Make A Portable Water Filter
(12 Jan 2012)

how to make a water filter

How to make a Portable Water Filter

Amy Louw from Cape Town Science Centre joins Expresso to tell us more about how a water purification system works and show us how to build one of many home-made systems.

A portable water filter is a compact water filter that can eliminate various types of contaminants in water such as bacteria, chemicals and viruses.

Having a portable water filter with you when you are hiking outdoors or camping is essential for your safety. It is known that most of the water that we consume is contaminated; this includes the water that comes out of our home faucets. There are two main types of portable water filter–one which uses chemicals to purify the water and one which use the non-chemical method of filtering dirt in the water. Having a portable water filter means that you can always have fresh and pure water available for you where ever you are. Making your own portable water filter is easy. Below are materials you need along with the instructions on how to make a portable water filter.
Step 1 - Clean and Prepare the Water Bottles
Clean the water bottles thoroughly and rinse with warm water. Allow the water bottle to dry completely before using. After the water bottles are completely clean and dry fill the first water bottle with tap water or water from a stream if you are outdoors.
Step 2 - Install the Filtration System
A coffee filter can serve as the filtration system of your second water bottle. Coffee filters can be purchased at your local supermarket. To prepare the second bottle, cover its opening with the water filter and secure using a rubber band. Make sure that coffee filter is firmly secured into the opening of your second water bottle. Use 2 or more rubber bands. The coffee filter will remove any large or visible dirt and debris found in the water.
Step 3 - Pour the Water
Pour the water in your first bottle to the second bottle. Be careful in pouring the water as pouring the water too fast can damage the coffee filter in your second bottle.
Step 4 - Use the Water Purification Tablets
Water purification tablets are available at your local supermarket. Water purification tablets effectively kill germs, bacteria and viruses found in the water. Allow the water purification tablets to do its work for 5 minutes before drinking your filtered and purified water.
Step 5 - Use Bleach (Optional)
If you happen not to have water purification tablets with you, use bleach instead. Two grams of bleach can purify 1 gallon of water. Bleach, when applied in small amounts, is tasteless and is as effective in removing any bacteria, viruses and germs in the water as water purification tablets. Shake the water bottle thoroughly after pouring the bleach to allow the water to completely dissolve the bleach. Unlike water purification tablets however, you have to wait for 30 minutes after pouring in the bleach before you can drink the water.

Always carry a portable water filter when you are out camping to have an endless supply of safe drinking water. Drinking water that is contaminated with bacteria and germs can result to severe ailment and even death.

Cape Town Science Centre
021 300 3200
083 276 9501


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