Mastering the Art of Emergency Water Purification
A survivalist’s emergency prep plan is incomplete without a water purification strategy. During a disaster, clean drinking water can be hard to find, so it’s essential to have an emergency plan in place for purifying water to make it safe for consumption. Understanding the practical considerations, environmental factors, and health consequences of contaminated water is crucial for survivalists.
The Fundamentals: Boiling, Chemical Treatments, and Filtration
There are three main strategies for purifying water: boiling, chemical treatments, and filtration. Boiling has been used since ancient times as a way to make water safe to drink. Simply heat the water until it becomes bubbly and steamy and let it boil for at least one minute. This will kill most pathogens present in the water and make it safe for consumption.
Chemical treatments, such as chlorine bleach or iodine tablets, are another effective way to purify water. Chlorine bleach should be used at a ratio of 8-16 drops per gallon of water, depending on the strength of the bleach, and allowed to sit for 30 minutes before drinking. Iodine treatments are usually done with iodine tablets, which contain a measured amount of iodine that can be added to a quart of water. The water should be allowed to sit for at least one hour before drinking.
The last method of water purification is filtration. Although it may not remove all contaminants, it is very effective at removing debris and dirt from water. Filtration can be done using a coffee filter, paper towel, or other cloth materials. It is important to note that filtration alone is not enough; water should always be boiled or treated with chemicals before drinking.
Practical Considerations and Best Practices
When purifying water in an emergency, equipment and supplies, types of contaminated water, location, and accessibility are crucial factors to consider. Temperature, pH balance, light, and air exposure are environmental factors that can affect the effectiveness of water purification techniques. Inadequate water treatment can lead to bacterial and viral diseases and expose survivors to harmful chemicals and minerals.
Boiling water for at least one minute is the most effective method to ensure that the water is safe for consumption. Distillation, filtration, UV light, and solar water disinfection are other options to purify the water but boiling is recommended to kill all bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Water purification tablets are also available, which are better than 99% effective against water-borne pathogens.
Chlorination is another option for purifying water, although not considered a preferred method due to its strong taste. Using chlorine bleach is a relatively simple process: add 16 drops per gallon of water, let it sit for 30 minutes, and if the water still doesn’t smell of bleach, discard and treat a new batch. Other disinfection methods include granular calcium hypochlorite, common household iodine, and water disinfection tablets.
Storing and Maintaining an Emergency Water Supply
It’s also important to store one gallon of water per person per day in case of an emergency and replace stored water every six months. Remember to store your water supply in clean containers and add a pinch of salt to each quart or liter to improve taste if necessary. If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from one clean container to another and let it sit for a few hours before use.
In an emergency, water should be stored in clean containers with a pinch of salt added to improve flavor. Pre-treating contaminated water before attempting to purify it is essential to ensure that any harmful bacteria or viruses are eliminated. When dealing with contaminated water sources, remember to treat all sources, including melted ice cubes, hot water tanks, pipes, flowing rivers, and lakes, as they may contain contaminants that need to be removed and treated.
Stay Safe and Secure with Water Purification Knowledge
Knowing how to purify water in an emergency is essential for any survivalist. With the right knowledge, equipment, and supplies, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will have access to clean drinking water no matter the situation. Keep in mind the best practices for emergency water purification – boiling, chemical treatments, and filtration – and always plan ahead, store water appropriately, and make sure to update your emergency water supply regularly.