Water And Oceanography

Best Treatments for Making Natural Water Drinkable



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Our bodies need water to operate. It is a scientific fact. Without fresh water, organs begin shutting down. If in an emergency situation, or even hiking and run out of water, it's important to hydrate.

The reality is bout 90% of fresh water drinking sources are actually contaminated, no matter how clear of refreshing they look. The rule of thumb, do not trust any water.

Generally, get water that is upstream because it has run through few bacterial causing sources. When you do treat water, make sure you treat everything used to capture it and wherever it has touched. Never touch your mouth when handling water.

Here are some effective ways to treat water.

BOILING WATER
This is my suggestion as the most effective and easiest way to ensure water is fresh. This is the only tried and true method to kill all organisms that may have developed tolerances for certain chemicals and treatments over time. You do not need to boil water for 15 minutes as you may have been taught. As soon as water temperature hits a rolling boil of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, any living organism will be killed.

CHEMICALLY TREATING WATER
If you do not have fuel or do not have time to boil water, chemically treating water is an option. Chlorine and iodine are normally used to treat water. When using chemicals keep in mind that PH levels, temperature and water clarity effect how much chemical you will be required to use. If there are large particles in the water filter them out beforehand because chemicals will not be strong enough to treat them whole.

Chlorine-
Household chlorine beach may be used, but do so with caution. Bleach can be extremely harsh on your stomach. Do not use more than a drop or two.

You can also purchase chlorine at outdoor stores. Swish it around and if you have a container shake it until you are certain it has reached all the water particles. Warmer water is treated more effectively. Let the water sit for a half hour before consuming. If you in temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, let the water sit for at least an hour.

Iodine-
If you choose to use Iodine, which treats Giardia more effectively than chlorine, make sure you keep it in a light proof container. Also, speak with your health care professional before using this substance because it is not safe for everyone. Pregnant woman, people who are allergic to iodine or have thyroid problems should not use it. Iodine works best in water at least 68 degrees. Add about 5 drops per quart (or more if the water is cloudy), mix well and let sit for at least an hour before consumption.

FILTRATION
Some people do not like the thought of using chemicals and decide to filter water. You can by water filters in camping stores like REI. Be forewarned, not all organisms are filtered out. Viruses, which are generally smaller often move past the filter.

Use this system as a last resort or in conjunction with another treatment program. Treating the water after filtration with iodine or chlorine is a more effective method.

If you are using filtration with another source like chemicals or boiling you can filter water through cotton fabric, a nylon, or a piece of silk to remove large particles. Repeat this process until the water is free of particles.

To capture slightly cleaner water, try to capture dew in the morning with a cup or container.

Diseases and organisms plague our water sources. Never drink water from a natural source without treating it. The most effective method is boiling and should be used whenever possible. If you do get sick after consuming natural water, seek medical attention immediately.

Sources:
http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm

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