Water Filtration Demonstration

Water Filtration for Kids

Items Needed:
• Top ½ of a 2-L bottle (or automotive funnel).
• Coffee Filters (or shop towels)
• Cotton Balls
• Sand
• Pea Gravel
• ¾” Gravel
• About 12-12oz plastic cups (clear)
• 4 or 5 5-gallon buckets (to hold dirty water, filtered water, and materials)
• Dirt (this will need to be mixed with water and kept in a 5-gallon bucket)

1. Mix dirt with about 3-4 gallons of water to make a testing solution.
2. Place coffee filter into 2-L bottle.
3. Place a handful of cotton balls into the 2-L bottle on top of the coffee filter.
4. Place a layer of sand on the cotton balls approximately 1” thick.
5. On the sand, place a 1” thick layer of pea gravel.
6. On the pea gravel, place a 1” to 1-1/2” thick layer of ¾” gravel.
7. Once the filter has been made, use a plastic cup to pull some of the dirty water mix from a 5-gallon bucket.
8. Over another clear plastic cup, pour the dirty water mix into the filter and let the water filter through.
9. The 1st pass will show that the water is slightly cleaner than the original mix.
10. Once all the water has been poured out of the 1st cup and collected in the 2nd cup, filter it again…
11. Put the 2-L bottler over the 1st cup (emptied) and pour the mix from the 2nd cup through the filter.
12. The 2nd pass should become clearer than the 1st pass.
13. Continue this process a few times and each time, the water will become clearer.

A few thoughts:
• Purchasing everything should cost no more than $50, depending on how many filters you want to make.
• 2-L bottles are a better way to go than a funnel because they are clear…funnels are not. If you decide to go with funnels, consider buying the long neck funnels. They are not as wide and also have a smaller opening. You will need a 2-L bottle for each simultaneous demonstration you want to conduct.
• Shop towels function better than a coffee filter because they are bigger and much stronger, but they do cost more. (about $10 for a large box @ Home Depot).
• The rock can be purchased at Home Depot and placed in a bucket…Rock is not very expensive, but it is sold in 50-lb bags. It will last for many demonstrations.

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