Water Purification Methods
Water Purification Methods - they can save your life
More and more people all over the world are realizing the importance of having clean drinking water. Drinking water has often been termed as potable drinking water. Water makes up over 60% of one’s total body mass and the recommended amount that one requires each day is about 2 liters; the equivalent of 8 glasses. For any water to be considered safe for drinking it has to pass stringent tests and standards often implemented by local and state governments.
Water purification refers to the process of removing harmful pathogens or other unwanted biological and chemical contaminants from raw water. These contaminants include disease causing bacteria such as E.coli and Giardia lamblia. With the several natural yet tragic disasters that have occurred such as hurricanes and earthquakes, it becomes essential for one to have a basic knowledge of a few water purification methods that they can rely on in preparation for anything including such disasters.
Perhaps the most essential and recommended form of water purification is filtering. Filtering basically involves removing the physical contaminants from raw water using a filter. Filtration is especially useful if the only water one can rely on during such emergencies is full of physical contaminants such as mud or stone. Proper filtering provides one with direct access to the drinking water.
In case one has not stored a filter and an emergency strikes, one can easily make one from simple materials lying around the house. This is achieved through straining the water through clean paper towels or coffee filters. This can be very helpful if the water has a lot of sediments.
However, filtering by itself is not a complete water purification method. Filtration is only useful in removing the physical matter that is too large to pass through the filter. However, microscopic organisms such as E. Coli get through the filter barrier with no problem at all. Storing chemical treatment for water such as chlorine or iodine helps in killing these harmful bacteria. Often, these chemicals are used in the form of bleach. Iodine is used more frequently in the purification process than chlorine and is readily available in the form of crystals.
Chemically treating water has its own disadvantages. The first is that it gives your drinking water an odd, sort of metallic taste. Moreover, the chemicals used in the treatment must be stored under the right temperatures otherwise they end up being completely useless. Lastly, the chemical treatments are not instantaneous. They take some time to work. One has to wait a while before they drink the water. Also, it is advisable that the water be filtered once more before drinking to remove any excess chemicals.
The best water purification method is boiling. Boiling water can be achieved even during an emergency. All one really needs is water, a pan and a source of fuel. Assuming that electricity is not available, one has to find alternative sources of fuel, such as wood or something that burns really well. Boiling is internationally recognized as the best water purification method under emergency conditions. However, it may be impractical for large amounts of the water as it takes a lot of time to boil water with any other fuel apart from electricity or gas.
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