Three Methods for Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

After a water pipe leakage, flood or hurricane, the supply of clean drinking water could be interrupted. Therefore, you may have to use disinfected, boiled or bottled water until the water supply is restored. In this article, we are going to share with you a few methods that will help you disinfect drinking water from the comfort of your home.

The instructions given below can help you boil or disinfect water in order to kill microorganisms found in water. The good thing about these methods is that they won’t destroy other common contaminants like some chemicals, salts, and heavy metals.

First of all, make sure you use water that is properly disinfected. This type of water is safe for drinking, cooking and cleaning your clothes and dishes.

1. Boiling Method

If you don’t have bottled water to drink, you can boil any type of water you have access to. Boiling for 1 minute up to elevations of 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) and 3 minutes at elevations higher than that is enough to kill different types of pathogens, viruses, protozoa and bacteria, according to the reports released by WHO.

At times, water is cloudy. To get it cleaned, all you need to do is pour the water into another container through a coffee filter or a towel.

After boiling the water, you should take it off the heat and wait for a few minutes to let it cool down. Make sure the container is covered. If the water tastes flat or odd, you can add a small amount of salt into a litter of water. Alternatively, you can pour the water to another container and then to the first container and then repeat the process several times to fix the odor.

2. The Bleach Approach

For the bleach method, you need to use chlorine bleach for proper and safe disinfection. Typically, the active ingredients of this bleach have 6% of sodium hypochlorite. It’s not a good idea to go for color safe or scented bleach as they have additional cleaners.

Look for a clean dropper and use it to drop a few drops of bleach in the water. For a gallon of water, you can drop just 6 drops of bleach, which will be more than enough. However, the amount can be increased if the water is still quite cloudy or stinky.

Finally, you should stir the container and keep it covered for half an hour. If the water emits a little bit of chlorine odor, you can repeat the process and let the container sit for another 15 minutes.

3. Iodine Tablets, Crystals, or Solution

This is an effective and more convenient method. It is also available in different forms you will surely find one that would suit your budget. It has the ability to kill viruses and bacteria. They are lightweight and easy to use.

However, it takes about thirty minutes before you can drink the treated water. It is also not suitable for pregnant women. In addition, it has an aftertaste that you might not like.

Once you drop the tablet into the water container, shake the container and hold the bottle upside down and have the lid slightly unscrewed to let the iodine to flow into the threads of the bottle cap.

Long story short, if you are looking for an easy method to disinfect your drinking water in an emergency, we suggest that you try any of the three methods described in this article.