In a world where dirty water is at the root of more deaths than almost any other factor, finding as many cheap and natural water filtration methods as we can is a very important thing. This is very true in the light of how expensive and bulky most water filtration methods are in modern countries. People living in villages in third world countries don't have the resources to clean water up to modern standards. But that doesn't mean that there aren't other methods, natural methods that might not fully clean the water, but will do a fairly decent job of it. Natural water filtration methods range from making the water fairly clean to fully clean, depending on just how harmful the water was in the first place. Here are just a few of the natural water filtration methods that I've learned about and researched over the years.
1. Clay Jars. During my time in southeast Asia, I saw a number of natural water filtration methods. One that always intrigued me was the use of certain types of clay jars. The clay was of a certain type and molded in a certain way so that it was porous, allowing water to filter through it over the course of time. A large, tall jar of clay was set inside a plastic tub, and each night they would fill the clay jar with unclean water and then leave it to filter throughout the night. When everyone awoke in the morning, the water had been filtered through the clay and was now on the outside, sitting in the plastic tub to be used and drank. The contaminants, toxins, and germs couldn't make it through the thick clay wall.
2. Solar Water Distillers. I've written a lot about the solar water distiller, which some call the solar still. I love this technology because its so simple to build and use. In essence the water is heated by the sun's rays, which speeds up the evaporation process, and as a result, water begins to quickly condense on the glass pane above and then slides down into a collection tray which transports the clean water into a jug for use. The contaminants and germs in the water don't evaporate along with the clean water, and thus the impure water is filtered and turned into pure water.
3. Bamboo Charcoal. Bamboo charcoal is a very interesting water filtration method. When charcoal is heated and processed in a certain way it becomes very porous and able to absorb a wide variety of toxins and biological hazards like germs and other things. Many people are beginning to use bamboo charcoal in the home because its so easy to take a shoot of charcoal and leave it in a jug of water overnight. Most of the modern standalone filter pitchers you'll see will utilize some kind of activated charcoal for filtration.
4. Fruits, such as Unripe Coconut. Nature has its own way of filtering water. During my time in southeast Asia, I could purchase an unripe coconut for under ten cents, which was less than half the cost of a small bottle of water. The tree itself would filter the impure water and transport it up into the coconut, filling it not only with fresh pure water, but a host of other vitamins, minerals, and most importantly electrolytes that the body needs. This gives you twice as much bang for your buck I say, especially since many water borne diseases cause a person to have diarrhea and lose fluids. Electrolytes and dissolved minerals are a great thing to ingest.