Purify tap water the traditional way – forever plastic free. Make ‘spring-like’ water in your own home from tap water in a time-tested clay amphora. Provide delicious, pure water for your family, friends, pets and plants.
These traditional handmade amphorae are not only beautifully proportioned and finished, but they transform the quality, aroma and taste of tap water. Available in a range of sizes, they are supplied with either a cork ball or a cork bung. Create the healthiest, freshest tasting and most energised water without using replacement cartridges or filters and receive your amphora in our plastic-free packaging.
The benefits of starting with tap water is that it is bacteria free and much lower in microplastics than bottled water. It is cheap and you don’t have to carry it around. However tap water can contain contaminants such as chloride, fertilizer, pesticide fragments and heavy metals. Improving tap water has involved water filter jugs with over-engineered plastic cartridges or expensive home installations which can strip all of the minerals out of the water.
However, tap water can be improved using low-tech, ancient techniques such as practised by the Romans using clay amphorae and at Natural Spa Supplies we think that this is the most practical and planet friendly solution.
Tests on our amphora have shown that they do purify, detoxify, condition and energise tap water.
These classically styled amphorae have been made to order by a fourth generation potter in red terracotta. Each amphora comes with either a tapered cork bung or a cork ball. Please select according to your preference. You will need to provide your own ceramic or glass bowl to stand the amphora in.
Amphora Conditioned Water Test Results
Our laboratory tests on water which has been conditioned in our traditional clay amphora overnight have produced exciting results.
1/ Water conditioned in our amphora overnight (8 hours) is 100% potable i.e. there is no migration of undesirable elements from the body of the amphora into the water. Please don’t just use any old clay pot for conditioning your water – some clays contain fungicides, others leach heavy metals and fluorides or contaminants from the firing process. Establishing that the clay from which our pots are made from is safe formed the foundation of our tests.
Massively Reduces Nitrates, Chloride, Ammonia and Heavy Metals
2/ Using an Amphora for the Reduction of Contaminants in Tap Water
Although some of the nitrates occur naturally in water, levels in aquafers and rivers are increasing due to fertilizer use and sewerage run off – consequently levels can be high in tap water. Nitrates can also be very high in well water and this is why so many wells are no longer in use. High levels of nitrates can pose numerous health hazards, particularly during pregnancy and in young infants and can be a cause of thyroid disfunction in adults.
Where the average Nitrate level in our tap water is 27.2mg/l (very high!) Water purified in our amphorae showed a level of just 4mg/l Nitrates. The amphora reduced the nitrate levels substantially.
Some chloride occurs naturally in water, but all water companies introduce chloride to kill bacteria and to deodorise the taste and aroma of the water. Conditioning tap water in our clay amphoras, reduces the chloride levels and makes the water much more palatable.
Ammonia, finds its way into water from natural causes but also from fertilizers and other industrial processes. Some water companies use a process called chloramination to add ammonia to water to prolong the effects of chloride. Our test results showed a 50% reduction.
Lead enters water when water pipes and tanks of lead corrode and as a result of industrial processes, such as mining, smelting and burning. Lead is very poisonous. Our tap water contains and average of 4.63 micrograms per litre. Our test on water conditioned in the amphora, brought the values down to less than 1 microgram per litre.
Arsenic enters water though natural processes as well as industrial contamination. Long term exposure is harmful and can lead to cancer. Our values were reduced from 1 micrograms out of the tap to less than 0.27 micrograms after conditioning the tap water in the amphora.
3/ On average our tap water is pH 7. Water which had been conditioned in the amphora overnight showed an increase in alkalinity to pH 7.8. Scientifically minded customers will know that the pH scale is logarithmic, and so this represents a large increase. Alkaline water is much better for us.
4/ Bacterial colony counts were also kept lower in the amphora than in untreated tap water. Water from the tap should be free of the bacteria, however colonies do appear over time. On average tap water forms 1 colony of bacteria at 22 degrees Celsius over 3 days and 3 colonies at 37 degrees Celsius over 2 days.
Water conditioned in the amphora overnight showed less than 1 colony at on days 2 and 3. Water conditioned in the clay amphora show none of the following bacteria at all: Coliforms, Eschererichia coli, Enterococci or Sulphite reducing Clostridia.
WHO recommends that filtered and chlorinated water is purified in clay pots in Africa to eliminate chloride resistant bacteria, but they leave it in the pot for 2 days. If you think that you have bacteria in your tap water you should boil it and contact your water board. Contamination is surprisingly frequent.
Increases Electrolytes in Water
5/ The amphora conditioned water is more energetic and carries more electrical charges – the conditioned water saw a rise in conductivity from 698 to 742 uS/cm. The result indicates that the conditioned water is richer in electrolytes. By contrast reverse osmosis and distilled water are carry very low electrical currents and water treated to reduce conductivity is not as healthy for us and not considered fit for drinking.
The main increase of minerals in the amphora conditioned water was in magnesium. Magnesium is important for heart and circulation health and its bioavailability is greater in water than in food.
Cools Water, Improves Taste, Texture and Aroma
6/ Amphora purified water tastes clean, refreshing, pure and cool. Whether you see these amphorae as purely functional or as showy decorative urns, they always look gorgeous and they are suited both modern and historical settings. When the pot is filled to the base of the neck, the water is contained within the egg shaped belly of the pot. The egg shape is the ideal flow form for the circulation of liquids in nature. Within this shape water follows its natural motion, moving in curves and spirals which aids purification.
There is some suggestion too, that following these natural flow forms, clusters of water molecules reduce in size: customers report that the amphora conditioned water feels more liquid in the mouth, more refreshing in the stomach and overall more hydrating.
Preparing your Amphora for Use
1/ Make sure that you have chosen a sturdy waterproof glazed ceramic bowl, or a glass bowl on which to stand the amphora – These pots are fired to retain some permeability in the body of the clay and need to stand on a bowl to collect any water they release.
Rather like the skin, the amphora sweats out toxins – these form on the outside of the amphora. This increases the purity of the water inside the amphora and helps to cool the water within. The bowl will catch all the drips and keep your floor or work surface dry. Empty the bowl as needed to prevent it over-flowing.
2/ Find an ideal location for your amphora: Out of direct sunlight, with good currents of fresh air circulation. If there is too much direct light or if the air is too damp and stagnant, the pot could develop mildew on the outside. Keep the amphora away from electrical sockets and make sure that people or animals can’t knock it over.
With the ideal location, the need to clean the pot is reduced and the pot produces better water. We keep ours next to the sink in the kitchen, in a sturdy porcelain bowl on a wooden counter. The amphoras sized 1 – 7 litres will fit on a kitchen counter under wall cupboards, if the kitchen fittings are built to standard heights.
3/ Then fill the pot with water up to the base of the neck, place the cork on it and leave it standing for a few days, in the bowl, changing the water once or twice a day. After a few days, the water will have no aroma and it will have a clear fresh taste. Now your amphora is ready to use.
How to Use the Amphora
Fill the amphora up to the base of the neck with water, replace the cork and allow it to purify, condition and energize over 8 hours or longer depending on the quality of your tap water. Only drink the water from inside the amphora. Discard any water which has collected in the bowl. Our tests were conducted on water which had been conditioned in the amphora for 8 hours. So you will be able to re-fill each amphora 2-3 times per day.
Once the water is conditioned, pour the water from the amphora into your kettle or jug. Never place a ladle or your hands inside the amphora or it will introduce microbes. Each time you refill the pot, empty out any water which has accumulated in the bowl.
Check the amphora daily to make sure that there is no algae or mildew growth on the outside of the pot. Periodically the pot will need cleaning as residues will accumulate on the outside of the amphora. Other than rinsing with water, the pot should never be cleaned on the inside. The inside of the pot is self cleaning. Pots which are designed in Africa to purify and store drinking water are designed so that you can’t get a hand or ladle inside them and this is exactly what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends. This way the interior of the pot can remain bacteria free.
To Clean the Amphora
If the pot has accumulated deposits on the outside, or if any algae or mildew is present, you will need to clean your amphora straight away. How frequently you need to clean the amphora will vary with your water quality, the weather, how you heat your house, where your pot is kept etc.
Empty the pot and rinse the inside with fresh water. It is best to clean the outside of the pot with a Scrubby and homemade Soapnut liquid. If there are lots of limescale deposits, you can fortify the soapnut liquid with the addition of clear vinegar. Scrubbies and Organic Soapnuts are available on our website. You can also use salt, baking soda etc, but never use conventional washing up liquid, household cleaners or any oil based soap as they can contaminate the amphora and clog the pores in the clay body.
How to Clean the Cork Bung or Cork Ball
Scrub the cork with a clean Scrubby and Soapnuts or the alternative cleaners suggested above. Then place the cork in a vegetable steamer and steam it for 3 minutes. The cork will be sterilized. It is soft and wet when you take it out of the steamer. Let it dry before replacing it in or on the amphora. The amphora is ready for reuse.
How to Refresh the Amphora with a Sun Bath
Start by cleaning the amphora and covering the opening as above.
Leave the amphora outside on a dry, calm and sunny day – for several hours. Turn the amphora part way through the day so the sun can reach both sides of the body of the amphora and so the amphora can naturally heat up and expand. This helps to open the pores of the clay body and refreshes the amphora. The amphora is ready for reuse.
The pots do appreciate consideration and good care. In return it will happily provide you with up to many litres of purified water per day – well apart the odd day, when you are cleaning it! Please try not to drop your pot, bash it into a tap, or knock it over. Please keep up a good cleaning schedule.
How to Lift the Amphora
Hold both arms (handles) when lifting the pot and setting it down and use a balanced and controlled stance at all times. Or hold one arm and support the base. Do not hold the pot by the mouth.
The 2L amphora is very easy to handle and when full it weighs just over 3.5kg.
The 5L, weighing about 3.5kg empty and 8.5kg when full.
The 7L amphora weighs 5kg when empty about 12kg when filled to the base of the neck. If you are unsure about your strength, I would suggest choosing a smaller sized amphora.
The 25L amphora is mainly used by home brewers to de-chlorinate and purify the water used in the brew liquor and other customers use it for the storage of dried goods such as beans and rice. Keep the 25L amphora on the ground and fill it up with several large saucepans of water. To pour the water out, I hold the right pot handle with my left hand, tilt the pot to the left and use the right hand to lift the pot from the base. These large amphoras are too large for regular use and I would recommend getting several of the smaller sized amphoras if you have large water requirements.
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Please note, these sizes and weights are approximate – each amphora is handmade.
How to Order an Amphora
Just select the size and whether you would like the tapered cork bung or the cork ball. Free postage is available on all UK orders. Do consider getting some Scrubbies and Organic Soapnuts too, so you can easily keep the amphora clean and not be tempted to use unsuitable cleaners on it!
If you are not in the UK and would like one the 2L, 5L, 7L or 25L amphorae, please email us first – we need to make sure we have the right packaging on hand before you place your order and we will need to give you a bespoke shipping quote. If you are in the EU, please be aware that there will be customs charges and possibly other duties and that responsibility rests with you!
Enjoy drink fresh tasting, cool, detoxified and energized water.
We invite you to conduct your own ‘blind’ taste/aroma/texture tests with your friends between freshly drawn tap, or tap water purified through other means and the water which you have conditioned in your amphora!
Can I use water purified in this amphora to brew kefir and kombucha?
Yes, save your self the trouble of lugging bottles of water back from the supermarket. Just fill up your pot and leave the water to purify overnight. You can use it for kefir production, kombucha nurture, home brewing, fermentation brines, making detox teas, herbal infusions and a superior cup of tea!
Which is better, the tapered cork bung or the cork ball?
The differences are mainly aesthetic.
Can you leave water in the amphora is you go away?
No please empty the amphora and leave the cork cover off or ajar so that air can circulate on the inside.
Can you leave the water in the amphora for more than 8 hours?
Yes, you can. We have established that the water inside the amphora remains bacteria free for 3 days when the ambient temperature is at 22 degrees Celsius and 2 days at 37 degrees Celsius. The water will begin to taste more of clay – some customers leave the water in the amphora for longer than 8 hours because they prefer the taste.
How do you pack the amphoras so they don’t break in transit?
We use barley straw from the village and pack each amphora in a sturdy box. We don’t get breakages. If you are allergic to straw, please let us know and we will use alternative paper-based packaging. The straw is suitable for reuse in pet cages, strawberry patches etc.
Can you get all the limescale and deposits off the amphora when you clean it?
If you live in a hard water area, you will see white deposits on the outside of the amphora, even after cleaning. This is normal with terracotta and does not effect the function of the amphora.
Any special tips on water purification for home brewers?
Be aware that the amphora will also cool the water. So do check the temperature before using it, to make sure it is in the range of your yeast. Or add the water straight onto the fruit and wait for it to achieve the right temperature before you add the yeast.
Can you you put distilled water in the amphora?
Yes, the amphora will add some minerals back to the distilled water and make it healthier to consume.