Grace Garden Students Build a Water Filter System at Blessed Home Orphanage

Hi. My name is Shwe Khy. I live in Mae La Camp.  I am a students in BGET who is learning how to be sustainable using things in the world. In our class we are learning many topics. Mostly, we are tried many ways to be able to close the loop for everything. Also now, we learn about water filtration system. We started to learn on April 6, 2015. In our school we have one water filter system. So, the first day we went to look at that and learn how they made it. Our teacher Kara explained about the water filtration system. This system is how to clean water sustainably and we don’t need to use electricity. We use gravel, sand, charcoal, PVC pipe and barrels. So, we can make it easily.


 Water filter system interior.


We have four steps for water filter system: There are

(a) gravel filter

(b) Sand filter

(c) charcoal filter

(d) clean water storage

resizedimage450337-IMG1462_2We start to make the water filter at Blessed Home Orphanage.

The first step is the gravel filter. In the inside we put big rock, gravel, floater valve and we give stand PVC pipe in the barrel of middle. Inside the pipe in the barrel there is a twine. That twine is tied to the floater valve and floater balloon. This filter is water flows from bottom to the top. The float valve is for flows the water. The floater balloon is use for gravity. Because while the water less the balloon will go down and the floater valve will open. The water will come in the floater valve and while water full in the barrel, the balloon will go up and stop the water. The gravel clean for the water come down and float up. While the water come they pass the gravels and the large particle such as leaves will get stuck gravel. On the gravel also, the healthy microorganisms grow and break down the organic matter. The gravel filter, we need to make three holes, one hole is for connect the outside PVC pipe and float valve. The another hole is if we need to clean or we need to move for barrel, we can open. The other hole is to connect with the other second barrel.

resizedimage450337-IMG1466Gravel filter and float valve.

 The second step is sand filter. This barrel, we need two holes, the first hole is for connect with first barrel. The second hole is for connect with the third barrel. In the second barrel, we put four layers. The first layer is gravel, the second layer is pea-gravel, the third layer is coarse sand and the fourth layer is fine sand. Between of layers we put with blue nets. This barrel is water flows from top to bottom. The second barrel connects with the first barrel but in the second barrel the water flows down. In the water there are many things like microorganisms, organic matter, pathogens and parasites (they can make you sick). The bio-film will develop on the top of the sand. The bio-film will starve and eat pathogens. While the water flows down the organic matter will stop there. The large sand, small gravel and stone are to keep the fine sand from living the barrel. If you want to clean the sand filter, you can put you hand in the water and fine sand mix together. The things that were stuck in the sand will float and you can remove it with a cup. You can clean once per year.


Sand Filter.

The third step is the charcoal filter. This barrel also, we need two holes same with sand barrel. This barrel we need to put 5 layers. The first layer is gravel. The second layer is pea-gravel. The third layer is coarse sand, the fourth layer is fine sand and the last layer is charcoal. The third barrel also water flows from top to the bottom. Between of layers, we put with blue net. We use charcoal is we made with the gassifier. That charcoal have 900’C high temperature and many holes in the charcoal. Charcoal will adsorb chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. We change charcoal once per year. While we change cannot use cooking charcoal.


Charcoal Filter.

The fourth step is clean water storage. This barrel also, we need two holes. This barrel is we can drink we get clean water no particle, no chemical, no pathogen and parasite. But we need to wait for the run out the water one week after built water filter finished. After finished we can drink clean water.

Before we build the water filter system, we need source water. Source water likes the water in stream, not clean water. And then we will store that water in a big barrel. That big barrel is higher than water filer. Because we use gravity, if the storage is lower than the water filter, the water cannot go to the filter. So, we build higher than the water filter.

If we made water filter system, we need some materials. There are 5 bags of fine sand, 2 bags of coarse sand, 2 bags of pea-gravel, 8 bags of gravel, 2 bags of medium rocks and 3 bags of large rocks. The other materials are PVC glue, PVC pipe, wire, plastic mat for cover the barrel.


While we give training at Blessed Home.

We learned about the water filter and we got to build a new one at Blessed Home Orphanage. We started to build on 27th April and we finished 1st May. And we give training about water filter in Blessed Home Orphanage. Before I learn the water filter I didn’t know how to clean water and how to build filter. I saw in my village also they don’t know how to clean water. Some are boil water for clean. Some people buy from the store or shop for clean water. Some are drink like in the stream and river. If we drink not clean water, we can sick and we can get diarrhea. So, we need to know about how to get clean water the easy way. Now I know some of about water filter and I want share to my community as much as I can.



Dedicated in loving memory to Grace Garden student, Peh Reh, April 7, 2015

We finished building the water filter at Blessed Home Orphanage.

This post was written by Shwe Khy.