ceramic filter

Safe water is free of biological pathogens (aka: “bacteria”), which are a principal cause of childhood mortality as well as the number one cause of water related illness and death globally. Today, more than 2.1 billion people live without access to safe drinking water.

Our certified Ceramic Filter is affordable, extremely effective at eliminating biological pathogens, and can be adapted to any container. The Ceramic Filter is about the size and weight of a liter of bottled water, but can produce upwards of 30,000 liters of safe drinking water over its 5-year life. The Ceramic Filter is a crucial final component in most of our water treatment systems, to assure that water is fit to drink. Our recent improvements will make our Ceramic Filter even more versatile — for wider adoption by NGOs throughout Mexico and for emergency relief throughout Latin America. Read more about our Aquadapt below. 

Aguadapt: New Filter Improvements

Currently we are improving our Ceramic Filter design. These improvements make it possible to attach our Ceramic Filter to nearly any container with no training. Additionally, besides only removing bacteria, these improvements make it possible to remove also organic chemicals, and it can even be modified to remove arsenic, fluoride, and other contaminants. With the size and weight of a 1-liter bottle of water, Aguadapt can produce more than 27,000-liters of drinking water over its lifetime at a price accessible for a family living on less on $2 USD per day.
Show More

The design includes a certified Ceramic Filter, a refillable cartridge, and a universal adapter, all open-source and made from commonly-available materials. As gravity pulls contaminated water through the Ceramic Filter, the pores, while controlling the flow rate, exclude solid particles and large bacteria. Colloidal silver kills the remaining microorganisms. The water then passes through the refillable cartridge full of high-temperature biochar, which physically adsorbs organic chemicals, producing water that’s usually fit to drink. However, if a water source has other contaminants, you can easily connect multiple media cartridges designed to target the locally-relevant toxins. The universal adapter allows anyone to install the system into common containers and choose the appropriate treatment steps for their water.

Click image to enlarge


Our Impact

Our Ceramic Filter by the Numbers
The Ceramic Filter is a crucial final component in most of our water treatment systems, to assure that water is fit to drink. Along with our own projects, our Ceramic Filters have been used in dozens of communities providing safe water.
Show More


The Story Behind Improving our Ceramic Filter Design
Disaster struck Mexico in 2017. First, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake and hurricane Katia rocked the southern part of the country – destroying buildings and infrastructure, displacing families, and disrupting water supplies. On the tail of those events, a second tremendous earthquake hit central Mexico, devastating Mexico City and the surrounding region – toppling buildings and killing hundreds. We were able to have a limited response to these disasters.
Show More

Thanks to our relationship with Concern America, who build and distribute our ceramic filters as part of their clean water programming in Chiapas, we were able to support a partner organization in a small community called San Juan in Southern Mexico. The community was cut-off from its water source and turned to drinking water from a filthy, stagnant lagoon. Immediate health effects were seen in the children. Due to the urgency of this situation, Caminos de Agua reached out to Bruno Morales, the Project Coordinator for Chiapas. Together, we were able to get all 23 families in the community ceramic filters quickly.

Our reach during these disasters was, to be quite honest… disappointing. Despite our ability to reach the families of San Juan, there were 10s of thousands more we were unable to help. The ceramic filter technology is sound, but the current design is limiting. To make the filter useable requires training and time – a luxury not afforded in most emergency situations.

We are diligently working on improvements that will make our ceramic filter adaptable to any container, with no experience or specialty tools needed, and ready to filter water in under five minutes. This will position our filter for wider adoption by NGOs throughout Mexico, but more importantly, for widespread emergency relief throughout Latin America.


Our Project Map
We use our Ceramic Filters as the final stage in dozens of rainwater harvesting projects we have implemented throughout the Alto Laja Watershed. We also work with partners all over the country to bring families safe drinking water through our Ceramic Filter distribution projects and sales.

Learn more about our work with Ceramic Filters, or our community-led rainwater harvesting projects, on our Project Map.
Show More

For the best viewing experience, we recommend NOT using Safari to explore this map.
Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera and Edge all offer excellent browser viewing experiences. Double-click or 'shift-drag-click' to zoom into certain regions.  Click a point to learn more about a given project. Many
project summaries include photos, additional documentation, and even videos.

Project reports and summaries

Show More

ceramic filter Resources


Our ceramic filter Partners