I finally finished our most recent homestead project, and just in time too! We were almost out of water brought in from town so I built us a water filter for the creek water here. I used a ceramic filter, spigot and two food safe buckets.
First I used the right size drill bit to drill a hole in the bottom of one bucket and the lid of another. Make sure to line them up so they fit together.
Then I used a different drill bit to drill a spigot hole on the bottom side of one bucket to drain the clean water (this is the spigot I used).
Then I inserted a ceramic filter (found here) in the top bucket and ran the threaded portion into the lower bucket. I used the wing nut that came with the filter to attach the two together. The bucket filter is currently in the greenhouse and working great!
The only downside to this system is that it filters very slowly. You do need to keep refilling the top bucket to make sure not to run out.
Another possibility is adding more filters so the water filter works faster. We fill ours up before bed so we’ll always have water ready in the morning. (Update: We added a second ceramic filter to this one, and made another DIY filter with three ceramic pieces that works even faster!)
Here’s what our creek water looks like going in:
And here’s what it looks like after filtering:
The water is brownish red right out of the creek. This is due to having a lot of iron and tannin’s in it. It isn’t completely clear after filtering either. The ceramic filters I purchased are meant to leave some minerals in for taste, but I think it tastes better than the city water we had in Washington. Overall it cost about $35 to make this water filter. That’s about what it costs us in gas just to get to town! This was an easy, fast and cheap project that I’d recommend to anyone going off grid. Or have the materials on hand in a SHTF situation.