How to Purify Drinking Water

Many people in the modern world take the luxury of clean drinking water for granted. If they want to have some water to drink, they simply turn on the tap, or grab a bottle from the refrigerator and indulge in a nice cool and clean drink. However, that not always going to be possible for everyone.

People who suddenly find themselves in a survival situation, whether they are lost in the woods or after a long power loss, are going to need to have clean water to live. However, that clean water is not always going to be readily available. Sometimes, the water has come from a questionable source, and you know that you simply can’t take chances when it comes to your drinking water.

Water is an essential part of life, but if you are drinking unclean water that is filled with microbes and bacteria, and who knows what else, it is going to put your health at risk. If you were to develop diarrhea when you are trying to survive in the wild, there is a good chance that you would dehydrate and die if help did not arrive soon. Therefore, you want to have a few simple methods that you can utilize as a means to purify your drinking water.

Let’s look at some of the best ways to do this while keeping things as simple as possible, and limited to the types of materials you are most likely to have on hand at the time and those which you should be able to find without too much trouble.

Filtering Out Large Particles

In some cases, you are going to need to filter out some large pieces of sediment and other heavy particles from the water. This can be done by pouring the water from one container to another and filtering it through a bandana or another type of woven cloth. You could also use coffee filters if you happen to have any with you. It is important to remember that this is only going to be getting rid of those larger particles. It is not going to remove the microbes or chemicals that could make you sick. You still need to purify the water.

Boiling the Water

This is, without a doubt, one of the best and most reliable methods of purifying the drinking water and making sure that it is safe to drink. There is no real consensus on the exact amount of time that you should boil the water. However, if you want to be truly sure that the water is clear of bacteria that could make you sick, the longer the better. Try to boil the water for about 10 minutes, as this should be able to kill the material that is living in the water. Remove it from the heat and let it cool before you drink it. If you keep in mind that boiling is not going to remove larger particles, nor will it remove chemicals and contaminants. Filtering, as discussed above, can help to remove some, but not all, of these issues.

Chemical Purification

There are some chemicals that you can buy that are ready to put in your water. You can find water purification tablets and water treatment drops online and in many camping and outdoor goods stores. However, you could also use something that most households have on hand – bleach. You will only want to add 1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon to clear water. Let it sit for an hour, then check to make sure that it has a chlorinated smell. If it does not, repeat the process.

Iodine is another common household item that can purify water. Simply place five drops of 2% iodine solution in each quart of water. You will want to let it stand for an hour before you drink it. However, those who have thyroid problems and pregnant women should not drink water that has been purified with iodine.

Always take care to boil or purify (not just filter) your water before drinking it when you are in an emergency. If you don’t, it could be one of the last mistakes that you make.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Valerie Johnston

Valerie Johnston has over a decade of experience in writing over survival skills, homesteading and self-sufficiency. With a Bachelor's in Agriculture, she enjoys helping others learn about their options in homesteading and survival prep and how to apply it to their lives.

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