How to Purify Contaminated Water
How to Purify Contaminated Water
Whether you are out hiking or happen to be a victim of a disaster, having clean water is a key aspect to your survival. Water is essential to all body functions and plays a key role in ensuring that you keep a clear head when dealing with such emergency situations. While you may not always have access to clean water in the face of disaster situations, there are a number of emergency purification methods that you may resort to. Here's a step by step guide on how to purify contaminated water.
First, take time to filter the water through a clean cloth. You can use a clean cotton cloth such as a handkerchief or tee shirt for this purpose. This will at least filter out any larger articles that may be in the water if you are getting in from a river or pond. Even better, you could use a portable water filter if you have one. Portable water filters are known to be quite effective when purifying contaminated water. Water filtration is very important as a number of chemical treatments are known to be less effective in murky water.
Aluminum sulfate which can be bought at many locations and put in your emergency kit may be used to speed up the clearing of water. Any impurities within the water you are purifying will coagulate due to the addition of this compound. These can then be removed once they settle at the bottom of the container.
When learning how to purify contaminated water, you will notice that there are quite a number of methods that you can choose to use. It should be noted that not all purification methods offer completely safe drinking water. As such, combining the different water purification methods is the best way of purifying contaminated water. For instance, if you combine boiling with chemical treatment, the water will stay safer for drinking for a much longer time due to the chemical action.
Boiling is the most thorough water-purification method. One is advised to boil the water fully for one full minute before allowing it to cool. Be sure to check it is a full, rolling boil. Depending on your altitude, you may have to boil the water for longer to get the desired result.
You may also use chemical disinfectants to purify your water. However, this method is not as effective as boiling so if you can use both methods it would be better. You can even use household bleach, but avoid using scented bleaches or ones which have added cleaners. Just add a few drops per gallon. The water should be allowed to sit for about 30 minutes before it can be stored away for drinking.
Finally, if you are storing water for emergency use, you need to know how to clean your storage containers when learning how to purify contaminated water. You should clean the containers with water and dish soap and rinse thoroughly. Moreover, take the time to submerge the containers in bleached water for about 20 seconds to ensure that they are uncontaminated. If stored in containers that have been washed and disinfected like this, water will be safe to drink for at least 6 or 8 months.
There are a number of other emergency water purification techniques that you may want to learn about. If you would really like to learn how to purify contaminated water just browse through our huge selection of articles.