Updated on January 11, 2024


Created on July 21, 2017

Caminos de Agua Ceramic filters


Ceramic filters by Caminos de Agua are low-cost household filters available in Mexico.

Developed By
  1. Caminos de Agua
Tested By
  • CATIS-Mexico
  • Columbia University
  • CONAGUA, Mexico
  • EcoLaboratorios, S.A
  • State Water Commission of Queretaro Mexico
  • University College of London
Content Partners


Product Description

Caminos de Agua Ceramic filters purify water through a clay filter with the pore size between 0.6 – 3.0 microns, producing 1 L/hr of filtered water.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Camino de Agua

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

The product is manufactured by blending a local clay mix from Guanajuato state, Mexico, with carefully screened sawdust from a local sawmill. After water is added to the clay, the mixture it is pressed into molds. Once the molded filters have dried, they are packed into a kiln and fired, burning out the sawdust to achieve the desired porosity. The finished ceramic filters are impregnated with liquid colloidal silver. The filters are tested for quality control visually and with a variety of flow tests. Finally, the filters are flushed with water to remove any residual silver or loosely-bound minerals. All manufacture, processing, and testing happens in Mexico. Correspondence with the manufacturer

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Caminos de Agua works with local communities and partnerships to provide open source products.

Distributions to Date Status

As of July 2018, 2336 units have been distributed.

Type of filter

Ceramic candle filter

Primary material of construction

Fired clay



Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)

1 L

Bacteria reduction

> 4 Log (> 99.99%) for E. coli., coliforms, and total coliforms

Virus reduction


Protozoa reduction


Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction


Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)

This filter has been tested under conditions of 483 NTU and 615 NTU.

Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)

0.71 NTU (with influent tubidity levels of 483 NTU) and 1 NTU (with influent tubidity levels of 615 NTU).

Maintenance schedule

Scrub the ceramic filter lightly with a toothbrush when the flowrate of the filter reduces or once every three months minimum.

Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)

26280 L

Safe water storage integration

Not available

Design Specifications

The filter is made from fired clay and attached to a 20 L water jug that gravity-feeds water through the ceramic filter. The column shape is more compact and robust than traditional ceramic pot filters, allowing for easier shipping and adaptability. The walls of the filter are 40% wider than most ceramic pot filters (0.5 in vs. 0.725 in). The filters are formed in a simple mold, with readily available materials, instead of a large mechanized press like traditional pot filters.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by Caminos de Agua.

Replacement Components

The ceramic filter itself can be replaced through Caminos de Agua.


Approximately 26,280 liters (25 L/day for 3-5 years)

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Testing results published by the manufacturer indicate surpassing all Mexican and US-EPA drinking water regulations.

Vetted Performance Status

Laboratory test results and reports on community pilot projects are available.


Safety precautions while installation and using the filter are available in the manual.

Complementary Technical Systems

Safe water storage unit.

Academic Research and References

I. Adler, H. Zhang, M. Canales, Evaluation of a silver-impregnated ceramic filter for small-scale rainwater purification using viral and bacterial indicators. University of College London, UK.

Report by Columbia University, May 2013.

U. S. Epa and OW, “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations,” 2015.

“Caminos de Agua,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org

“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

“How We Work —,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org/en/how-we-work

A. Krupp and C. de Agua, “Proejct Map,” Github.io. Available: https://caminosdeagua.github.io/project-map/

Technical Specifications, “Ceramic Water Filters,” Squarespace.com. Available: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56dde74d3c44d86f43f4590c/t/5ac7b956575d1f6647a139e0/1523038676497/Tech+Specs+English_v4.pdf

“Contact —,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org/en/contact

“Tech Specs_English_v3.pdf,” Google Docs. Available: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-obqEaNF55zUEdueTdfcTNJUWs/view?usp=embed_facebook

“NOM-127-SSA1-1994,” Gob.mx. Available: http://www.salud.gob.mx/unidades/cdi/nom/127ssa14.html

C. de Agua, “Report: Ceramic water filters after 3.5 years of continuous use in community homes,” Squarespace.com. Available: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56dde74d3c44d86f43f4590c/t/5b0eebb06d2a7336e0fe02bb/1527704500079/CWF+Follow-up+Report+2017.pdf

“ECOLABORATORIOS S.A. DE C.V,” Abaceriamexico.com. Available: https://abaceriamexico.com/empresa-ecolaboratorios-em-salamanca-4022

“Ceramic Filter —,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org/en/ceramic-filter

“News —,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org/en/news

“Year-end Reports —,” Caminos de Agua. Available: https://www.caminosdeagua.org/en/year-end-reports

Compliance with regulations

Testing results published by the manufacturer indicate surpassing all Mexican and US-EPA drinking water regulations.

Evaluation methods

Water quality of the ceramic filters have been tested in the accredited laboratories and the filters are tested in the field and by academic institutes.

Other Information

Caminos de agua newsletters and other news Year-end reports

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