A ceramic water filter is a small yet effective tool for filtering dirty and unsafe drinking water. Commercial versions are often used by hikers, outdoorsmen, sports enthusiasts and others. These are personal-sized ceramic water filters.
Though clean water is necessary for survival, millions of people in under-developed countries lack this basic necessity. In fact, UNICEF reports that over 20,000 children die per day because of some preventable disease contracted from unclean water. In these countries, ceramic filteration may play a large role in providing safe water to homes, individuals and families who need it. In addition to using ceramic filters on a daily basis, people living in these countries use these sort of devices after natural disasters, like earthquakes and monsoons, to ensure they have clean water.
How They Work
Like all water filtration systems, ceramic filters basically trap the dirt, contaminants and bacteria, removing these potentially harmful substances from the water. Ceramic filters are actually capable of filtering out anything larger than a water molecule, which makes it an incredibly effective water purification tool.
Instead of using sophisticated methods, a ceramic filter typically uses a type of clay pot similar to terra cotta flower pots we are all familiar with. Combined with the clay is a mixture of combustible material like sawdust, coffee husks and rice hulls. This material burns completely out during the firing process, creating small micro-pores in the clay pot. The result is a simple device that looks like a regular clay pot. However, the micro-pores left behind by the burned combustible materials are small enough to trap pathogens but large enough to allow water to pass. In addition to mechanical trapping of pathogens, ceramic filters are often coated with colloidal silver which acts as a further biocide against harmful bacteria.
To filter the water supply, you place the “clay pot” filter inside a larger bucket or holding base to which you also connect a spigot for removing the water. Once the water is filtered, the spigot is used to remove the water from the holding base so that it’s ready to use.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The primary advantage of a ceramic water filter is that it not only filters water, but does so at an effective rate. It can remove nearly 99-100% of pathogens, bacteria and sediment. It is also small, lightweight and can be used nearly anywhere in a household. Another advantage is that they propur vs berkey cost a minimal amount compared to commercial water filters on the market today.
On the other hand, they don’t filter water at a very fast pace. In an average-sized setup, you can only disinfect and purify water at the rate of around 2 to 3 liters per hour. Even though they are lightweight, as mentioned above, they are also fragile and can easily crack with rough handling. Unfortunately, even the smallest of cracks can result in a lower filtering capability.
The ceramic water filter can rival any commercially-produced water filtration system. In developing countries water filtration is a necessity. Ceramic filters do not just support access to clean water, something which many take for granted, but they are a life-saving, appropriate technology that improves the lives of millions every day.