Water filtration is going to be
your biggest concern if civilization as we know it breaks down. It is likely that you will
be able to find
sources of water, but how clean is that water going to be? You survived the end of
the world, now you
need some way to make sure that the water you drink doesn’t kill you.
You can go weeks without food,
but only a few days without water.
is required for your body to digest food, so if you don’t have a water
there is no point in eating. Drinking
water can also keep hunger at bay, for a time.
If you have some base set up,
first thing you’re going to want to do is set out some container to
or snow. This is
going to be your best
source for relatively clean water.
ancestors did it for millennia. The
barrel is a fixture of American farm life.
Still you’ll need some way to
treat other sources of water. You
drink water (not anti-freeze) out of a car radiator, as long as it’s
properly. That may
not be the most
preferred source for water, but other sources can be worse.
If you are on the move, and
yet have a base camp set up, finding or making drinkable water is
portable water filtration
system can be made using this same basic method as is shown here.
If you have a base camp set up,
you can make a water filtration system big enough to meet the needs of
clean drinking water
can be used as currency to get other things that you will need or want.
In order to make your water
filtration system, you are going to need two containers, sand, and
charcoal. The basic
setup is very easy
and straight forward. You
alternating layers of sand and charcoal in one of the containers, and
water on top. You catch the water that comes out the bottom of the
container in the second container.
really is that simple.
You will need two containers,
for the filter container, and one for the storage container. If you can’t find two
containers the same
size, you’ll want to make the bigger one the storage container. The more water you can
store, the better off
Take the designated filter
container and poke holes in the bottom of it.
A standard plastic trashcan works very
well for this. It
also has the advantage of being able to
poke holes in it using heat. You
heat a rod on a fire, and melt the holes in the bottom.
You’ll want to use the cleanest
trashcans you can find, or better yet, have buy them now, and set them
for just this purpose. It’s
better to have what you need before you need it, than to have to
around for things later.
Even if you have to scrounge,
likely that you’ll be able to find new trashcans at the local hardware
store. Most people
are going to be looking for what
they consider useful. That
means if you
can’t eat it, drink it, shoot it, or trade with it, it’s not going to
to them. Fortunately,
ahead, and planning, instead of reacting.
Be sure to make plenty of
and keep them fairly small. When
done poking holes in the bottom of the filter container, it should
shower head. If you
are using a trash
can for your water filtration, be sure that you poke holes in the
of the bottom, otherwise you’ll collect water there that you can’t get
You’ll want to place the filter
container where you plan to keep it.
Once the filter is made, it will be far
too heavy to lift without
equipment, or even move easily. Place
the filter up high enough to slide the storage container under it.
Once you’ve got plenty of holes
punched in the filter, you’ll need to create some sort of screen to
sand from pouring out the holes. You
use cloth in the bottom, the advantage is that the cloth will also act
as a filter. You
can take an old shirt and lay it in the
bottom of the filter container. If
you’re using a t-shirt, cut the seams and remove the sleeves so that
two pieces. This will allow you to cover a larger area of the bottom of
filter with the cloth. A
bed sheet can
be cut or torn, and works great.
If you don’t have any cloth,
can use gravel and pebbles. Just
that the gravel or pebble are bigger than the holes you’ve punched in
filter container, so they don’t drop out.
This screening material is just to keep
your filter material in the
filter container. It
doesn’t need to be
anything fancy. If
you’re using gravel
or pebbles as your screen, you’ll want about a 2 inch layer of the
the bottom of the filter.
Now pour a layer of sand over
screen material. You
can find sand all
over the country. If
you live near the
coast, you’ll have beaches. Anywhere
else, you’ll want to raid a construction site where they are mixing
or if you know where to find one, a concrete mixing plant. Every larger city should
The sand needs to be clean, you
don’t want it if it’s been mixed with anything else.
For a trashcan filter, you’ll want to
about a three inch layer of sand in the bottom.
Smooth out the layer of sand, then add a
layer of charcoal, also about
three inches deep.
You will continue to add layers
of sand and charcoal until you have the filter almost full. You’ll want to leave a few
inches at the top
of the filter, so that when you pour water onto it, the water doesn’t
the filter. A good
solid filter won’t
allow water to pass easily through it, so the water will stand on top
before it soaks into the filter.
Do not compact the sand or
charcoal! You need
airspace in the
filter for the water to run through.
When you add your first batch of water,
the filter material may settle,
that’s ok. Between
adding water, and its
own weight, the sand and charcoal will compact on its own.
Make sure the filter container
above the storage container, and pour your water into the filter. It will take quite a while
for the water to
percolate through the filter. The
it takes the better the filter.