Ekofil is a ceramic pot water filter developed in Colombia for rural areas.
Ekofil filters are silver-enhanced ceramic filters that are designed, fabricated, and distributed by Ekofil, a Colombian-based business. The company distributes these filters throughout the rural areas of Colombia in association with foundations, NGOs, and government institutions such as the ICBF (Colombian Institute for Family Welfare). These are designed to work by gravity to provide clean water from unreliable water sources such as rivers, wells, or doubtful aqueducts.
Colombia, Perú, Venezuela
Ekofil has worked with numerous NGOs to provide safe water around Colombia including Sahed foundation, Terre des Hommes, Suize cooperation program for development, Nestlé Colombia, UNICEF, Corona Foundation, and International Plan Foundation.
Price ranges from 10 units @ 56.35 USD (210,000 COP), to 500 units or more @ 29.52 USD (110,000 COP) converted on June 19, 2020. For filter supply involving community programs supported by the United Nations, a 10% discount is offered. See the Ekofil Supply proposal.
Other regional silver-enhanced ceramic filters such as Arcifiltro, Ecofiltro, or ceramic candle filters such as Stefani filtro flex.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
People in need of fresh clean water from unreliable water sources.
Ekofil filters are manufactured in Ekofil’s factory located in the municipality of Palmira, Colombia. These filters are made with porous clay and treated with a special bath of colloidal silver. Production capacity is over 5,000 units per month. Interview with representative
The name Ekofil is a registered Brand name, but the technology it is based on is open source. Interview with representative
Users can request a filter through Ekofil’s webpage or contact Ekofil directly through the listed phone number or email.
From 2014-2019 over 41,323 Ekofil filters have been distributed throughout Colombia serving over 262,597 people; 3,000 filters have been distributed in Piura, Peru proving safe water for 18,000 people; and 550 filters have also been distributed in Venezuela reaching 3,300 people.
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?
Ekofil filters are composed of a ceramic filtering unit (made of clay, sawdust and colloidal silver) that hangs inside a container equipped with a top and a spigot for the filtered water. The network of microtubes produced after the burning of the sawdust provides the means to retain microorganisms and parasites higher than 0.1 microns.
The filtering unit has a water filtering capacity volume of 9 liters. The container which holds the filtering unit can be made of red clay or plastic of different colors (white, blue, green). Clay containers can hold 20 liters while plastic containers can store 30 liters of filtered water. The filtering unit has a filtering rate of 1.5 – 3.0 L/hour. For optimal performance, the Ekofil filtering unit should be kept full at all times. With the Ekosocial model, filters can be connected in series with automatic water supply to be applied in community centers, temporary shelters, dining rooms, schools, and any center with continuous demand for water.
For installation, use, and maintenance instructions, see the Ekofil manual (In Spanish).
Ekofil filters are composed of plastic or ceramic top, Ekofil clay filtration unit, a plastic ring to support the filtering unit, plastic or ceramic container for treated water storage, and a plastic spigot to access the filtered water.
The drop filtration system contributes to lower the temperature and increasing the alkalinity of water, the continuous dripping keeps the water with constant oxygenation and movement. The closed containers keep the water hermetically safe from external contamination, and the filtration system ensures water totally free of coliform bacteria and parasites
Users are expected to maintain the filter in accordance with the instructions found in the Ekofil manual (in Spanish). For technical support, Ekofil has a customer service line.
The filtering unit can last up to 3 years as long as it is handled with care and maintenance regularly. The replaceable filtering unit and the plastic spigot can be purchased separately from Ekofil.
The lifetime of Ekofil filters is around 2.5 to 3 years. After this time the filter unit must be replaced. Each Ekofil filter is marked with a unique code that allows the user to know the date of fabrication. Ekofil filters have a guarantee of 36 months (3 years). Interview with representative
Ekofil filters are designed to be portable, easy to maintain without cultural conditioning, and do not require electricity, hydraulic connections, specialists, recharging of special substances, nor field constructions for its installation and use. They are designed to eliminate harmful microorganisms and pathogens and to significantly reduce turbidity.
Testing for microbial elimination performed by Biocenter laboratory found 100 % removal of fecal coliforms, total coliforms, E. coli, and mesophilic aerobic bacteria. Testing by Universidad Santiago de Cali found that this filter can reduce 90% mercury and 93% of lead in the raw water.
No known risks are related to the use of this product. No dangerous chemicals are used in its manufacturing. Interview with representative
No complimentary technical systems are required.
It is, however, possible to purchase additional options such as an automatic system for the control of filling, a metal structure to support the filter, or filters in series for high consumption facilities (schools, care centers, etc).
Pérez-Vidal et al. 2018, Mercury and Lead elimination in ceramic pot filters used for treating water for human consumption (Eliminación de mercurio y plomo en filtros de olla cerámica usados en el tratamiento de agua para consumo humano), Universidad Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.
Bacca Jordán M. C., Giraldo Tenoria G. A., Silva Leal J. A., 2018, Evaluation of the efficiency of removal of mercury and lead in the Ekofil-plus filter used in water treatment at household level, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.
Arias Vallejo J. E., Meneses Torres C. J., Pérez Vidal A., 2019, Evaluation of the removal efficiency of arsenic and phenols in the ekofil plus clay filter used for home level water treatment, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.
Rivera S. P., Martínez Rivera J. I., 2019, Secondary validation of the membrane filtration method to quantify the removal of Escherichia Coli in samples of water treated with homemade filters, Universidad de Santiago de Cali, Cali, Colombia.
Microbial performance is in compliance with Decree 1594 of June of 1984.
Ekofil filters are quality control-tested for pH, turbidity, water harness, and removal of microorganisms such as fecal coliforms, total coliforms, E. coli, and mesophilic aerobic bacteria.
This filter has won various awards, including the CREA ICBF in 2014
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