Home Made Water Purifier NZ



SA Home Made Water Filter

Looking for an affordable water purifier to make your rainwater, tank water or reservoir water drinkable?

The best option and the proven option is the long-lasting  Berkey water purifier or purification element.  Berkey filters are gravity water purifiers that use either cleanable micro-permeable ceramic filter elements or carbon based Black Berkey elements.  These purifiers are very effective, long-lasting and require no electricity or water pressure. The only flaw is their upfront price which can be considered expensive by some.   You can save money by making your own housing.

Home Made Water Filters

Here’s how:

Track down the necessary parts. You will need the following:

  • two  food grade buckets of the same size each – the larger the size, the more water you can store
  • two bucket lids
  • at least one pair of Black Berkey water filter elements
  • a food grade spigot (the kind used for large coffee pots or water coolers is perfect)

Drill two 12.7mm holes in the bottom of the upper bucket and two matching holes in the lid for the lower bucket.

SA Home made water filter

Drill a 19mm hole in the side of the lower bucket toward the bottom. Make sure the hole is up just far enough for the spigot to clear when the filter is sitting on a flat surface

SA Home Made Water Purifier

Assemble the lower bucket by installing the spigot and the lid with holes.

Water Filter Home Made SA

Install the filter elements in the upper bucket through the holes in the bottom.

Home Made Black Berkey Water Purifier SA

Complete filter unit assembly by placing the upper bucket on the lower. Be sure to line up the holes so the filter tubes extend through the lid of the lower bucket.

Place the remaining lid on top.

Water Filter Home SA

Bucket Home Made Water Purifier


To use the filter, fill the upper bucket with water and wait. If you are starting with dry elements, it will take quite a while before the water starts dripping into the lower bucket. It takes up to several hours for the clean water to drain into the lower bucket. This process can be sped up considerably by frequently topping off the water in the upper bucket. This maintains maximum pressure on the elements.

The filter unit can be made quite a bit larger by using any two stacking containers suitable for water, trash cans to large water barrels for example. The flow rate can also be increased by adding more filter elements.

Filtered solids remain on the outside of the filter elements and will eventually impede the flow rate so it is important to prefilter through a dense cloth especially if your source water is particularly cloudy.  The purification elements can be scrubbed clean with a plastic scouring pad every few months to maintain filtering ability. Black Berkey elements last for nearly 23,000 litres a pair.

So don’t let cost stop you.  Use your creativity!