The human body consists of about 60% of water. This is surely an indicator of how important water is for us. Come to think of it, there are very few activities we do daily that do not require the use of water. Drinking, bathing, washing clothes, fruits, vegetables, and other foods – all require water.
However, water contains many contaminants that are harmful to the body. Thus, we need a filtration system that will leave such contaminants behind and provide only clean and healthy water for us.
Read on to discover ways of making DIY water filtration system for cleaner water.
Harmful Elements In The Water That We Don’t Want
Although you can see plenty of water sources when you look around – oceans, lakes, ponds, glacial melts, and springs – in reality not all of them provide water that’s suitable for drinking or other use.
Water contains harmful elements that we don’t want to enter our bodies. Industrial waste that flows into a water body might contain traces of chlorine, virus, and bacteria. If we draw water from these sources, it will not be healthy for drinking or washing.
Farmers use pesticides and insecticides on the crops. These eventually end up going underneath the soil, contaminating groundwater. Therefore, getting water from these sources means there is bound to be chemicals in it from the pesticides. Such chemicals cause damage to the organs in our body.
Lead is another harmful substance found in unfiltered water. Plus, there are other toxins in the water that may end up in our system, causing many types of diseases and dysfunctions. These include mercury, copper, arsenic, and others.
Then there are hard minerals that come through the main water supply. These minerals do not affect our wellbeing directly. However, they cause build-ups in the home appliances we use, thereby reducing the lifespan of such appliances.
How To Find The Right Filtering Solution?
Test the water quality to determine the reason for filtering. The methods are discussed below-
A test kit will reveal the pH balance plus the kind of contaminants and their concentration.
Follow the instructions on the test kit. The paper strips will need to be dipped in water as per the duration recommended. After the time is over, remove the strips from the water and shake thoroughly.
Wait for a while and compare the color on the strip to that given on the color chart.
By using the senses of taste, sight, and smell, assess the water quality.
A bleachy smell indicates chlorine-treated water.
A smell of rotten eggs hints bacteria growth. To locate where the bacteria growth is, wait a bit and turn on the tap again. If the same smell isn’t there, chances are the drains need cleaning.
A musty or earthy smell comes when there has been an organic decomposition. Take a glassful of this water and go to another room to be sure the smell isn’t coming from the drain.
Hold up a glass of water to the light. Look for small particles floating. Red, brown, or orange particles may come from rusty pipes. Black ones indicate that the pipes have been weakened by chlorine.
Cloudiness or white particles indicate that the water is hard. If there is any residue in the faucet, the water will run clear after the tap is on for a few minutes. Check a glass of water again and if there are particles, then there is contamination.
If the water tastes of chlorine, that’s because the water is chlorine-treated. A metallic taste shows low pH levels or high mineral levels. A salty taste indicates the presence of chlorines and sulfates from agricultural or industrial drainage.
How To Build A DIY Water Filter
A DIY water filtration system comes in various types. Read on for details!
This type of filter is used at home and is a simple one to make. It consists of three layers – gravel, sand, and activated charcoal.
At the prep stage, you have to put together a few things like sand, screen, saw for cutting a hole, plastic fittings used for plumbing, gravel, activated charcoal, and a food-grave 5-gallon bucket.
Cutting And Layering
Turn the 5-gallon container upside down and using a saw, make a hole at the top. Put the first layer of gravel, which consists of pebble-like rocks and will keep away debris and small animals. Next, pour in the sand. This layer will ensure small particles are blocked.
Lastly, put the layer of activated charcoal. This will rid the water of chemicals and pathogens to purify the water and make it drinkable.
The hole should be large enough to pour the materials and the water through. You can also add more materials if you want and change the design.
This is like the bio filter except that gravel is not used. This comes in handy if you are outdoors and can’t make a bio filter. The following outlines how to make a charcoal filter.
At this stage you need sand, charcoal, a piece of cloth, and 2-liter plastic bottles.
Put the layer of charcoal first and then the sand. The charcoal should be in chunks. Before you put in the water, you must boil it. That’s because the water you get will be cloudy and unfit for tasting.
Put some water to boil in a pan. After the boiling point is reached, let the water boil for at least three minutes. Then pour it through the piece of cloth on the layer of sand and charcoal.
Solar Water Disinfection
For water to be solar disinfected, you will need plenty of sunshine and a container to hold the water. Depending on where you collected your water from, the processing time of disinfection by sun rays will vary. However, follow the steps below.
Exposing The Water
Put the container of water in direct sunlight. Place a thin screen as a cover over the container to deter any contaminants from getting in.
Observation And Duration
Observe the water to see how cloudy or clear it is. If the water looks bright and clear, then the exposure to sunlight for two hours will make it disinfected. However, you will need to leave the water for at least two days if it looks murky.
Remember that solar disinfection may not make the water entirely pure.
You can distill water on the stove but it’s a bit tricky. Follow the steps outlined below.
Take a metal pot and drill a hole in the lid. Take a stainless-steel feed-through fitting and put it through the hole.
Wash And Dry
Wash the metal pot thoroughly with soap and water solution. Also do the same for the lid, glass jug, and food-grade silicone hose. Let them dry thoroughly.
Put the pot on the stove and fill 3/4th with water. Turn on the heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow five minutes for the steam to escape through the stainless-steel feed-through.
Attach The Silicone Hose
Attach one end of the silicone hose to the stainless-steel feed-through fitting.
Catch The Water
Put the other end of the silicone hose into the jug. The steam will condense and form pure water which will drip into the jug.
We think that only developed countries have tap water that is pure and drinkable. This cannot be further from the truth. There are many contaminants that make their way through the water supply. These can cause diseases and harm our body.
Therefore, you can try a DIY water filtration system at home to ensure you and your family are drinking clean and pure water. It’s not possible for us to detect harmful elements with the naked eye. Hence, it’s better to put water through two filtration systems before you drink it.
Here’s to a glass of safe and pure water!