[Challenge] Building an Open Source Water Filter System on two DIY Recycling Rafts



Photo by Johannes Jelinek - vakatmedia.com

As part of our continuing work on creating an off-the-grid technological basic infrastructure we from the two raft collectives of Panther Ray and Wackelberry will be teaming up with Open State this Friday for the OSCE Days. In a

Water Filter System Workshop
on Friday, June 10
from 12 am until 6 pm

we will install a water filtering system on the two rafts to use the Spree water for washing dishes and watering our vertical garden with healing plants and herbs, maybe even for drinking. The water filter will enable us to live even more off the grid and helps showcase that it can be done. We will be working with UV light, a multi-stage filtering system and our solar panels. As it seems they are many filtering solutions around, but not many of them are open. We will start with an existing system but would love to work on it in the future and come up with better solutions. So come along and learn with us how this could be done and most of all improved!

Why should you join?

  • because you know something about filters and would like to contribute
  • because you are working on open source water testing system
  • because you have knowledge about water sensors that we might apply
  • because you want to learn how to build such a system for yourself
  • because we probably will do a nice tour at the end of workshop

How to participate?
Please send an email to pantherray@posteo.de if you would like to particpate in the workshop. We will be building on the rafts and will send you the location and contact details.

About Us:

Panther Ray is Berlin’s first open source recycling raft, creating a platform and accessible creative space on Berlin’s waters, a mobile oasis, where you can soak up fresh sea air or get to know new people and enjoy small concerts for spectators along the waterfront, floating theater or political guerilla actions. The raft is doubly effective against pollution: Using a net attached to the raft’s undercarriage, we collect trash from Berlin’s waters (which we then dispose properly). We also build the raft entirely of recycled materials, thus showing that garbage can look cool and that fun can be combined with the useful. Learn more: www.pantherray.org

Wackelberry is Berlin’s oldest DIY raft. Most known for their open air floating cinema, together with the Bootschaft e.V. the Wackelberry crew is realizing diverse events around art and culture as well as political and environmental education. Find out more: http://bootschaft.org/de/

Open State’s vision is to make open-source, sustainable products the new normal. The team - togehter with OuiShare - has been behind POC21, an innovation camp that united 300 geeks for 5 weeks to prototype the collaborative, circular economy. Find out more: http://www.openstate.cc/

Other ideas that we are thinking about:

Development of an open source sensor (ideally build from recycling material) to collect data on Berlin’s water quality during raft rides: The measurement of water quality data during raft rides allows a more detailed spatio-temporal data resolution being useful to improve water quality measurement. The sensor should have an integrated GPS (via smartphone bluetooth). The idea is to provide the measured data on an easily accessible online plattform.

Installation of an open source oxygen pump to improve the water quality: In addition to the already existing boats that pump oxygen into the Landwehr canal, we would like to have an open source pump that doesn’t necessarily need the expensive technical oxygen, works with solar power from our solar panels and injects the oxygen to deep water depths with lower oxygen concentration.

Construction of a seabin to collect rubbish at our berthing place: We often see trash floating around in Rummelsbucht, where our raft is parked. With a seabin similar to this Australian project: http://www.seabinproject.com/, we could automatically collect rubbish.

PROGRAM OSCEdays Berlin 2016

Welcome @anjaadler!

Water Quality Sensor:
The only project that I know of in this direction is Public Lab’s Open Water, including the Water Quality Sensor - they also provide details of parameters that you can measure, and there’s also the Riffle datalogger.

If you end up investigating this issue or prototyping something, it would certainly be useful to share information with them.

@mauricio and @Jason_Selvarajan, I don’t know what you have planned but it would be great to get some input on this project!.


Yes, the only open source sensors that I know of are the Public Lab one, I am also really interested in this so it would be great to collaborate on that one. About fllters, basically for microorganisms and sediments you can clean very well the water from the river with a combination of charcoal, sand, uv light, the problem with urban rivers are the chemicals, for that the only thing that comes to mind is reverse osmosis, since you have plenty of water available it would be ok (you normally get 1 liter of pure water form 4 liters, the rest it goes back into the river), you can put together a system using commercial components that it’s not “open source” in that you buy parts and assemble your own system, but the same goes with solar panels, you can’t make your own silicon wafers, so you buy commercial cells and put them together or buy solar panels and make open systems, this would be similar from my point of view if you want to make it drinkable from a highly polluted source. I wouldn’t eat the herbs or vegetables if you don’t remove the chemicals with a very consistent method :slightly_smiling:


Open source turbidity meter for measuribh water quality

About pumping o2 into anoxic conditions check out this project http://www.syke.fi/en-US/SYKE_Info/Communications_material/Press_releases/Effects_of_oxygenation_highly_dependent_(3218)
I was doing data collection for it at one time (fun job)

I think they were using very powerful pumps in the kilowatt range with limited mesurable effects - though it was in the sea. Stuff like this is common in Finnish lakes. The idea in The project was to break the thermokline which separates the high o2 surface layer from the low o2 bottom layer. If it could start a mixing effect (turbulent) it could kick it off so the mixing would occur without the need for pumps. Though i’m no expert I think the pumps shpuld have been concerntrated in one place for more violent mixing.

I had some ideas for the turbidity sensor where by a winch could lower and eaise the sensor so you can map the water at multiple depths which I can go into if needed.

Search for Showerloop on instructables for designs for a simple diy filter, but nothing beats the price range of a bucket (and filtrate).

Ceramic filters can remove some chemicals
I think there’s a company called ecofilters that may be of interest.

Plants and algae - bioabsorption is maybe a good way to go, but not without their respective technical and practical hurdles.