The Chemicals in Water and How to Purify Them

Posted by Leah on 3/9/2018 to Safety Tips

Let’s talk about water today. Have you ever gone traveling on vacation and noticed that the water tastes different? Sometimes it tastes exceptionally good, and other times, its horrendous. One would assume that living in the mountain region, you would have the best tasting water. However, it’s not so much the location where the water comes from but rather the filtration process that it goes through. Water need to be filtered and treated. It is pulled from aquifers and treated with chlorine, fluoride and phosphate to give it that specials refreshing taste.

There have been studies as to who has the best tasting tap water in north America. According to Denver Post Colorado has the best tasting water in the united states and Canada. Ohio has come in second place and Minnesota took third place. Those of us that live in these states are very fortunate to have such fantastic water resources. Places like Southern California have been experiencing a drought for some time now that they are really trying to conserve water to hopefully to make it last for an extended period. According to New Deeply residents of San Joaquin valley who rely on groundwater, race to dig deeper wells call it a losing game for small communities and those on private wells. Then there are states out there with just plain bad water all together. Right now, CNN says Flint Michigan is going through a water crisis. These supposedly “drinking” waters are tainted with lead and other toxins. Historically, the water in the Flint River downstream of Flint has been of poor quality, and was severely degraded during the 1970's, due to "the presence of fecal coliform bacteria, low dissolved oxygen, plant nutrients, oils, and toxic substances." [Source] In the long run this has caused several health conditions such as cognition, behavior disorders hearing problems and puberty in children. For pregnant women it has caused reduced fetal growth. The presence of lead in water can also affect heart kidneys and nerves.

Now that we have discussed the areas with good and not so good water let’s talk about how to treat our own water in case you are in an area that the water is questionable. There are many ways you can purify water to remove sediment and contaminants. Here are some methods to try to practice.

  • Remove large particulates- strain the water for pebbles, insect’s dirt using a cheese cloth or dish towel as a s trainer.
  • Make your own filter- you can use birch bark curled in to a cone, use a shirt/towel in place of the coffee filter, use nuts, roots, or grass in place of the filtration materials.
  • Use sedimentation- meaning let the water settle for an hour or two, allow the heavier particles to sink to the bottom and the lighter particle s float to the top. Skim the lighter particles from the top and gently slowly pour the water into a clean bowl, jug, or jar leaving the heavier particles behind.
  • Use water purification tablets- these are either made of chlorine dioxide or iodine and the kill bacteria and viruses in the water.
  • Clean water with small amounts of bleach- important to use small amounts to avoid poisoning.
  • Purify with iodine- Plain liquid iodine can be used to kill pathogens in water, however many people are turned off by the taste
  • Also, one of the most common ways is to boil the water- bring pot to a boil and let sit for about 10 minutes. Let the water cool before drinking. The more contamination the longer you need to boil.

Water is a tricky subject and should not be taken lightly. In places like Puerto Rico water has become so scares that they are being charged $10.00 a gallon right now. So, if you would like to stay ahead of the game try to learn how to keep your surrounding waters drinkable. Also, while at home let’s try to be more water wise and to conserve where you can. Wash your car once a week, and if you have a garden, try to water maybe only a couple days out of the week with a watering system. And last, don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth and try to take shorter showers.

Take a look at our website to see the water purification tablets and some of the emergency pouches of water we have to offer.

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