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No matter how thirsty you are, it is not good to drink dirty water. The problems it will cause can last for years and, in some cases, even kill you. If you are in a situation where there is no clean tap water or bottled water at the local shop, you need to know how to purify water to make it potable. This is not as strange as it may sound. There are instances such as during a major flood or hurricane when drinking water is scarce. Also, people who spend a lot of time camping or in the wilderness should know basic water usage safety tips.
Boiling water for one minute will make it safe to drink when it has cooled. About 99.9 percent of bacteria in the water will be killed if it boils for 15 – 20 minutes. Boiling will not remove metals, minerals or solids in the water. After the water has boiled, it can be taken from the fire and left to cool. During this time, the solids, metals and minerals will naturally sink to the bottom of the pot. The pure water will be on the top. Very hot tap water may also be safe to drink if it has been in a water heater tank for a while.
A water purifying system can be created in the wilderness. It will not make the water 100 percent pure, but it will reduce the amount of microbes in the water. It should only be used in extreme emergencies. The system requires a strip of birch bark or another type of bark that can be removed in sheets and is flexible. Twist the bark into the shape of a cone and tie a piece of string, rope or durable grass around it, so it will keep its shape.
Fill the cone with layers of sand, charcoal, gravel and grass. First, put in the gravel or small stones, then the sand and then the charcoal. If you have a fire, it is easy to get charcoal. You can crush burnt pieces of wood. The water should be passed through the filter several times.
Sunlight will disinfect clear water but not cloudy water. If a clear plastic bottle is filled with water and put on its side on a reflective surface such as aluminum foil, it will be safe to drink after a minimum of six hours in direct sunlight.
Creek water, rainwater and bore well water can be made potable with a few simple procedures. After a natural disaster, you likely will not be able to find the kind of modern water tanks that are thoroughly prepared for holding healthy water for a prolonged period such as Covac GRP water tanks. Therefore, it behooves you to learn various methods such as the preceding tips for purifying the water that you are able to find.
Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three active kids, and an aspiring author. She enjoys writing about all things health, fitness, and family safety and well being.