Building a Grey Water Filter Building a Grey Water Filter

What You'll Need
Plastic bucket; 5 gallon
1 1/2-inch pipe connector; male and female
(2) 2-inch rubber gasket
Pea gravel
Koi pond filter
Terry cloths
Electric drill
Waste water
Collecting bucket
Charcoal (optional)
Warm water
Dish detergent
Lint-free cloth

Water conservation is a major concern around the globe. Consider building your very own water filter to cut down on water waste. The term "grey water" is given to any waste water that has not been contaminated by human waste. This would include water from the shower, bath, and dish washing. The following steps will show you how to build an inexpensive grey water filter system.

Step 1 - Preparing the Bucket

Always clean a plastic container prior to use. Add several drops of dish detergent inside the bucket. Run warm water in the bottom of the bucket swishing it around until it reaches about halfway up. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and clean the sides of the bucket. Dump out the water and rinse out the suds that remain. Dry the container with the lint-free cloth.

Drill a 1 1/2-inch hole in the bottom of the plastic bucket near one of the sides.

The pipe connector is going to serve as the drainage port but it needs some modifying. Drill several small holes around one end of the pipe connector.

Insert the pipe connector through the hole in the bucket with the drilled end facing up in the bucket.

Step 2 - Creating the Filter System

With the bucket and drainage system ready to go you can now assemble the grey water filter.

Wash the pea gravel very thoroughly to rinse off any residue or dirt that may be present on them. Dry the pea gravel before using it. When dry fill the bottom of the bucket with the pea gravel until it is even and level with the pipe connector.

Place a terry cloth towel on top of the pea gravel. The purpose of this is to provide extra filtration as well as making cleaning the filter an easier job later on. Next, cut the Koi pond filters to fit the size of the bucket then place the dense filter (it feels and looks like a scrub pad) inside the bucket. Next, place another terry cloth on top of the filter. This extra terry cloth will prevent sand from getting in the filter so it can last longer.

Add 4-inches of sand to the bucket.

Place another terry cloth on top of the sand. Now, place the second Koi pond filter on top of the terry cloth. Finally, place another (and last) terry cloth on top of the Koi pond filter.

If you wish to create a drinkable water supply you add a layer or two of crushed charcoal. The first layer above the gravel and the second above the sand.

Step 3 - Using the Water Filter

To use the filter simply pour your waste water in the bucket. Wait several moments until the water has time to filter through the many layers. Catch the water in the collector container. You can now use the water for boiling and other household chores.

Need a water filter? Compare brands, types and prices with our Water Filters Buyer's Guide.

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