It is becoming increasingly necessary to learn water purification methods for safe drinking water in most parts of the world — and possibly even right from your tap.
It is especially critical in the event of a disaster.
If there is no power as a result of a disaster, even tap water will not flow.
As a result, it’s critical to know where to find water sources both inside and outside your home.
While conducting research in your area, discover:
- What resources are available to you outside of your own home?
- How can you prepare to purify water from a variety of sources?
Water Sources That Need Purifying
- well water (may need purification and usually needs electricity to run the pump)
- mountain streams
- lakes or reservoirs
- swimming pools and hot tubs
- old capped wells
- rainwater – Rainwater can be collected in some areas but is illegal in others (like Colorado). But don’t assume that you can drink it as is – remember there are birds and insects living on the roof and their feces end up in the tank. It can, however, be an excellent source of water for watering the garden or flushing toilets.
Ways to Purify Water
There are several methods for purifying water, but it’s an old wives’ tale that beds of sand and gravel work well. The space between sand grains is large enough for microscopic Giardia lamblia parasites to pass through. (Believe me, you don’t want giardia!)
Giardia and Cryptosporidium are two waterborne parasites that are commonly found in swimming pools, hot tubs, and rural settings. They are spread by human and animal feces and are difficult to eradicate.
The brands I’ve listed are some of the best products available, depending on the amount of water you want to filter or purify and the portability.
Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
Berkey Water Filters use gravity to operate. I enjoy the taste of the water, but one of the main reasons I purchased a Berkey is that it has special filters that remove fluoride from the water. Many states require fluoride to be added to drinking water, ostensibly to prevent cavities. In reality, it is a poison that harms the thyroid gland and may destroy brain cells.
Berkey water filter systems are water purifiers because the elements remove 99.9999999 percent of pathogenic bacteria (log 9 reductions) and 99.999 percent of viruses. You won’t believe how many contaminants are filtered out if you read the filtration specifications.
Do you want to know what’s in your drinking water? You might be surprised to learn. You can see what hasn’t been filtered out by your water company if you go to https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/ and enter your zip code. Then you’ll understand why you need a Berkey!
For most Berkey sizes, there are two types of filters available. It includes two “black” filters for removing all types of dangerous organisms and microscopic bacteria. Fluoride filters are PF-2 filters (white).
Crown Berkey – 6 gallon capacity.
Imperial Berkey – 4.5 gallon capacity.
Royal Berkey – 3.25 gallon capacity.
Berkey Light – 2.75 gallon capacity.
The Big Berkey has a capacity of 2.25 gallons.
Travel Berkey – Compact design, 1.5 gallon capacity.
Berkey Water Filters are available at: www.BerkeyFilters.com
They are simple to use and can treat thousands of gallons of water without the use of electricity, plumbing, pressure, or chemical pretreatments.
A good gravity flow filter is superior and far more convenient for a permanent residence. They do not require any chemicals and, because they work by gravity, no pumping is required. They purify your water while you go about your business. The bottom reservoir has a convenient tap.
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Alexapure Pro is a gravity-fed stainless steel water filtration system with a 2.25-gallon capacity (8.5 liters).
It has a filter capacity of up to 5,000 gallons and can use up to four filters at the same time. The filters are pre-primed and remove 200+ contaminants while retaining trace minerals.
Reduces up to 99.9999 percent of 206 contaminants, with a focus on:
Metals that are extremely heavy
Viruses and bacteria Lead Fluoride Chlorine
Pharmaceuticals and pesticides
The convenience of a gravity-fed water filtration system in times of crisis, such as when a “boil all water” warning was issued in Texas in the winter of 2020, cannot be overstated.
Because there are many low-quality filters on the market, ensure that the product you buy filters protozoa, bacteria, and viruses down to at least 0.5 microns. It should also be certified in accordance with the EPA Guide Standards for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts, and viruses.
The LifeStraw is ideal for 72-hour bags. It’s small enough to tuck into your bag, back pocket, or car.
This incredible little personal water filter can filter 1,000 liters/264 gallons of water down to 0.2 microns! It will remove 99.9999 percent of bacteria such as E. coli and 99.9% of protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
It has a top cap to keep the drinking spout clean and a bottom cap that is removed while drinking and replaced to keep it from dripping after use.
Purchase several and, as previously stated, keep some in your vehicles, 72-hour bags, or as gifts!
The Grayl purifier and filter is small enough to fit in your emergency kit, go camping or backpacking, or take on vacation to foreign lands where the water may not be safe to drink, but large enough to provide plenty of clean water with just one 8-second “press.”
The purifier is available in two sizes, Geopress Purifier (24 ounces) and Ultralight Compact Purifier (16 ounces), as well as a variety of colors.
The filter cartridge can be changed after 350 uses/65 gallons. It filters out particulates (microplastics, sediment, silt), chemicals (chlorine, benzene, chloroform), and heavy metals while removing 99.99 percent of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa (lead, arsenic, chromium).
This is a purifier/filter that will meet your drinking water needs no matter where you are in the world.
Katadyn is a well-known brand (there are numerous hand-pump filter manufacturers), and I’m only reviewing it because I own one and love it. (I did not receive it for review; I purchased it and then reviewed it.)
There are several sizes available, but the majority are small and light.
The three distinct filtering elements in this water filtration system impressed me:
a pre-filter made of silver-impregnated ceramic discs
a pleated glass fibre primary filter (0.3 microns) and a carbon granulate core that can be replaced.
There are two filtering “modes” available: fast flow and long life.
The long life mode filters water that may contain solid particles or is muddy using all three filters, ceramic, glass fibre, and carbon core. The ceramic filter can be cleaned and reused indefinitely, whereas the other two filters must be replaced. After about 50 gallons of filtering, the carbon filter should be replaced.
Buy the best you can afford — this is not an item to skimp on. Learn how to use the filters; it takes some practice. Don’t forget to keep extra replacement filters on hand.
Disinfecting Liquids and Tablets
Clorox or Chlorine Bleach
In the following amounts, common household chlorine bleach can be used to disinfect water:
In clear water, 4 drops per quart yields 10 ppm (increase to 8 drops in cloudy water).
16 drops will provide 10 parts per million (ppm) per gallon of clear water.
After about 15 minutes, you should be able to detect a faint chlorine odor. If this is not the case, add more chlorine. Chlorinated bleach deteriorates over time. It has a shelf life of about 6 months in storage at temperatures of 70 degrees or less. It will have lost most of its potency after one year on the shelf, so double the dose. Never use scented bleach or bleach-containing additives.
Having said that, most city water in the United States already contains chlorine (I can’t speak for other countries). Because our tap water contains chlorine, it is not necessary to add chlorine to the water that is being stored.
It is also not necessary to rotate storage water unless you simply prefer to do so. Yes, after a few years, it will smell or taste strange. This is due to a lack of oxygen. It will taste better if you pour it back and forth between two containers to oxygenate it. If you’re not sure if it’s pure, the best way to find out is to boil it. Water, on the other hand, does not rot like food because it is always just water.
WARNING: Chlorine and iodine do not consistently kill Giardia and Cryptosporidium. In colder weather, increasing the wait time by doubling or tripling your chances. More dependable are boiling or chlorine dioxide tablets, as well as good water filters.
Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment
Chlorine dioxide is a proven disinfectant that is free of iodine and active chlorine. (Despite the fact that chlorine dioxide contains the word chlorine, the two forms of chlorine have completely different chemical structures. The oxygen molecule undergoes radical change, resulting in completely different chemical behaviors and by-products.) Depending on the brand, they have a shelf life of 3-4 years.
Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment is effective against bacteria, viruses, and cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
When one tablet is dissolved in a quart of water, it releases 8 ppm (parts per million) of iodine. For cloudy water, two tablets are used. After adding the tablets, wait 15 minutes, or 30 minutes if the water is cold. Iodine tablets are ineffective against Giardia and Cryptosporidium and can harm some people’s health.
WARNING: Pregnant or nursing women, as well as people with thyroid problems, should avoid drinking iodine-treated water.
Disinfecting Water With Solar
Pour clean water into PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) bottles and place in the sun for at least six hours if the sky is clear or up to 50 percent cloudy. If the sky is 50 to 100 percent cloudy, the container must be exposed to the sun for two days in a row. PET plastic bottles or clear glass bottles are preferred. Solar radiation and heat are used in this method to kill pathogenic microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases.
Avoid the use of PVC bottles (PolyVinyl chloride). UV stabilisers are used in PVC bottles to block the sun’s radiation. (PVC bottles frequently have a slight bluish tint.)