Inexpensive Ceramic Drip Filter

Discussion in 'Water Filtering & Storage' started by carlnet, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    I have been trying to find an emergency, gravity fed water filter that will provide at least 1 gallon an hour of clean drinking water from any non salty source (river, stream, pond, lake, mud puddle, swimming pool, etc) that costs less than $100 dollars. The Berkey, British Berkefeld, Katadyn Drip, Durand and a number of others all fit the bill except that they cost $200 and up. I could fire my own ceramic filter, impregnate it with silver and include some charcoal but after all that I would probably be over $100.

    The filter I have found that fits the bill is the Just Water Ceramic Filter manufactured by Winfield and Black Jack Industries and sold by the Monolithic Marketplace. The product is a dome shaped ceramic filter you insert into a hole in the bottom of a bucket and let it drip filtered water into a container below. You can buy just the filter ($23.50) or if you are short on buckets a set of buckets and the filter ($43.45). I do not have one yet but I just put in an order.

    Here is the site with specifications:
    Monolithic Marketplace Water Filter

    Of course with all ceramic filters the less turbid the water you use the better so I am going to use mine for rain water off of my roof. But if I were short on clear but unpurified water I would build a sand filter in another bucket (drill hole in bottom of bucket, insert screen, fill bucket half full with sand) to filter the dirty water into the bucket where I have the ceramic filter and then into the bottom container of fresh purified drinking water.


    Carl.
     
  2. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    If I've said it once I've said it a thoudand times. Go with the Berkey. Don't buy the overpriced complete units. Get the filters and build your own from food grade buckets. 2 berkey black filters are about $100. Google greentrust.org or search here for my past posts about it. He's an off grid guy with lots of good info He's a dealer and can give you a better price if you buy a few at a time. If you only need one start up a group buy. I bet someone else could use them too.

    Look up how much nasty things they can remove from the water and you'll stop looking for other filters.
     

  3. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    nj_m715,
    If I were looking to use the filter on a regular basis there is no question I would use the Berkey as it is hands down the best filter on the market. But, I would not take a Berkey filter and try to jury rig it into a bucket as there is reasonable doubt as to your ability to get a sufficiently tight seal to keep the very impurities out of the water you are going to drink... Not only that but why would I pay $100 for a filter I am likely to use very little when I can pay $24 for filter specifically designed to screw into a bucket and filter the water to a standard that significantly exceeds the drinking water I consume from my tap on a daily basis?

    In short the Berkey is the best filter made when used as designed. But for emergency use I will save the $75 and buy the Just Water Ceramic Drip-Filter. Heck I may just buy 4 filters for the same price as the Berkey filters so I can give a few to my neighbors when the SHTF... The again I may buy one filter and use the $75 I saved for beer and let them find their own water... Grin
     
  4. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I wouldn't call it jury rigged without looking at it. It goes together the same way the pretty berkey housing do. This guy's story is on his site. His well falled for different contamination. The jury riged buckets cleaned it right up.

    Testing for leaks is very easy.

    After you replace the filters you add food coloring to the water in the top bucket. If there's no food coloring in the bottom bucket your system is not leaking. Per the berkey instruction. Same way you check a factory made berkey for proper filter instalation.

    How do you test the $24 filter?

    The DIY Berkey Water Purifier | Green-Trust.Org

    But,hey you got to drink it, not me so do what ever makes you feel the most comfortable. I know my family will have plenty of clean water.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  5. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    In the US the NSF and ANSI are the standards bodies all water filters strive to meet. So both filters are certified by testing organizations that follow the NSF and ANSI standards.

    Mr. Piggly Wiggly's method does seem reasonable but I would spend a little more time cleaning up the holes he made in the bottom of the 1st bucket with some sand paper to reduce the chance of a leak.

    I also find it interesting that he continues the misinformation about Berkey filters. The Berkey filters are very different than the British Berkefeld in that the Berkey filters have added materials that allow it to filter out more bad stuff (AKA the chemicals). One of the other things I find disingenuous about the Berkey advertising is that they do not mention that the effectiveness of the filer on the chemicals it removes very quickly deteriorate over usage. So the 3000 gallons per filter is only applicable to the ceramic portion of the filter not the added resins and charcoal that filter out the chemicals...
     
  6. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    Sooooo.....filter the big stuff out through sand an boil it, still the best option? Not bein a horse's caboos here, just trying to figure out weather the 100 bucks is well spent an build one a these, er if boilin is cheaper an still just as safe is all.
     
  7. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    boiling can kill most bugs, but doesn't do much for voc and other contaninates.

    ( not being a jerk, just asking ) Isn't there a difference in a filter make to " clean up " city drinking water and purifier that a back packer would carry. It seams they are built to handle dfferent tasks.

    In shtf energency there could be all kinds of nasty stuff floating in a flooded river or lake. Fuel station have undergound tanks that leak and sewage would be floating past you front door. I think an emergency fliter system needs to address all issues.

    Angain I'm no expert, I just concider myself and educated reader. I have a few extra black filters, chlorine and large pots to boil, but the berkey is my go-to. We use it on a regular basis. My wife doesn't want our son drinking the chlorine in the tap water. Frome what I hear a simple pool tester can be used to see if it's still working.
     
  8. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    "Isn't there a difference in a filter make to " clean up " city drinking water and purifier that a back packer would carry. It seams they are built to handle dfferent tasks."

    You bet and that is why the Berkey filter and the other enhanced ceramic filters are so exceptional. The standard filters used to clean up city water would clog up and be useless on lake water. Not to mention they do not clean up most of what the Berkey and other enhanced ceramic filters do.

    "In shtf energency there could be all kinds of nasty stuff floating in a flooded river or lake. Fuel station have underground tanks that leak and sewage would be floating past you front door. I think an emergency filter system needs to address all issues."

    Could be, so your plan is very good! Petroleum products are water insoluble so are not a big issue but many of the other toxins that are water soluble better be removed by the filter.

    "I have a few extra black filters, chlorine and large pots to boil, but the berkey is my go-to. We use it on a regular basis. My wife doesn't want our son drinking the chlorine in the tap water. Frome what I hear a simple pool tester can be used to see if it's still working."

    In general the chlorine in city water is harmless but the chemical reaction between the chlorine and some organics in the water can produce Trihalomethanes which have been shown to cause some types of cancer. As such your wife is not to far off in wanting to filter the water your family drinks especially if you have a family history of cancer. If on the other hand your family lives to 100 and drinks and smokes like fiends you can probably drink the city water with impunity.

    The problem with using a test for chlorine to test the filter for its ability to filter other chemicals is the exact make up of most filters is a secret. Therefor we do not know exactly what they are using to filter for what chemical. For example carbon works great on chlorine but to filter a number of the nastier organics you need special resins.

    The best bet is to chose your filter wisely (you have with the Berkey or any other enhanced ceramic filter) and then replace it sooner than its rated life span. With the inline filters I use in my house I replace them at half their rated lifespan. And I use a 4 filter setup starting with a sediment filter, a carbon filter, a ceramic filter, and finally a resin impregnated filter.

    Slightly off topic but relevant is the advantage you have over people who are using RO or Distilled water. Because you are filtering out the bad stuff but leaving the trace minerals your body chemistry will continue to work as designed. Whereas the people who are drinking pure H2O with no trace minerals will find over time that their ability to absorb other nutrients will diminish.
     
  9. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    "filter the big stuff out through sand an boil it, still the best option?"

    If you don't have a ceramic filter then that is by far the best option! Just make sure to boil it long enough as there is lots of nastiness out there that is somewhat heat tolerant. For example most coons carry an intestinal parasite (Baylisascaris) that every time they defecate they share 100's of thousands. The parasite cannot be killed with chlorine and can persist for over 2 years. If you eat a few of these buggers they try and set up shop in your intestine but find the accommodations not to their liking and start to spread throughout your organs including your brain. Every time your body tries to fight one it just moves somewhere else and tears that organ up just like the last.
     
  10. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    Tryin ta set up our water plan, we got city water, so use that as long as it's here, then we got a very deep well with excellent water an that is almost an artisan well (they drilled through 165' a bedrock before they hit that aquafer, an it was pumped fer 48 hours steady an never dropped a quarter inch) so it's our primary back up. Then we got a very good relativally clean creek not far away an several spring fed deep pits within easy walkin distance. We catch an eat a fair amounta fish outa there.

    So, we do wanna be able to properly use that water if need be. Thus our quest fer the best way to treat all that.

    I guess we might add in a berkey type filter system just ta be safe.

    Were lookin fer a local source of food grade barrels ta store some more water, I hate payin shipping on that stuff!:cry:
     
  11. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    OldCootHillbilly,
    Sounds like you have a really great set up. The city water is treated and regularly tested so you are unlikely to catch anything that will kill or maim you from the water (even better if you are in a rural water district as it is less likely to end up poisoned by terrorists). You should get your well water tested so you know that it has not been tainted (every few years to be safe) Well water testing. The reason for the regular testing is that occasionally well water gets tainted through human stupidity. In my area a number of wells have tested with high levels of arsenic due to a company “accidentally” poisoning the water table. All ground water (includes rain water) should be considered unsafe to drink and treated (boil, filter, or chemical) if you ever need it.
     
  12. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    It only takes one quart of used engine oil to contaminate 1 MILLION gallons of drinking water.

    I have my well tested twice a year, no problems what so ever so far,
    But the farm land around us has traditionally been used as pasture or hay fields.
    Not much chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides used on pastures or hay fields, so I'm happy about that.

    Also had the well drilled DEEP into limestone, and limestone is a VERY good filter.

    We still run the drinking water, ice maker water, ect through a charcoal filter before it's consumed, but the regular 'Utility' water is run through a particle filter before it's used in the house.

    The limestone gives us MUCH cleaner water than the city water system, but I still have it checked about every six months,
    For $8, it's just not worth any risk for $16 a year.

    The local county extension agent is the guy that got us the deal on water testing, you might look into it if you have those in your state.
     
  13. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I think I've seen kits at home depot. I'll check the price.
    The less I deal the government, the better I feel. Who knows what they'll take the liberty to do if the results are bad. God only knows what kind of fees and permits they would want to let me put a well on my own land.
     
  14. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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  15. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I live in a large city. We have lots of water flowing here all the time through the rivers and stored in the lakes, but, we have had in the past summers, periods of "water restrictions" where neighbors could rat-out neighbors for using water outside to water plants, lawn, wash vehicles, etc.

    The fines handed out are astronomical.

    On top of that, we have water-meters attached to our houses, and, we pay for every single drop of water that flows through that meter.

    Now, I can walk from my front door, down a small hill to a creek, get a bucket of water and bring it up the hill to my house and repeat as necessary, or, I could be a little pre-emptive and place a few 55-gallon drums on the ground near the house, direct the rain-water from the roof of the house into the drums, collect that rain-water and use it any way that I wish, without needing to pay for the water through the meter, or, incure any fines for using city-water.
     
  16. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Neakid, I pretty much understand that, I do the same thing. I two standard rain barrels made from free car wash drums. I have them up on a couple cinder block with a hose coming out of the bottom. My garden is very small, just a few vegies in some 5g buckets, so it's plenty of water for me. I was using my well to water the garden, but I built the barrels to cut down on the electric to run the well. rain and gravity are free :) The barrels have only ran empty twice this yrs. once was during a 15 day dry spell and the second was my fault. I left the valve open while watering my freshly planted apple tree.

    I also have a waterbed bladder on my 1st floor roof that is feed by the gutter on my 2nd floor roof. It gives me a mini water tower so I accually have some water pressure at ground level. I posted details in an other thread and its on my blog. It can wash the car/dog/sidewalk etc and be used in the garden.

    What me question was getting at is why do so guy feel the need to store 100 gals of drinking water when they have a local supply of water that can be treated or purified.
     
  17. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    My primary residence is located 9.5 feet above sea level. The lake behind my house is fresh but every time we get a hurricane and the water in the bay rises it pushes saltwater into the lake behind my house and if the city water goes out I have no source of fresh water. On the other hand with a few rain barrels I have all the fresh water I can drink as long as I have a good filter or feel like wasting fuel to boil it. I would much rather save the fuel to run a generator and keep my beer cold then boil water... Big Grin.
     
  18. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    Thanks, Now there's the kind of reasoning I was looking for.

    You could always use a steel drum wood stove / moonshine type boiler to heat the water and save your fuel.
     
  19. carlnet

    carlnet carl.net

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    That is true but I live in a neighborhood where setting up stills in ones backyard is strictly forbidden... Grin.

    And if a big hurricane heads my way I am 18 hours / 57 gallons of fuel away from my farm where I have more water then I can shake a stick at. Of course the closest beer is over 30 minutes away over a dirt road. So it will need to be a really big hurricane before I evacuate.
     
  20. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

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    Not lookin to store hundreds a gallons a water, say thirty ta forty five gallons, just as a stop gap measure. In other words, if city water goes out, I got some water to get us by till we fire up the well. Or like the flood, we had ta make it home before we could start dealin with the loss a city water an the well pit was under water, so the stored water would be a needed item while we dry out the well.

    When I rebuild the well, I'm gonna move the pump up outa the pit an put it in the crawl space so we don't need ta worry about the floodin part no more.