Purifying River Water
Purifying River Water Tips
There are unavoidable situations, particularly in times of emergency when you are pressed to find unconventional sources of drinking water. Thankfully, using proper knowledge and techniques for water purification, even river and lake water can be transformed into a potable water source. In the case of purifying river water, you only need to know what is typically contained in the river water so you can use the right purification techniques to transform the water source from dirty and unusable to drinkable and useful for human consumption.
The first thing you need to learn about river water is that it contains a lot of organic and particulate contaminants. A lot of the organic contaminants like bacteria and fungi that is present in river water is due to the fact that all sorts of refuse and excrement is bound to eventually find itself into bodies of water such as rivers. The main culprit may be animal refuse coming from wild animals or it may be from factorie dumping their waste in it. This is of course cause for worry for anyone planning to drink river water.
Purifying river water, therefore, involves boiling in order to kill the organic contaminants via heat. Standard recommendations by government health agencies require boiling water for at least 1 minute but to be on the safe side, a 3 to 5 minute boiling time is necessary. especially in higher altitudes where water boils at a fraction of a centigrade lower than on sea level.
Wherever boiling is not a viable option, chemical disinfectants can also be used in purifying river water. Iodine or chlorine pellets sold in commercial stores is a proven option for making sure that water is free of organic pollutants. Make sure to check the dosage of the pellets relative to water volume as well as observing a certain amount of setting time to allow the chemical disinfectant to completely react with the microorganisms to kill them. Purifying river water has to be done following these strict recommendations so you can be sure of the quality of water that you will be using.
The next step in purifying river water is by making sure particulate contaminants are also treated and removed. The most simply way of doing this is by filtration using a variety of media from common cotton cloth found in the household to commercial water filters sold in hardware stores all over the country. Commercial filters normally involve multiple stages of filtering media which helps to take away all forms of particulate contaminant above the safe size recommended by health organizations. Only by doing it this way should purifying river water be considered safe. In the case of ordinary cotton cloth filters, filtering more than once can be a viable option to clean the water from dust, soil and other dissolved solids.
Exercise due caution and care when purifying river water. Only when you are sure of the quality of the water should you choose to drink or use it. Otherwise, repeat the above tips if the water is still murky or you feel that it has not been disinfected enough. Always look after your health so don’t rush into using unsafe water for human consumption. Becoming sick in an already emergency situation will only make things extremely worse. It you have more than one option available for purifying river water,use them all just to make the water even safer.
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