Author Archives: Dave T

Use vitamin C to de-chlorinate water

For those who use public water, chlorine can be a problem. It most certainly is a problem in a biological slow sand filter as it kills the beneficial bacteria that make the filter work. A possible solution is to add vitamin … Continue reading

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Will a DIY slow sand filter produce potable water?

We continue to get questions about the filters we describe producing “potable” water. Again, I’ll try to address this issue. These filters are not 100 percent foolproof and they are not magical. They require maintenance and specific actions to keep them … Continue reading

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Five gallon DIY slow sand filter update

The five gallon slow sand filter experiment, mentioned in September of last year (2013) is still in progress. Due to some unforeseen issues, the EPA tests cannot be done as of yet. We will attempt to start some field tests on the three … Continue reading

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Can I save money on my water bill by using a rain barrel?

If the cost of the water; and the cost of the infrastructure that brings the water to “you” and takes it away when you’re done with it are considered; then, on paper, a rain barrel will pay for itself in several … Continue reading

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Designing a DIY slow sand filter: what to consider

I am writing this to summarize what has been learned here in the past 7 years of designing, building and operating small slow sand water filters – thousands of hours and hundreds of pages of documentation. The details can be … Continue reading

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A counter top slow sand water filter

This filter (we call it a “micro” filter) uses a 2 liter soft drink bottle, a rubber band a plastic straw, some plumbers putty, and coarse sand and fine sand. The fine sand on the top is .15 mm effective … Continue reading

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It is now April 11, 2014. Filter 10a, 10b, and 10c have been running steadily for about 6 weeks.  Filter 10a uses .25 mm effective size sand, filter 10b uses .15 mm effective size sand,  and filter 10c uses .20 … Continue reading

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Slow Sand filter construction

Update October 22, 2013: This filter is still working after 2 years of continuous operation. The filter has been monitored regularly, and as a result,  a potential issue with the sand has been discovered. The bottom layer is too coarse, … Continue reading

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Slow sand filter operation during dry spells

Filter 4 and 5 now have re-circulation systems installed. Both of these filters had failed miserably in April/May of this year due to lack of water throughtput, and excessive organic debris present in the input water. Since the re-circulation systems have been … Continue reading

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Biological water filtration with sand (why does it work?)

Biological sand water filtration (slow sand water filtration) works mainly because of living things we can’t see with our eyes. If water flows slowly enough through sand, it can be cleansed by these living microscopic organisms with help from gravity … Continue reading

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