This article will outline 5 ways to purify water and make it safe for drinking. This is an essential skill to have for anyone even remotely interested in survival, be it out in the wilderness or in some post-disaster world. Drinking contaminated water can make you sick and even kill you, so it’s important to have this handled.
Purifying water will eliminate most if not all pathogens (viruses and bacteria), with varying effectiveness of eliminating pollutants, depending on the method.
Let’s look at some of the ways water can purified for drinking.
BOILING FOR 3-5 MINUTESThe most widely used method of water purification is boiling. Heat the water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, then let cool. Boiling is cheap, easy, and will kill most pathogens.
While boiling has its advantages, there are also many downsides. Some of them are:
- It requires a heat source, whether fire electric stove
- You will lose some of your water through steam
- It requires time for the water to cool
- Is impractical for large quantities of water
- It may not eliminate pollutants from water
IODINEA chemical purification method. Use regular 2% iodine solution. Add 3 drops to each quart of clear water you want to purify. Add 6 drops for each quart of cloudy water. Stir and let it sit for half an hour before attempting to drink.
Iodine treated water should not be ingested by pregnant women.
CHRLORINEAnother chemical purification method. Chlorine is a poisonous chemical, so be very cautious when handling and applying amounts. Use regular 5% household chlorine bleach, with no added cleaners or scents.
Add 8 drops to each gallon of water you want to purify. Stir, and let sit for half an hour before attempting to drink. The water should clear, with contaminants collecting on the bottom. The water will have a slight chemical smell.
DISTILLATIONA very effective means of purifying water. It will eliminate all pathogens, pollutants and salts, making it useful for purifying even salt water.
The process involves evaporating a source or water in one container and collecting it in another. This separates water molecules and leaves you with pure, distilled water.
Check out this article to learn how to distill water at home.
ULTRAVIOLET RADIATIONUltraviolet radiation will kill or sterilize most pathogens. UV lamps are available that will do this very effectively.
UV radiation does little to eliminate other pollutants, so it should be part of a multi-step purification process if this type of contamination is a fear.
Always run your water through at least two filtering and purifying steps, to maximize your chances of catching the bad stuff and ensuring your water is safe to drink.
Good luck and stay prepared!
For some extra reading, be sure to check out DIY water softener.