This is an education page; not a page to sell you a particular filter from a particular company.
There's much to selecting the proper filter and it starts with knowing what you need and what
is available so you can know better what to choose. I've learned a lot about water filters in the
last few years and I would like to share this knowledge with you.
See more water filters and much more information at our other website
for a complete testing report on which filters that are on the market today provide the best test
results. Mike Adams from the Health Ranger has done the testing and homework for us. Visit his
site above to read the results. From his testing, the Berkey Filter below would be hard to improve
For gravity systems
See the Berkey line of .025 micron gravity filters at www.potspansandfilters.com/berkey.htm
Berkey purifiers provide incredibly clean, pure, sparkling water whether the source is a wild
stream, stagnant pond, lake, private well, or substandard municipal supply. Available in a wide
range of sizes, Berkey purifiers rely on no moving parts and use no electricity. Berkey filters
are gravity filters only. They are designed with two chambers; an upper chamber that contains
the filter(s) which you put the water that needs to be cleaned up into, and a lower chamber that
filtered water flows into by gravity. These filters are not meant for connection to pressurized
water systems. The same technology and gravity flow filter is used in each Berkey model.
Size, number of filters used, capacity and flowrate is the only difference among models.
The Berkey black filter was developed to go beyond what the ceramic Doulton was capable
of as more and more contaminants entered our water supply. The newer black filter not only
removes protozoa and bacteria but at .025 microns, also removes chemicals, viruses, heavy
metals, fertilizers and a long list of additional contaminants from your drinking water including
many pharmaceutical drugs people flush down the sink, flouride, chlorine and and chloramines.
Go to here for a six page list of all the contaminants the Berkey black filter is capable of removing.
Black Berkey purification elements significantly raised the bar to a level that no other gravity
flow water filters are currently able to attain.
For pressurized systems
The Doulton 4 stage carbon block silver impregnated ceramic coated filter cartridge found in the Belkraft
water filter lineup is a Doulton custom made cartridge for Belkraft considered full spectrum, the best they
make. Belkraft filters; slimline, universal,big blue, whole house, etc are for pressurized water systems. They
tie right in to your household systems. They work until you have no water pressure. Then it pays to have a
gravity feed backup system also. Both systems have their own advantages.
Here is a new inexpensive LifeStraw Family water purifier filter being used in Africa that filters out viruses too
and is good for 18,000 liters, 3 years worth for a family of 5.
Lifesaver 4000 and Jerrycan 10,0000 and 20,000
Katadyn combi micro
Seychelle Filter straw
Sawyer .1 micron mini filter
Make your own .2 micron filter - 4 parts is
Survival Still distiller
BelKraft BKI gravity filter with Doulton 4 stage ceramic cartridge
When choosing a water filter to ensure you always
have good drinking water, understand what
you are trying to filter for when researching and choosing water filtration. Then factor in size of
container you will be packing. Filters only like the water filter straw and Sawyer SP128 are light
to carry but if you get thirsty between streams you have no stored water to drink. The small storage
bottle types might be a better bet.
We need to filter for bacteria which range in size from .2 to 5 microns, such as e-coli, salmonella,
and cholera. We need to filter for protozoa such as amoebas, giardia lamblia, and cryptosporidium
which range in size from 1-15 microns in size which is pretty easy to do. And we may need to filter out
viruses like hepatitis, norwalk, parvo and polio viruses which range in size from .02 microns to .20
microns and larger if you are visiting foreign countries and this is where the cheaper filters don't cut it
and if you want to get this job done you have to dig deeper into your pocketbook.
A micron is a millionth of a meter. A micron is 10-6 (ten to the minus 6th meters). A nanometer is a
billionth of a meter, (ten to the minus 9th meters). As some filters have specs in nanos instead of microns, you need to know the conversion. 200 nanometers is equivalent to .2 microns. The smallest
virus is the polio and parvo viruses at about 20-25 nanometers or .02 to .025 microns. So if you want to
catch these you have purchase a filter capable of .02 microns or smaller; or a filter such as the
Seychelle water straw that says they can do this using an iodine impregnated ceramic, a different mechanism besides entrapment.
The filter with the capability to capture less than .02 microns is the LifeSaver 4000 or 6000
which has a filter capability as low as .015 microns (15 nanometers). This can be found on the
net at around $147 , although it lists for much higher. They have a larger filter model in the same
sized bottle called the 6000 good for 6000 liters instead of 4000 liters before you have to change
the main filter. And it's not that much more in price. Both need the carbon filter changed every 250
liters but the carbon filter is only about $10. It's about 3.5" in diameter by a little over 12" long. I
like the pump mechanism in these to get the waater out of the bottle.
The company site is at http://www.lifesaversystems.com/water-purification-systems . They also
make a 5 gal jerrycan version for larger applications you can get for as low as $365. Actually there's
a 10,000 litre, 20,000and 40,000 liter model for higher useage rates; they all hold 18.5 liters. Just
like the handheld 4000 model you fill the container with bad water, use the hand pump to put a little pressure in it and it forces the water out through the filter and into your glass or pitcher. This jerrycan
setup is being used by many African villages where they simply do not have a clean pure source of drinking water and malaria runs rampant without such a device. The jerrycans also have a .015
micron filter in them, just much larger than the bottles.
LIFESAVER® 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle uses a highly advanced
system to remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens. It has replaceable filters which can treat up to 4,000 liters of water at a rate of 750ml
in just under a minute without using chemicals or leaving a chemical taste. All bottles include a
pre-filter disc, a carbon filter and a chew-proof nozzle. Two-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
The carbon filter needs to be changed about every 105 gallons but it costs less than $10 each.
The foam prefilter disc is cheap also and needs to be changed when you wear it out. LIFESAVER technology filters down to 15 nanometres, that is 0.015microns. They are the world's first and only
portable technology that is patented worldwide, to filter down to this level. With the smallest virus
known being Polio at 25 nanometers, you are safe in the knowledge that LIFESAVER filters all
bacteria, viruses, cysts and all waterborne pathogens from your water.
good for 4000 liters of water , replacement filters $129, replace carbon filter
every 250 L
about $30/ 4 filters The foam prefilters are about $8 each
Good description of the LifeSaver 4000 is found here, cost is $150 discounted
The LIFESAVER 4000UF Bottle - 4000L of Clean, Sterile Drinking Water!
Up to 4,000 litres
Easy to use
Used and recognised globally, the LIFESAVER 4000UF bottle was the first LIFESAVER product to be invented by Michael Pritchard, Inventor-Founder. The LIFESAVER bottle is simple to use after priming - just Fill, Pump, Drink. For more details see performance data.
All LIFESAVER products operate FAILSAFE technology. As the LIFESAVER product approaches the end of ifs filtration capacity, it will require a greater number of pumps to induce water flow. When no more water can be induced to flow despite pumping, the cartridge has expired and needs replacing.
The LIFESAVER technology is the world's first and only portable technology that removes all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens without the aid of any foul tasting chemicals like iodine or chlorine or the need for any power or UV light.
The LIFESAVER activated carbon filters are made of high specification activated carbon block which reduces a broad spectrum of chemical residues including pesticides, endocrine, disrupting compounds, medical residues and heavy metals such as lead and copper. It also eliminates bad tastes and odours from contaminates such as chlorine and sulphur. Each LIFESAVER jerrycan activated carbon lasts 250L of water.
LIFESAVER systems ltd complies with all British, US and European Drinking Water Regulations for Microbiological Reduction as tested and certified by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The Science behind LIFESAVER
LIFESAVER technology filters down to 15 nanometres, that is 0.015microns. We are the world's first and only portable technology that is patented worldwide, to filter down to this level. With the smallest virus known being Polio at 25 nanometers, you are safe in the knowledge that LIFESAVER filters all bacteria, viruses, cysts and all waterborne pathogens from your water.
1 x LIFESAVER 4000UF bottle
1 x LIFESAVER activated carbon filter
1 x LIFESAVER pre-filter disc/scavenging sponge (fitted)
1 x Instruction Manual
1 x Quick User Guide
Cartridge service rating: 4,000 liters (1,056 U.S. gallons)
Replaceable activated carbon filter
Replaceable UF cartridge
Bacteria retention: >99.999995 % (log 7.5)(2)
In simple terms a log rating is the amount of spaces after the decimal point that a filter filters down to.
Virus retention: >99.999 % (log5)(3)
Activated carbon reduces chemical residues including: pesticides, endocrine disrupting compounds, medical residues, and heavy metals
Bottle storage capacity: 750 milliliters
Chew-proof, replaceable drinking teat
Watertight, snap-fit lid
Removable anti-slip base
Twist lock pump handle
Dry weight of bottle including cartridge: 635 grams (approximately 22 ounces)
Minimum operating temperature: >0 degrees Celsius, 32 degrees Fahrenheit
Maximum operating temperature: 50 degrees Celsius, 122 degrees Fahrenheit
Minimum storage temperature: -10 degrees Celsius, 14 degrees Fahrenheit
Maximum storage temperature: 60 degrees Celsius, 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Initial flow rate: 2.5 liters per minute at 0.25 Bar(1)
Flow rates and capacity depend on the quality of the feed water
After first use the product should be protected against freezing
Katadyn Combi Endurance Microfilter System -
List $249.99 his price $144.99 0.20 micron ceramic filter good for 13,000 gallons
Carbon filter inside that should be changed every 105 gallons. This filter will not filter out
the smallest of viruses but keep in mind waterborne viruses are not supposed to be a
problem in the US.
ThriveLife catalog number 52516.
The Katadyn Combi Endurance Series Microfilter System (8017763) is a personal pump action filter which uses a two stage filter comprised of activated carbon and ceramic to remove micro-organisms and disease causing agents like virus carrying particles, bacteria, cysts, protozoa, algae, spores, sediment, dirt, and some chemicals. The ceramic element in the Katadyn Combi Microfilter also filters turbid, cloudy water and reduces chemicals as well as radioactive particles.
With this Katadyn water microfilter you can drink safely from streams, rivers, and lakes. The Combi will remove organisms that cause such diseases as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and giardia. With the optional 'PLUS' ststem the Combi Microfilter System can also be connected to a water faucet for use in RVs, campers, boats, cottages, cabins, and so on. The advanced ceramic filter included with this Katadyn water purifier can be cleaned multiple times before it needs to be replaced.
This Katadyn Combi filter is black in color and comes with a bottle adaptor and a carrying bag along with a measuring gauge that tells you when to change the Combi Replacement Mini Ceramic Microfilter (8013622) along with the Combi Replacement Element Carbon Filters (8013624).
Katadyn 8017763 Combi Microfilter Specifications:
|Weight: 21 Ounces|
|Dimensions: 12" x 2.4"|
|Output: 1 Quart Per Minute|
|Carbon Filter Life: 105 Gallons|
|Ceramic Filter Life: 13,000 Gallons|
|Includes: Bottle Adapter, Prefilter, and Carrying Bag|
|Materials: Resistant Plastics, Stainless Steel, Silicone, and Ceramic|
|Micron Rating: 0.2 Micron Ceramic Depth Filter (Cleanable) and Activated Carbon Granulate|
Katadyn microfilters are used by the U.S. military, international militaries, and by relief agencies like the Red Cross which utilize Katadyn filters in emergency situations where clean drinking water is scarce.
This Katadyn Combi filter is known by part number
8017763. It is identical to an earlier model Katadyn
Combi Water Microfilter System (8013620) except for a minor difference in
The Seychelle water filter straw
Thrivelife part number 52552 on Q sale for
Good for 25 gallons of water.
This filters out all bacteria and protozoa, and kills viruses to a concentration of
5 logs 99.999% .
At only $17 - $25 in cost it will afford good protection for circumstances requiring immediate
drinking water that is of questionable purity like rivers, streams and freshwater lakes. But at only
being good for 25 gallons of water, it is not a long term solution for potable water. See the
Livesaver Jerrycan mentioned above for that capability.
Available at ThriveLife for $25, consultant price $19.99, Q special at $17.99, part number 52552
A Time Magazine Invention of the Year winner, LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a high flow rate and weighs only 2oz. It is perfect for the Ultralight backpacker, camper, hiker, traveler, boy scout, hunter or for emergencies. Unlike many similar filters
on the market today, LifeStraw has met EPA standards for water filtration in independent testing.
LifeStraw has been used around the world under extreme conditions for humanitarian relief. Does
not filter chemicals, salt, viruses, heavy metals, taste. Shelf life has been extended to 5 years.
Please NOTE: It takes roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter.
Up to 25-gallon filter life.
Removes and is proven effective against bacteria, protozoa, and viruses to six logs
reduction (99.9999%). In simple terms a log rating is the amount of spaces after
the decimal point that a
filter filters down to. This includes contaminants and pollutants found in drinking water including
Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E-Coli Bacteria.
It does not do this by providing a .02 micron filter. This filter is only 2
microns (that's 2000 nanometers)
but Seychelle's exclusive Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration coordinates all processes of contaminant reduction by Adsorption, Absorption, chemical bonding, chelation, and depth filtration to achieve the desired end result. The kill reduction is accomplished with the design of an iodinated resin that has
proven the six to seven Log reductions on virus and bacteria.
Waterproof carrying case.
Ideal for everyday use and disaster preparedness.
Ultra light and compact.
Non-toxic BPA free materials.
Tested by Independent laboratories using EPA /ANSI protocols and NSF Standards 42 and 53.
Costs less than bottled water.
The Seychelle Pure Water Straw with Advanced filter is a technological breakthrough in water filtration for people on the go - anywhere, anytime!
Compact, easy to use and truly versatile in its attractive carrying case, the Pure Water Straw is like a miniature bottled water plant.
It's ideal for traveling; in your purse, pocket, backpack, luggage, and car or for emergency preparedness. Every family should have several placed throughout the house; in backpacks, in car trunks or glove compartments!
The Pure Water Straw is a sure way of safeguarding the water you drink
anywhere you go and best
of all its 25-gallon capacity is equal to about 189 half liters of bottled water, providing great-tasting
clean water at a fraction of the cost. Never leave home without it! Use it the same as in the video for
the Sawyer SP140 water filter bottle further down;
Seychelle Water Filtration Bottle - 28 oz.
ThriveLife # 52551 $32-$35
The 28oz Seychelle Water
Filtration Bottle provides great-tasting, fresh water wherever you
are. Ideally suited for situations where the drinking water source is questionable or not
disinfected, it comes with an attractive insulator sleeve. The 28oz Advanced Seychelle Water
Filtration flip top bottle is the perfect solution for those traveling to foreign countries where safe
drinking water is at a premium.
The insulator sleeve attaches to a belt or backpack, and is great
for any outdoor use: walking,
hiking, biking, travel, camping or emergency preparedness!
The bottle produces up to 100 gallons of great-tasting water; and
is equal to 757 half liters of
bottled water! For the 75% of the water consumed away from home, this is the perfect portable
|Now with BIOSAFE®, removes up to 99.99% of
bacteria, virus, contaminants and pollutants |
found in drinking water sources using its proprietary Ionic Adsorption Micron Filtration System.
|Contains Iodinated Resin (EPA Reg. # 35917-2) and other proprietary media which effectively reduces virus and bacteria to six logs (99.9999%).|
|Produces up to 100 gallons of filtered water or more depending upon the quality of the source water.|
|Has a screw on/off fill from the top cap for easy filling.|
|28 oz size is compact, light weight and easy to use!|
|Tested by Independent laboratories using EPA/ANSI protocols and NSF Standards 42 and 53.|
|Environmentally safe! Does not pollute the countryside!|
|Reusable - made of FDA approved low density polyethylene #4 plastic - Will not leach! BPA free!|
|Filter is replaceable.|
Replacement Filter - ThriveLife Catalog ID # 52550
Sawyer SP128 .1 micron mini filter
The Sawyer Mini is ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and
international travel, and emergency preparedness. This high performance Mini filter fits in
the palm of your hand, weighs 2 ounces, is cheap ~ $20 - $24, and filters up to 100,000
gallons (30 times more than comparable filters). When flow slows down simply backflush the
filter. Put the drinking end in the faucet and blow all the filtered stuff back out the normal intake
It attaches to the included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs,
or use the plastic straw to drink through the filter directly from your water source. Flows well
and can provide up to 500 gallons/day. Withstands up to 70 psi before you can damage the
filter. Comes as a four pack for about $100 also. A great thing to take with you on vacations to
foreign countries when you are not sure what's in the glass of water the waiter just put on your
table or you need a drink out of the hotel faucet. At .1 micron it does not cover the smallest
viruses but does cover bacteria and all protozoa. Viruses are not a problem in American rivers
and lakes. Watch the video for the many ways you can use it.
We are pushing ThriveLife to carry this filter as it is very economical and covers a lot of
situations at very minimal cost. Keep one in your bugout bag, automobile, backpack, etc.
Sawyer Model SP-190 (or SP 191 with faucet adaptor) .02 micron for virus protection
ThriveLife part #52570, ~ $145
Sawyer does make a .02 filter (model SP 190 ) to cover all viruses but it costs
more and is only needed in third world countries where people defecate and urinate in the
water they eventually drink and viruses live in that kind of environment. But lakes and rivers
here in America would rarely harbor such a virus.
But the .02 has plenty of flow (170 gal/day) also and could provide potable water from
lakes and ponds where beaver, bear, moose, deer and elk habitat. Or shallow wells which
might have some unknowns floating around. A great thing to take with you on vacations to
foreign countries when you are not sure what's in the glass of water the waiter just put on
your table or you need a drink out of the hotel faucet. And again, when flowrate lessens,
simply backflush the filter to clean it out .
Sawyer water bottle filter
.1 micron filter, just dip the bottle in the lake or river, screw the lid on and drink.
At just 5.5 ounces in weight, this durable BPA FREE water bottle can deliver clean water as
fast as you can drink it. Use with the bottle, on a hydration pack, or as an ultra light. Kit includes:
34 oz BPA FREE Durable Water Bottle with a flip-top cap, Sawyer PointONE™ 0.10 Absolute
Micron Water Filter, 2 Replacement Drinking Straws, One Cleaning Syringe, Cleaning and
Maintenance Instructions. Life Expectancy: 1 Million Gallons Guaranteed. $42 - $55.
Again, backflush to clean. See how to use at http://sawyer.com/video-4way.html
Belkraft BKI Gravity filter polycarbonate housing with Doulton 4 stage ceramic silver impregnated filter
WP016 Retail list $300 Sale $210 Factory Direct $180
to make your own .2 micron water filter for less than $30
At .2 microns you will cover all the bacteria which range in size from .2 to 5 microns, such as
e-coli, salmonella, and cholera. We need to filter for protozoa such as amoebas, giardia lamblia,
and cryptosporidium which range in size from 1-15 microns in size which is pretty easy to do.
Remember in the USA waterborne viruses are not considered a problem unless you are trying
to clean up sewage water.
There's only 4 things needed in this set up
Two 5 gallon plastic pails you can get new from Lowes or Home Depot for about $4 each.
One Tomlinson water crock replacement spigot faucet dispenser
less than $7 on ebay.
One .2 micron Zen ceramic dome replacement filter
This is cleanable with a scotchbrite pad. $14 - $20 on ebay.
- you can buy the complete Zen filter setup on
ebay for about $150 but you really
only need the filter part of it which costs $14 - $20 on ebay.
there are many ceramic filters you can find on ebay besides the Zen replacement filter but
at .2 microns and it's cleanable using a scotchbrite pad, and has a low profile , the Zen
replacement is inexpensive and will work just fine. Candle filters at .05 microns work good
too but they are around $30 and don't have the low profile.
Instructions to assemble
Bucket 1 is on bottom, bucket 2 is on top
In bucket 1 drill a round 3/4" hole in the side of the bucket about 1 1/2" up from the bottom
in which to mount the spigot which you will open to put water into a glass or pitcher as the bottom
bucket, bucket #1 will contain the clean potable water. In the lid of bucket 1 drill a 3/8" hole that
the nipple from the ceramic filter can fit into. That hole can even be a little larger to line up easier.
In bucket 2, the top bucket, drill a 3/8"
hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket. You may
want to drill this hole first, then set bucket 2 on top of bucket 1, center it, and then mark the hole
in the lid on bucket 1.
These 3/8" holes have to line up so when bucket 2 sits on top of the lid of bucket 1, bucket 2 is
centered over bucket 1 so the nipple from the ceramic filter goes inside the lid hole of bucket 1
just a little ways so the water being filtered goes into bucket 1.
Install the ceramic filter into the bottom of bucket 2, using the rubber washer to ensure a water
tight seal as the only water we want going into bucket 1 from bucket 2 has to pass through the
ceramic filter. When the filter is installed into bucket 2, and the plastic nut tightened against the
rubber washer there will be part of a threaded nipple left at the bottom of bucket 2. This nipple
is what is inserted into the 3/8" hole you drilled into the lid of bucket 1.
You are done.
Now pour the contaminated water into the top
bucket, bucket 2, and it will filter through the
ceramic filter into bucket 1 below where you can remove it to drink via the spigot on the side
near the bottom of the bucket. Clean the ceramic filter with a scotchbrite pad when flowrate
starts slowing down. Simple, effective, inexpensive.
New Life straw family water purifier
- 2 to 3 gallons per hour
Obtain at http://superstore.wnd.com/homefront/LifeStraw-Family-1-0-Water-Purifier
Watch the videos at that site for how it is set up to use and how to clean it.
Ideal for camping and consuming water from lakes or rivers.
The Lifestraw Family Water Purifier will provide
you with 18,000 liters (4,755 gallons) of safe water
by removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa using a .2 micron filter and costs only $80.
LifeStraw Family is a point-of-use microbiological water purifier capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa
(parasites) to protect against waterborne diseases. It filters up to 18,000 liters of water, enough to supply clean drinking
water for a family of five for up to three years.
- Purifies water by removing viruses, bacteria & protozoa
- Perfect for emergency preparedness & camping
- Filters up to 4,750 gallons or 18,000 liters of water to 0.02 microns (20 nm)
- Removes minimum 99.99% of viruses (>LOG 4 reduction)
- Removes minimum 99.9999% of bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction)
- Removes minimum 99.9% of protozoan cysts (>LOG 3 reduction)
- Requires no electrical power, batteries, or replacement parts
- Requires no running water or piped-in water supply
- Flow-rate of 9-12 liters/hour
- Has an easy-to-clean pre-filter and purification cartridge
- All raw materials are US FDA compliant or equivalent
- Internationally recognized & award-winning water filter
- BPA Free and contains no chemicals
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