What is the best dirty wetland water filter: sand and rocks, coffee filter or socks?

My project is about what out of some of the most common household and nature items is the best to filter dirty water to save a wetland. I want to find out what is the best one.
Wynton Hyer
Grade 5


I think the best filter will be the sand and rocks because I once used it in a camp to filter water. When I did it looked clean but I did not check it with a microscope. I think the worst filter will be the socks the because they are made to be cleaned not to clean.


What do oil particles look like? They look like long, thin bubbles linked together or more square shaped and separate.

What can cause polluted water? One main cause is oil spills and garbage, so I will contaminate the water with oil for oil spills and dirt for the garbage.

What is a filter? A filter is an object that helps remove chemicals, garbage, harmful particles and/or unwanted particles from water or other liquids. Not all filters work/function.


Independent variable: different types of filters

Dependent variable: microscope/eyes

Controlled variable:  polluted water, bottles


#1: Gather/buy some/all materials on previous page.

#2: Cut bottoms off three bottles.

#3: Hot glue upside down bottles to box (use tape if glue does not work).

#4: Drill a hole in bottle caps and put them on bottles.

#5: Fill one bottle with sand and rocks, one with a coffee filter, one with socks.

#6: Research about what oil particles look like.

#7: Mix all oil, dirt and water to make polluted water.

#8: Pour dirty water into filters.

#9: Check filtered water with eyes and microscope for oil particles.

#10: Record the results.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

#1: With my eyes I observed:

  • The coffee filter let all oil through and slowly let water through.
  • The socks let almost all water through, a little oil and almost no dirt.
  • The sand and rocks slowly let water through but did not let dirt or oil through. It is the best so far.

#2: With a microscope I observed:

  • The water filtered by the coffee filter had lots of oil particles and dirt.
  • The water filtered by the socks had lots of dirt and little oil.
  • The water filtered by the sand and rocks had some dirt and oil but less than the socks.


  • The coffee filter had lots of oil and a bit of dirt in the water because it is meant to take out bitter flavour from coffee, and is not used to filter oil.
  • The socks had only a little bit of oil and dirt because the socks absorbed the oil and water. It strained the water through and caught some of the dirt.
  • The sand and rocks had the cleanest water because it held tightly together and absorbed oil. The dirt could not get through because the sand held it on top of the sand.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

#1: Using my eyes, my prediction (sand and rocks are the best filter) is right. However, I was wrong about the socks being the worst. The coffee filter was actually the worst and socks were in second place.

#2: Using the microscope, my prediction was right but not by much. The coffee filter had many oil molecules and some dirt and water. The socks had lots of dirty things some oil and some water. Finally, the sand and rocks were like the socks except a smaller amount of dirt and oil.

Conclusion:  Sand and rocks are the best dirty wetland water filter.


This conclusion can be put to real life use in a survival situation if you find any dirty/oily water because you can use sand and rocks to filter it quickly and efficiently.  TIP:  don't leave water for too long under the filter because it may become dirtier because the sand starts leaking in.

Sources Of Error

A souce of error could have been leaving the filtered water for too long under the filters because they may have allowed more of dirt and oil through as time went by.


► Conserve Energy Future

► Royal Society of Chemistry!divAbstract

► Nutra Ingredients

► Google Dictionary


Thank you to my mom for helping me focus on the task and to point out my errors in spelling and ways of doing things.

Thank you to my dad for getting the materials and seeing if I am okay at school in the project.

Thank you to my brother Wesley for always keeping me happy and energetic during the project.

I love all of you guys very much.

A big thank you to Sra. Rivas and Sra. Barrera for guiding me through the project!