Caminos de Agua Ceramic filters
Dr. Robert Marquez
Ceramic filters by Caminos de Agua are low-cost household filters available in Mexico.
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.
Camino de Agua sells the complete system which includes safe water storage for 29.39 USD (525MXN). They also sell the individual filter cartridges to partners who wish to install their own system for 8.96 USD (160MXN).Correspondence with the manufacturer
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
Households and communities
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
Open sourceCorrespondence with manufacturer
Caminos de Agua works with local communities and partnerships to provide open source products.
As of July 2018, 2336 units have been distributed.
Description of the type of ceramic filter (pot, candle, or disk)
What primary material is used (ceramic, mud, clay etc.)?
Additional materials added to improve disinfection
Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of bacteria
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of viruses
Laboratory-evaluated log scale removal rate of protozoa
Reduction levels of heavy metals and/or arsenic through this treatment system
Manufacturer-specified maximum level of inlet turbidity (NTU)
Range or value of outlet turbidity levels (NTU)
How often/when should maintenance be performed?
What is the total number of liters that is recommended can be filtered?
Is there safe water storage integrated into this product?
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.
Provided by Caminos de Agua.
The ceramic filter itself can be replaced through Caminos de Agua.
Approximately 26,280 liters (25 L/day for 3-5 years)
Testing results by CONAGUA (National Water Commission of Mexico), State Water Commission of Queretaro Mexico, University College of London, EcoLaboratorios, S.A. de C.V. Investigacion Ambiental, Columbia University Department of Engineering, CATIS-Mexico Laboratory and field testing.
Safety precautions while installation and using the filter are available in the manual.
Safe water storage unit.
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.
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.
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