Friday, February 21, 2014

Home Made Water Filters without Chemicals.

We had a minor catastrophe with our water source. Viking Dad made an emergency fliter for our pond/cistern with spare parts found around the property and workshop. We have an awesome Ace Hardware store in our Humble Little Town in which they are more then happy to supply materials for our Homestead. The emergency filter worked so well that we decided to make a formal one and document the process. This filter was able to filter about 500 gallons of water. 

The following post comes directly from the email Viking Dad wrote to the manager of Ace Hardware---- 

  Another Utility/Emergency/Survival/Practical project.  I recently had a minor ecological disaster in my garden pond when it was contaminated by left over oils and odd roof runoff from a 55 gallon rain capture barrel that wasn't quite completely cleaned prior to installation.  My fish and pond were dying and I needed a quick filter.  I built the first filter with scavenged parts from the workshop and used the pond pump to lift the pond water up to the filter.  The filter was able to completely filter out the contaminants.  The water from the filter was clear and drinkable (yes drinkable) after about 10 minutes of running (getting the dust out the gravel).  We could watch the oils and contaminants being trapped in the top layer of the sand filter.  Within 24 hours we could see a dramatic change in the clarity of the water, and could see the fish and plants responding well. The pump and filter completely cleared the 500 gallon pond after about a week.

I did not take the time to document my original emergency creation. The original bucket had a huge crack in it (but still functional for the emergency) and the sand now needs replacing.  So I built its replacement under calmer circumstances and took the time to document the construction process.

These five pages show the step by step process to build a Sand and Gravel Water Filter using components acquired at our local Ace Hardware.  
  • Ace 5 Gallon Plastic Bucket
  • Play Sand
  • All Purpose Gravel
Not necessarily from Ace:
  • Canvas scrap (could be from bag or tarp)
  • Brace (Hand Drill - any will work)
  • Barrel Pump (or other pump of choice)
  • Box Cutter
  • Drill bit
  • Hose

The Rain Water Collection Project was a previous project using Ace parts

ACE Hardware!!!

Sand and Gravel water filter in a bucket. 

Prepare the Bucket
1. Mark the drain holes with a permanent marker
Marking the location of the holes. 

2. Drill the holes
A hand drill was used for this project but an electric drill can be used if on slow.
This is to prevent cracking.

3. Trim and clean the hole.

Use a sharp blade to clean the holes.
This will create a cleaner flow.

4. Prepare the filter material: Gravel and Play Sand, Canvas Disk

1. Play Sand- should be clean and sterile. No beach sand
2. Pea gravel.
3. Canvas fabric-unbleached

Canvas fabric

5. Cut the canvas disk about two inches wider than the bucket

6. Add a few large stones at the drain holes, then fill in 2 inches of gravel

The extra big stones protect the drain holes which improves your flow.

7. Press in the canvas disk, fold the edges to make a ‘bowl’

8. Add an inch of sand to the center of the disk

9. Press the sand to the sides to hold up the canvas ‘bowl

10. Add sand up to the top of the canvas

11. Add an inch of gravel on top of the sand

12. Add hose or pipe from pump
This is a garden hose that is connected the hand pump.

13. Add water

This filter was designed to filter water from our rain barrels. Rain  water is collected
from the rain gutters into these barrels. A hand pump is then used to pump the water from the barrels to the
"cistern." The cistern is a re-purposed hot tub. 

14. Watch filtered water drain out

This filter was able to clean 55 gallons of water plus the 500 gallons from the cistern in 12 hours.
Water was clean enough to see the bottom of the cistern and water the chickens, safely.

Our local ACE Hardware have been awesome support to us with our projects. We are rather loyal to them. But, if you do not have an ACE Hardware near by any 5 gallon bucket of choice will work. I recommend that the bucket be new and clean. 

Replace sand with clean sand as needed. 

Bless Bless

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