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Homespun Environmental has been selling ceramic water filters for several years. The ceramic filters are very good, low-cost devices that have been used successfully all over the world to provide potable water in areas where water borne diseases are prevalent. While the ceramic filters are good, they do have a few issues that can be improved upon. Homespun has just made a new water filter kit available that provides some of these improvements.
Improvements In Water Filtration
The new water filter kit was developed while trying to resolve some of the issues that are inherent in ceramic water filters, namely:
– The internal media (used for removing chemicals from the water) cannot be replaced and thus sets the lifespan of the filter to a few thousand gallons.
– Ceramics are fragile and prone to break
– There exists a potential for problems with the seal between the ceramics and the plastic base of the filter housing
– The profile of the ceramic filters (especially the 2×10 ‘candle’ form) leaves a lot of the filter unused much of the time. While working on these issues a solution became apparent that also presented some additional advantages:
– A field replaceable media means that the filter can be targeted to specific issues e.g. fluoride, nitrates, etc. without having to purchase a specialty filter.
– The pore size is no longer constrained to the limitations of ceramic/Diatomaceous Earth materials.
Filtering Biological Contaminants From Water
To overcome these challenges the new kit uses a Sawyer Mini Hollow Tube membrane filter for the biological removal function. This is a field proven device in a very versatile form factor that allows it to be used as a drinking bottle (it is threaded to screw onto standard plastic soda bottles), used in line in hydration packs, or it used as a ‘straw’.
It is light weight (2 oz) and the 0.1 micron absolute rating is 5x better than the ceramics.
The three piece plastic shell of the Homespun kit encloses the chemical removal media and also adds the ability to configure the mini filter into a gravity-fed, drip bucket system.
The plastic shell is made of NSF 61 certified plastics (certified for potable water).
The media bag is field replaceable, so the life span of the kit is now greatly extended. The Sawyer Mini can work for up to 100.000 gallons.
Additionally the plastic shell has a low profile at only 2 inches to the top of the filter assembly which allows for full use of the filter thus better chemical removal and faster flow rates.
Water Filter Kit Components
Homespun is currently providing a general purpose chemical removal pouch that fits inside the shell. It contains a blend of activated carbon and the latest redox technologies that remove other metals and also kill bacteria. The shelf life of the pouch is indefinite and it can be used intermittently if thoroughly dried out between uses. It is envisioned that other pouch options will be added to the offerings in the future. It is also possible for the end user to use other types of media inside the shell (anything from basic cotton wadding to remove silt, up to proprietary media blends for specific water problems, or even layered combinations).
The kit is designed to install into a stacked bucket system using a ¾ inch hole drilled into the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket. The downspout threads through the hole with a neoprene gasket n each side and the baseplate and dome are attached to the upper side of the downspout (in the upper bucket) and the Sawyer is attached to the threads on the bottom of the downspout (suspended in the lower bucket). Other types of containers may be used.
A key advantage of this kit is that it allows the end user to break apart the stages of the filter to configure what they want or need. For example folks that just want to remove bad tastes, odors, or fluoride from treated tap water can leave off the Sawyer and just filter for chemicals, they have the possibility of using their own special chemical removal media if desired. For others that just want the biological filtration, they can use the system without the chemical removal pouch installed. It is also possible to speed up the flow rates by attaching the straw supplied with the Sawyer to the outlet spout.
The Sawyer filter has been widely used and has certified lab tests. The chemical removal media is also widely used in the water treatment industry. So while the Homespun filter kit form factor is very versatile, the actual filter components are field proven to be effective.
Made In America Water Filter Kits
We are an American small business based in North Texas. Our primary market is US families who wish to be able to cope with short term infrastructure outages and natural disasters. We also serve the ‘prepper’ community that is gearing up for longer and more severe ‘grid down’ situations and the public chaos that would create.
Our store specializes in practical water filter components and kits for the DIYer. This allows our customers to realize substantial savings over factory made systems that many of our competitors offer and also allows for a high degree of customization based on specific needs and local conditions.
Alongside the US domestic market we consider it a great privilege to serve church groups that are working on the international mission field. We offer personal filtration equipment to keep team members from getting sick during a trip and our systems can be used in mission schools, orphanages, and medical ministry efforts. Many find that our gear is low enough in cost that it can also be distributed as part of outreach and relief for individual families in a community.