Kisii Ceramic Candle Filter in Burkina Faso
Photo Credit: handpump.org

Ceramic Candle Filter

Treatment Type: Step 2 - Filtration

NOTE: This treatment can be used alone, or if water is very turbid or very contaminated, after using a Step 1 treatment type (straining, flocculation or sedimentation), or with an additional Step 2 Disinfection treatment.

Contents

Description of Technology Recommended

Ceramic Candle Filter

The Ceramic Candle Filter is a small, multi-layer filter that is used in different types of systems, such as gravity-fed and siphon systems. The easiest to implement is the gravity-fed system, which consists of two reservoirs or vessels that sit stacked on top of each other. The top vessel contains one or two filter candles and is filled with the contaminated water. Gravity pushes the water gradually through the porous filter candle into the lower vessel, which works as safe storage for the treated water. The average flow rate of the water is limited to about 1 to 2 liters per hour. This Ceramic Candle Filter system is sometimes known as the Kisii Filter Bucket System.

Kisii Ceramic Candle Filter in Niger Ceramic Candle Filter - Kisii Kenya
Photo Credits: handpump.org

The filter candles are specially produced in many places around the world. The candles are made of several layers through which the water must pass. Layer 1 is made from clay which is fired to attain a fine pore structure. The size of these pores can differ, which means the candles can have varying success filtering different particles. The second layer is impregnated with colloidal silver, which deactivates bacteria, on the inside and outside. Layer 3 is activated carbon, which has huge potential to adsorb any particles that are able to pass through the other layers. Contaminants such as iron, chlorine, and those giving odd odor or color, slide into the holes of the carbon honeycomb and hold fast. Ceramic Filter Candles can take many forms. They can be long and thin with a rounded top, or shorter and wider with a flat top.

Ceramic Candle Filter - Ceramic Filters
Photo Credit: R. Dies, Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT

The filter will clog over time, which requires regular cleaning. After prolonged usage, cleaning will not be enough and the filter must be replaced. One candle could normally produce 7,000 liters of water, or lasting on average about 6 months.

Ceramic Candle Filter systems usually come with plastic or steel vessels. Steel vessels will easily last 10 years.

Ceramic Candle Filter - Water 4 Life Kenya
Photo Credit: Water4Life

Ceramic Candle Filter - Kisii Clear Bucket
Photo Credit: handpump.org

Advantages/Benefits Disadvantages/Limitations
  • High acceptance by user
  • Simple operation
  • Low frequency of maintenance
  • Regular cleaning will extend life of filter and reduce the frequency of replacement
  • No use of chemicals
  • Provides safe storage
  • From surveys it appeared that users do not clean the lower reservoir, or clean the lower reservoir in a wrong manner. Consequently bacteria can again grow and multiply in the clean water and recontaminate it.
  • No reliable means to check the water quality, especially in regards to the end of life of the product, which could cause the consumption of unsafe drinking water.
  • Low flow rate; but if it could be filled before going to sleep, there will be 8 liters of water. And if filled 3 times a day, it could produce 24 litres enough for family consumption.
  • If not cleaned regularly or handled carefully, effectiveness of the filter will decrease, and need for replacement and costs will both increase.

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Instructions for Building and Using Technology

Ceramic Candle Filter

You must purchase a Ceramic Candle Filter system. Filters will be sold with the two reservoirs or vessels, and you can also purchase replacement filters. See the Contacts for Advice and Technical Assistance section below for local sellers.

Maintenance and Operation

Find a safe, permanent location to keep your filter system, where it will not be disturbed by animals or people walking; bad locations could be on the ground or near a door. A good location could be in the kitchen on top of a table, counter, or box. It is also better to keep the filter away from direct sunlight.

When new candles are used, don't consume the first 5 liters for drinking water.

Store clean water covered and away from sunlight. To prevent recontamination, refrain from opening the lower vessel for any reason and access the filtered water only through the tap.

The design of steel and plastic vessels is very robust. As long the containers are treated with care, no real damage should occur. However, candles need to be handled more cautiously, especially during maintenance.

Do not clean the unit and candles every day. Filter candles need to be cleaned when flow rate is very low. Cleaning the candle can be done in several ways. Depending on the persistency of the dirt one of the following techniques may be used:

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Recommended Education

The information below describes things you can do that will help the solution described above work better.

Hygiene Practices to Keep Water Safe and Clean

Clean water vessels and keep them clean

Stored water can become unsafe when it is touched by people with dirty hands, when animals drink from it, when it is poured into a dirty vessel, when dirt or dust gets in the water, and when dirty cups are used to scoop up water. To prevent water from becoming unsafe at home:

Sources :

Contacts for Advice and Technical Assistance

Organization: Burkinabe Red Cross Society
Assistance Type: Technical Assistance
Specialties: Water Specialities:
Boiling, Ceramic Candle Filter, Ceramic Pot Filter, Chlorination, Solar Disinfection, Three Pot Sedimentation

Address: 01 B.P. 4404
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 01
Telephone #: (226) 50 361 340
Fax #: (226) 50 363 121
Email: croixrouge.bf@fasonet.bf
maigaweleti@yahoo.fr
Keywords: Boiling, Ceramic Candle Filter, Ceramic Pot Filter, Chlorination, Solar Disinfection, Three Pot Sedimentation, Ouagadougou, , Burkina Faso

Organization: Ghana Red Cross Society
Assistance Type: Technical Assistance
Specialties: Water Specialities:
Boiling, Ceramic Candle Filter, Ceramic Pot Filter, Chlorination, Solar Disinfection, Three Pot Sedimentation

Address: Ministries Annex Block A3, Off Liberia Road Extension
P.O. Box 835
Accra, Ghana
Telephone #: (233) 21 66 22 98/243 69 01 87
Fax #: (233) 21 66 72 26/6611493
Email: ghanaredcross@dslghana.com
redcrossghana@yahoo.co.uk
Website: http://www.ghanaredcross.org
Note: Local offices exist in each region; contact main office for local contact information.
Keywords: Boiling, Ceramic Candle Filter, Ceramic Pot Filter, Chlorination, Solar Disinfection, Three Pot Sedimentation, Accra, , Ghana

Organization: Technology Consultancy Centre - Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST)
Assistance Type: Technical Assistance
Specialties: Water Specialities:
Ceramic Candle Filter

Address: Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana
Telephone #: (233) 0244 794187/051 60296/051 60297
Email: provost.coe@knust.edu.gh
Website: http://coe.knust.edu.gh
Keywords: Ceramic Candle Filter, Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana