Updated on December 13, 2023


Created on May 27, 2016

Silver Filter


The Silver Filter is a type of ceramic water purifier enhanced with colloidal silver.

Tested By
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tulane University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of North Carolina
Content Partners


Product Description

Silver Filters are silver enhanced ceramic ‘pot’ water filters for household drinking water treatment. This filter was first developed in 1981 by Dr. Fernando Mazariegos of the Central American Industrial Research Institute (ICAITI) in Guatemala and is now promoted by Potters for Peace (PFP), a USA based nonprofit organization. These filters are low-tech and low-cost water filters that eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-born disease agents at the flow rate of 1-3 L/h.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 1: No Poverty

Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

This product is mainly implemented by Potters for Peace but is distributed worldwide by organizations such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, Plan International, Project Concern International, Oxfam and USAID.

Competitive Landscape

Manufacturing/Building Method

This product is locally made and is mass-produced in local target regions, identified by Potters for Peace. The building materials of this product includes locally sourced clay and sawdust. These are then later mixed with water, pressed into the filter shape, and fired to gain a ceramic state. Finally, the flow rates are tested to ensure the product consistency and at last coated with silver nitrate solution.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain Silver Filters at retail stores or from distributing organizations.

Distributions to Date Status


Type of filter

Ceramic pot filter

Primary material of construction

Filters are manufactured with clay, sawdust and silver nitrate.


There is a potential for silver in filtered water, below secondary guideline values of 0.1 mg/L

Manufacturer-specified flow rate (L/hr)

1.5-3.0 L/hr when full

Bacteria reduction

2 log

Virus reduction


Protozoa reduction


Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction


Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)


Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)

99% turbidity removal

Maintenance schedule

Scrub filter when flow rate slows.


Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)

~20,000 L

Safe water storage integration

~10 Liters

Design Specifications

Silver Filters consist of a porous 10 L capacity ceramic filtering element that suspends in a 30-liter plastic or ceramic receptacle that stores and dispenses filtered water. The flow rate is 1.5-3.0 liters per hour when full.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

There is no technical support provided and users are expected to maintain the product on their own by scrubbing ceramic filter element with a brush.

Replacement Components

Replaceable components include the tap for dispensing water, safe storage containers, and ceramic filtering elements.


Until it breaks, approximately 2 years.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

This filter was designed to removes bacteria, parasites, and turbidity. Manufacturers specify these filters are low-tech and low-cost and eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-born disease agents.

Vetted Performance Status



No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems

Screen mesh or cloth as a pre-filter

Academic Research and References

Compliance with regulations

This filter does not comply with WHO for the reduction of viruses, therefore, are unlikely to achieve a performance classification higher than one-star.

Evaluation methods

Field evaluations by Care International and Social Fund for Development.

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