Drinking Water Filtration System

A dependable drinking water filtration system is one way to provide water for you and your family. The clearest fresh mountain stream can contain biological impurities that can make you sick. Most often, bacteria are the culprits that can wreak havoc on your body and must be contained if you are to survive.

Since water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, it is unlikely you and your family could carry enough water to meet those needs. A good plan is to have a portable water purification option and a plan for a fixed water system when you settle in a particular location.

A drinking water filtration system offers good tasting water quickly and often with minimal chemical treatment. The downside in a survival scenario is that eventually you will need to replace the filters, and in a post-apocalyptic world you may not be able to find them. 


Seychelle, water filtration company sorts water filters according to their functions in preparing drinking water  as:

  • Aesthetic - The filters remove chlorine, sediment and dirt improving flavor and color.
  • Biologic - The filters remove bacteria and protozoans from the water, and some remove viruses.
  • Chemicals - The filters remove chemicals such as benzene, DDT and chloroform.
  • Dissolved solids or heavy metals - The filters remove heavy metals such as lead, mercury and copper.
  • Radioactive materials - Currently unique to Seychelle, the filters can remove radiological contaminants.

An aesthetic filter is likely to remove chlorine and fluoride from your water supply but in all likelihood even if you stayed in a municipality, the catastrophic event would contaminate the water supply. In that case, you need a filter capable of more than making the water attractive and tasteful. An effective drinking water filtration system will remove the contaminants in the water supply.


When possible, you should have the water tested that you believe will be your water source in the event of a catastrophic event and you have to leave your home. If you know which impurities and toxins are in a water source, you can take measures to remove them from your drinking water. 

Filters are porous, which allows the water to flow through it but the impurities are trapped in the filter. Bacteria, viruses and other contaminants are very tiny and the filters that trap these things can clog easily. The first level of a drinking water filtration system is to remove the visible mud, plant debris and animal waste. 

You can use a simple homemade filter that uses gravity to pull water through layers of material, rocks and sands or you can buy commercial filters. The Katadyn Vario Microfilter Unit has a ceramic pre-filter, which you can easily remove if you don't want or need to clean the water before it goes through the filter that removes the bacteria.

The System

The simplest drinking water filtration system is the water straw such as the SureAquaStraw for fresh running water or the Seychelle advanced drinking straw for stagnant water. You and each person in your group can pack a straw in their bug out bags for quick water filtration on the go.

You can use filtration in canteens and water bottles for individual use. For filtering larger amounts of waters and distributing it to your group, water pumps and water bags are available to purify water and then pour into the water bottles.

Additional Precautions

You should always have a back up or alternative method. Water treatment tablets such as Katadyn Micropur tabs in addition to filters are a good idea. You can use bleach or chlorine to ensure that your water is purified after filtering and that is often recommended for the filters that are only effective for removing bacteria and not viruses, such as the Platypus Gravityworks filters.

Taking additional precautions by using boiling or chlorination with your drinking water filtration system is the safest way, if you have the time and opportunity. The most effective filters remove 99.9999% of contaminants, but water borne illness is nothing to underestimate, as the World Health Organization ranks waterborne disease as the leading killer in today's world. Spending time planning for your water supply in a catastrophic situation is time well spent.

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