Make your own water filtration system
With World Water Day just around the corner, on the 22nd of March, Life is a Garden has put together an engaging water filtration experiment for the whole family. Get the kids involved and teach them about water pollution and how to get clean water.
Living in a drought-stricken country, water is a very precious resource. Sadly, many South African’s do not have access to clean water. Teaching kids about the importance of water in agriculture is an essential aspect of education and will help youngsters understand just how critical H2O is for a healthy environment.
This fun science experiment teaches kids about the importance of clean drinking water. It also demonstrates the process of how to clean dirty or polluted water using a natural filtration system.
You can make a water filter using recycled materials found at home. This water experiment is appropriate for kids aged ten and up, and can be used during science class or as a hands-on, educational experiment at home.
You will need the following supplies:
- Two glass jars
- Fine, clean sand
- Gravel or small stones
- Coffee filters, cotton balls or a small cloth
- Activated charcoal
- Clear plastic bottle
- Dirty water
- Scissors or a knife
1. Cut an old plastic soda or juice bottle in half using scissors or a knife.
2. Place the bottle upside down into the glass jar..
3. Place cotton balls, cloth, or a coffee filter inside the bottle as the first layer. The first layer should be about two to three centimetres thick.
4. Add three to five centimetres of activated charcoal as the second layer, on top of the cotton layer.
5. Over the charcoal, add about three centimetres of fine sand as the third layer.
6. Add about three to four centimetres of gravel or small stones on top of the fine sand.
7. Add the rocks to the bottle as the final layer.
8. Add dirt to a glass of water to create muddy water. You can also get creative by adding other things materials such as glitter, beads, cooking oil or other materials to make dirty water.
- Pour the glass of muddy/dirty water inside the homemade water filter and watch the water drip clean into the glass below.
- Once the water has dripped through the filter, pour the water back into the glass – you can now make a hypothesis or prediction about the experiment.
Water filters reduce the concentration of contaminants such as suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi. They remove particles and impurities from water.
Each layer of the homemade water filter has a purpose:
- The small stones are used to filter out large sediments, like leaves or insects, whereas the sand is used to remove fine impurities.
- Finally, the activated charcoal removes contaminants and pollutants through chemical absorption. In nature, water is purified and filtered through sand, soil, gravel, and even beneficial bacteria.
Try different types of material in this experiment and have fun learning about water filtration.