How to Build an Easy to Make Gravity Water Filter

It’s all crossed our minds at one point or another: “How would I survive if a crisis occurs?”. Of course, we’re talking about preparing for the worst and surviving through tough times that may or may not be inevitable. In this article, we’ll be guiding you about building a pretty important aspect of survival — the DIY gravity water filter. There is no doubt that any person would consider clean and drinkable water vital.

Since water is a fairly important factor when it comes to our survival, we’ve made sure to thoroughly research precisely what you’ll need to build your very own DIY gravity water filter, as well as the pros and cons of constructing one yourself. We’ve linked some of the top sites out there too, which you’re more than welcome to take a look at.

Turning on that news channel can seem a bit daunting recently as there are so many tragic, chaotic, and frankly, crazy events going on in the world. So, as any sound-minded person might do, you need to be prepared for the worst. In fact, Benjamin Franklin also once said, “Failing to Prepare Is Preparing to Fail”.

By now, you get the point: this guide is about crafting your own DIY gravity water filter and all the benefits that come with it.

Are you ready? Then let’s jump straight into it!

What exactly is a Gravity Water Filter?

For those of you who don’t know, a gravity water filter is a method of purifying tap water or water that has been contaminated. It transforms water that may have previously been undrinkable into water that is healthy and clean to consume.

You shouldn’t underestimate the luxury of clean water, as when chaos strikes, you’ll be needing it more than ever before.

A gravity water filter has two chambers, an upper chamber and a lower one. The upper chamber is where you will pour the contaminated water, and the lower chamber will produce filtered water. The lower chamber will contain elements and materials that purify the water and remove any chemicals, bacteria, parasites, or contaminants.

Handy, right?

But how does it work?

Well, through the use of gravity, the water will be forced through the purifying material and fed into the lower chamber. In this case, the material we’ll be using is charcoal and sand.

Many ancient civilizations have long documented water filtering, and we’re still using some of these methods today. In fact, sand bed gravity water filters are among one of the oldest techniques used to purify water. If you’re interested in the history of filtering water, then click on the following link and browse through the site or visit this trustee source too.

You might also find interesting our article about water purification at home.

When Will You Need It?

We understand that a DIY gravity water filter isn’t an everyday need; however, it will be advantageous during a crisis. Typically, these are used or built when stranded outdoors or facing a natural disaster.

You will never be happier to have this invaluable knowledge than when faced with a chaotic scenario. Whether you’re planning for survival or just a keen camper, it is vital to have fresh drinking water, and the gravity water filter will provide you with precisely that.

If you’re not convinced of its benefits, then read the next section, where we’ll discuss the many pros of knowing how to build one.

The Pros and Cons

We’ve covered what a gravity water filter is, but how can it help you survive through the chaos or potential tragedies that may take place. First, let’s fill you in on all the benefits and drawbacks of building one for yourself.


The key pro of knowing how to construct your own DIY gravity water filter is that when doom and gloom strikes, the other water filters may sell out pretty fast. So obviously, having the required parts and knowledge to create one yourself would come in super handy.

Don’t worry, there are tons of other benefits too!

A further pro of a gravity water filter is that they don’t need electricity to operate. So this will not only save you some extra cash but if there is no electricity available, then you’ll still be gifted with purified water.

The method we chose means that building your water filter has never been more straightforward! You won’t need to go out and buy a fancy filtration system and will merely need a few materials that most households have. We’ll explain how to build one in detail later on.

This is pretty obvious, but safe drinking water could save your life and the lives of many others. When in a crisis, you will need to drink purified water. Unhealthy water is not only pretty gross to drink, but it can cause some severe health complications too. So, constructing a handy tool like a water filter has never been more helpful, especially when disaster hits.

The good news is that a well-built water filter won’t require any ongoing maintenance. You won’t need to replace expensive parts or carry out any manual labor either. The materials and elements that make up a DIY gravity water filter are easy to come by and super easy to replace. This will not only allow you to stay within budget but will save you tons of time too.

Speaking of staying within budget, a DIY filtration system means you don’t need to purchase a professional water filtration system. These can be quite pricey, so building your own will save you that extra bit of cash too.

Of course, not everything is 100 percent positive and great, and the water filter is no different. You need to be aware of a few drawbacks, and we’ll briefly discuss them below.


Unfortunately, there are three significant cons to building your DIY gravity water filter; however, there are many more positive aspects to consider.

The first and most obvious con is that your water may not be as clear as you would like. Often, the water may appear slightly murky, but there is no need to freak out as the water is still drinkable. This will occur as the water passes through charcoal and sand.

The final cause for concern is time. If you’re in desperate need of water, our gravity water filter method may not be ideal. Depending on the size of your container, the water may not simply pour out as it is filtered. It is more likely that you will have to wait a few minutes or even longer until you receive healthy and clean water.

Another factor to consider is the elements required. We previously mentioned that you should be able to get a hold of the sand, charcoal, bottle, and cloth easily. If you can’t find any charcoal, you will have a slight problem on your hands.

Overall, there are plenty of reasons that make it well worth creating a gravity water filter. Aside from the few cons, having the ability to build a water filter is super helpful and a fantastic bit of knowledge to have.

We also recommend reading our article about water purification with silver.

How Do I Make a Gravity Water Filter?

So, you’ve made it this far, which means you must be eager to craft your gravity water filter. First, we’ll list the materials you need and then set out a step-by-step guide on how to build


While sifting through all of our information and the tons of resources online, we described the easiest method to build a water filter. The method described below will be a simple process, and it doesn’t require any rare or pricey materials either. This charcoal water filter is ideal when stranded in the wild or desperate for an easy way to filter contaminated water.

The filtration materials used will be sand and charcoal. Adding these minerals is a great way to filter the water and remove any larger impurities. As you may well know, Charcoal is a brilliant purification material, so it’s fairly obvious that it should form part of your gravity water filter.

Since we have focused on constructing a water filter in case of emergency, we decided to opt for our trustee charcoal filtration method. Check out the guide below!

As we promised, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • A large plastic bottle (even a 2 liter will be great)
  • A piece of clean cloth (any material will be just fine)
  • Sand
  • Charcoal
  • Pair of scissors

So, hopefully, you have everything you need or at least have jotted down the necessary materials for your next shopping trip. Now, we can discuss the essential part of making a gravity water filter. We’ll explain the process below.

  1. First and foremost, you will need to gather all the necessary parts and materials. If this is your first time constructing any DIY project, then maybe you’ll need a little patience too.
  2. Get out a pair of scissors and your water bottle. Now, you will need to cut the bottom section of the plastic bottle to form a funnel shape.
  3. Next, you will need to turn the bottle upside down and cut a fairly large hole at the top of the bottle. The hole needs to be large enough to pour the necessary materials inside.
  4. Once all of the holes have been cut, you can add the materials. First, take the piece of cloth and put it at the bottom of the bottle, then add a layer of sand and then a layer of charcoal into the bottle through the top.
  5. By this step, you have completed making your gravity water filter and can add the water that will filter through the charcoal and sand.
  6. You will watch the purified and, most importantly, drinkable water flow or drip out into your container. So, make sure that you have a bucket or cup ready to collect all of the water.
  7. Finally, you will need to boil the water before actually consuming it. This will also help further purify the water and reduce any murkiness too.

It is as easy as that!

We get it sometimes; it’s easier to see someone carrying out the list of steps we mentioned above. If you’re more of a visual learner, then head on over to this YouTube video, where you’ll see the perfect demonstration of how to construct a gravity water filter.

We have only touched on one method; however, there are a few other options out there too. If you’re keen on exploring the variety of guides and different methods available, then take a look at this fantastic website, where they go through all five of them.


We will quickly answer a few questions that you may still have about the gravity water filter.

What do gravity filters remove?

They can remove contaminants and impurities often found in outdoor water from lakes, rainwater, and rivers. In addition, it can remove harmful parasites, microbe, and bacteria that cause a variety of diseases.

Your DIY gravity water filter can even take away solid impurities that will not only negatively affect your health but can impact the taste and appearance of the water.

What natural materials can be used to filter water?

We described how to build a gravity filter using charcoal. However, there are other materials that you can make use of too.

We’ll quickly list them below:

  • Sand: This is fantastic at getting rid of those smaller particles found in water.
  • Coconut: Water can be filtered as it is absorbed through the layers of coconut.
  • Gravel: Adding a layer of gravel to your water filter will ensure that those larger impurities and contaminants are removed.
  • Oysters: These natural water purifiers can filter any water it takes in.
  • Plants: Many plants can be used to remove heavy metals and toxins from your contaminated water.

Do gravity water filters remove viruses?

A DIY gravity water filter may not remove viruses, but it can clean the water of parasites and bacteria that cause harmful diseases like typhoid, salmonella, dysentery, cholera, E-coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.

Final Thoughts

So, you now know what a DIY gravity water filter is and, most notably, how to build one.

Well, what now, you may be asking?

The best thing to do is to stay prepared, gather those ever-vital materials, maybe print out this article to remember how to make a gravity water filter, and pray for the best scenario while being ready for a slightly less bright future.

We wish you the best!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top