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Want an everyday drinking water filter that doubles as an effective siphon filter during emergencies?
Order the slimline version of our Model 77 Countertop filter and select the Super Sterasyl Candle as the standard cartridge. When checking out, request a free siphon conversion kit.
Total cost: $77.
Go here for instructions that show the unit in action as a siphon filter.
Go here for original research from Pure Water Gazette regarding the effectiveness of ceramic and carbon filters at bacteria removal.
The surge of interest in filters to provide safe drinking water during emergencies has led to a lot of misunderstanding about water purification. One major misconception is that you have to buy a $300 gravity filter or costly miniature hand-pump system to purify water.
Siphoning, an eons-old trick, will drive a water filter as well as a pump, and a simple siphon can work much better than an expensive commercial gravity filter. With our simple equipment, you can have a siphon filter that will make plenty of biologically safe drinking and food-preparation water for several people from the grossest puddles of water. A siphon filter works much faster than a canister-type gravity filter, and once you get it going, it keeps on producing water without a lot of huffing and puffing and pumping and complaining on your part. Any of the simple, inexpensive filters described below will outperform a miniature pump filter or an expensive gravity pot.
Before you read about the products below, you should understand that there are several ways to deal with bacteria in water. The common way that municipal water systems use is to kill them with chemicals—most notably chlorine and chloramines. In some parts of the world iodine is used to kill bacteria in water. Bacteria can also be killed with ozone or rendered harmless with ultraviolet light.
Since bacteria have a physical size, they can also be filtered from water if the filter is tight enough. Ceramic filters have been used for almost two centuries to reliably remove bacteria from water. In fact, as early as 1827 the founder of the Doulton company, the world's oldest water filter maker (see Doulton History), was using a ceramic filter to make the highly polluted water of the Thames river safe to drink.
Simplify ... simplify.
— Henry David Thoreau
The filters we offer on this page consist of a ceramic filter made by the Doulton company (often called a "candle" because of its shape) and a simple adapter consisting of a threaded fitting and a hose which we have devised to make it easy to siphon water through the filter. As water is pulled through the candle, the straining action of the filter produces a lab-certified removal of e.Coli, Vibrio Cholerae (Cholera), Shingella, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid), Klebsiella Terrigena, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other biological contaminants.
It is easier for a rich man riding a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a Giardia cyst to pass through a Doulton ceramic filter cartridge.
— Pure Water Gazette columnist Tiger Tom
The ceramic does not remove chemicals or improve the taste and odor of water. To do that, we offer a couple of optional models that add standard filter carbon to the ceramic. Carbon is the most commonly used removal medium for almost all chemicals. But keep in mind that these are small filters and they are not a substitute for a large, undersink drinking water system. You can expect reduction of general trace contaminants, but small filters of this type should not be regarded as a long-term solution for, say, water that is heavily contaminated by pesticides or industrial chemicals. If used with chlorinated water, the carbon filters offered below will remove the chlorine and its taste.
To review: In the filters below, the ceramic element removes pathogens such as bacteria and makes water safe to drink. The added carbon reduces chemicals and improves taste and odor.
Our simplest unit consists of our adapter and a Doulton Sterasyl candle. It removes pathogens. Operation is simple: Put the candle into a container of the water to be purified, wait until it sinks (indicating that it is completely saturated), then suck through the tube until you get water in your mouth. When you taste water, lower the tube to a level below the container and water will continue to flow. Catch the purified water in a second container.
This unit has a long life expectancy because the ceramic can be rinsed and wiped cleaned when sediment collects on the surface.
This is the same unit as the Sterasyl filter above but with the Doulton Super Sterasyl cartridge rather than the Sterasyl. Sterasyl is a ceramic shell only; Super Sterasyl has a carbon core for chemical reduction and taste/odor improvement.
The filter cartridge used in this unit cannot be cleaned to renew the carbon filtration capacity of the unit. The cartridge must be replaced for effective chemical/chlorine filtration, although it will retain its ability to remove bacteria long after the carbon core is exhausted.
This unit consists of an Omnipure inline granular carbon (GAC) filter attached by a tubing adapter to a Doulton Sterasyl candle. Water flows through the ceramic, then through the GAC inline. The resulting unit is a longer range taste/odor filter with the advantage that the carbon filter can be replaced at half the cost of the Super Sterasyl.
The GAC filter attaches with quick connect fittings, so replacement is very easy.
|SK103||Sterasyl + GAC Siphon Filter||$61.00|
Listed are the best cartridges for our siphons. We stock other Doultons in our cartridge menu which will also work with siphon filters. The "candle size" cartridges fit British Berkefeld filters and our siphon filters.
Cartridges are subject to our standard volume discount: 10% off two, 15% off three or more.
Keep in mind that the filter cartridges used in the systems described are identical to those used in the expensive pour-through models like the famous "Big Berky." The Sterasyl is a silver-impregnated very tight ceramic shell. The Super Sterasyl is also silver-impregnated and is identical except that it has a granular carbon core. (Silver is included to prevent bacteria "grow through.") Both cartridges are laboratory certified removers of E.Coli, Vibrio Cholerae (Cholera), Shingella, Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid) Klebsiella Terrigena, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and other biological contaminants. The carbon-core version also is a good taste/odor enhancer and a reasonably good chemical filter. Can you drink pond water filtered through a Doulton candle? Absolutely!
Doulton Sterasyl Candle
This 9" candle, by British ceramic maker Doulton, is a highly efficient sub-micron ceramic candle with silver locked within the ceramic structure to inhibit the growth of bacteria and provide self-sterilizing properties. Rated for 99.99% (four log) E. coli removal and 99.999% (five log) giardia and cryptosporidium removal. This cartridge is ceramic/silver only. It does not remove chlorine or other chemicals.
This is a reusable cartridge that will last as long as it can be re-cleaned.
Doulton Super Sterasyl 9" Candle
The same fine properties as the above and, in addition, a granular carbon core to improve taste and odor. As a carbon filter it is marginally effective and should not be considered comparable to a carbon block cartridge. It's about a 50% remover of chlorine on a pressured system, but as a siphon filter where flow is greatly reduced it does a much better job.
Lifespan is shorter than the Sterasyl because the carbon core will eventually be exhausted.
Omnipure Inline GAC Filter Cartridge.
Replacement for the SK103 unit above. This is included if you order SK103. This is the replacement filter only. It is rated for 1,500 gallons of chlorine filtration.
Sterasyl Siphon Adapter. Consists of the tubing and elbow fitting needed to siphon through a Sterasyl ceramic candle.
Tubing and fitting only — does not include the Doulton cartridge.
Inline Filter Upgrade Adapter. Consists of the tubing and “plug in elbow” needed to extend the siphon filter through a connected inline filter.
Tubing and fitting only — does not include the inline filter or the Sterasyl Siphon Adapter above.
(whole house & well units)