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Purify Your Drinking Water

Purify Your Drinking Water

Purify your water! Think about it. What are the top 4 things you need to ensure your survival? Food, shelter, clothing, and water. Water may come in at the top of the list as you can only live three days without water, and even less time if it is particularly hot.

For most households in developed nations, clean water is a given. Cleanliness of water simply ascribes a quality of being clear. So, why are purity and filtering such a big business in developed countries? It is because while the water appears clear, therefore clean, but it may have other impurities such as organisms living in it. As you may imagine, microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses can cause serious health issues. Drinking contaminated water can prove to be a deadly mistake.

For the most part, impure water will typically cause abdominal discomfort, and normal expulsion reactions by the body, such as diarrhea and vomiting. The problem with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration, which is the reason you drank water in the first place.

There are three main ways to break down and filter water.

Mechanical

It goes from largest to smallest. Mechanical is most commonly used by commercial water filters to achieve water purification. This step gets rid of organisms that could ruin your life. A good water filter will also get rid of the gritty aftertaste.

The bio-filter is a mechanical filter. It sounds technical, but it is something you can actually make on your very own. It removes up to 99 percent of bacteria from water and even many chemicals. Here is how it works. Take a 5-gallon bucket and layer it with three main materials. Activated carbon or activated charcoal on the bottom, with sand as the next layer and a top layer of gravel. Pour the water in at the top, and it comes out the bottom of the bucket purified. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with the filtration process.The first pass through may be muddier and contain black specks. Simply rerun the water through the filter until it clears.

The mechanical filter that removes bacteria needs to work down to 2 microns. To also ensure that the filter removes viruses its parameters must be even more stringent, filtering all the way down to 0.2 microns. The issue is that most mechanical filters will never filter down that finely.

Distillation

It is one of the best methods to purify water, but it is a difficult process to achieve, and even more challenging in the areas of the world where it could prove the most valuable. The reason it is challenging is because it requires a requires a tremendous amount of energy and enclosed vessel for heating the water. The steam from the water is then sent through a cooler. It condenses back via a copper line back distilled water.

Chemical

Chlorine kills bacteria and is used in cities and in swimming pools for this reason. You probably already knew that. What you may not have known is that common household bleach you find at the supermarket is the same kind of chlorine. Skip the color-safe or any other bleach varieties. To purify one gallon of water, simply add 8 drops of bleach to the water. Letting the concoction sit for 30 minutes allows the bleach to get to work.

Iodine is also bactericidal, just like bleach. It takes 2 percent iodine in 47 percent alcohol to do the same job as bleach, though. That translates to putting 20 drops of this into one gallon of water. If the water is cloudy, you may add more of the mixture. They commonly use the iodine and alcohol mixture in many third-world countries.

While on the topic of tablets, the next filtration process is an actual chemical filtration tablet. Many companies make them to purify your water. Many of the tablets contain the chemical halogen, but it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in the water. That makes it a little bit less appealing than other options.

Other Methods for Purifying Water

Perhaps the most commonly used method of water filtration and the best known, is boiling water. It does a great job killing off all microorganisms but requires a tremendous amount of energy. Then, once the water is boiled, it has to boil for 5 whole minutes.

Pasteurization can also kill microbes. The idea is to heat up the water to 158 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees Celsius. It does not require that you boil the water. Louis Pasteur actually invented the process and discovered that water needed to be purified.

Boiling is easy, because you can see bubbles, then wait five minutes to ensure the rapid boil has killed bacteria in the water. For pasteurization, there is no boiling, which preserves fuel. However, it also makes it more challenging to determine when the water is pure.

There is a trusty tool to help you determine when pasteurization is complete. The tool is called a Water Pasteurization Indicator or WAPI for short, and is often used in the third world. WAPI contains a wax pellet within a capsule. When the process begins, drop the pellet into the water. When the water has been successfully pasteurized, the WAPI will have melted.

The Results
You have many great reasons and methods to purify drinking water. Some are more convenient and better in a pinch. Others take best to home use instead. If you are venturing outside for any length of time, it is advisable for you to have some bleach along. If you need to purify water at home, then a mechanical filter may be your best option.

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