While tap water is safe to drink, it still contains a whole lot of impurities you might want to remove, but buying a filtration system can be expensive. Alternatively, one day you might find yourself in an emergency situation where you need a source of drinking water just to survive.
In either of these situations – trying to save a bit of cash or just trying to stay alive – a homemade water filter could be the solution you need. We searched online for you so you don’t have to – and here are our top 21 plans for DIY water filters.
1. Science Fair Project
As this plan explains, around 70% of our planet is covered by water, but of that, only 3% is suitable for drinking – and many people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.
With this science project, you can show kids how to make a simple water filter that will clean water to make it fit for human consumption.
At the same time, it’s a great way to teach them about the hydrological cycle and the problem of water poverty that is set to become an increasingly serious issue in the not too distant future.
2. Bio-Sand Water Filter
This YouTube video shows you how to make a bio-sand water filter.
As the narrator explains, this is a low-tech and easy-to-build water filter and purifier that uses sand and gravel for its filtration media.
The video takes you through everything you need to know to build it, explaining where you can buy all the necessary materials, which are cheap and easy to find in your local home improvement store.
This is a fun video to watch and a plan that’s easy to copy. So why not have a go at home?
3. DIY Water Filter
For just about any DIY project you can imagine – as well as a whole lot more you probably would never have thought of – the Instructables website is always a reliable resource and is one of the first places we head when we need some inspiration.
This plan shows you how to make a very simple water filter out of some basic materials you are sure to have at hand.
You’ll find clear instructions, plenty of good photos and a logical progression from start to finish – in fact, everything we’ve come to expect from DIY plans on this excellent website.
4. Two-Stage DIY Water Filter
Here’s a video that shows you how to make a simple two-stage water filter from some basic materials that most people will have access to.
There’s not much in the way of explanation, but it’s easy to understand.
The method uses carbon filtration followed by distillation – which, as this YouTuber’s introduction claims, will filter out 99.99% of impurities.
He also points out that it requires no electricity and produces drinkable water in only 20 seconds.
That makes it perfect for emergency situations when you suddenly find yourself with no fresh water to drink.
5. Emergency Survival Water Filter
Water is a basic necessity for life, and without water, we can’t survive for more than just a few days.
During our normal daily lives, this is hardly a problem, but if you find yourself stranded in the wilderness, securing a safe source of drinking water will be one of your main priorities.
In case you ever find yourself in such a situation, this plan explains how to make a simple filtration unit that will provide you with clean, drinkable water – and that could be the difference between staying alive or perishing in the woods.
6. Homemade Water Filter from a Soda Bottle
If for some reason, your water supply dries up, you might not have lots of advanced equipment from which to construct a water filter – meaning you’ll need a plan to make something from the most basic materials you have at hand.
In that kind of situation, knowing how to make a water filter from something as simple as a soda bottle could save your life.
And if that’s something you want to learn about, check out this video to find out how it’s done.
7. Water Filtration System for your Home
Most of us understand the importance of healthy living, and part of that is drinking enough water every day.
However, the water that comes from the tap might not be as pure and healthy as we’d like.
One option, then, is bottled water – but buying water in plastic bottles is incredibly bad for the planet.
A much better option, and one that’s kinder to the environment, is to install a water filtration system in your home.
Buying a ready-made one can be expensive, but a making a DIY version can save you a lot of cash. And if you want to try, this plan will show you how.
8. DIY Five-Stage Home Water Filtration System
If you’re looking for a detailed video about how to build an advanced home water filtration system, this video should be of interest.
It’s a long watch – the video is an hour long – but it shows you how to make a five-stage water filter that will remove just about anything from your water that you don’t want in there.
If you have the time and you want to learn about filtering water, this is a video you need to watch.
9. Whole-house water filtration system
This is another plan for a whole house water filter system.
There’s no need to spend loads of money buying an expensive water filtration system to provide pure, healthy water for you and your family, especially if you like making things for yourself.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of clean water that’s free of pollutants and impurities but you don’t want to spend more money than you have to, this DIY plan will show you how to build one for yourself without burning a hole in your pocket.
10. Easy Home DIY Water Filtration System
Here’s a plan for a fun project you might like to try. The disclaimer says it’s just a science project and that you shouldn’t try it at home.
However, if you need water and you have no other way of getting hold of it, making something like this could be your only option.
11. Homemade Water Filter for Survival
If you want to be ready for any eventuality – whether that’s the breakdown of society, World War III, the zombie apocalypse or just the municipal water supplies encountering some problems – you’ll want to know how to filter and purify your own water.
With this simple but highly effective filter, you can ensure that whatever happens, you’ll always have water to drink, which will leave you free to concentrate on some of the other important issues that might arise in any survival situation.
Check out the “before” and “after” pics of the water, too. This looks like a filter that really works.
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12. Off-Grid Water Purifier
This is a short video about making a water purifier for off-the-grid living.
It doesn’t require any electricity to use – it has a “human-powered” pump – and is simple to construct.
The video is a little light on explanations, but it’s easy enough to follow – so if you need a way to purify drinking water when you’re far from civilization, this video shows you how.
13. Homemade Water Purifier from Buckets
If you need to make a water filter and purifier at home, the chances are, you’ll want to make it from simple materials you already have available.
There’s not much point in making a DIY water filter if you have to spend loads of money buying new equipment to make it work.
With this plan, you’ll learn how to make a water filter from a pair of buckets plus some other stuff you probably already have access to.
It’s simple and it won’t cost much – both good reasons why this is a water filter you should think about building.
14. Water Filter Made from a Tree Branch
The author of this plan describes the design as a low-tech water filter system made from a branch of a tree can filter up to four liters of water per day, removing up to 99% of E. coli bacteria.
According to the plan, the porous tissue (xylem) of sapwood acts as an effective filter for contaminants as small as 70 nanometers.
By passing water through this tissue, you can produce fresh, uncontaminated drinking water for almost negligible cost.
If you’re interested in trying, check it out – it’s a fascinating idea.
15. Emergency Nanocarbon Water Filter
This video is a bit different from most of the others – this is a water filter that uses gravel, sand and charcoal in a real-life situation in the Rhino refugee camp in northern Uganda.
As you can see in the video, the water that goes in is murky and unpleasant – but the water that comes out is pure and clean.
This is a DIY filter that is being used to keep people alive with drinkable water – so it’s one we know works well.
16. Effective Homemade Water Filter
As they explain in this plan, this filter is not really intended as a substitute for a properly tested and accredited water filter that you can buy.
However, it makes a fun project to attempt – and in an emergency, it could be used to produce life-giving fresh water.
This is a kind of gravity water filter that uses activated carbon as the main filtering medium.
It’s also simple and inexpensive to build, so if you’re looking for a way to filter your own water in a pinch, this plan can show you how.
17. Make Swamp Water Drinkable
We love the premise of this video. Take the most disgusting, muddy, slimy swamp water – and turn it into something fit for human consumption.
Watch as the YouTuber fishes out a glass of pond water, complete with mosquito larvae, worms, algae and who knows what else.
From this, using his DIY filtration system, he creates a glass of clean, pure water that is safe to drink.
And to prove it, he shows how confident he is in what he’s done by drinking it all down. Want to try it at home? Then check it out!
18. Two-Liter Water Filter from Natural Items
This is a video designed to show you how to survive when you don’t have access to any modern materials.
Instead, this YouTuber makes a water filter from natural items. Ok, so the first thing he says is that he’s using a 2-litre plastic bottle, but he also states that you can use something like bamboo.
In any case, it’s a valid design and a plan that’s worth seeing.
19. Five Filter Plans
This page doesn’t give you just one plan but five. One of them is nothing more complicated than simply boiling the water, but there’s also a plan for a stovetop water distiller along with Solar Water Disinfection and an improvised charcoal filter.
In fact, this one page gives you the basics of how to construct most of the main types of DIY water filter – and by combining them, you can filter and purify just about any water you have available.
Well worth reading to learn about the concepts as much as for the plans.
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20. “High-Volume” Water filter
This is a short video that explains how to make a simple, inexpensive water filter that makes tap water “taste great”.
At the beginning, you get to see a glass of cloudy tap water compared to his clear filtered water.
And if you want to know how to produce the same results, he tells you how he did it.
21. How to Make a Water Filter
To finish, here’s a YouTube video that’s full of energy – thanks to the great soundtrack that accompanies it.
It’s another one that doesn’t have much in the way of explanations – this one is all about showing you what you need to do.
It’s enjoyable to watch and easy to follow, and we’re sure if you’re looking for a plan to copy, this one will give you the urge to try.
Many creative ideas
Whether you want a water filter for your home or you need to find drinking water in the wilderness, we’re sure one of these plans we’ve found will be just what you’re looking for.
We love the creativity and ingenuity of some of these DIYers – and we hope you enjoy trying their plans as much as we enjoyed finding them for you!