Introduction: Raincatcher

This invention was made for the poor people of Ethiopia, specifically Tigray, Ethiopia. In Tigray, there is an abundance of water, but it is contaminated with dust and acidic rain. As a result, many Ethiopians lack the necessary amounts of water for a healthy life. Our solution is to attach a rainsaucer to a classic water filter, which would remove all of the dangerous components of the Ethiopian rainwater. The water filter uses pebbles, sand, charcoal, and mesh to make sure the water is clean and rid of heavy metals, acid, and dust, making the water drinkable for the Ethiopians.


  • 1 48 in. Rainsaucer
  • 1 Bag of Sand 1 Bag of Charcoal
  • 1 Bulk head fitting (Any size will work, just make sure the hole you drill in the bucket and your hose will fit)
  • 1 Container of Gorilla glue
  • 1 Piece of Circular mesh (large enough to fit 2 in. above the bottom of the bucket)
  • 1 Bag of Pebbles
  • 6 Circles of Canvas (Each Circle should have a 15 in. diameter, if you are using a standard bucket)
  • 1 5 Gallon Bucket

Tools and Equipment

  • Power Drill
  • Caulks Gun
  • Access to Running Water

Step 1: Drill Hole Near Bottom of Barrel

Drill a hole 1 in. from the bottom of the barrel. Make sure it will fit the bulkhead fitting.

Step 2: Insert Bulkhead Fitting

This bulkhead fitting is to make sure that the spigot will fit the bucket. You may have to caulk where the bulkhead meets the bucket to avoid leakage.

Step 3: Fit Spigot in Bulkhead Fitting

We used Gorilla Glue to attach the spigot to the bulkhead fitting. We then caulked the outside of the connection to make sure no water leaked out.

Step 4: Insert False Botom

This false bottom goes 2 in. above the bottom of the barrel. The false should be slightly bigger than the inside of the bucket to make sure it firmly stays inside the bucket and does not collapse under the layer of the other layers.

Step 5: Place Circle of Canvas Over Previous Layer

We will be placing a circle of a canvas inbetween each layer to help filter the water and to separate the different materials of each layer. The circle should be a few inches too big for the bucket, so that the side of the bucket

Step 6: Pour in 2 In. of Pebbles

This layer will catch the excess waste that seeps through the other layers. Make sure that the pebbles are clean and are small. For example, we used small aquarium pebbles for our filter.

Step 7: Repeat Step 5

Step 8: Pour in 1 In. of Sand

The sand works very much like the pebbles, except that it filters out smaller particles that even the pebbles wouldn't stop.

Step 9: Repeat Step 5

Step 10: Pour in 5 In. of Charcoal

The charcoal is the most important filter. Since charcoal is made up of carbon, when the water reaches the charcoal, the oxygen with in the water activates the carbon. Many, many pours open up across the center of the charcoal, absorbing other carbon based impurities. This makes it truly purify the water of some of it's pollutants. None of the charcoal pieces should be very big (each piece should be easily held inside your hand) and make sure you remove as much dust as possible from the charcoal before you place it in the filter. There are many different ways to clean off charcoal dust. For example, we used a strainer and a hose to wash most of it off.

Side note: The pores of the charcoal will fill up and will need to be replaced after a while.

Step 11: Repeat Step 5

Step 12: Pour in Another 3 In. of Pebbles

This layer just filters out most of the larger particles of pollutant before they reach the charcoal and sand.

Side note: For this layer, we just used clean pieces of large gravel, since we had run out of small pebbles.

Step 13: Repeat Step 5

Step 14: Rinse Filter With Water

We rinsed our filter at least thirty times before it could be actually used. The water rinses out the charcoal dust among other possible particles from the sand and the pebbles to make sure the filter is adding as little turbidity as possible.

Step 15: Attach Rainsaucer

The rain saucer just collects the rain for the filter clean. They can be ordered here.

Step 16:

Step 17: