How to Make Your Own Charcoal Water Filter

What You'll Need
Tea crock. This can be plastic or glass as long as it has a dispensing spout.
Tobacco pipe filter screen.
Activated charcoal for aquatic aquariums.
Chlorine free bleach.

Knowing how to make your own charcoal water filter can be a valuable tool for cutting costs, survivalist tactics, and camping. If water is contaminated with harsh chemicals, a well made water filter can reduce or even completely block those chemicals. Though a water filter is generally used for day to day filtration, knowing how to make one can come in very useful when camping or during natural disasters that may render the water undrinkable. With the ability to use everyday household items, making your own water filter can be affordable, easy, and sustainable.



Step 1 – Sterilize the water filter parts.

The tea crock may appear to be clean, but to make sure that you are receiving clean charcoal filtered water, it is best to sterilize the crock first. You can sterilize the crock by filling it with warm water and adding two tablespoons of chlorine free bleach. Allow the mixture to rest in the crock for several hours or overnight. You may place the tobacco filter screen in the bottom of the crock as well. However, most filter screens are sterilized prior to packaging. Pour out the mixture after the allotted amount of time and rinse the crock thoroughly.


Step 2 – Assemble the tap filter.

Tobacco pipe filter screens come in various circular sizes. Purchase the largest sized pipe filter you can find. Remove the tap from the crock. Most taps unscrew from the crock itself. If you do not have one that is removable, then you may want to find or purchase one that is for ease of upkeep and maintenance, as you will be changing the filter screen periodically. After removing the tap, cut the screen so that it slides snugly into the tap. Slide the screen in place and reattach the tap to the crock.


Step 3 – Prepare the activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal comes in several different sized containers. You will want to choose one that will fill the crock to one inch above the spout. Depending on the size of the chosen tea crock, this could be two to six pounds of activated charcoal. Place the charcoal in the bottom of the tea crock. Fill the crock with tap water and allow the activated charcoal to rest in the water for forty five minutes to an hour. Drain the water and refill the crock.


Step 4 – Using the charcoal water filter.

Place a glass under the crock tap. Open the spout and allow the water to drain into your glass. The water will filter through the activated charcoal bed, filtering out the impurities through the screen and into your glass. The tobacco filter acts to keep any small active charcoal particles from entering your drinking glass. Every two to three months you should clean, sterilize, and refill the crock with fresh activated charcoal and a new filter screen.