Water Sanitation

dirty-waterAs I have talked about water preps in my previous post Water Preps, water is one of the most important resources you will need in a SHTF scenario. My current strategy is to have a stopgap supply of 2 weeks of potable water ready with many more gallons available after sanitizing it. Today’s post we are going to discuss possible ways to sanitize water.

Boiling – The most obvious and effective way to sanitize water is to boil it. Boiling will kill any parasites and bacteria that can kill you. The method I would recommend is to first filter it. To do this, any cotton material will work, a cheese cloth, coffee filter, or any other porous material will suffice. The idea behind this is to filter out the bigger matter before boiling.

Now with this pre-filtered water, you can place it in a container to boil. Various government agencies say for the boil to be effective, you must boil the water for a minimum of 1 minute. I personally try to boil the water for at least five minutes. This ensures all matter has been effectively destroyed.

Some setbacks to boiling include energy to boil the water, and it’s a time consuming process.

Chemical – The next effective way is to chemically treat the water. The most common practice is to add a specific amount of chlorine to a specified amount of water. The current recommended ratio is ¼ teaspoon of chlorine to 1 gallon of water. As boiling water, it should be pre-filtered to get rid of heavier sediment. Mix the water / chlorine combo thoroughly. You must leave this water at least 1 hour before attempting to drink it.

Some of the setbacks to chemical treatment are the time it takes to purify and also a slight chlorine taste.

Filter – This involves a piece of equipment that can filter out harmful bacteria and chemicals from the water. This method is right on-par with boiling (and in some cases more superior to boiling). Generally, you will also want to pre-filter any water going into the filter. This will allow the filter to last longer and have less chance of clogging. The typical process can vary depending on the equipment purchased. I have written a nice write up on my top 5 water filters. Most filters involve a carbon filter (reduces chemical odors and chemicals), a membrane (reduces bacterial and other harmful organisms).

The major setback with most filters is that you must purchase additional filters and they have a specified life-expectancy.

I personally take a multi-pronged approach. I purchased some coffee filters for my pre-filters. I have a method on making my own chlorine on demand which I will share in another post. Lastly, I have purchased various filters as a compliment to water sanitation preps.

I am very interested in hearing your ideas on water sanitation. Please leave your comments below!

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