Ceramic Water Filters Program Overview

         Potters Without Borders (PWB), as a member of the International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage of the World Health Organization, is dedicated to reducing the number of people without access to clean drinking water.

Our mission involves the reduction of waterborne disease by fostering the worldwide growth of ceramic water filter facilities. We believe that this technology is an effective tool for water purification, by populations drinking water from contaminated sources. (surface water, stored water…)

We pursue our mission by training our partners to manufacture a proven, affordable, ceramic water filter that removes microbiological contaminants from polluted water.

What we do

People and organizations contact Potters Without Borders (PWB) seeking to become connected to the ceramic water filter community. We have over 11 years of involvement with ceramic water filters, and have been providing free assistance to new and growing filter factories around the world. We also arrange for technicians to provide in-person consultation for factory feasibility, training, setup, and troubleshooting. We have seen first hand what works and, fortunately, we’ve also learned what doesn’t.

We share skills, equipment, and information among a world-wide network of technicians, researchers and producers, and those interested in implementing filter facilities. We work with an open-source philosophy, collecting and distributing the latest developments in CWF technology.

We do not build or own any filter facilities, do not profit from the sale of filters, and do not have funds to create new facilities.

Initially, through email and telephone communication, we can help you assess your project and field any inquiries involved with CWF technology, and its implementation.

Technical assistance

We provide partners with ongoing support for all levels of factory development. A significant part of our work involves the constant communication with a worldwide network of filter producers. PWB occasionally provides financial assistance to factories by subsidising tool purchases, and training costs.

Potters Without Borders offers a wealth of free information and support

  • We can provide digital examples and templates to assist in developing printed instructional, health, and promotional materials.
  • We continually work with organizations involved in production, education, follow-up, or monitoring, via e-mail, telephone, or follow-up visits.
  • We provide an ongoing flow of new information and results from current research about the filter and its use in communities, via email and the PWB website.
  • We provide contact information and coordinate interchanges with other filter projects, fostering the sharing of knowledge and markets, developing a sense of community among filter facilities.
  • We can locate equipment and occasionally subsidize its purchase costs.
  • We can provide blueprints and CAD of tested basic factory machinery.
  • We distribute and promote the development of filter production best practices

In-country consultation

Potters Without Borders can arrange for field technicians to visit factories during feasibility, start up, and follow-up periods. These technicians are contracted consultants and use a sliding scale to address the issue of payment, in general our trainers require a basic fee. In addition, local partner organizations are expected to cover most of the cost of international and local transportation, room and board, security and translation services.

In-country consultants can:

  • Carry out a short feasibility study.
  • Recommend local fuel and material inputs and help establish relationships with industrial and small suppliers.
  • Make connections between interested parties in desired development regions, via face-to-face meetings, telephone, written, and e-mail communications.
  • Provide site-specific assistance in factory design and human resource allocation.
  • Build or source required equipment and expertise for all equipment and machinery necessary for filter production.
  • Develop a viable quality controlled filter using locally available materials.
  • Offer in-house training and technical assistance in established workshops or at other sites.
  • Suggest ways to make the project environmentally and economically sustainable.
  • Offer ongoing technical support, via email, and follow-up consultations.
  • Provide training in established initialization procedures, manufacturing, firing, and testing of CWFs.


To Begin the Application Process

Before contacting us with your questions, we request that interested persons or organizations familiarize themselves with the following documents, which are available on our website under Filters: Studies:

Filter Facility Best Practices: The Joint Filter Committee periodically evaluates the Ceramic Water
Filter Project, and the pertinent information is collated and updated in this document.

Investigations of the Potters for Peace Colloidal Silver Impregnated Ceramic
Filter, Report 1: Intrinsic Effectiveness (Alethia Environmental): Although this study totals over 70 pages, the most relevant information is contained in the Executive Summary.

Ceramic Water Purifier Cambodian Field Tests (International Development Enterprises): This report is a recent evaluation of three projects. It will give you an idea of practical situations that can be encountered in the field.