Cheap DIY water distiller

Written by megan shoop
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Cheap DIY water distiller
Stills separate clean water from precipitates and dirt. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

As of 2010, green living and saving energy are more important than ever. Families try to reduce waste by recycling items in the home. Others plant small produce gardens to reduce the need to purchase commercially grown products. Still others attempt to remove themselves from the grid altogether by generating their own electricity and distilling their own water. You can create your own simple, practical water still to produce drinkable water from rain or salt water, using the heat of the sun to kill pathogens.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large plastic drink cooler with spigot
  • Large clear plastic funnel
  • Measuring tape
  • ¼-inch thick rubber stripping
  • Scissors
  • Silicone caulk
  • Rubber cork
  • Mason jar
  • Collected water
  • Bricks

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the cap on your plastic drink cooler and set it aside. Place your plastic funnel upside down on top of the cooler. The funnel's lip should overlap the edge of the cooler just a little.

  2. 2

    Measure around the edge of your funnel and cut a piece of rubber stripping the same length. Glue it to the inside edge of the funnel's lip with silicone caulk. Push a rubber cork into the funnel's narrow opening.

  3. 3

    Fill a mason jar with the water to be purified and set it down into the centre of the cooler. Cap the cooler with the upside down funnel and put it in a sunny place. The dirty water from the jar will vaporise and condense against the funnel. The condensation will run down the sides of the funnel and into the cooler around the bottom of the mason jar.

  4. 4

    Remove the mason jar when all the water is vaporised and purified. Scrub out the mason jar and keep distilling water until your cooler is full. When the water levels threaten to spill into the jar, support it from underneath with a brick or two.

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