Water covers roughly 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, but only about 2.5 percent of that is freshwater. Of course, this means that the vast majority of the water on Earth is seawater or saltwater. Given this information, one might wonder, “Can saltwater be made drinkable?” The goal of this article is to look into different methods for making saltwater drinkable.
The process of converting saltwater into drinkable water is known as “desalination.” This method is increasingly being used around the world to provide people with much-needed fresh water.
What exactly is desalination?
Desalination is the process of removing salts from saline (salt) water in order to provide fresh water. Desalination of saltwater yields water suitable for human consumption, sanitation, or irrigation.
Many seagoing ships and submarines use desalination. The majority of the modern interest in this process is focused on developing a cost-effective supply of freshwater for people to drink and use. This method of providing fresh water for people to drink and use is becoming more popular.
Can you boil salt water to make it drinkable?
Boiling water does not make it drinkable.
No, simply boiling saltwater will not make the water drinkable. Desalination is a process that involves more than just boiling salt water to remove salt from water. Before the water is drinkable, the salt must be separated from it, and boiling water will not do this permanently.
A water temperature of 158°F (70°C) kills 99.999 percent of bacteria, pathogens, protozoa, and viruses in less than one minute, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Because water boils at 212°F (100°C), it is safe to drink by the time it has reached a full boil, unless it is saltwater.
To make seawater drinkable, you must not only decontaminate and purify it but also remove the salt. Drinking large amounts of sea or saltwater can be fatal due to the strain it places on your organs. Your kidneys have no choice but to work overtime to filter out the salt, not to mention that water with a high salt content will never rehydrate you. There are several ways to separate salt from water using basic equipment, as well as other methods that do not require the use of expensive equipment that involves boiling the water. However, instead of simply boiling the saltwater, you can boil it and collect the steam, implying that you distill it.
Simple methods for making sea or saltwater drinkable from home
Here are five methods for making sea or saltwater drinkable. The first three methods I’ll discuss will be fun and innovative ways that can be done with basic household items. The last two methods involve the use of two different but useful devices that are available for purchase.
- Use a pot, lid, stove, and metal cup on the stove top.
- Use a large bowl, a cup or smaller bowl, a sheet of plastic, and a small pebble or rock for solar desalination.
- Use a bowl or container, a plastic sheet, and small rocks for solar desalination.
- Megahome Countertop Water Distiller Aquamate Solar Still Emergency Water Purification Inflatable Kit
3 ingenious DIY methods for making sea or saltwater drinkable using common household items
Use a pot, lid, stove, and metal cup on the stovetop.
Desalination by solar energy: A large bowl, a cup or smaller bowl, a sheet of plastic, and a small pebble or rock are all required.
Use a bowl or container, a plastic sheet, and small rocks for solar desalination #2.
Stove Top: Use a pot, lid, stove, and metal cup
- Lid (The pot at lid should go together and make sure the lid’s handle is in the middle of the lid)
- Metal or Pyrex cup
Place a metal cup (or another type of cup that can withstand high temperatures) in the center of the pot, then slowly pour the saltwater around the cup. Make sure there is no saltwater in the cup because this is where your freshwater will be collected. Then, upside down on the pot, place a lid with a handle in the center, so that as the water steams (evaporates), the lid will catch the water particles and drip down off the lid handle and into the cup.
- Check that the pot lid has a good seal with the pot’s edges.
- Without a good seal, much of the steam will escape, reducing the supply of fresh water vapour.
Then, gradually bring the water to a boil. Set your stove to low heat so that the water does not splash around and into your cup. You should also leave a good amount of space between the top of your cup and the water level in the pan.
Keep an eye on the water as it begins to boil and condenses. All of the dissolved salt will be left behind by the condensed water droplets that collect on the lid and drip into your cup.
This procedure could take up to 30 minutes. When the water in your cup has reached the desired temperature, turn off the heat and allow it to cool. To allow the cup to cool faster, carefully remove it from the pot. Use oven mitts or another type of protection to avoid burning yourself, and don’t throw away the freshwater you’ve worked so hard to collect.
Finally, when the water has cooled, it is safe to drink!
- Large bowl or container
- Cup or smaller bowl
- Sheet of Plastic
- Small rock or pebble
Solar desalination is the name given to the next innovative method of distilling water. To begin, gather salt or seawater in a large bowl or container. Make sure not to overfill the large bowl because you will need to place a smaller bowl in the middle of the larger bowl to hold the saltwater. Then, in the center of the larger bowl, place an empty smaller bowl or container.
Avoid splashing saltwater into the small bowl, as this will contaminate your drinking water.
Next, take a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it around the larger bowl. Make sure the plastic wrap is tightly wrapped around the bowl to prevent any water vapor from escaping as it evaporates from the saltwater. You’ll want to use good, sturdy plastic wrap rather than a cheap wrap that tears easily or has trouble sticking.
Finally, directly over your empty smaller cup or bowl, place a small rock or pebble in the center of your plastic wrap. Use a light rock to avoid tearing or tearing your plastic wrap. Make sure your setup is in direct sunlight so that the solar desalination process can work without interruption. The sun will aid in the evaporation of the water, and the plastic wrap will catch the condensation, which will run down the plastic to the rock-weighted spot and drip into the freshwater cup. After only a few hours… the length of time is the disadvantage… it will provide you with fresh water to drink!
This is a “solar still,” which uses the heat of the sun to power a distillation process that causes dew to form on plastic sheeting or something similar.
- Make a hole in the ground.
- Place a bowl at the bottom of the pit to collect the condensed water.
- Cover the pit loosely with a plastic sheet (you can use stones or other heavy objects to keep it in place over the pit). Make sure the bottom of the plastic sheet is directly over the bowl.
- Water can be collected from the bowl in the morning if your water “trap” is left overnight.
It is important to note that direct sunlight is required for this process to work properly, just as it is for the # 2 method of using a bowl inside a smaller bowl. The exciting aspect of this solar desalination process is that it only requires one water collection container, a plastic sheet or similar material, and rocks. Super easy and straightforward! The disadvantage, as with all other methods, is that it takes several hours, so be patient.
The advantages of this Aquamate blowup water purification kit include the fact that it comes in a small, portable, inflatable package, and what I like best about it is that it does not require any power or electricity. The sun fuels the desalination process. It does not have to be submerged in water, but saltwater must be placed in the device for it to function, similar to the solar desalination method discussed above. We discovered that while this product is simple and effective, it is extremely slow!
13 in. x 11 in. x 3.5 in. Dimensions: 13 in. x 11 in. x 3.5 in. The weight is 38 oz.
This product is very simple to use and extremely useful to have on hand if you ever need to convert saltwater.
The Aquamate water purification kit’s one drawback is its excruciatingly slow speed.
Megahome Countertop Water Distiller
In about 5 hours, this Megahome converts 1 gallon of water into steam, which is then condensed into distilled water. The interior of the boil chamber, including the upper cover and condensing coils, is made of stainless steel. It includes a 1-gallon glass collection bottle with a detachable lid. It does provide a simple and automatic method of distilling your own water; simply fill the boiling chamber with water and press the button. The distiller will shut down automatically at the end of the cycle. This distiller’s exterior is made of metal with a white-baked finish.
This unit has proven to be extremely useful in distilling and purifying contaminated or saltwater into clean water. The meter read 102 ppm when I tested tap water with a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) tester (even after being pre-filtered by a Whirlpool Chemical reduction filter). The meter read 0 ppm after distilling the water with the Megahome distiller. It works flawlessly.
*ppm is an abbreviation for parts per million, which is the concentration of something in the water.
As of now, I’ve discovered very few issues with the device, with the exception that it requires power to operate, whereas the Aquamate Solar is powered by the sun.
How To Make Salt and Seawater Drinkable Bottom Line
One of the five methods suggested above can be used to convert seawater or salt water into fresh drinking water. Given that the Earth is made up of roughly 71% water, the majority of which is saltwater, it is useful to understand how to convert saltwater into drinkable water. This process can be slow and painful to watch, but if you’re interested, I recommend you try one or all of them. We enjoy using easy (EZ) ways to prepare for emergencies, so we recommend the Aquamate Solar Inflatable Kit and the Megahome Water Distiller. Knowing how to convert saltwater into fresh drinking water is empowering, and having the two items mentioned above to make it happen is convenient.