SAKYIKROM Description Ceramic filters
have micro-scale pores that are effective for
removing bacteria from water. The filters are made
from clay that is often mixed with materials such
as sawdust or wheat flour to improve porosity.
Colloidal silver, an antibacterial agent, can also
be added to the filters. A low-cost
colloidal silver-enhanced ceramic water filter; the
There are two
main types of ceramic filters, disk and candle,
with multiple variations of each. A disk filter
consists of a removable ceramic filter sandwiched
between two containers. Candle filters consist of
one or more candle-shaped ceramic filters and two
Potters for Peace
Amount of Water Treated
Disk filters typically have a flow rate of 1 to 11
liters per hour and candle filters have a flow rate
of 0.3 to 0.8 liters/hour. Under ideal filter
conditions and 12 hours of continuous refilling, a
filter with a flow rate of 1.7 liters per hour
would provide less than 4 liters per day per person
for a family of five.
Disk and candle filters are generally effective for
removing turbidity, iron, coliforms, fecal
contaminants, and E. Coli from water. In studies,
disk filters with colloidal silver have exhibited a
93 to 100 percent bacterial removal rate, and those
without silver have shown an 80 percent removal
rate. Candle filters with colloidal silver
generally exhibit 100 percent bacterial removal,
and those without silver average at 85 percent
removal. Disk filters range from 83 to 99 percent
turbidity removal. Ceramic filters are generally
not effective for removing organic contaminants.
Ease of Use
Ceramic filters are easily assembled, and no
component construction is required of the user
other than placing the filter into the container.
Scrubbing the filter with a toothbrush is required
monthly as maintenance. Annual colloidal silver
recoating is also recommended. Filters typically
come with illustrated instructions. The fragility
of ceramic filters can make their transport
difficult.10 Field studies have also indicated that
heavy subsidization or free distribution of filters
may result in maintenance negligence. The
production of ceramic filters is a lengthy process
that requires skill and quality control. Quality
can be affected by variations in clay composition
across geographic regions. Variability in weather
conditions also makes long-term production planning
difficult, and lack of storage can complicate
stockpiling of filters.
Disk filter units cost about $3.50 US, and
replacement filters range from $0.49 to $1.02 US.
Disk filters need to be replaced every 5 years.
Candle filter units cost about $2.29 US, with
replacement filters averaging about $0.46 US.
Candle filters need to be replaced every 6 to 12
months. Additional labor and maintenance costs are
Household ceramic water filter evaluation
using three simple low-cost methods: membrane
filtration, 3M Petrifilm and hydrogen sulfide
bacteria in norther region, Ghana [http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/34669]