....just curious....thanks in advance.


Forget the kingsford charcoal part...I read that in your post. I am sure the Sawyer will do the job, however it is not meant for fuels.
I suppose your 5 gallon bucket deal, two thirds down....the hydrocarbons float to the top because they are lighter. Any recommendations
on eliminating fuel contaminated water.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 5:53:28 PM EST
I would like to ad that the point of making this homemade filter was thinking long term, also I made the filter specifically thinking about changing out the two materials inside, as to how often that will be will take a little more reasearch on my part.
The main pourpose of this filter is trapped rain water, and water from a natural spring near by not stagnated pond water. I also can see running the pool water throught it, but I havent researched that enough.
I am sure that when it does hit the fan, water filter cartriges will not be a common item that will be able to be purchased.

I respect your opinions and education, but I think your missing the point and maybe not grasping the idea...
How many water filters do you have? what if you loose it? what if its stolen?
What if you drop it and break it?
then what?
THis filter design can be adapted to a longer pipe, shorter for mobility, portable and the materials are completly readily availble cheaply.
I have less then 25.00 in mine and Ill trust it much better than nothing.
The water filter I have for camping/hiking does the same as this just with ceramic.

I do agree that it is possible for a micron to get through the system, but the nagain my water filter said that is still possible to get a few orgnisms through it as well.
No filter claimes to be 100% effective.


Link Posted: 9/16/2009 6:41:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By ehunter30:
I would like to ad that the point of making this homemade filter was thinking long term, also I made the filter specifically thinking about changing out the two materials inside, as to how often that will be will take a little more reasearch on my part.
The main pourpose of this filter is trapped rain water, and water from a natural spring near by not stagnated pond water. I also can see running the pool water throught it, but I havent researched that enough.
I am sure that when it does hit the fan, water filter cartriges will not be a common item that will be able to be purchased.

I respect your opinions and education, but I think your missing the point and maybe not grasping the idea...
How many water filters do you have? what if you loose it? what if its stolen?
What if you drop it and break it?
then what?
THis filter design can be adapted to a longer pipe, shorter for mobility, portable and the materials are completly readily availble cheaply.
I have less then 25.00 in mine and Ill trust it much better than nothing.
The water filter I have for camping/hiking does the same as this just with ceramic.

I do agree that it is possible for a micron to get through the system, but the nagain my water filter said that is still possible to get a few orgnisms through it as well.
No filter claimes to be 100% effective.




anything thats living can still be killed my boiling/chlorine. as long as you can remove the larger particles and any toxins/chemical contaminates killing things are easy.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:12:21 PM EST
tagged.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:18:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 7:21:43 PM EST by Paul]
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:36:29 PM EST
Cause if I knew what was going to happen (when it does) I would not need anything cause I would already have it. When I experiment with things like this its to test the idea.
I try to imagine many things, including what if I didnt have my BOB, what if my water filter broke, what if I get picked up and have to excape and evade.. these typs of things.
Knowing how to make things yurself ensures that WHEN not IF your with out all your doodads and googaws, you may still have a chance. My two closest experiences with shft type situations,
I didnt have anything but what was in my pockets and a small get home type bag.
Lots of reasons why knowing how to make things from scratch could come in handy..
At no time in my post was it said that I didnt have other plans or back ups or additions to this pl;an.
I commented on the OP;s Idea with one of my own.....

I guess thats one way you can tell a gear head couch comando from someone who practices what they preach.
If your going to rely on your store bought gear and think you have every possible situation figured out, guess what, you dont.

Just my 2 pennys worth
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:05:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By ehunter30:
I would like to ad that the point of making this homemade filter was thinking long term, also I made the filter specifically thinking about changing out the two materials inside, as to how often that will be will take a little more reasearch on my part.
The main pourpose of this filter is trapped rain water, and water from a natural spring near by not stagnated pond water. I also can see running the pool water throught it, but I havent researched that enough.
I am sure that when it does hit the fan, water filter cartriges will not be a common item that will be able to be purchased.

I respect your opinions and education, but I think your missing the point and maybe not grasping the idea...
How many water filters do you have? what if you loose it? what if its stolen?
What if you drop it and break it?
then what?
PLAN B: Boil the clearest water source I can find.
THis filter design can be adapted to a longer pipe, shorter for mobility, portable and the materials are completly readily availble cheaply. Activated charcoal may not be readily available after TSHTFI have less then 25.00 in mine and Ill trust it much better than nothing.
The water filter I have for camping/hiking does the same as this just with ceramic. Quality ceramic filters are engineered to force the water through incredibly small pourous labyrinths, MUCH smaller than what you will achieve hand packing cotton and AC.


I do agree that it is possible for a micron to get through the system, but the nagain my water filter said that is still possible to get a few orgnisms through it as well.
No filter claimes to be 100% effective. and this is why boiling and point of use chlorination has become the world standard prescription for individuals who need to drink from questionable sources (Google WHO guidlines)



I applaud your outside of the box thinking and resourcefulness and I think your DIY project is at a minimum a GREAT method for the pre-treatment of water prior to boiling or chemical treatment (in that it will remove the boulders and the AC will remove many chemical compounds (not all) as long as it remains absorbant). However, I feel compelled to warn people that your set up (as a stand alone treatment) is NOT going to make bad water safe to drink.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:24:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 3:51:28 AM EST by ehunter30]
Originally Posted By Makarov:
Originally Posted By ehunter30:
I would like to ad that the point of making this homemade filter was thinking long term, also I made the filter specifically thinking about changing out the two materials inside, as to how often that will be will take a little more reasearch on my part.
The main pourpose of this filter is trapped rain water, and water from a natural spring near by not stagnated pond water. I also can see running the pool water throught it, but I havent researched that enough.
I am sure that when it does hit the fan, water filter cartriges will not be a common item that will be able to be purchased.

I respect your opinions and education, but I think your missing the point and maybe not grasping the idea...
How many water filters do you have? what if you loose it? what if its stolen?
What if you drop it and break it?
then what?
PLAN B: Boil the clearest water source I can find.
THis filter design can be adapted to a longer pipe, shorter for mobility, portable and the materials are completly readily availble cheaply. Activated charcoal may not be readily available after TSHTFI have less then 25.00 in mine and Ill trust it much better than nothing.
The water filter I have for camping/hiking does the same as this just with ceramic. Quality ceramic filters are engineered to force the water through incredibly small pourous labyrinths, MUCH smaller than what you will achieve hand packing cotton and AC.


I do agree that it is possible for a micron to get through the system, but the nagain my water filter said that is still possible to get a few orgnisms through it as well.
No filter claimes to be 100% effective. and this is why boiling and point of use chlorination has become the world standard prescription for individuals who need to drink from questionable sources (Google WHO guidlines)



I applaud your outside of the box thinking and resourcefulness and I think your DIY project is at a minimum a GREAT method for the pre-treatment of water prior to boiling or chemical treatment (in that it will remove the boulders and the AC will remove many chemical compounds (not all) as long as it remains absorbant). However, I feel compelled to warn people that your set up (as a stand alone treatment) is NOT going to make bad water safe to drink.


Activated charcoal may not be readly availible in shft, bullets, beans and bandaids wont either, should we maybe keep some of those things stocked up?

you assumed it was a stand alone system, i get that
I dont know where you get the cotton from but ok
As stated also its major purpose is to clean roof caught rain water and pool water, WILL IT NOT WORK FOR THIS?
If one used the chlorinated water to put into my tube would the charcoal/sand not remove not only particulate matter but also the chlorine? Making clean water that tastes good also?
I imagine my process will clean 55 gals a hell of a lot faster than a manual water filter (assuming no electric pump etc)
No where did I say that was the end of the process or the beginning of it, as stated I was just adding to the OP's OP.
But thanks, I am so warned.

maybe ill add an ultra violet lamp to the system,

I will trust my little project before a plain bucket with a spigot at the 1/4 mark......

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:56:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 4:19:13 AM EST by Makarov]
Originally Posted By Sparks59:
I assume you would highly recommend the sawyer pt. zero 2 filter. Which I already have. but think a pre filter would be an even better idea.

I have stockpiled about 10 21lb bags of plain charcoal...no fast lighting stuff. the dust and particles from those bags I saved, probably 3 cups worth..can I use it in some type of filter. A prestage filter....just curious....thanks in advance.


Forget the kingsford charcoal part...I read that in your post. I am sure the Sawyer will do the job, however it is not meant for fuels.
I suppose your 5 gallon bucket deal, two thirds down....the hydrocarbons float to the top because they are lighter. Any recommendations
on eliminating fuel contaminated water.[/quote]

I am not familar with the "Sawyer pt. zero 2" product but if (as the name implies) it truly does filter down to .02 microns than you are reaching the virus size level of pathogens (pretty damn good IMO)!

Pre-filters are great (even a coffee filter) because they will help extend the effective life of your main filter media.

My only advice regarding fuel contaminated water is to avoid it if at all possible. If the water is visibly contaminated (slick on the surface, smell of petrol, soap like texture) then I would move on to a more potable looking source. If there simply was no other water and I was faced with dying of thirst, I would pre-filter through a piece of cloth or an activated carbon filter like the OP's would be great help, use the stratified water column method (taking the middle third of settled water) to obtain the least contaminated water and boil for several minutes at the highest pressure/temp possible (using a vent like the safety valve on a pressure cooker). Most fuels (Gasoline, Diesel, etc.) are coktails of hydrocarbons and other additives that will reach atmospheric pressure boiling point between 100f and 600f but it would be hard to get the water that hot without a pressure vessel. Also, there could still be a lot of residual contaminants (like Arsenic, PCBs) that only distillation could effectively remove. Maybe a simple solar still at this point would be the best solution but it takes a lot of simple solar stills and some time in order to collect enough water to survuve on. As I re-read this, I think if you were FORCED to use fuel contaminated water you would want to look at setting up a water still but even then some contaminents could get through (I remember reading once that DDT became so pervaisive because it could follow the same evaporation/condensation process as water but don't quote me on that).

In the end you can go only a few days without water (at the most) and you may be faced with the choice of drinking less than potable water or dying of thirst.

No water will kill you in 3-4 days
Water containing human pathogens can make you imoblile within hours and kill you within a matter of weeks (without treatment)
Water + heavy metals, hydrocarbons, etc. can make you very sick and lead to long term, life shortening illnesses (cancers, kidney desease, etc.)


Sorry, I didn't seem to use the quote button effectively, my comments are in red, Makarov
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