There are different ways to purify your water in the event of an emergency. The first choice should always be bottle water that has not been contaminated. If your water source has become contaminated or
you are unsure of the source then boiling, distilled, adding disinfectants or filtering are viable options. Note: Any water that has become contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals will not be made safe by boiling or
disinfection. You will have to find a different source of water. The first step is finding the cleanest water possible then start your water purification process, which is a 2 step process.
I. Clarify the cloudy water:
- Pour the cloudy water through a tightly woven cloth, paper towel or coffee filter
- Or by adding a spice called alum – approximately ¼ level teaspoon per gallon. Larger amounts will not be any more effective. Powder is preferred to crystals (so if you have crystals, smash them into powder). This process may take 15 minutes to two hours, after settling occurs pour the
clear water off without disturbing the sludge at the bottom of the container. A 1.9 oz jar will clarify 15 gallons of water (3 tablespoons in 1.9 oz).
II. Disinfectants for water:
Boiling the water – is a sure method to make water safe to drink by killing most disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria and parasites.
- Bring the clear water to a rolling boil the boil for 3 to 5 minutes. One formula states, 3 minutes + 1 minute per 1000 feet of elevation. Another source states that elevations of 10,000 feet or more, the water should be boiled for 15 minutes because water boils at a lower temperature at higher
elevations. CDC, recommends 3 minutes at any altitude.
- Do not boil small amount for prolonged periods of time, this will only concentrate toxic contaminants if still present in the water.
- Let the water cool.
- Store the boiled water in clean sealed containers.
TIP: If the water tastes flat after boiling, then pour water from one container to another and back or add a pinch of salt per quart of water.
Note!: Iodine is not recommended for persons with hyperthyroidism, a known iodine allergy, or during pregnancy.
- Method #1 – Add 3 to 5 drops of a 2% tincture of iodine solution (obtainable at most pharmacies) to a quart of room temperature water, let stand about 30 minutes. Double the dose if the water is cloudy, double the time if the water is cold.
- Method #2 – PotableAqua (brand name for tetraglycine hydroperiodide) is iodine in tablet form. Use as directed, but is costs more.
- Method #3 – Add 8 drops (0.4ml) of Povidone iodine (Betadine is a brand name) per quart at room temperature and wait thirty minutes.
- Method #4 – Add ¾ tablespoon (2.25 tsp.) of saturated iodine in water solution to each quart of room temperature water and wait 30 minutes. To make a saturated solution, place 5 grams (about the weight of 2 pennies or 1 nickel) of iodine crystals in a 2 ounce bottle. Add water. Shake / stir
for several minutes, until no more will dissolve
NOTE: Iodine treatment, double the dose for cloudy water and double the time for cold water. Iodine can kill most harmful organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, but most likely will not kill or control parasites Cryptospordium or Giardia.
- Add 8 drops of liquid chlorine beach (5 to 6 % sodium hypochlorite) which is about 1/8 teaspoon for each gallon of clear water / 2 drops per quart of water
- Stir well, let stand for 30 minutes before use
Note: Do not use bleach containing thickeners, scents or additives. Using Bleach will kill most harmful organisms, such as viruses and bacteria but not parasites. And the use of Bleach does not work on toxic contamination. And adding to much chlorine to water can be harmful, so be very careful when measuring.
Note: Chlorine dioxide was introduced as a drinking water disinfectant on a large-scale in 1956. Its most common use in water treatment is as a pre-oxidant prior to chlorination of drinking water to destroy
natural water impurities that produce trihalomethanes on exposure to free chlorine.
- Has proven effective against pathogens, including Cryptosporidium
- Multiple commercial brands (I will cover these on another post)
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Commercial water filters can be very effective at filtering and purifying water with microorganisms, toxic chemical and heavy metals. But you MUST carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s
instructions for each filter. Different filters work differently and filter different organisms.
- There are many different types of commercial water filters (I will cover these on another post)
1. Distillation is boiling of water then collecting the vapor which condenses back to water, which will not include salt or other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so the cup will hang right side up when the lid is upside down – do not let the cup touch the water. Boil for 20 minutes. The water that drips into the cup is drinkable.
I listed the most common ways to purify water, each person must decide for their own family, which is the best approach for them. The Red Cross recommends Distillation, boiling and bleach as the only methods to purify water. The Red Cross also states, “other chemicals, such as iodine or water
treatment products that do not contain 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used
Kim Dickerson – Logicalprepping @ www.logicalprepping.com