We’ve discussed the proper storage of water – now we’re going to look at how to purify your water and keep it safe for your family to drink. You’ll want to be absolutely sure that your drinking supply is 100% free from parasites or bacteria particles. Here are a few simple but necessary methods to get rid of those unwanted elements.
Boil your water. The easiest method, also kills 99.9 of bacteria in the water – except minerals.
Water purification tablets. Easy to find at sporting goods and camping/hiking stores, as backpackers need a sure way of making sure their water is safe. When you pick some of these up, also grab a few UV purifiers.
Iodine and chlorine tablets will kill bacteria living in your water. I have been told that checking with a doctor before using iodine tablets (if you’re pregnant) is something you need to do. Use one tablet for each quart or liter of water and allow 30 minutes for the tablets to do their work. The colder the water is, the longer it will take for the tablets to do their work. Also, tablets can add a distinct taste, so you might want to add some flavor packets (or powdered drink mix packets) of your own to give a better taste.
Water purifiers – pump purifiers are generally used with a plastic bottle or canteen when on a camping or hiking trip. Most filters have two separate hoses, one each for clean and dirty water – and operate by a plunger or lever that can be pulled and pushed so that water is passed through a series of filters, and then pumped out and into your water container. You can also buy water bottles with built-in purifiers.
UV water purifiers – (made for recreational hikers as well as the military) are a great addition to your arsenal. You will need to store water out of direct sunlight – which can increase the possibility of bacteria growth inside the container. They are simple to use, as well, and the ultraviolet rays eliminate the bacteria. Place the pen of the lamp into the container filler with water, wait for the light on the pen to turn green, and then swirl the pen until the light turns off.
Also, age proof your water. There are a number of options for you: Use a Water Preserver concentrate to keep your water safe – this can keep your water safe for up to 5 years. Additionally, you can use 16 drops of unscented bleach for each gallon (1 teaspoon of bleach per every 4 gallons) of water to prevent the growth of bacteria – which will spoil your water.