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do it your self water filter  RSS feed

 
                              
Posts: 19
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            Hello everyone , I thought that maybe someone else besides me wanted or needed a great water filter. I purchased a 55 gal black plastic drum that has a white liner ( Hot Peppers came in this drum ) Wash  out, wash out, wash out,  as a good measure I took a new unused mop, and cloroxed the dickens out of the drum .
             I have not as yet assembled the unit, I am searching for activater charcoal . All that I can find around here is at Walmart ( fish tank activated charcoal ) That will work fine if I have to use it . I purchased a 175 watt mercury vaper light bulb at tractor supply to use as my uv source .
              The bottom of the drum , must be fitted with a spout conected to a pipe on the inside that has small holes drilled in it,to allow water to exit the drum into the uv stage of the unit. This unit is to pour 5 gals of water in at a time . The filter will set high on cement blocks , allowing a fall where a 35 gal drum with a spout will have the 175 watt uv installed in the top of the drum. 5 gals of water will pour into the 35 gal drum from the 55 gal filter unit . the uv light will be turned on for 5 minuits, the water will be purified, ready to drink.
             
 Now for filling the drum..12 inches will be filled with cleaned medium sized gravel ,on the gravel will be plastic screen layers. the next layer will be clean sifted sand ( no cat poop ), 12 inches of sand, over this will be more layers of screen. the next layer is activated charcoal,3 to 12 inches, more layers of screen,a 6 inch layer of sand over the charcoal, more layers of scree
             
The top layer needs to be in a pouch or bag, large enough to hold 5 gal of sand. this bag needs to be made out poly bags or screen. it must lay flat and cover the surface area completly . This bag will be remover , cleaned or replace as often as needed ( dirty)  .
              
I will be running my water through a solar distiller ,and then pouring 5 gals. into the sand/charcoal filter unit. However the more layers of sand/charcoal the better the filter. I hope that you can understand my plan,I'm not good at explaning things . Bye greggd
 
                    
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http://www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com/


It helps readability of long posts if paragraphs are used; even single sentences with a line breal between can make it easier to follow directions/instructions/descriptions.

 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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There is a cheap, easy to find filter that will filter out fine particulates: paper coffee filters.
They are not a "do-it-all" filter, but the more particulates you filter out before you get to your main filter, the less often you will have to clean it.
 
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Can these Berky's filter rain water for potable use?
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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oracle wrote:
Can these Berky's filter rain water for potable use?



Yes.  There's a video somewhere (maybe on their site) that shows how they took water, added food color to it, and ran it through the filter.  The result was clear of any dye.  So they should work fine on rain water.
 
                              
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Thanks for the replies ! I would like to tell you why I want a great water filter . I have had 2 kidney stones destroyed by liprotripsy...EXPENSIVE ! I have moned and groaned many stones out on my own .  I started drinking distilled water ,carbonated water and ginger ail ( at a resturant I will have tea/coke ) At home I drink decaf.tea and coffee .
          I had my yearly kidney stone exray ... NO KIDNEY STONES ! The Dr. was puzzeled( he missed some  money ) I told him of my water change , He said that was not it . I did not change my diet only my water intake . I live in the country and have well water. I do not use any well water for cooking or drinking . I also fill ice trays with distilled water ....works for me !
          I want the best filtering system that I can get,period .Store bought does not mean BEST , but it could be ? Distilled water gets expensive , therefore the rush to create  a mega filtering devise .I may mate together differant systems to achieve a clean water system . Thanks for all feed back,Have a blessed day ,greggd
 
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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oracle wrote:
Can these Berky's filter rain water for potable use?



it depends on what you are trying to filter out of the water.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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greggd wrote:
Thanks for the replies ! I would like to tell you why I want a great water filter . I have had 2 kidney stones destroyed by liprotripsy...EXPENSIVE ! I have moned and groaned many stones out on my own .  I started drinking distilled water ,carbonated water and ginger ail ( at a resturant I will have tea/coke ) At home I drink decaf.tea and coffee .
          I had my yearly kidney stone exray ... NO KIDNEY STONES ! The Dr. was puzzeled( he missed some  money ) I told him of my water change , He said that was not it . I did not change my diet only my water intake . I live in the country and have well water. I do not use any well water for cooking or drinking . I also fill ice trays with distilled water ....works for me !
          I want the best filtering system that I can get,period .Store bought does not mean BEST , but it could be ? Distilled water gets expensive , therefore the rush to create  a mega filtering devise .I may mate together differant systems to achieve a clean water system . Thanks for all feed back,Have a blessed day ,greggd


ingest more magnesium.  kidney stones are a likely indicator of a magnesium deficiency.
 
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Your filter, as you describe it, and as I understand it, will not remove minerals from the water.

So, if distilled water (very soft-no minerals) is what stopped your kidney stones, your new filter will not fulfill that need for demineralized water.

Finest regards,

troy
 
steward
Posts: 3410
Location: woodland, washington
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I use a slow sand filter in a 55-gallon plastic barrel for potable water.  works really well and cost maybe $10 to build.  I like the idea of a bag to hold the top layer of sand for ease of cleaning.  I might try that.
 
Posts: 184
Location: Mineola, Texas
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If you want to remove the minerals, you will need a reverse osmosis or an evaporative collector.
A filter won't likely take out calcium or other metals in the water.
 
Posts: 155
Location: Sierras
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tel jetson wrote:
I use a slow sand filter in a 55-gallon plastic barrel for potable water.  works really well and cost maybe $10 to build.  I like the idea of a bag to hold the top layer of sand for ease of cleaning.  I might try that.



Where did you get your plans/specs for the slow sand filter?  any recommendations on building one?
 
Fred Winsol
Posts: 155
Location: Sierras
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tel jetson wrote:
I use a slow sand filter in a 55-gallon plastic barrel for potable water.  works really well and cost maybe $10 to build.  I like the idea of a bag to hold the top layer of sand for ease of cleaning.  I might try that.



how did you build your slow sand filter? what's your daily yield?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3410
Location: woodland, washington
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some good information at biosandfilter.org.

I plumbed a pipe inside the barrel to collect the water at the bottom and route it up and through the side of the barrel about two inches below the top.  from there it goes to a 500-gallon storage tank and gravity feeds to the rest of the property.

yield?  I haven't actually measured it.  I have my well pump set on a timer to run for three minutes every eight hours.  that fills up two 55-gallon barrels uphill from the filter which then feed into the filter.  I think the most I've run through it is about 250 gallons in a day, and I'm guessing I'm at a little under 100 gallons/day right now.  my throughput is sometimes higher than recommended by most instructions I've read for the surface area I've got, but I'm comfortable with that because the main problem we've got is iron and manganese in the water and the filter sorts those out pretty quickly.  if we had heavy metals, or microbiological issues, or nitrates, or really anything other than the iron and manganese, I would probably slow it down a bit and add more filters to make up the difference.  I do have another one built that I plan to hook up one of these days.  other things ahead of that on a long and growing list, though.
 
Posts: 53
Location: Chemung NY
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If you want a good water softner there are TAC ( template assisted Chrystalization) I think. But they cost alot. Whol house ones are around $1,000.00. Better than salt though. And there is the question of those Chrystal's . They say there not absorbed, but they also say this water will clean out deposits on your pipes.. So what is it absorbing inside of you if you drink it?
Is there a DIY way to demineralize?
 
Posts: 104
Location: Southern Oregon
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I like the idea of a home made filter, and I think the multi stage sand filter with activated charcoal sounds good. However, if you are distilling the water first, there is no need for a filter system as nothing will be remaining except pure, demineralized water. Also, from my understanding, the UV light only has a small depth of penetration, hence most UV setups are laid longwise against a clear tube of water. I don't think it will fully remove the bacteria from a large volume of water.

You've got me wondering, is hard well water a cause of kidney stones?

Suzanne- I've heard Pelican makes a good salt free water softener. There is also one that you wrap a length of copper pipe with a coil. The way they work is they change the molecular structure of the hardness, without actualyl removing it. They sort of "soften" the shape of the molecule so it doesn't adhere to a surface and instead passes through.
 
Posts: 252
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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If your distillation unit is working properly there is very little left to filter of any kind. All sediment and nearly all minerals will be removed by distillation. The only thing that should make it out of the distillation process are the more volatile organic compounds. And at least some of them can be adsorbed by charcoal. The rest of the filter is problematic as the sand part of your filter is probably actually adding minerals back to the water. Now if you can set up for fractional distillation you could wipe even nearly all the organics out of the mix. But that is a far more complex operation requiring precise control of temperature and pressure at each stage.
 
Posts: 326
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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I don't understand what you're trying to accomplish here.
Rain water is already naturally distilled water if that's what you want, no need for a water softener, it has no minerals dissolved at all.

A Berkey filter will remove anything large enough to pose a biological health hazard and very economically at that.

 
Posts: 123
Location: Denton, TX United States Zone 8a
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I see the need to filter rain water- all the air pollution the rain picks up on the way. True it will have a lesser mineral content, but there's still plenty of fun things along for the ride.

I've been really interested lately in the possibility of effective water filtration without industrially activated charcoal. Recently stumbled across https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfaokPPH29o]this[/youtube]  guy and the work he's doing with my favorite tedx presenter

Their research here on water filtration systems made with at-home biochar shows that they can approach if not rival activate carbon systems.
 
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Cody DeBaun wrote:I see the need to filter rain water- all the air pollution the rain picks up on the way. True it will have a lesser mineral content, but there's still plenty of fun things along for the ride.

I've been really interested lately in the possibility of effective water filtration without industrially activated charcoal. Recently stumbled across https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfaokPPH29o]this guy[/url] and the work he's doing with my here on water filtration systems made with at-home biochar shows that they can approach if not rival activate carbon systems.




Cody, thanks for posting this information, especially about Josh Kearns.  I haven%27t had time to watch the video yet, but I came across a nice article, and wanted to share my initial thoughts and questions after reading the article...


article: http://www.wcponline.com/2011/03/24/catalytic-activated-carbons-for-dechlorination-and-dechloramination/.


although I%27m particpating in this thread to find out more about how to make home-made systems, I%27m wondering if anyone knows where the carbon %27B%27 activated charcoal (AC) filters can be obtained, as its sounds like the carbon %27B%27 filters are the most effective at removing chloramines added in municipal drinking water treatment plants?


I%27m wondering if anyone think there are any concerns regarding the use of the carbon %27B%27s, since it has been exposed to the ammonia during the pyrolysis (to catalyze the activated carbon?  do you think there is residual ammonia that could leach into treated water, or does the carbon hold tightly to what ever it was exposed, similar to how it holds onto other contaminants?

i%27ve been wondering for a very long time how manufacturers get the carbon into a cylindrical form (called %27candles%27) for use in filtration systems -- do they use toxic binders?


--------

now, onto low-tech biosand filter type fun stuff....

i%27ve also wondered a lot about using bone char to filter fluoride.  there is a wonderful fluoride yahoo group where some have shared their experiences experimenting with this media.  they have even shared their experiences doing their own fluoride tests....i was shocked when i learned this is done using mercury reagents.  man, we get ourselves into all sorts of gross pickles through our industrialized society and its norms.  anyway, they shared that Ebonex Corporation  (www.ebonex.com) sells bone char, and there may be many other places that sell it as well.   The quality of the bone char could be differ depending on the temperature employed during charring.   their 20 x 60 mesh could be a good choice.  i hate fluoride!!!  gosh darn it all.


i%27m wondering if you have any thoughts or links you could share on how one might activate carbon from cellulose sources (not coal) on a home scale ( high-pressure and high-temperature steam), - and how small carbon needs to be ground to really be effective in removing heavy metals, agricultural contaminants and VOCs,   Similarly,  do you think it would ever be possible to catalyze the activated carbon on a home scale (pyrolysis)?   i%27m thinking that introducing an ammonia-water mix during pyrolysis would probably be a hundred times more difficult than just the pyrolysis itself.  at least just the catalyzing process of pyrolysis seems to be good enough to remove chloramines.  sure, the ammonia step seems to increase efficiency, but if pyrolysis gets the job done, it seems sufficient.  i don%27t want to be handling ammonia....

I%27m wondering if anyone has resources that show what contaminants %27regular%27 (non-activated) carbon from cellulose sources might be able to remove, and what it cannot remove?  And if varying sources of cellulose (trees vs. coconut shells, or other) have varying results in removing contaminants.    

same question for bone char.  

It would be wonderful if someone had conducted testing and has results that they would be willing to share with the public regarding a variety of contaminants.  I understand that none of the media I%27ve mentioned here can remove nitrates though.


-------

on a DIY scale a less low tech than biosand filters, i watched a cool videao about making your own %27under counter%27 multi-stage filtration system for very low cost, with a cool low-cost pump option that can achieve city-water pressure in an RV scenario with a 12V battery.  here is a link to the video:  
  my main question here is how can this work if one is using refillable cartridges?   with the filters he is using, the water (by way of pressure) is forced through the sides of each filter, and up through the middle and onto the next stage.  with refillable cartridges, there are only openings in the bottom and the top, i think?



i%27m looking forward to watching that great video with Josh Kearns in its entirety!!!
 
Peter Chan
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as a followup question, i've been wondering for a while now why the berkey carbon filters need to be impregated with silver, and if its really necessary?  it doesn't seem like the 'under counter' multi-stage systems are impregnated with silver.....  

i understand that the biosand filter system is different entirely, and that it has its own microbiological ecosystem that develops to protect against bad microbes.....but i'd like to learn more about  what its potential limitations are....like, how long of a vacation can you take before you have to 'start' over with the system, or do you not have to start over at all?  what are the pitfalls or things you need to watch out for, or what are the tips for how to best use the system and avoid potential bad stuff from occurring with it?
 
pollinator
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In my opinion, the filter setup described by the OP isn't necessary or suitable for what he wants. A solar still distills water, and as has been mentioned, only volatile organic compounds will go along for that ride.

Fresh rainwater has no need to be distilled, as the water cycle relies on the same process to put the water into the air. The only things in that water will be whatever VOCs evaporated with it, whatever it collected falling out of the air, and whatever it picked up in the infrastructure or container that caught it.

The only reason I would see fit to distill rainwater is if I thought that it was picking up minerals from my collection infrastructure, or if I feared biological contamination. At that point, I think a passive solar still that distilled water into a sealed container, through a particulate filter and a charcoal filter, would probably be adequate for anyone's needs.

I had a thought in writing this response that is somewhat in line with home water filtration.

In a scenario where one was collecting water off one's rooftop, if the roof itself was surfaced in wooden shingles treated in the Shou Sugi Ban method of wood preservation by charring, would a properly charred tile system result in charcoal-filtered rainwater, largely cleansed of VOCs?

-CK
 
pollinator
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Peter Chan wrote:as a followup question, i've been wondering for a while now why the berkey carbon filters need to be impregated with silver, and if its really necessary?



Silver is toxic to bacteria (and harmless, possibly beneficial, to humans).  It's used in water filters to help reduce the bacterial load.

If the water source has no bacteria, then it's not necessary.  

Rainwater is pretty much guaranteed to have bacteria in it.

Also, in regards to the OP, I suspect the main reason they saw a reduction in kidney stones is simply because they were drinking more water. The type of water doesn't really make much difference since it get's filtered through your body before reaching your kidneys.  Excess minerals simply don't get absorbed.
Kidney stones are usually formed from crystals that form in highly concentrated urine.  Simply diluting the urine (by frequently drinking fluids) will reduce the likelihood of crystals forming and will help to (slowly) dissolve existing crystals as well as flushing out stones while they are still small.
 
Peter Chan
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sorry, i should have started a new thread instead of posting in here.  i wanted to redirect the thread to talk about different applications.  Not everyone can do the solar distilling, and not everyone can even use rainwater right now.  people are at various stages in the journey, and i was presenting a few different solutions and trying to tease them apart....mainly filtering city tap water with a ready-made solution (like a berkey), a more DIY 'ready-made' solution, like building your own 'under counter multi stage' filter, like in the video, and then of course building your own biosand/adsorption char filter system, like in the Josh Kearns talk.  

I did finally watch Josh Kearns talk, and he said that biochar (heated at 900 C) - what he calls High Temp char in his presentation - has comparable performance to activated carbon.  


he has instructions for different things which look interesting on his website:  http://www.aqsolutions.org/, including the filter system: http://www.aqsolutions.org/images/2016/12/2000LPD_English.pdf, and a gasifier to make the biochar, all with materials he has found the villages happen to have on hand that he works with.  

I don't know much about the rainwater or solar distillation you mentioned.  i will look those up on the forums!
 
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Location: Fruitland, MD USA
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Be smart enough to effectively find the best filter that will keep your water clean and your family sound. An appropriately chosen Water Filter Systems will give your family safe, clean water for drinking, washing, showering, cooking etc for a considerable length of time to come!
 
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tel jetson wrote:I use a slow sand filter in a 55-gallon plastic barrel for potable water.  works really well and cost maybe $10 to build.


Can you describe? That sounds like a lot less work than the op's setup.
Oh, disregard. I found it.
 
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