Biosand filter Pros and Cons, Components, Cost

Biosand Filters evolved from slow sand filters. These filters have been used for millennia to remove pollutants from water by allowing it to percolate through layers of sand. However, the Biosand Filter upgrades this age-old method by incorporating contemporary innovations.

What is a Biosand Filter?

A biosand filter, also known as a BSF, is a simple, cost-effective, and environment-friendly water remediation system. It is intended to purify water by eliminating different types of pollutants and impurities, ensuring that it is safe to drink. The efficacy of this cutting-edge technology in enhancing the quality of water in underprivileged and rural areas has led to its growing appeal.

Biosand filter Pros and Cons, Components, Cost

How Does a Biosand Filter Work?

A sand column covered in biofilm is the basic structure of a Biosand Filter. Pathogens and suspended particles are effectively removed from water by this layer of microorganisms called a biofilm. The biological and physical filtration processes ensure that the water that comes out from the filter is safe to drink.


Effective Elimination of Contaminants

Bio-sand water filters are excellent at eliminating a variety of contaminants. They are capable of removing over 90% of bacteria, 100% of parasites, turbidity, iron, manganese, arsenic, and mercury from the water, so assuring that the water you drink is free of germs and pollutants that could be damaging to your health.


The durability of these filters is one of its main benefits. They are built with locally accessible materials and are meant to last a long period. 

Low Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency

Water filters made from biosand require minimal maintenance and don't require any replacement parts. Users are not required to purchase replacement components and maintenance is effortless. Their economical nature renders them a desirable choice for people on a tight budget.

Local Business and Employment Opportunities

The production and marketing of bio-sand filters present significant prospects for nearby enterprises. This in turn leads to the creation of job opportunities in the community and promotes economic growth.

Simple Design

A wide range of users, including those with little technical expertise, can utilize the filters due to their simple, user-friendly design.

Low Start-Up Cost

In terms of initial investment and ongoing maintenance, bio-sand water filters are affordable. Because of their price, a wider range of people can afford them.


Heavy and Immobile

The weight of these filters is one of their main disadvantages. Their portability is limited since they can be difficult to move around once installed.

Development of Biological Layer

It usually takes one to two weeks for the biological layer in bio-sand filters to mature. Furthermore, excessive turbidity can cause the filter to clog, which will impair its functionality.

Inability to Remove Color or Viruses

Bio-sand filters work well against many contaminants, however, they are not very good at eliminating viruses or color from water sources.

Incompatibility with Chlorinated Water

It is imperative to refrain from adding chlorinated water to these filters since the chlorine might destroy microorganisms in the biofilm, resulting in a decrease in the effectiveness of pathogen removal.

Space Requirements

The installation of bio-sand filters requires a large amount of room. This can be a drawback for homes with small installation areas.


Filter Container

The filter container is the core component of a biosand filter. During the filtering process, the water and filter media are held in this container, which is usually composed of plastic or concrete. Its design guarantees that water travels through several layers, trapping and purifying pollutants.


The filter container is secured with a tightly fitting lid. This lid keeps contaminants and unwanted pests out of the filter, which is an essential role. Primarily, it serves as the initial barrier to maintain the purity of the water.


Water comes into contact with a diffuser when it enters the filter container. To help spread the water uniformly throughout the sand column, this can be a plate or another apparatus. The diffuser makes sure that water runs smoothly without upsetting the biofilm that accumulates on the sand's surface.

Filtration Sand

The biosand filter relies on filtration sand that has been hand-picked and meticulously prepared for use. This sand is not the standard shore sand. It filters bacteria, iron, turbidity, and manganese from water.

Separation Gravel

There is a layer of separating gravel underneath the filter sand. The function of this gravel is to keep the sand out of the drainage layer and out of the output tube. This guarantees the continued efficiency of the filtration process.

Outlet Pipe

The water exits the filter through an outflow pipe after going through the filtration sand and separating gravel. This pipe enables filtered water to flow out of the filter and into a storage vessel or for immediate use.

Reservoir Standing Water

A distinctive characteristic of biosand filters is the existence of a thin layer of water that remains suspended above the sand. This water reservoir facilitates the growth of the biofilm. 


The biofilm, also known as the biolayer, develops on the sand's surface. The microorganisms in this live layer actively filter the water. They contribute to the overall purification process by feeding on hazardous pathogens.


The price to purchase a biosand filter varies based on geography and other considerations. A simple biosand filter can be installed for as low as $30 to $100 on average.

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