Purified water represents a dream for many, but few know that there are simple ways to learn how to purify water at home without any experience at all – not to mention investing in expensive filtering systems. Sure, a proper filtering system will make your life easier and can provide instant results.
But on the same note, there are moments when water may not be as clean as you believe. Then, there are times when you go camping and you risk running out of water. What if your budget does not allow investing in a filtering system? The good news is there are lots of different ways to clean water at home.
How is water purified?
About 10% of all the water on the planet is free of pollution. Everything else is polluted and keeps going around in a circuit. Drinkable water is known as potable water, but it goes around millions of people round the clock.
Potable water already goes through a series of procedures in order to purify. Basically, it is purified in factories, but it is also treated with all kinds of chemicals. The primary role of this purification is to eliminate microorganisms, yet other procedures are also applied.
Apart from the filtration, distillation and sedimentation, professionals may also take water through biological processes, not to mention chemical processes and electromagnetic radiation. Simply put, there are plenty of solutions out there, but what do you do at home?
Benefits of purified water
It is quite simple – the purer the water, the healthier you will be. You do not want to have soil, chemicals, particles and microorganisms in your water, do you? But then, the more you know about the benefits of purified water, the easier it becomes to make a clever decision.
So, what should you expect from purified water?
- No bacteria – a cause of gastrointestinal issues, bloating and other affections
- Clean delivery system – no dirty and rusty pipes
- Essential minerals – you get the optimal amount of minerals for your wellbeing
- Smell and taste – forget about the smell of sewage
How to purify water at home
There are a few different ways to come up with your own filtration system. None of these options will be instant or as quick as a proper filtration system, but you will get cheap alternatives that will mostly cost you a bit of time.
Boiling your water is the easiest way to purify it. Simply put some water in a recipient and place it on a stove top burner. You can also use a simple fire if you do it while camping. Once it starts boiling and bubbles, you are almost done. Keep in mind that the longer you boil it for, the purer it will be. As it boils, let it there for another ten minutes to be perfectly safe.
The taste will be a bit different. The boiling process kills most microorganisms, but it will also clear out the oxygen. Therefore, water tastes a bit flat. To overcome these minor issues, simply shake it a little and it will recover its taste.
Another option implies a pinch of salt for every liter of purified water.
How to filter water with the slow sand method
Slow sand filtration is also quite common and it is popular among commercial farmers. The process is relatively simple to understand. It implies more layers of sand, which will inevitably remove all the solid particles from water.
Despite the name, the process does not rely on the sand to remove water. Instead, the sand produces a natural film on top of its surface that feels like gel. The procedure is extremely simple and there is not too much operation involved. On a more negative note, the filtration has a low rate.
Iodine for purification
You can find liquid iodine in commerce, as well as iodine tablets. Small amounts are more than enough to kill toxins. But then, iodine is a chemical and should not be used in heavy quantities. Instead, it is mostly recommended for short term solutions.
Get yourself a dropper and add not more than five drops for a liter of water. The iodine concentration should be 2%. If the water is not too clear, you can add twice as much. If you want to use tablets instead, simply use two of them for each liter of water. The solution should sit for about an hour – leave it at the room temperature. Before drinking it, you should shake it a little.
Iodine has a slightly bitter taste, so you can add a few drops of lemon juice.
This is one of the cheapest options when learning how to clean water. If you cannot boil the water, rely on the sun. You need to live in a sunny area with extreme temperatures. Stick to plastic bottles and fill them up to 75% with water.
Shake the bottle for around 30 seconds. You can then fill it up to the top. Close very tightly and leave in direct sunlight for at least eight hours. The temperature should be quite high too.
It sounds dangerous and it is, so you need to pay attention should you decide to use bleach to purify water. It is a chemical that can seriously hurt people, so be careful. The bleach should be unscented – pure and clear. Get a medicine dropper and make sure it is new.
Now, how much bleach do you need for purification? For one gallon of water, you need eight drops if you use 5% chlorine – the most common one. If you use 1% chlorine, add 40 drops to a gallon. If the content is up to 10%, four drops are more than enough.
Let the water sit for at least half an hour before drinking it.
Oxygen for water filtration
If you can get your hands on some stabilized oxygen, learning about purifying water at home will be piece of cake. You need natural stabilized oxygen though. It is an antibiotic and it usually comes with specific instructions based on its concentration – simply follow those instructions.
Non-chemical stabilized oxygen can be purchased without too much hassle. In fact, it might be a good idea to have a few bottles around all the time, especially if you live in an area prone to natural disasters.
Ultraviolet light is an excellent way for purifying water at home. UV light is often used to kill all kinds of harmful bacteria. It works in the air, but also in water and even in solid objects. From this point of view, it represents a handy tool in getting your water pure.
Compared to other methods of water purifying at home, this is probably the safe to drink option. It can compete with boiling water, but pretty much any other option will fail to provide such excellent results. The good news is you can find UV water filter in lots of stores, as well as the Internet. Some of them are portable, so they are suitable for your camping trips as well.
Other types of ultraviolet lights can be used too, but only during emergencies, as they are not so efficient. For example, you can rely on tanning bulbs or black lights.
Are commercial filters any good?
Learning how to purify water at home can bring in a few different options. Porous materials or cotton cloths might be handy to remove particles if you face an emergency, but other than that, such options are not that good at clearing all particles or bacteria.
Commercial filters represent a much better option, as they can clear all kinds of particles and even soil from drinking water. Even if the tap water is considered to be potable, you can still find particles inside it every now and then, hence the necessity to filter stuff one more time.
Commercial filters can be split into more categories. All in all, most of them can be hooked up to the faucet. Some others are portable, not to mention those installed on pitchers and bottles. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes while operating principles are similar – pushing water through a ceramic or charcoal filter. Mild chemical treatment is also involved.
On a negative note, they can get clogged quite fast. Some of them can be cleaned, while others imply a replacement.
As a short final conclusion, you do not have to be a genius to understand how to purify water at home. Some methods are fairly simple and do not involve any sophisticated procedures. Some others can be quite risky, so you have to follow the rules in the smallest details.
One thing is for sure though – while you can filter water yourself, you can also invest in specific systems that can be installed on your pipes or taps. Whichever option is better for you, the benefits of purified water can never be overlooked.