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Does any type of charcoal work? I have seen fish charcoal and didn't know if there were any chemicals in it that would hurt me if I made a filter using this method. Also, how about burnt wood charcoal?
 

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I think charcoal is charcoal, I would stay away from any kind of charcoal that was used to burn plastics or rubber and such. I just don't trust the fumes of that crap!
 

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I agree with acidlittle. Stay away from charcoal that has been used with plastics or heavy metals. The label should have 100% charcoal I would assume on it.
 

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You can buy large quantities of "fish" charcoal, AKA activated carbon. It's very good for being used in filters!
 

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Those water filters that you see in office water cooler wells use charcoal. You can see the sediments at the bottom of the glass sometimes. Fish charcoal is the way to go as others have said. You can buy it in bulk at a good price also. One way to setup a very good filter is to take two barrels placing one higher than the other. In the first barrel, put sand and charcoal mix along with multiple landscape fabric or cheesecloth fabric, then have a drain that goes into the second barrel that is gravity fed by the filtered barrel. A cheap way to setup one of these for long term without the $500 dollar price tag.
 

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I have question on this. On another post someone had mentioned that you could possibly get toxins in you rain barrels from you shingles. Is that true? Another question will a charcoal filter that kind of stuff?
 

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RuDown said:
I have question on this. On another post someone had mentioned that you could possibly get toxins in you rain barrels from you shingles. Is that true? Another question will a charcoal filter that kind of stuff?
The main problem with run off water from your roof is the stuff that runs off with the rain water...such as bird poop, shingle granules, etc. Also many times the rain itself is not the purest of water but when it is all we have we will have to find a way to make it work. Go here for cheap, easy way to make your own water filter system: http://www.everylifewaterfilters.com/
 

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the army says to set up 3 drums. the top one full of limestone gravel. then the second one full of sand, the 3rd one full of charcoal powder, gravity fed, with cloth across the holes in the bottoms of the drum;. they say you'd still better boil the water, or use iodine or chlorine to make it safe to drink.
 
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