Filtration of Water


To remove suspended matter from muddy water in three stages: using sedimentation, filtration as well as chemical treatment

Additional information

Muddy water, which ideally is discolored owing to a high amount of suspended particles, can be turned into clear water devoid of the particulate impurities. This however, is not necessarily ‘pure water’ since disease causing germs such as bacteria or viruses which cannot be seen with the naked eye may still be present in the clear liquid. These microscopic pathogens are so small that they cannot be removed by simple processes like sedimentation or filtration; instead these require specialized treatments or at least boiling to minimize the risk that they bring along.

Sponsored Links

Required materials

  • Muddy water
  • Three beakers
  • Glass funnel
  • Stand with holder
  • Filter paper
  • Glass rod
  • Two tall jars
  • Alum

Estimated Experiment Time

Approximately 5 to 8 hours

Step-By-Step Procedure

  • 1. Pour muddy water in the beaker and set it aside for the suspended particles to settle. After some time pour out the muddy water carefully without disturbing the particles collected at the base of the beaker.
  • 2. Set up the stand with holder to hold the glass funnel over the second beaker.
  • 3. Fold a filter paper twice to form a cone before placing it in the funnel.
  • 4. Pour the less muddy water through the filter using the glass rod.
  • 5. Collect the water that passes through (known as the filtrate) in another beaker.
  • 6. Divide the filtrate which still contains tiny particles in suspension, into two.
  • 7. Pour it into two tall jars; to one jar add some powdered potash alum and leave the other as a control for comparison.


  • It is advisable to use a few drops of water to moisten the filter paper after placing it in the glass funnel; this will help it stay in place by ‘sticking’ to the sides of it.
  • Using the glass rod to pour the muddy water into the funnel helps a steady stream of the liquid flow, thereby minimizing the possibility of spills.


When the muddy water is first allowed to settle, a layer of particles settles at the base of the beaker; when the filtrate is poured through the filter paper finer particles get collected in the glass funnel. Finally, when the filtered water is treated with Alum, even the finest of suspended particles settle to the base of the glass jar. The control jar (the one without the Alum) is slightly less clear as compared to the former and takes longer for the fine suspended particles to settle down.


A series of steps and processes are essential to purifying water. While leaving muddy water to settle causes the bigger suspended particles to collect at the base of the container, filtering it helps remove the smaller particles. Finally, Alum treatment takes care of the finest particles leaving very clear water behind.

Sponsored Links

Take a moment to visit our table of Periodic Elements page where you can get an in-depth view of all the elements, complete with the industry first side-by-side element comparisons!

Your email:
Your name:
Recipient email:
Recipient name:

Print this page   Bookmark this page  

Hide/View all projects Hide all projects Hide/View all projects

All Projects List

  • Accelerate Rusting
  • Acids And Bases
  • Additive Colors
  • Ant Microphotography
  • Apple Mummy
  • Balloon Rocket Car
  • Barney Banana
  • Bending Water
  • Bernoulli’s Principle
  • Blind Spot in Vision
  • Boiling Point of Water
  • Build an Electromagnet
  • Build an Inclinometer
  • Caffeine And Typing
  • Candle Race
  • Candy Molecules
  • Capillarity of Soils
  • Carbon in the Atmosphere
  • Checking vs. Savings
  • Chemical Metamorphosis
  • Clean Cleaners
  • Cleaning Oil Spills
  • Climbing Colors
  • Cloud Cover
  • CO2 & Photosynthesis
  • Collecting DNA
  • Colorful Celery
  • Coloring Matter in Food
  • Colors And Temperature
  • Composition of a Shell
  • Computer Passwords
  • Construct a Lung Model
  • Corrosiveness of Soda
  • Create a Heat Detector
  • Create Lightening
  • Cultivate Slime Molds
  • Cup of Lava
  • Dehydrated Potato
  • Desalinate Sea Water
  • Detergents and Plants
  • Dissolving in Liquids
  • Dissolving Solutes
  • Distillation of Water
  • Double Color Flower
  • Egg in a Bottle
  • Enzyme Activity
  • Eroding Away
  • Erosion Simulator
  • Evaportating Liquids
  • Expanding Soap
  • Exploding Ziploc
  • Extracting Starch
  • Fans And Body Temp
  • Fertilizer & Plants
  • Filtration of Water
  • Floating Ball Experiment
  • Floating Balloon
  • Fog Formation
  • Font and Memory
  • Food and Academics
  • Friction And Vibration
  • Fruit Battery Power
  • Full and Low Fat Foods
  • Galileo's Experiment
  • Gas To Liquid
  • Grape Juice & Cleaners
  • Gravity and Plants
  • Green Slime
  • Growing a Crystal
  • Growing Bread Mold
  • Growing Population
  • Haemoglobin Binding
  • Hard vs. Soft Water
  • Homemade Floam
  • Home-made Geodes
  • Home-Made Glue #1
  • Homemade Snowflakes
  • Home-made Stethoscope
  • Homemade Volcano
  • Homemade Windmill
  • Human Battery Power
  • Inertia of an Egg
  • Information and CD’s
  • Invisible Ink
  • Isolation of Bread Mold
  • Isolation of DNA
  • Jar Compass
  • Lemon Floaties
  • Levers And Force
  • Lift an Ice Cube
  • Light Colors and Plants
  • Long Lasting Bubbles
  • Magic Balloons
  • Magnified Light
  • Make a Compost Pile
  • Make a Fuse Model
  • Make a Parallel Circuit
  • Make An Elevator
  • Make Electric Circuits
  • Make Limestone
  • Make Objects Float
  • Make Static Electricity
  • Make your own sundial
  • Matchbox Guitar
  • Math and Gender
  • Mean, Median and Range
  • Measuring Air Pollution
  • Mentos Soda Volcano
  • Microbial Contaminants
  • Milky Plastic
  • Mini Greenhouse
  • Missing Reflection
  • Mixing With Water
  • Molls Experiment
  • Music and Plants
  • Musical Bottles
  • Nocturnal Plants
  • Ocean Life & Oil Spills
  • Ocean Temperature
  • Optical Mice
  • Oral Bacteria
  • Orange Water Volume
  • Organic vs. Inorganic
  • Osmosis
  • Oven Baked Ice Cream
  • Oxygen & Photosynthesis
  • Paper Bridge
  • Paper Marbling
  • Pascal’s Law
  • Play-Doh and Volume
  • Preserve Spider Webs
  • Pressure Volcano
  • Pulse Rates
  • Pythagorean Tuning
  • Refraction in Water
  • Rollercoasters & Loops
  • Rubber Bones
  • Rubber Heat Reaction
  • Rubbery Egg
  • Rust and Moisture
  • Search Engines
  • Secondary Colors
  • Seed Germination
  • Seed Germination II
  • Separate Salt And Pepper
  • Snappy Sounds
  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil vs. Hydroponics
  • Sound Waves
  • Spectrum through Water
  • Speed of Decomposition
  • Speed of Dissolving
  • Spore Prints
  • Star Observer
  • Static Electricity
  • Statistics and M&M’s
  • Stem-less Flowers
  • Super Strength Egg
  • Sweet Erosion
  • Temperature and CPUs
  • Thirsty Rocks
  • Tornado Demonstration
  • Translucent Egg
  • Transpiration in Plants
  • Typing and Speed
  • Vibrating Coin
  • Volcanic Gas
  • Water and Living Things
  • Water Displacement
  • Water Evaporation
  • Water pH
  • Your Planetary Age