All in a Clay’s Work for Clean Water With Ceramic Pot Filters

This story was originally published on the CAWST blog. To view the original story, click here.

By Ana Hoepfner

Producing quality ceramic pot filters requires specialized skills. Developing technical household water treatment knowledge and skills, and sharing them with others? That’s right in CAWST’s wheelhouse.

In partnership with Potters for Peace, CAWST co-developed a hands-on course in Ceramic Pot Filter production, and last September we co-facilitated it together at Adamah Art Studios in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, USA. We designed this two-week intensive course to address a lack of quality ceramic pot filters, misconceptions about scope and investment required to start a ceramic filter factory, and to provide timely and efficient technical support. Through this course, participants learned how to establish a ceramic pot water filter factory from the ground up, improve an existing one, or prepare to work globally to increase water quality. Check out a blog post and photo album on the Potters for Peace website.

The course was a huge success! Twelve people attended; some as part of organizations, and some as individuals. They came from all around the world: Côte d’Ivoire, Nepal, Puerto Rico, the USA, and Canada. Equipped with fresh insights, connections, knowledge, and skills, they are planning to open factories in the Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, and the DRC.

“This workshop was the culmination of two years of teamwork between Potters for Peace and CAWST”, says Lisa Mitchell, Director of Training & Consulting at CAWST. “Ceramic pot filters are an affordable technology that can be locally produced. When implemented correctly, consistently, and continuously, they provide safe drinking water at the point-of-use. In addition to increasing the knowledge and skills of participants in ceramic filter production, the course created a strong network of individuals who will support one another in starting and improving filter factories.”

Learn more about ceramic pot water filters

Locally produced ceramics have been used to filter water for hundreds of years. Water is poured into a porous ceramic filter pot and is collected in another container after it passes through the ceramic pot. This system also provides safe storage until the water is used. Ceramic pot filters are usually made from clay mixed with a combustible material like sawdust or rice husks. Pots are coated in colloidal silver to provide an added layer of protection. Colloidal silver is an antibacterial that helps in pathogen inactivation, as well as preventing growth of bacteria within the filter itself.

In response to high demand, CAWST and Potters for Peace will be offering this workshop again this year from August 17-28. More info at: caw.st/ceramic2019.

Are you looking to train others on ceramic pot filters? Our open-content education and training resources, including a Ceramic Pot Filter Fact Sheet are just a click away on CAWST’s WASH resources website. You can also find -and share!- lots of technical information on ceramic pot filters and other household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) products and technologies in our HWTS Knowledge base at hwts.info.