Friday, June 22, 2012

Options for Purifying Water

In a survival situation, clean drinking water is your most important resource. Depending on the environmental conditions and your physical activity, a person cannot safely go longer than a few days without water .

If you are embarking on a household preparedness effort, water needs to be at the top of your list. Plan for at least one gallon of water per person per day to satisfy drinking and food-preparation needs. Beyond that, additional water is needed for hygiene. If you can store purified or city-treated water in a cool dark area, that is an excellent start. Ideally, you want to use new water-storage containers or barrels that meet UN and FDA regulations. You should rotate/freshen your water storage every six months or so unless you treat that water with water preserver concentrate that can extend your shelf life to five years. (Household bleach is not a water preserver. In fact, bleach loses potency very quickly—any bleach that is beyond six months out of the factory is largely worthless for purification purposes.)


It’s good to have on hand several different capabilities for purifying water.

Boiling: The old standby and probably the best method is the ability to boil water. Boil for at least 10-15 minutes to kill most bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Chemical disinfection: The next best option is to use a proper dosage of a commercially produced water purification tablet, such as Katadyn Micropur, Coghlan’s, or Potable-Aqua. Iodine products such as tincture of iodine or crystalline iodine are also effective. (Important: iodine can be lethal if used in quantities greater than recommended and iodine-treated water should not be used by pregnant women or consumed by anyone for more than a few weeks at a time.) Note that cryptosporidium and other parasites may not be killed using chemical disinfection methods. Be sure to follow directions for each product with measured water volumes.

Portable water filters: The thing to look for with water filters is the filter’s absolute pore size. Filters are designed to remove parasites (Giardia/Cryptosporidium) and have an "absolute” pore sizes of 0.1 to 1-micrometer (the smaller the pore size, the better). They will also remove most diarrhea-causing bacteria. Most portable water filters do not remove viruses so chemical disinfection is recommended after filtration.

Chlorine (NOT a good option): Chlorine has been thought by many to be a reliable way of treating water, but it is risky doing so, since chlorine degrades so quickly and loses its efficacy. Iodine or other stable water-treatment chemicals are more effective.

For more info on water treatment options, visit:

Author Bio: Vic Rantala is the owner of Safecastle , a leading retailer of survival products and food storage products.  Click here  to learn more.

Thanks Vic for an interesting and informative guest post.

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Sawyer products of water filtration ? Worth some investigation, I saw the Sawyer Squeeze for $60 last night in the local Bass Pro shop. I'm sure an on-line search will find better prices. Rated effective for 1 million gallons and comes with 3 different sizes of water bags.

millenniumfly said...

How about UV treatment (via SODIS or a Steripen) as well as a slow sand filter?

idahobob said...

We have both Katadyn and Berkey.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 5:45

There are numerous products of excellent quality on the market that can be used to safely filter and purify water...the important thing is to have something available in case of an emergency.

Lacking suitable will need to know how to improvise a suitable means of filtration and purification (i.e., a slow sand filter as suggested by milleniumfly).

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: milleniumfly

Excellent suggestions.



riverwalker said...

To: idahobob

Got several different types as well...most of which have been designated to cover a wide range of scenarios.

Thanks bob.


Anonymous said...

Do what the settlers did. They dropped a silver coin into the water barrel to keep the water from going bad. With silver dropping in value lately, there's at least one good use for it! Just kidding.

Survival Food Supplies said...

Today we have lots of options for water purifiers. If the water is hard, as most of the underground water is, Reverse Osmosis Filter is the best option.

Water Distiller said...

There are so many options to purifying water ,boil water is good option we free from viruses .And you doing a fantastic work in this post .

Best wishes from New Jersey!
Owner of Water Distiller company.

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