Ceramic water filters are excellent water filters for home, outdoor or emergency use. Read more about the benefits of this type of water filtration system.
Ceramic water filters work as an effective and cheap way of filtering water. It works by filtering dirt, bacteria and debris from your drinking water by filtering it through the small pores of the ceramic material.
The filters have two cylinders, one for pouring the unfiltered water, which blocks anything that is bigger than the pores of the ceramic and second one filters the clean water onto the other side. This filter is great for blocking protozoa, bacteria and microbial cysts, but viruses are small enough to slip through, so won’t provide protection against them.
However, there are many manufacturers who have taken this type of water filtration system to a new level, at the bottom of this page you will find some more information on one of the most advanced, the Big Berkey.
Two main types of ceramic water filtration systems
There are two popular types of the ceramic water filters. These are called the candle and pot type filters.
Candle filters are different from pot filters as are made with activated carbon that absorbs chlorine, and other impurities. In this type of a filter because it uses active carbon needs frequent replacement as the carbon’s active sites will become blocked with foreign materials and be no longer effective.
Portable ceramic water filters such as MSR Miniworks use a manual pump.These are just as easy to clean as the clay pot filters, but beyond that they also allow cleaning via reverse flow. Reverse flow cleaning is the process through which clean water runs backwards through the filter and the contaminants are pushed out of the pores.
It is very easy to clean and maintain a ceramic filter. A small soft brush can be used to clean the ceramic filter and then rinsing it out. The use of hot soap and water will also do the job of cleaning it.
Disadvantages of ceramic filters
The down side of this type of water filtration system is that it will not eliminate chemical contaminants, but nowadays some manufacturers add a high performance carbon activated center inside the ceramic filters cartridge. This prevents organic and metallic contaminants from entering the clean water supply.
Because the filters are made of ceramic, there is always a chance of hairline cracks, which would lead to cross-contamination between clean and impure water. You can easily break or damage the ceramic filter if dropped simply because of the clay’s brittle nature. There are efforts being made to better the clay to sawdust ratio to improve the strength of the ceramic filter.
A ceramic water filtration system such as the Big Berkey pictured above, is a system that filters both untreated water and water that has been previously treated e.g municipal water. The beauty of this particular ceramic drinking water filter system is that it will remove pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites and reduces harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Unlike reverse osmosis systems it does not remove de-mineralize the water so you get the full health benefits of water. It will work as a water filter for home use, for outdoor activities or emergencies where water pressure or electricity might not be available.