When it comes to purifying possibly contaminated water, there is no such thing as being too careful. Untreated water could contain sewage, bacteria, diseases, viruses, parasites, pesticides, heavy metals, radioactivity, chemicals, or even poison. Without drinking water, death will occur within three to ten days. If a person drinks water that has not yet been purified, they can become mortally ill with dysentery, cholera, typhoid, and other painful or potentially fatal sicknesses. Even water that you’ve stored ahead of time should be treated with some of the most basic ways to purify your water. To truly be prepared, you will need multiple types of water purifiers.
Filters – Before treating your water, pour it through coffee filters, cheesecloth, or paper towels. If you don’t have these supplies on hand, you can even soak a t-shirt in water, then wring it out into a bowl. Professional filters can also be purchased in various emergency preparedness and camping stores. It is recommended that you buy nice filters as well as a type of simple, do-it-yourself filter. Filtering your water first will rid it of any large and obvious sediment, as well as some bacteria and fungi contaminates.
Bleach – Bleach is the most basic emergency preparedness supply for treating your water. Small amounts of bleach will kill many of the organisms living inside of water. Only use bleach that has sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient. Avoid colored bleaches or bleaches with fragrances. Bleach also loses its strength the older that it is; make sure you rotate out this supply every year.
Heat – Boiling your water is the next basic way to purify it. Once the water comes to a boil, keep it there for thirty minutes. The high temperature will rid your water of most bacteria. It is also the safest way to treat your water because you are not adding any extra ingredients that could be harmful if too much is ingested. It does not do away with some chemicals and heavy metals, so combine this method with another type of water that you did not store.
Iodine – Iodine comes in crystals, tablets, and 2% tinctures. The crystals are the most effective, as they will kill algae, bacteria, viruses, and amoebae. Crystals also have the longest shelf life and can treat the largest quantity of water. However, ingesting even one crystal is fatal – you are only supposed to mix it with the water and then filter it out. Crystals can also be difficult to find, but can be available in chemical supply stores and pharmacies. Tablets are a common stable of emergency supplies. Although they are effective, they are quite sensitive to warm temperatures, light, and exposure to air, making them very high-maintenance storage items. Of the three types of iodine, tablets will taste the best. Tablets containing tetra glycine hydro periodide prevent the abortion of some radioactivity into the body, making it an important supply in preparing for nuclear attacks. 2% tincture of iodine is a household item often found in first aid kits. It also needs to be stored in an opaque bottle, and it has a short shelf life.
Activated Carbon/Charcoal – Activated carbon is what you will find in your commercial water filters, such as Brita. Because the charcoal is so absorptive, it removes bad tastes and odors, as well as chlorine, chloroform, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metals. It only partially removes bacteria and viruses, and will leave behind fluoride, nitrates, salts, and asbestos fibers. Because of its ability to improve taste and odor, this may be the last step you want to take in purifying your water. Activated carbon/charcoal should absolutely be used along with another purification method.
Halazone Tablets – This method is still sometimes recommended by experts, though it has decreased in popularity. This is because, though effective, halazone tablets have a very short shelf-life. They are commonly used in developing countries. Halazone tablets are made out of chlorine.
Ultraviolet – Ultraviolet lights are recommended because, again, there are no added chemicals. This method is quick and fights against microbes that are resistant to chemical treatments. Ultraviolet lights can be extremely expensive (around $500-1,000 on the higher end, around $100 for smaller water bottles with UV lights). Ultraviolet lights will require either batteries or electricity.
Our extreme filtered water bottle filters out biological contaminate, bacteria and sediment. In addition, the extreme filter will also remove radiological contaminants including Gross Beta, Radon 222, Alpha Radium 226, Plutonium, Uranium, and Cesium 134 & 137. You can buy it here: http://www.foodinsurance.com/water-bottle-filter-extreme