Terracotta Filter Disc Description

The terafil terracotta filter consists of two cylindrical terracotta buckets with a terafil ceramic disc filter fitted in the middle. The raw water is stored in the upper bucket and the lower bucket has a spigot and serves as a collection vessel. The terafil filter ceramic disc is manufactured from a mixture of red silt clay (ordinary pottery clay), river sand, wood sawdust and burnt at a high temperature in a low cost kiln. The red terracotta clay, which is used to prepare domestic earthenwares, is abundantly available in many parts of India and elsewhere in the world. The wood sawdust is burnt and the clay particles are sintered around the sand particles, leaving pores in between.

The design of this filter came from Surendra Khuntia, Scientist and Divisional Director of the Regional Research Laboratory in Bhubaneswar, India.


Average flow rates 2 litres / hour. The lifespan of the filter is five years.

The TERAFIL filter is able to reduce up to 95% of bacteria with no disinfection, under laboratory conditions. However, high bacteria removal rates do not necessarily imply that the filtered water is drinkable. Therefore, it is recommended that some form of disinfection be carried out in addition to filtration to ensure 100% bacteria free drinking water.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Simple
  • Excellent microbial removal
  • Can be constructed of local materials
  • Income generation
  • Fragile
  • Low flow (1-2 litres / hr.)
  • Requires frequent cleaning


Unit cost of Terafil Filter – Rs.25
Rs.200 (With terracotta container)


Contact Information

  • Mr. S. Khuntia
    Head, Rural Technology Development Department
    Regional Research Laboratory
    Bhubaneswar 751013, Orissa

    Phone: 0674-584091-4
    Fax: 581637

    Email: root [at] csrrlbhu [dot] ren [dot] nic [dot]
    Email: khuntias [at] yahoo [dot] com

  • National Institute of Rural Development
    Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500030,
    Andhra Pradesh, India

    Phone: +91-40-24008522
    Fax: +91-40-24015277

    Email: karaju [at] nird [dot] gov [dot] in