How to build a grey water filter

Grey Water is the term used for water that has not been contaminated by human waste. This includes water from your shower, bath, dishes etc. Here how you can build your own inexpensive grey water filter system.

Tools and Materials:

  • Plastic bucket; 5 gallon
  • 1 1/2-inch pipe connector; male and female
  • (2) 2-inch rubber gasket
  • Sand
  • Pea gravel
  • Koi pond filter
  • Terry cloths
  • Electric drill
  • Waste water
  • Collecting bucket
  • Charcoal (optional)
  • Warm water
  • Dish detergent
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloth


You will need to clean a bucket. Use some dish soap to do that and also a sponge to scrub the sides of the bucket. Dry the bucket with a lint free cloth.

Now drill a 1 1/2 hole in the bottom of the bucket, near one of the sides. You will need to attach a pipe connector to this hole. This will serve as the drainage port. Drill some small holes around the end of the pipe connector.

The drilled end needs to be inside the bucket.

The filter system

Wash and dry the pea gravel. Remove any debris and dirt. Fill the bottom of the bucket with the gravel to reach the level of the pipe connector.

Put a terry cloth towel on the gravel to provide extra filtration. This will also help you clean the filter a lot easier. Now cut the Koi pond filter and place the dense filter inside the bucket. It needs to fit the space. Place another terry cloth on top of the filter. This will stop sand from getting through.

Cover the cloth with 4 inches of sand. Place another terry cloth. Place the second Koi pond filter. And now place the last terry cloth on top of it. If you want drinkable water place two layers of charcoal, one on top of the gravel, and above the sand.

Using the filter

The waste water needs to be poured in the bucket. Wait until it filters and gets in the recipient under the bucket. You can use it for different chores and also for drinking if you boil it first.

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