Non-potable water is the water that you get from the source like rivers, lakes, natural springs, and groundwater. This kind of water is not safe to drink, but when it gets to the municipality reservoir, it is usually treated to make it potable. Now you might think that after the treatment, the water from your tap is already safe to drink, but there are times that contamination gets into the water even after it is being treated. This is the reason why homes are installing different water filtration systems. In St George, Utah, for instance, this approach to making water safe to drink is common.
Things You Can Do at Home to Purify Water
Apart from water filtration, there are a few things that you can do at home to make water potable. All the methods provided below are effective, provided that they are done properly. You don’t need to do all of these methods, all you need is one that works for you.
Boil the water
Good old boiling is still the most practical thing that you can do to purify water. Albeit time-consuming, all the time spent and the effort that goes into boiling are all worth it because what you get afterward is water that’s safe to drink. Boiling water for sufficient time is enough to kill bacteria that can cause illness. It will also drive off some toxins because a lot of it evaporates after being heated.
Do you mean the bleach? Yes, the bleach. Make sure that you use the unscented one. If boiling is not an option, you can use bleach because it contains chlorine, which is the same chemical that the municipal reservoir uses to treat the water. But you have to get the right measurement so that you have enough bleach to disinfect the water, but not too much to be poisonous. The typical measurement is eight drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
If you have tried hiking for an extended period, then you might have experienced putting iodine crystals or tablets to your water container. That is because iodine kills bacteria and viruses, plus it’s so handy to use. All you need to do is follow the direction provided by the product. Iodine, however, gives water an aftertaste.
Use bottled water
If none of these solutions appeal to you, you can always buy bottled water. Some brands just use tap water and purify it for you through activated carbon or reverse osmosis. This is a highly convenient solution when you don’t have access to a drinkable water supply.
There are times when the above methods are not enough because the contamination of the municipal tap is just too much. When the water contains metals like lead and salt, the methods mentioned above are not enough to purify it. In this case, your best option would be to consult a water technician. Have your tap water tested and follow his recommendations on how to make it potable.