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Once a week we will be featuring a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. August is National Water Quality Month, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to post this water-filtering activity.

One way to conserve water is to clean it and reuse it. This is a good activity to help teach kids about the importance of water conservation. This water filter will show one of the processes that water purification plants use.

An important note before we start: Don't drink the water filtered in this activity. All non-treated water should be boiled before consumption.


  • Plastic soda bottle
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Cheese cloth
  • Rubber bands
  • Sand
  • Gravel (aquarium gravel will work)

Cut the soda bottle in half; remove the lid. Put three layers of cheese cloth over the narrow mouth of the bottle and use rubber bands to hold them in place. Put the top half upside down into the bottom half to catch the water Put a layer of sand in the top half of the bottle followed by a layer of gravel. Get some dirty water. If you do not have dirty water you can make some water dirty by using cookingoil, dirt, bits of food, etc. Pour dirty water into the top half of the bottle. It should run through the sand and gravel, out the cheese cloth and come out clearer in the bottom half of the bottle.

To read more about this activity, go to  How to Make a Water Filter as a Science Experiment. See how Heifer participants deal with the issue of safe and clean water where their access is limited on the Heifer blog. You can find more fun and educational activities related to our work at



Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.