Are Large Community-size Filters Available?

  • BA-NGO


    Are filters large enough to support a small village available? Has anyone done this or any effort been put into this?

  • Eric


    I know that they exist and I have plans for some that were made in India. But have no experience myself.

  • manuel


    We have put a filter made from a large oildrum in a village in Mali. The output of the filter seems to be enough to provide the village of 80 people with at least their drinking water needs. The villagers say that they have not been sick since. It costed (not counting the stainless steel sieves)about 30 euros that is a local plumber the pipes an oildrum and sand/transport. It has been running for almost three years now. There was a village where even more people used it. If you calculate the volume and the max waterspeed you could calculate the size of the filter. but I think it almost always easier to use more filters at the same time as we do.
    We have tried it all well jetting, well drilling, but filtering comes out as the cheapest/best even here in Holland. Good luck and thanks to people like Eric!
    does anybody have experience with rockwool pellets as an alternative medium to sand?

  • Eric


    That’s great news about Mali – did you get the info from this site? I know we have a section on here about using oil drums and what galva parts to use….

    If you have a few more details on the anecdotal evidence (the part about people not being sick) and some quotes, I think it would be great if I could put that up somewhere on this site with some photos and then circulate it to other forums like the Household Water Treatment network and so on. So please send me what you can to the email at the contact part of this website.



  • zandoval


    Went to a recreational water park (SeaWorld USA) with my children and caught a glance at the large water processing recirculating plants associated with it – I was amazed to see biosand filters 10 meters high and at least 25 meters in diameter filtering both fresh and salt water – These engineers have solved many of the problems we are working on – If contacted they would be a great asset in developing large type water filters as you are suggesting – Following is a possible contact site – I wish I had the time to help you with this.
    LCDR US Public Health Service Retired

  • Guest


    Dear Eric,

    We have also tuse his method , the idea is of course came from this site. Any plastic drum with about a meter height would be suitable . This can service about 80- 100 people . We intent use this schools , baording houses, small cluster of houese etc. The cost in our case is much less. You can use another plastic container with fenestations and water can be poured from this. The cost to us (without the sand) is is less Rs. 1000 ( aprox 15 Euros) . I can send the pictures and further details if you wish to publish.

    Dr.Joseph, CEO , Cochin Child Foundation e-mail

  • Kusika


    How effective are large sand filters?

  • gsgriffin


    One other consideration behind a village water supply is a single point of failure. While making one large filter can be easier for us, there is the potential of having the whole village get sick instead of one family. If the distribution is on a per family basis, then failures can be easily overcome by sharing (which does occur in villages). If you must do large, I would recommend two medium instead of one large.

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BA-NGOAre Large Community-size Filters Available?