Build water filter yourself - is that possible?


Many consider water filters as necessary to ensure the quality of the drinking water. Whether and where this is the case, whether you can actually build your own water filter, and how you can help yourself in an emergency, will be discussed in detail here.

Necessary power of the water filter

Water filters should in any case:

  • Remove bacteria and germs from the drinking water.
  • Withhold dangerous chemicals
  • Remove turbid and suspended solids and coarse impurities that affect the taste

Dangers with tap water

With intact house installation (without contamination and defects in the pipes), the drinking water quality is so high that the water can be drunk without hesitation. Necessary is a drinking water filter in the household so not necessarily.

In the wild, it looks different, especially if you can not see the source of the water. Here, in some cases, very dangerous germs may be present in the water. If there is no portable water filter, you may be able to help yourself.

Possibility of self-construction

Industrially manufactured water filters are high-tech products. The filter unit is designed to automatically retain larger molecules. This will clean the water. It is therefore an ultrafiltration process.

The filter pores are in most commercially available outdoor filters between 0.1 and 0.2 microns in size. This restrains all larger molecules as well as bacteria and protozoa. In addition, there are often bacteriostatic coatings and additional activated carbon elements.

But that can not be done in DIY. The small pore size can only be achieved by using special materials and complicated technical production methods.

Create temporary filter yourself

Makeshift filters can be of help in making drinking water difficult to drink in a wilderness environment without bacterial contamination and without protozoa.

They consist of a tube that should be boiled. Charcoal, sand and pebbles are poured into the tube in layers, which should also be boiled for sufficient time (about 10 minutes). The lower end of the tube is then closed with a coffee filter or cloth. Below this, a collecting container is placed.

As the water runs through each layer, it is cleaned of larger particles. On charcoal also accumulate some chemical substances that may be present.

The resulting water is not germ-free. If there is a bacterial or single cell load or can not be ruled out, the water must be sterilized before drinking.

One option is to boil, another option is UV disinfection. There are pen-sized, battery-powered devices that work very reliably (Steripen).

Tips & Tricks

With the so-called Life Straw are also very small and lightweight devices available that make at least the drinking of water from unknown sources possible and harmless.


Video Board: DIY: Make Swamp Water Drinkable