All About Water Purification
Water purification removes biological, chemical and solid contaminants from drinking water. Waterborne disease like hepatitis, typhoid fever, pontiac fever, giardiasis, legionnaire's disease, cholera, amebiasis or viral gastroenteritis often leak into drinking water supplies. Small bugs and larvae also can exist in freshwater, as well as other microorganisms.
Along with biological contaminants, there are a variety of chemicals that are carried by water. Water carries acidity, sediments, lead, iron, sodium, pesticides, or sometimes even radiation. H2O's chemical qualities, which helped enable life to form in the first place, also enable it to carry unneeded elements into everyday drinking water.
The Safe Water Drinking Act (1974) enforces health standards for the United States, and requires public notifications of potential contaminants. Find the ones for your zip code here. Billions of dollars are spent creating America's safe water. Despite the amount of resources spent on delivering acceptable water some states and municipalities fall short.
How Much Water do You Need?
The rule of thumb is to collect and store one gallon of water per person per day.
Water Purification Methods
The process of providing clean water to households use a combination of procedures. Water purification methods can range from chlorination, filtration, pasteurization, ultraviolet radiation (UV), distillation, or, in emergencies, even simply boiling. If no other reliably clean water options are available, water can be treated in the following ways:
Allow five minutes of rolling bubbles
Use 8 drops of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
By collecting water vapors after boiling
This is probably the most safe and efficient way to purify drinking water.
Tablets, iodine drops, or bleach is used to chemically treat water (it is usually recommended to pack these items before hiking or camping trips). If possible, water should be taken from a moving or fast-moving source like a stream.
Avoid ingesting bacteria, viruses, bugs, sediment, or a variety of metals and chemicals by purifying drinking water.