Hanging Bag Ceramic Water Filter – Perfect Off-Grid or Camping System

Posted on Jul 11, 2011 in Emergency Preparedness & Survival

TruthisTreason.net – Kevin Hayden

Source: Homespun EnvironmentalTruth Supporter

For the past decade or so, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been distributing a water purification system based on a “bucket drip” technology using ceramic filter cartridges.  These systems can be used with almost any freshwater source; have excellent purification capabilities, are easy to assemble, require no power and are low cost.  Hundreds of thousands have been deployed in disaster zones and in countries where water borne diseases are rampant.    In advanced countries, ‘preppers’ have been availing themselves of this technology to ensure access to potable water in the event municipal infrastructures “go offline.”

The basic idea of the bucket drip system is simply two containers, one sitting on top of the other, with a ceramic filter device in the middle that turns the contaminated water in the top container into potable water that is collected in the bottom container.  While they purify water extremely well, they are not without their drawbacks: the buckets are bulky, the flow/drip rate is slow, and once assembled, they are difficult to transport.  The upscale versions sold for the preparedness market use stainless steel containers or large, translucent blue plastic buckets and are very expensive, but the principal is exactly the same.

Hayden’s Note:

I’ve owned the “big blue plastic” drip filters and was saddened by it’s price and tendency to crack at the base.  I much prefer the filter cartridges and water bags that Homespun offers, and I’m not just saying that because they advertise on TruthisTreason.net.  I had Russ, the owner, send me several of the kits when we first met and let me tell you – his kits are 1/8th the cost of those “Big Bulkies” and are of comparable quality.  I would rather purchase eight of his filter systems instead of ONE of the others.  I have several friends that purchase filters from Russ as backups or gifts, as well.  Plus, this new hanging bag is pretty interesting.  Continue reading to learn more about the concept and ease, especially for off-grid applications such as homesteading, camping and hiking!

Ceramic works as a good filter because it can be made with pores much smaller than bacteria. Thus, these filters can physically strain bacteria and other micron-sized debris out of the water.   When manufactured into cartridges, the ceramic shells enclose activated charcoal which adsorbs many chemicals that are present in the water.   (Most consumer water filters offered for sale in major retail stores just use activated charcoal).   Also, the ceramic in a cartridge is usually impregnated with a silver compound that inhibits bacterial growth on the surface of the filter. (ie: it prevents the bacteria that are strained out from growing.) 

In a nutshell ceramic filter cartridges are an excellent technology for water purification but the systems they are used in have some areas for improvement.

Very recently, a hanging water bag has been introduced that uses ceramic filter cartridges but has key improvements over the drip bucket system.   Similar to the top bucket of the drip system, dirty water goes into the bag and passes through the filters at the bottom.  However, the purified water exits via a flexible hose into a user supplied container.   This container can be of any size or shape be it a bathtub, a bucket, or a canteen.

Because it is a collapsible bag and a bottom container is not needed, it is much more portable.  The entire system can be rolled up with the hose and easily stowed in a backpack.   The hanging strap can also double as a shoulder strap.

Another advantage of the bag is that it has much higher flow rates; well over 100 gallons per day.  (Five to ten times higher than the drip bucket system). This is due to the fact that the hanging bag has collapsible walls that maintain a much higher water pressure than a fixed wall bucket.  Also the bags have dual water filters.

A third advantage of the hanging bag is that the assembly is made even easier.  Just unroll it, hang it somewhere, attach the dispensing hose, and you’re ready to go. 

To the left is a picture of a hanging water bag in action, it does not look very impressive until you see what it can do.  And below, to the right, are the components of the filter assembly that is in the bottom of the bag.  While the assembly looks a little complex, the only time this part of the filter is seen is for occasional cleaning if the flow rate starts slowing down.                   

Everyone should have backup water purification capability in case disaster strikes.  Most folks have flashlights, weather radios and first aid kits stored somewhere for emergencies and the availability of clean water should be in the same category.  (You can’t go very long without water!)   The hanging water bag with ceramic filters is a great way to get this capability at a low cost.  It retains all of the excellent properties of the ceramic filter cartridges and improves on the traditional drip bucket system which has been proven in extreme disaster conditions around the globe.

Click to Enlarge

These hanging bags, as well as the traditional bucket systems and basic filter cartridges are available from Homespun Environmental.    Technical details and application notes can be found on the company’s website.  Contact us at homespunenvironmental@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments!

Hayden’s Disclosure:

Homespun Environmental is a paid advertiser on TruthisTreason.net.  However, as stated in the About | Contact page regarding advertisements, I tell it how it is and do not accept article submissions, banners or paid reviews unless I feel the product or service is of a high quality and directly related to my reader-base.  Check them out and decide for yourself.  I have three of these filters for the home, camping and travel trailer.  These make great gifts and emergency back-ups.  And at a cost of under $25 for an entire kit, how could you go wrong?

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