In a previous post I discussed in depth about how to maintain a safe water supply and the importance of doing so. In that post I discussed various options such as water filtration systems, methods for disinfection, as well as how to purify water. I also revealed what we do at the homestead and how we produce purified water for less than 3 cents a gallon. In this post, I want to show just how easy it is to make a homemade water filtration system.
-Two Black Berkey®️ water filters
-Two 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids
-One water spigot
Once finished, this system is essentially two 5 gallon buckets stacked on top of one another like this:
It is essential to have food grade buckets. DO NOT use buckets from your local hardware store as these ARE NOT SAFE for food and water storage due to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Food grade buckets can easily be found online from multiple sources. They can also be obtained FOR FREE from the bakery shop inside your local chain supermarket. Just ask. They are more than happy to get rid of them.
Inside the top bucket are the Black Berkey®️ water filters. Unfiltered water is placed inside the top bucket which is then filtered by the Black Berkey®️ filter elements. It drips down into the bottom bucket and is drained into a storage container with the attached water spigot.
Initially, as you will see, I started with only one filter. However, this is such a low gravity system that filtration is very slow. Consequently, I placed a second filter inside the top bucket in order to speed up the process.
Here is an image of the Black Berkey®️ filters.
Here is a listing of what these filters can do. This is why I strongly recommend this type of filter.
Drill a hole in the bottom of the top bucket just large enough to accommodate the threaded shaft on the bottom of the filter.
Remove the threaded wing nut but leave the rubber gasket in place. Put the filter inside the top bucket and place the threaded shaft through the hole. Tighten the wing nut enough to place pressure on the rubber gasket sufficient enough to prevent leaking. Place a little clean water in the bucket to test for leaks.
Once in place, this is what you have:
Obviously, the threaded shaft and wing nut of the filter element protrudes well beyond the bottom of the bucket. Thus you have to drill holes in the lid of the bottom bucket.
Drill a hole in the lid of the bottom bucket wide enough to accommodate the width of the threaded shaft and wing nut.
Drill a hole in the side of the bottom bucket, toward the lower edge, in order to fit the spigot.
Keep in mind, in order to drain most of the water out of the lower bucket the spigot must be placed relatively low. As you can see from this image, the lower tip of the spigot is going to extend beyond the lower edge of the bucket. Keep this in mind when deciding where to place your final set up.
Also, it is important to note that when you drill through these plastic buckets, you often produce a lot of plastic spurs, as can be see here.
These can easily be removed with a utility knife and the edges smoothed with a file. Taking this extra step will prevent leaking.
Install the water spigot.
These can easily be order online from multiple sources. It is important to note that when installing the spigot, make sure to orient the beveled edges of the gaskets TOWARD the hole on both the inside and outside edges of the buckets. Otherwise it will leak.
Once everything is in place, you simple stack one bucket on top of the other. The bucket containing the filter elements goes on top. Pour in 5 gallons of water and simple wait.
The most expensive part of this project is the cost of the water filters. As of this writing (Feb 2021) the cost of the Black Berkey®️filters is $120 USD for two filters. The filters will last for 6000 gallons. This means you get purified water for 2 cents per gallon. At the homestead, we literally filter raw stream water and the resulting taste is incredible.
This whole system takes less than one hour to set up. Once completed you will have a dependable and inexpensive means of producing your own purified water.
Go off grid and live well,
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