How to Purify Water by Kat Oakley-

Proper Measures to Be Taken When Purifying Unsafe Drinking Water

Safe drinking water is a life essential. Without pure, safe drinking water, the body and all of its intricate systems will shut down. We tend to take for granted that safe water will always be available. What are the proper measures to be taken when purifying unsafe drinking water? There may come a time that knowing how to purify water can mean life or death. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates more than ninety percent of the world’s water is contaminated by natural and unnatural causes.

There are many ways that water can become contaminated and unsafe to consume. Biological and toxic are the two main forms of contamination. Biological contamination is the presence of microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses. These can occur naturally in any supply and can potentially make consumption dangerous. Chemicals that enter the supply through pesticides, and pollution cause toxic contamination.

It is easy to properly purify a biologically contaminated water supply, boiling rapidly for one minute will kill most harmful bacteria and other organisms. Let the water come to a fast boil for one minute or longer. Let it cool naturally, to insure safe drinking.

Chemically contaminated water is more difficult to purify for safe drinking. There are two basic ways to clean a chemically contaminated supply. Products can be purchased to keep on hand to purify safely. The best chemicals to clean chemical contamination are iodine and chlorine. Purification methods for chemically contaminated water may not be as effective if it does not reach a certain temperature.

To properly clean chemical contamination first pour it through some type of filter that will remove any large particles. If the supply is cloudy, this will mean extreme contamination and is harder to clean. If possible, warm the water to at least sixty degrees. Add the chlorine tablet to it and stir to completely dissolve. Leave the chemical mixture for at least thirty minutes. Once treated, the taste can be altered by adding salt or a flavored dry drink mix.

Iodine is more effective than chlorine to treat a water supply. It is also important to note that some people may not tolerate iodine. They may have an allergic reaction to it. Use this form only if you are sure you will have no adverse reaction. To use iodine to treat chemical contamination, bring the temperature up to over sixty-eight degrees. Iodine treatment comes in a few forms. In liquid form, the general rule is five drops per quart. The crystal form comes in a container to be mixed with water. As specific amounts may vary, consult package directions for the correct amount and procedure. The tablet form of iodine is also most effective by consulting the package directions.

If the supply is contaminated by particles that can easily be seen. Filtering may purify to drinking quality. Filtration is only recommended if the contaminates are known. If unsure what chemicals are contaminating the supply, use a combination of chemical and filter purification to bring it to drinkability.

Understanding what is contaminating the water is the only way to be sure to purify it correctly. Life threatening illness and death can result when ingesting contaminated water. Be sure to use the right procedure.

Kat Oakley

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