Pure drinking water is a basic necessity nowadays. The risk of water-borne diseases arises when contaminated water is consumed. Often we take the facility of safe drinking water for granted. There may come a time when knowing how to purify contaminated water can save lives.
However, the water gets contaminated for both causes natural and unnatural. The water can become contaminated and unsafe to consume in many ways. Toxic and biological are the two main forms of contamination.
- Toxic contamination: toxic contamination is caused due to the chemicals that enter the supply through pollution and pesticides.
- Biological contamination: the presence of micro-organisms, bacteria, and viruses cause biological contamination.
The biologically contaminated water supply is easy to purify. Boiling water is one method of purifying water which kills most harmful bacteria and other organisms. To ensure safe drinking water one must boil it rapidly for a minute or longer and then let it cool naturally to make it consumable.
The toxic contamination is difficult to purify for safe drinking. Still there basic two ways to do it on your own.
1. Using Iodine solution, crystals or tablets
This is one of the effective and very convenient ways of purifying water. All you have to do is drop the tablet into the container (bottle), shake it well, and hold the bottle upside down by leaving the lid slightly unscrewed to let the iodine flow into the threads of the bottle cap. However, iodine may be difficult for some people to tolerate, they may have an allergic reaction to iodine or something. Iodine has an ability to kill viruses and bacteria and it is also lightweight and easy to use. It isn’t suitable for pregnant women, also has a pretty odd after taste.
2.Using Chlorine drops
You have to wait for about thirty minutes before you are able to drink the chlorine-treated water. But before you start that make sure that water is filtered enough to have any large particles in it. If the water supply is cloudy that means it extremely contaminated and is hard to clean. In that case, warm the water to 60 degrees. Make sure you use the required number of drops since it could be poisonous if used too much.
Other ways to purify contaminated water
1. Using water filters
Drinking water plants have water filters inside them to filter contaminated water. Water filters have the ability to remove bacteria in water and carbon helps get rid of the chemicals and awful tastes while iodine coated screens remove the viruses. Filtered water does not have bad taste. However, water filters will require time to time maintenance in order to function properly and have to be replaced after treating several gallons of water.
2. Using UV light
The Ultraviolet light looks similar to a flashlight. And it is as easy to use it as well, all you have to do is just swish it around in the water for a few minutes and bacteria gets killed. It is also very easy to be carried around and very easy to use. It is operated with batteries. But note that the solid particles in contaminated water are not removed with this treatment. You might have to manually do that before using the UV light treatment.
These traditional methods of filtering water are long gone. But it can be possible to someday experience a depletion of your water supply. Or you might just have to stay outdoors for longer due to some circumstances and cannot even buy yourself packaged drinking water, these traditional methods can help. With these methods, you can consume safe drinking water even from those water sources that have contaminated water.