Salt Water Purification
Methods For Salt Water Purification
In times of emergency, one of the most frightening prospects is being stuck with the need for salt water purification in order to gain access to clean drinking water. Drinking water can easily be contaminated with many pollutants rendering it unsafe and possibly very dangerous to drink. In these conditions, salt water purification might just be your only way out. In the succeeding paragraphs, we will talk about a few common methods used to purify salt water and make it drinkable.
But before we get into discussing salt water purification, it is absolutely necessary to stress that under no circumstance should salt water be consumed by anyone. The very high salt concentration in the water leads to two fatal effects. First, salt will damage the lining of the internal organs akin to acid eating away at human skin. In extreme cases, the effects can be irreversible. Consequently, even if the salt burns do eventually heal, the patient is still faced with the prospect of dehydration. The salt actually pulls water out of the body by a process known as osmosis. Liquids behave in such a way that they move towards locations where there is a high concentration of solutes. In this regard, saltwater will dehydrate the cells of the subject killing the person within a matter of hours, according to how much water is drank.
These reasons highlight the need for everyone to learn salt water purification methods. Again, in the event of emergency where salt water is your only option for water to purify, knowing how to make it a safe drinking source can mean the difference whether you survive or not.
Here are a few of the most common methods for salt water purification.
1. Boiling and condensation. Perhaps the most effective means to separate the salt from the water is through distillation. By boiling the water, it is converted from liquid into gaseous form leaving the salt behind. To complete this salt water purification step, the evaporating steam must be made to flow in a tube and directed into a trap where it is converted back into liquid water ready to drink.
Aside from straightforward boiling, there are other methods that can be used to boil and condense the water without the need to apply heat. A particular example is the solar sill. It is made from a bowl with a plastic wrap cover on top and a cup in the middle. A weight is placed on the plastic wrap above the cup to bend the wrap. When put under direct sunlight, the water in the bowl is slowly evaporated and subsequently condenses on the wrap. The bend in the wrap causes the condensed water to flow into the cup.
2. There are commercial filter varieties available designed to achieve a high level of salt water purification. These filters are relatively expensive but they work to a significant degree in rendering salt water drinkable. Following the process of reverse osmosis, the water is pumped through very thin filters which retain the salts but allows the water to pass through. Homes can prepare themselves for an emergency by commissioning the installation of a filtration facility that is enough to service a small household for a limited period.
These are the most well-known salt water purification methods and have certainly proven their worth in many scenarios. Homeowners can greatly benefit from applying these methods in preparation for an emergency. By knowing how to setup boil and condense homemade installations or commissioning a small filter system ahead of time, there is no reason to worry about being found with saltwater as the only potential source for drinkable water.