Homemade water filter

Video by bctruck

M.D adds: I also detail how to make this type filter in my book “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. worrisome says:

    Between the two of you, MD and BC, I am convinced that I spent way too much money on buying the whole Berkey! Not that I don’t like it and don’t use it, because I do! I just did a “heads up” to the boys up at the BOL, I think they need to make up a few for me. I would like to drop a couple off down to the church and some supplies up at the BOL so we could build them up there if need be. Thanks to the both of you!

  2. BC,
    You are my hero, Brother. Not only for making the filter, but making the video, and lastly giving the filters away. You are a true Christian/Southern Gentleman, my man.

    • well thanks you! my neighbors dont know it,but i have a pretty good stash of “keep you alive food”, and i wont let them go hungry or without clean water and fire.

  3. BC;
    Thank you for the demonstration on the filtering system. My friend and I have been looking at water filtering units, and trying to figure out how to justify the cost. You made my day, can’t wait for my df to see this, her dh will be grateful that we can do this for a few dollars instead of $100.00 of dollars.

    • the buckets were $2.50 each at evilmart,the lids less than 2 bucksw each,the spigot,about 4 bucks,the filter about 20 bucks. that a lot cheaper than a berkey.(which i have) if i had known how easy these were to build,i would have spent the money saved on more than enough filter elements.

  4. Just remember with the homemade filters you need to be very careful when pouring dirty water into the top bucket. If you slop it down the sides of the bucket, there is nothing to keep it from running into your clean water bucket. With most commercial filter setups, the top bucket overlaps the bottom bucket to prevent this. I suggest having a third bucket with a hose off to one side that you dump the dirty water in and then use the hose to run it over into the top bucket of your filter setup.

    • the top bucket sits on the lid that covers the second bucket. it would be highly unlikely that it would find a way around the lid and into the bucket,but as you said, careful pouring would be prudent.

      • Yes, there is a lid, but you have a hole drilled through it for the filter tube to stick through. Any water that pools on top of the bottom bucket lid and oozes under the bottom of the top bucket will just run down through the hole.

  5. BC,
    Great demonstration, water is my constant worry but you make that filter look easy to build with great results. Turning byou sludge into drinking water! And you’ve certainly shown it’s not even a week end project,,, it can be done in less than an hour after you gather the materials.
    I appreciated you sharing pics of your pups, I can see they are spoiled.

    • i didnt know MD was gonna put up my video,or i would have tried to be a little more professional. ,,,, but i love my fur kids.

  6. Doris Jones says:

    Great job with the video and thank you SO much for really showing how to make this filter. You made it look easy enough for me to try one. You obviously also have a big heart and a lot of sense. Thanks for the help!

  7. mindyinds says:

    Dear bctruck, you have made me feel a lot better about the possibility of using the water in my rain barrels, which are just 55 gal feed barrels. I watched your SODIS video also, very good. I love the idea of redundancy in water purification methods, also that even I could make either of these methods, and appreciate you letting us see the problems you ran into. Like your doggies, too.

    • thanks! ill be doing a video about making bleach from calcium hypochlorite (pool chlorine) very soon. you can purify water with that also.

  8. Tracker says:

    Excellent video bc. I loved the comment about the “food grade” buckets. In a SHTF situation, you use what you have available. I look forward to more videos.

    • I made the food grade comment because on my video about purifying water using the SODIS method, i got a few comments about BPE being released from the soda bottles. Those are the folks that will be paralyzed with fear and indecision and wont be able to make logical choices. My feeling is, its better to run the risk of a chemical leaching into your water over a period of years,than to die of dysentary or dehydration in a few days.

      • My thoughts exactly. Doubt and fear will kill you as sure as any bullet. To not use a resource you have available is beyond stupid.

        • mindyinds says:

          I got good, solid buckets for free from the local big grocery store, at the bakery section – – icing came in them, so I guess that is food grade!

          • Tracker says:

            If it aint, its close enough. Great find. They will be perfect. Of course your water may be a little sweet. hahaha.

          • mindyinds;
            The buckets you were given are “food grade buckets”. I get them from the different bakeries where we live. Even if they are washed out I clean mine again just to make sure they are ready for food storage, I use Dawn with rubber gloves.

      • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

        Yeah thanks for that “food grade” statement. If we ever need these things, having the privilege to die of cancer will be a sure sign of luxury.

        • Tracker says:

          Die of cancer years later? Very small chance. Die of Dehydration in 3 days? Sure thing. Not a hard choice in my book. And I have been in that situation. BC is showing you how to stay alive by taking positive action not cowering in a corner afraid to do anything.

        • they actually are food grade,but the safety sallys will be concerned that the release agent on the plastic molds wasnt food grade,or food grade enough. i think if your thirsty and have no clean water,your choice between no water and drinking from a bucket that might not have been handled by people with hair nets and sterile gloves,will be of little concern to you,but thanks for your very thoughtful comment.

        • MPTP;
          You really need some happy pills, instead of being negative. Try looking at the suggestions with a different attitude. I do not like coming down on a pack member but…….you have been grumpy lately.

          • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

            Becky, I hope you get a chance to see my reply that I really wasn’t being sarcastic. I meant it, if we are each on our own, filtering our own water, etc., It really will be a luxury to die of cancer. And food grade is the last thing we should be worrying about. I thanked bctruck sincerely for being upfront about not worrying those sorts of details.

            Now, about being grumpy lately, I have to call foul. I AM grumpy by nature when posting. Heck, I even changed my screen name because someone called me More of a Pooper Than a Prepper after one of my posts disagreeing with someone (actually I thought they were being rude to and demanding of M.D.). But for the last week or so I have been an absolute softy. Mister Rogers style polite. Check up on me. You are probably thinking of someone else.

            But I’ll still take your advice and double up on the happy pills, soon enough the polite streak will probably come to an end. : )

        • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

          I think you all misunderstood. I wasn’t being sarchastic. We in the developed nations have the privilidge of dying of cancer in our old age. In other countries and other times no one got the chance to live through all the waterborne disease violence and starvation to get cancer in their 60s or later.

          To be totally honest, I was trying to take a small shot, but only at the wory warts, certainly not at bctruck who I’ve learned a lot from, and appreciate his honesty and self depricating humor

          • MPTP, we are all here to learn from each other and to share our skills and knowledge. Sometimes we get a little cranky, but we are one big Wolf Pack.

  9. charlie (NC) says:

    I recommend these filters: http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/water-filters-collection/products/just-water-ceramic-drip-filter

    I see now that they have a USA made and China made version
    of them. The china version is about half price if you trust it.
    These filters are ceramic with an activated carbon core and will not
    break as easily as some of the others.

  10. Wow, you just made me regret buying a berkey LOL.
    the buckets were $2.50 each
    the lids less than 2 bucks each
    the spigot,about 4 bucks,
    the filter about 20 bucks.

    My gosh that’s only about $28 bucks!! I want my money back!

  11. This is a great video. I have seen a few videos of these home made water filters, and ended up making a water filter of my own using the same kind of buckets as this except they were white buckets. Great idea though.

  12. But both buckets are plastic!!
    What’s the point of filtrating the water if all the BPAs and carcinogens go back into the water??? I would stick to the proper filtration system…

  13. Where would you get a filter that is Berky for about $20 I only find 2 for $107

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