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Water Purification Basics

April 16, 2019 2 min read

There’s no question that being able to sustain yourself during an emergency is important. But for preppers, this goes well beyond things like emergency food storage and knowing first aid. Out of everything involved in staying alive, having clean water is probably the most important.

Every prepper is already well aware of just how important fresh water is, and the first step you’ll need to take in a survival situation is obviously finding a water source. But once you’ve found it, your next step is to purify the water.

No matter how clean and crisp water from a spring or any other source may appear, the fact is that it can be filled with bacteria and parasites that can cause major problems for you. Purifying your water is a must, and failure to do so can lead to illness and even death in some cases. Storing ample amounts of water is a good first step, but knowing how to purify your water is vital. Here are some options:
  • Boiling – This is the obvious one, and the one that most are aware of. The key here is to watch for rolling bubbles, not just a few small ones rising in the water. Once the bubbling starts, boil for a full five minutes for safety – 15 to 20 minutes of boiling will destroy virtually all organisms and remove most chemicals as well. 
  • Purifiers – Pump style purifiers are handheld devices that use various methods to purify the water. Usually, you’ll use a plunger or a lever that runs the water through filters. It’s a simple process that is well worth investing in a system for. 
  • Tablets – You can also purchase a supply of water purification tablets that are dropped into water to kill harmful bacteria. With these, you’ll want to use the instructions included with the tablets to get the proper results. 
  • Bleach – Using roughly 6 drops of bleach for every gallon of water is another option. This relatively small percentage of bleach won’t harm you, but will kill almost everything within the water. Mix it in and let it sit for a minimum of five minutes to get the best results. 
These four basic options are the fundamentals of water purification. Stocking up on supplies for each of them is a good idea, and can help you be ready in the event that you need to find and purify your water in a survival scenario.