How To Build An Easy To Make Gravity Water Filter (2022)

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It’s all crossed our minds at one point or another: “How would I survive if a crisis occurs?”. Of course, we’re talking about preparing for the worst and surviving through tough times that may or may not be inevitable. In this article, we’ll be guiding you about building a pretty important aspect of survival — the DIY gravity water filter. There is no doubt that any person would consider clean and drinkable water vital.

Since water is a fairly important factor when it comes to our survival, we’ve made sure to thoroughly research precisely what you’ll need to build your very own DIY gravity water filter, as well as the pros and cons of constructing one yourself. We’ve linked some of the top sites out there too, which you’re more than welcome to take a look at.

Turning on that news channel can seem a bit daunting recently as there are so many tragic, chaotic, and frankly, crazy events going on in the world. So, as any sound-minded person might do, you need to be prepared for the worst. In fact, Benjamin Franklin also once said, “Failing to Prepare Is Preparing to Fail”.

By now, you get the point: this guide is about crafting your own DIY gravity water filter and all the benefits that come with it.

Are you ready? Then let’s jump straight into it!

What exactly is a Gravity Water Filter?

How To Build An Easy To Make Gravity Water Filter (1)

For those of you who don’t know, a gravity water filter is a method of purifying tap water or water that has been contaminated. It transforms water that may have previously been undrinkable into water that is healthy and clean to consume.

You shouldn’t underestimate the luxury of clean water, as when chaos strikes, you’ll be needing it more than ever before.

(Video) $23 DIY Gravity Water Filter

A gravity water filter has two chambers, an upper chamber and a lower one. The upper chamber is where you will pour the contaminated water, and the lower chamber will produce filtered water. The lower chamber will contain elements and materials that purify the water and remove any chemicals, bacteria, parasites, or contaminants.

Handy, right?

But how does it work?

Well, through the use of gravity, the water will be forced through the purifying material and fed into the lower chamber. In this case, the material we’ll be using is charcoal and sand.

Many ancient civilizations have long documented water filtering, and we’re still using some of these methods today. In fact, sand bed gravity water filters are among one of the oldest techniques used to purify water. If you’re interested in the history of filtering water, then click on the following link and browse through the site or visit this trustee source too.

You might also find interesting our article about water purification at home.

When Will You Need It?

We understand that a DIY gravity water filter isn’t an everyday need; however, it will be advantageous during a crisis. Typically, these are used or built when stranded outdoors or facing a natural disaster.

You will never be happier to have this invaluable knowledge than when faced with a chaotic scenario. Whether you’re planning for survival or just a keen camper, it is vital to have fresh drinking water, and the gravity water filter will provide you with precisely that.

If you’re not convinced of its benefits, then read the next section, where we’ll discuss the many pros of knowing how to build one.

The Pros and Cons

We’ve covered what a gravity water filter is, but how can it help you survive through the chaos or potential tragedies that may take place. First, let’s fill you in on all the benefits and drawbacks of building one for yourself.


The key pro of knowing how to construct your own DIY gravity water filter is that when doom and gloom strikes, the other water filters may sell out pretty fast. So obviously, having the required parts and knowledge to create one yourself would come in super handy.

Don’t worry, there are tons of other benefits too!

A further pro of a gravity water filter is that they don’t need electricity to operate. So this will not only save you some extra cash but if there is no electricity available, then you’ll still be gifted with purified water.

(Video) DIY Big Berkey Style Water Filter System with 5 Gallon Buckets (for 1/4 the cost)

The method we chose means that building your water filter has never been more straightforward! You won’t need to go out and buy a fancy filtration system and will merely need a few materials that most households have. We’ll explain how to build one in detail later on.

This is pretty obvious, but safe drinking water could save your life and the lives of many others. When in a crisis, you will need to drink purified water. Unhealthy water is not only pretty gross to drink, but it can cause some severe health complications too. So, constructing a handy tool like a water filter has never been more helpful, especially when disaster hits.

The good news is that a well-built water filter won’t require any ongoing maintenance. You won’t need to replace expensive parts or carry out any manual labor either. The materials and elements that make up a DIY gravity water filter are easy to come by and super easy to replace. This will not only allow you to stay within budget but will save you tons of time too.

Speaking of staying within budget, a DIY filtration system means you don’t need to purchase a professional water filtration system. These can be quite pricey, so building your own will save you that extra bit of cash too.

Of course, not everything is 100 percent positive and great, and the water filter is no different. You need to be aware of a few drawbacks, and we’ll briefly discuss them below.


Unfortunately, there are three significant cons to building your DIY gravity water filter; however, there are many more positive aspects to consider.

The first and most obvious con is that your water may not be as clear as you would like. Often, the water may appear slightly murky, but there is no need to freak out as the water is still drinkable. This will occur as the water passes through charcoal and sand.

The final cause for concern is time. If you’re in desperate need of water, our gravity water filter method may not be ideal. Depending on the size of your container, the water may not simply pour out as it is filtered. It is more likely that you will have to wait a few minutes or even longer until you receive healthy and clean water.

Another factor to consider is the elements required. We previously mentioned that you should be able to get a hold of the sand, charcoal, bottle, and cloth easily. If you can’t find any charcoal, you will have a slight problem on your hands.

Overall, there are plenty of reasons that make it well worth creating a gravity water filter. Aside from the few cons, having the ability to build a water filter is super helpful and a fantastic bit of knowledge to have.

We also recommend reading our article about water purification with silver.

How Do I Make a Gravity Water Filter?

(Video) Budget DIY Water Filter ~ Under $35 ~ Preparedness

So, you’ve made it this far, which means you must be eager to craft your gravity water filter. First, we’ll list the materials you need and then set out a step-by-step guide on how to build


While sifting through all of our information and the tons of resources online, we described the easiest method to build a water filter. The method described below will be a simple process, and it doesn’t require any rare or pricey materials either. This charcoal water filter is ideal when stranded in the wild or desperate for an easy way to filter contaminated water.

The filtration materials used will be sand and charcoal. Adding these minerals is a great way to filter the water and remove any larger impurities. As you may well know, Charcoal is a brilliant purification material, so it’s fairly obvious that it should form part of your gravity water filter.

Since we have focused on constructing a water filter in case of emergency, we decided to opt for our trustee charcoal filtration method. Check out the guide below!

As we promised, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • A large plastic bottle (even a 2 liter will be great)
  • A piece of clean cloth (any material will be just fine)
  • Sand
  • Charcoal
  • Pair of scissors

So, hopefully, you have everything you need or at least have jotted down the necessary materials for your next shopping trip. Now, we can discuss the essential part of making a gravity water filter. We’ll explain the process below.

  1. First and foremost, you will need to gather all the necessary parts and materials. If this is your first time constructing any DIY project, then maybe you’ll need a little patience too.
  2. Get out a pair of scissors and your water bottle. Now, you will need to cut the bottom section of the plastic bottle to form a funnel shape.
  3. Next, you will need to turn the bottle upside down and cut a fairly large hole at the top of the bottle. The hole needs to be large enough to pour the necessary materials inside.
  4. Once all of the holes have been cut, you can add the materials. First, take the piece of cloth and put it at the bottom of the bottle, then add a layer of sand and then a layer of charcoal into the bottle through the top.
  5. By this step, you have completed making your gravity water filter and can add the water that will filter through the charcoal and sand.
  6. You will watch the purified and, most importantly, drinkable water flow or drip out into your container. So, make sure that you have a bucket or cup ready to collect all of the water.
  7. Finally, you will need to boil the water before actually consuming it. This will also help further purify the water and reduce any murkiness too.

It is as easy as that!

We get it sometimes; it’s easier to see someone carrying out the list of steps we mentioned above. If you’re more of a visual learner, then head on over to this YouTube video, where you’ll see the perfect demonstration of how to construct a gravity water filter.

We have only touched on one method; however, there are a few other options out there too. If you’re keen on exploring the variety of guides and different methods available, then take a look at this fantastic website, where they go through all five of them.


How To Build An Easy To Make Gravity Water Filter (3)

We will quickly answer a few questions that you may still have about the gravity water filter.

What do gravity filters remove?

They can remove contaminants and impurities often found in outdoor water from lakes, rainwater, and rivers. In addition, it can remove harmful parasites, microbe, and bacteria that cause a variety of diseases.

(Video) DIY Berkey Water Filter System CHEAP!

Your DIY gravity water filter can even take away solid impurities that will not only negatively affect your health but can impact the taste and appearance of the water.

What natural materials can be used to filter water?

We described how to build a gravity filter using charcoal. However, there are other materials that you can make use of too.

We’ll quickly list them below:

  • Sand: This is fantastic at getting rid of those smaller particles found in water.
  • Coconut: Water can be filtered as it is absorbed through the layers of coconut.
  • Gravel: Adding a layer of gravel to your water filter will ensure that those larger impurities and contaminants are removed.
  • Oysters: These natural water purifiers can filter any water it takes in.
  • Plants: Many plants can be used to remove heavy metals and toxins from your contaminated water.

Do gravity water filters remove viruses?

A DIY gravity water filter may not remove viruses, but it can clean the water of parasites and bacteria that cause harmful diseases like typhoid, salmonella, dysentery, cholera, E-coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.

Some related products to consider:

Other interesting posts to read:


Final Thoughts

So, you now know what a DIY gravity water filter is and, most notably, how to build one.

Well, what now, you may be asking?

The best thing to do is to stay prepared, gather those ever-vital materials, maybe print out this article to remember how to make a gravity water filter, and pray for the best scenario while being ready for a slightly less bright future.

We wish you the best!


How do you make a gravity filter? ›

Throw the solution to suspend the solid and liquid pour using a glass rod to guide the solution

How do you make a simple water filter? ›

Turn the bottle upside down placing the neck of the bottle in a jar instead of a jar you could also

How do you build a water filter? ›

To make your own water filter, use a craft knife to cut the bottom inch off of a plastic bottle, then punch a hole in the bottle cap with a hammer and a nail. Place a coffee filter over the mouth of the bottle and tighten the cap over it, then put the bottle upside-down into a mug or cup.

How can you build a simple water filter using sand and rocks? ›

How to Make a DIY Water Filtration System Using Sand or Gravel
  1. Cut the Bottom off a Small Plastic Water Bottle. ...
  2. Insert a Cloth Filter. ...
  3. Rinse the Filtering Materials. ...
  4. Prepare the Charcoal. ...
  5. Add Playground Sand. ...
  6. Put in Paver Sand. ...
  7. Add the Gravel or Small Rocks. ...
  8. Secure the Contents.
12 Mar 2019

What equipment is used for gravity filtration? ›

Gravity filtration equipment uses the hydrostatic pressure of a pre-filter column above the filter surface to generate the flow of the filtrate. Common products include bag filters, gravity nutsches, and sand filters. Bag filter - Bag filters are used mainly as collection equipment.

What equipment is needed for a gravity filtration? ›

Hot gravity filtration requires an Erlenmeyer flask, a stemless funnel, filter paper, and a hot plate. The flask and funnel need to be stabilized and held in place by clamps to prevent the equipment from tipping over. Using a stemless funnel helps to prevent crystals forming on the paper.

How do you make a small filter? ›

Worlds Smallest DIY Filter!!!! - YouTube

How do you make a survival water filter? ›

How To Make a Survival Water Filter - YouTube

How do you make a water filter for kids? ›

How To Make A Water Filter! | H2O Kids Experiments - YouTube

What materials are used for filtration? ›

filtration materials (examples: soil, gravel, potting soil, cotton balls, scrap material, charcoal, sand, woodchips, Styrofoam packing, charcoal briquettes)

How does a homemade water filter work? ›

How the Filter Works. Each layer of the homemade water filter has a purpose. Gravel or small stones are used to filter out large sediments, like leaves or insects, whereas sand is used to remove fine impurities. Finally, the activated charcoal removes contaminants and impurities through chemical absorption.

What rocks purify water? ›

Sandstone: Fine-grained rocks such as sandstone make good aquifers. They can hold water like a sponge, and with their tiny pores, they are good at filtering surface pollutants.

What kind of sand is best for water filtration? ›

Silica sand used for water filtration has a sub-round to round shape, making it the perfect filtration media to capture solids suspended in water. Due to the high silica content in the sand, it is also very durable and hard-wearing. That allows it to be precisely graded for efficient filtering.

How do you make a homemade water filter without charcoal? ›

To make a water filter without activated charcoal, you need a replacement material that has pores large enough to allow water to pass through, but small enough to catch sediment, pathogens, or other impurities. Sand or ceramic are the best materials to use as replacements for activated charcoal.

How do gravity water filters work? ›

Gravity water filters use the pulling force of gravity to move water from the unfiltered reservoir, through the filter, and out the bottom into a storage container. While the water is being moved down, particles are being stopped and filtered to provide clean drinking water.

What kind of filter is used for gravity filtration? ›

Gravity filtration is a method of filtering impurities from solutions by using gravity to pull liquid through a filter. The two main kinds of filtration used in laboratories are gravity and vacuum/suction.

Does gravity filtration require a vacuum? ›

The main difference between vacuum and gravity filtration is their timeliness and how they operate. One method uses a vacuum source to power the filtration while the other uses gravity. This results in vacuum filtration being faster and more convenient.

What are the 3 types of filtration? ›

The Aquarium uses three main types of filtration: mechanical, chemical, and biological. Mechanical filtration is the removal or straining of solid particles from the water.

How can I make filtration faster? ›

Before filtering, allow most of the solid in the mixture to settle. Now pour the supernatant liquid (the liquid standing over the solid in a mixture) through the filter first. This will allow the initial part of the filtration to proceed faster and may prevent clogging of the filter by the solid.

Why do we use gravity filtration? ›

Gravity filtration is the method of choice to remove solid impurities from an organic liquid. The impurity can be a drying agent or an undesired side product or leftover reactant. Gravity filtration can be used to collect solid product, although generally vacuum filtration is used for this purpose because it is faster.

What can I use as a water filter? ›

Below are some common DIY water filtering methods you can use.
  • Boiling. Heating water at a rolling boil for 1 minute makes it safe to drink. ...
  • Tablets or drops. ...
  • UV treatment. ...
  • Activated charcoal. ...
  • Travel-size sediment filters. ...
  • DIY portable sediment filters. ...
  • Fruit peel filters.
24 Feb 2021

How does sand help filter water? ›

A sand filter, or sand water filter, makes use of sand to filter water. The water to be purified slowly sinks through the sand of the sand filter, leaving the dirt particles from the water behind in the fine pores of the sand.

How do you make a sponge filter? ›

HOW TO: cheap and simple DIY aquarium filter - sponge filter

How do you make a pond filter out of a 5 gallon bucket? ›

Super simple DIY 5 gallon bucket pond filter (Answer ... - YouTube

How do you cut a foam filter? ›

How to Cut Foam - YouTube

How do you make a portable water filter bottle? ›

$1 DIY Water Filter in a Bottle - YouTube

How do you make a wild water filter? ›

How to Purify Water in the Wild
  1. Gather your materials. First, you'll need a container like a coffee can, glass bottle, stainless-steel pot, or water bottle. ...
  2. Dig your hole. ...
  3. Place your container. ...
  4. Cover the hole with plastic. ...
  5. Place a pebble on top of the plastic. ...
  6. Remove the container from the hole. ...
  7. Filter your water.
25 Jan 2022

How do you naturally filter water? ›

Here are some of the most effective water purification methods that have stood the test of time:
  1. Boiling. The simplest method to purify water is to boil it for a good time. ...
  2. Water Purifier. ...
  3. Reverse Osmosis. ...
  4. Water Chlorination. ...
  5. Distillation. ...
  6. Iodine Addition. ...
  7. Solar Purification. ...
  8. Clay Vessel Filtration.

How do you make a water filter for kids? ›

How To Make A Water Filter! | H2O Kids Experiments - YouTube

How do you make a water filtration system for a school project? ›

Cut off the bottom of an old plastic soda or juice bottle using scissors or a knife. Place the bottle upside down into the vase or tall drinking glass. Place cotton balls, cloth, or a coffee filter inside the bottle as the first layer. The first layer should be about one to two inches thick.

How do you make a homemade water filter without charcoal? ›

To make a water filter without activated charcoal, you need a replacement material that has pores large enough to allow water to pass through, but small enough to catch sediment, pathogens, or other impurities. Sand or ceramic are the best materials to use as replacements for activated charcoal.

How can I make a cheap water filter? ›

$1 DIY Water Filter in a Bottle - YouTube

How do you make a natural material water filter? ›

Natural Water Filter - YouTube

Can cotton balls filter water? ›

Water always finds a path through the pieces of stone, gravel, sand, charcoal and cotton balls. But the gaps or pores, trap particles that are suspended in the water. As the pores get smaller in each layer, particles are trapped throughout the filter, rather than all in one layer, which would quickly get clogged up.

How do you filter water with a sock? ›

Sock water filter method - YouTube

What materials filter water the best? ›

Sand and gravel make good water filters because they form permeable layers. When the sand particles are next to one another, there are tiny spaces between them. Water can pass slowly through these tiny spaces and some of the dirt particles get trapped.

What materials are used for filtration? ›

filtration materials (examples: soil, gravel, potting soil, cotton balls, scrap material, charcoal, sand, woodchips, Styrofoam packing, charcoal briquettes)

How do you make a sand filter for kids? ›

How to Filter Water DIY Science Experiments for Kids - YouTube

How does sand help filter water? ›

A sand filter, or sand water filter, makes use of sand to filter water. The water to be purified slowly sinks through the sand of the sand filter, leaving the dirt particles from the water behind in the fine pores of the sand.

How do you make a homemade sand filter? ›

Building an Inexpensive Water Filter - Slow Sand Filter | Weekly Peek Ep4

How does pebbles help filter water? ›

Sand and gravel make good water filters because they form permeable layers. When comparing the rate of flow between different filters, it is generally found that the tighter the spaces in the filter, the slower the flow of water. These small spaces cause tiny dirt particles to be trapped in the filter media.


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