Just because you don’t consider yourself an outdoor adventurer doesn’t mean you won’t need to purify water in the future. It’s important to be prepared for emergencies, and the good news is that it’s fairly easy to purify water for drinking with a few key tools. The fastest and easiest way to sterilize water is with Potable Aqua Purification Tablets. Simply drop the tablets into the water and you’ll have safe drinking water in seconds. However, a lot of people don’t think ahead and they’re already in a tough situation with unsafe water by the time they start shopping for potable tablets. These tablets are affordable, ship quickly, and have a long shelf life so you never have to worry about contaminated water.
Otherwise, boiling water is a standard way to sterilize water. Boiling kills viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Some people don’t like the taste of boiled water, but transferring it from one container to another and allowing it to rest overnight can improve the taste. A little pinch of salt can also help. Remember that boiling does not remove toxic chemicals or fuel. If boiling is a reasonable option and the water turns out cloudy, it can still be made safe to drink. Filter it through a coffee filter, paper towel, or cloth. The cloudiness isn’t unsafe, but it can affect appearance and taste. Make sure to store your boiled water in a sterile container with a tight lid.
Other ways to make water safe
If you need safe water fast and don’t have potable tablets or the ability to boil water, small amounts of water can be made safe with a chemical disinfectant. Bleach kills the majority of viruses and bacteria but isn’t as tough on parasites. Plus, too much bleach can of course be harmful for human consumption. Disinfecting water should only be an absolute last resort. When doing this, only use unscented bleach and use 10 drops (from a dropper) of bleach for every liter of water. That’s 40 drops for 1 gallon. That translates to 0.5 ml of bleach for one liter or 2.5 ml for 1 gallon. You can also follow the same instructions to treat cloudiness as you do with boiling water.
Water filters can also help, particularly in removing parasites. When researching water filters, choose one with the smallest pore size. Keep in mind that most filters can’t remove viruses or bacteria. Distilling water, or capturing the steam from boiling, is another method that can be used but is very time-consuming.
Unless you’re an avid outdoor person, you might never think about how you’d disinfect water. Most people don’t—until it’s too late. Boiling can certainly be one approach, but it isn’t completely effective, and you might not have access to heat water. Potable tablets are by far the most cost-effective, simple, and fast solution, and it’s always a good idea to have them on hand. A little preparation now can go a long way, and you’ll thank yourself if a water emergency does happen.