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.
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.
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
Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction
Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)
Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)
99% turbidity removal
Scrub filter when flow rate slows.
Manufacturer-specified lifetime volume (L)
Safe water storage integration
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.
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.
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
Donachy, B., 2011, Summaries of Reports and Studies of the Ceramic Water Purifier (CWP): A Colloidal Silver (CS) Impregnated Ceramic Water Filter. Retrieved Dec, 6, p.2014.
Hagan, J.M et al., 2009. Resource development international-Cambodia ceramic water filter handbook. EWB Australia. Phnom Penh Cambodia.
Lantagne, D.S., 2001, Investigation of the Potters for Peace colloidal silver impregnated ceramic filter. Report, 1, p.79.
“Filter factory locations,” Potters. Available: https://www.pottersforpeace.org/filter-factory-locations
“Ceramic water filter project,” Potters. Available: https://www.pottersforpeace.org/ceramic-water-filter-project
Goal 6. (n.d.). Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6
F. Odyniec, “Ceramic water filters help prevent illness worldwide,” Available: https://www.communityhealthmagazine.com/mind_and_body/physical_health/ceramic-water-filters-help-prevent-illness-worldwide/article_3ee51a10-47a5-11e6-b41b-834141c7536f.html
“Results of round II of the WHO international scheme to evaluate household water treatment technologies,” Who.int. Available: https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/325896/9789241516037-eng.pdf?Ua=1
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.
Field evaluations by Care International and Social Fund for Development.