During emergencies such as tornadoes and hurricanes, water is everyone’s top priority. In such cases, pure water is scarce, and you can only make use of what’s available. This happens until things have calmed down by normal restoration of water. During which you’ll be thinking of different ways to purify water.
Water can be filtered, boiled, or treated with chemicals in order to purify it. If done correctly, each of these methods can provide clean water. You need to choose only one way amongst these of your preference.
The deficiency of water can be very risky and harmful to your health. It can lead to one of the most primary sicknesses, which is dehydration (the lack of water in your body) leading to specific symptoms. Such as dry lips, headache, and drowsiness, even nauseous. It can further lead to a heat stroke, if not prevented as soon as possible.
- How to Know the Quality of the Water you drink
- Different Impurities your Water may contain
- Different Methods to Clean Water
- Benefits of Purified Water
- Disadvantages of Non-Purified Water
How to Know the Quality of the Water you drink
Water is the most basic necessity of every living thing. The earth is filled with impure water. Sometimes, people have no other choice but to use the contaminated water available to them. There are many different methods to purify impure water within a matter of minutes. But, first, let’s determine the quality of the water you drink. Contaminated water may contain one of the three basic components listed below.
1. Microbial contamination
Microbial contamination is most dangerous because of its health-threatening quality. Impure water contains many microorganisms, which, if consumed, can be a severe threat. These pathogenic microorganisms came to meet water by contact of manure. Such types of contamination may cause diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
2. Chemical contamination
The presence of heavy metals or chemical components that oppose a threat to human life is called chemical contamination. Most minor chemicals like sodium and calcium are safe and harmless. The rest of the substances can be a risk, especially for children, when consumed over the limit. Chemical contamination is a result of natural and artificial activity. Such activities may be agriculture and waste disposal.
3. Physical contamination
Last but not least, we have physical contamination of water. This type of contamination might also occur in lakes, rivers, streams, and even indoors. This means the color, odor, temperature, and hardness of the water. They are not an immediate danger but can damage you in the long-run. This type of water may also have a nasty taste. Physical contamination also includes bacteria and viruses.
The quality of water can be improved effortlessly by removing the impurities. But, we’ll get back to that topic later.
Different Impurities your Water may contain
Impure water contains harmful pathogens and microorganisms. It also includes severe diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery, etc. Contaminated water containing excess levels of contaminants may be a threat to your health. Some of the main impurities are given below with further detail.
Microorganisms are present in different forms in water. Types are bacteria (E.Coli, Salmonella), viruses (rotavirus), and protozoan (cryptosporidium, Giardia Lamblia). These microorganisms can be risky for infants and the elderly. It can cause headaches, nausea, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Many viruses are present in impure water, being a menace to your health. A virus is the most dangerous water-borne disease. Different viruses have different ways of transmission. HIV, hepatitis, rotavirus, and polio are the most common types of viruses found in water.
Pyrogens are substances derived from microorganisms. If it is present in water in a sufficient amount, it can be extremely dangerous. If a person is exposed to pyroxenes, severe inflammation symptoms, shock, failure of organs, and even death are caused.
4. Solvated inorganic ions
Anions, bicarbonate, carbonate, chloride, cations, calcium, magnesium, sodium/potassium, and nitrates are inorganic. Such inorganic ions are dissolved in water. If present in excess in water, it can result in adverse chemical and biological reactions. This leads to an unstable and dangerous environment.
5. Solvated organic compounds
Such matter includes soil organic matter, plant residues. Even soluble particles diffused by living organisms, bacteria, algae, and plants are formed. These compounds interfere with gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, and fluoroscopy.
6. Diffused gases
The most common gases diffused in water are oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and inert gases. These gases mess with the pH level of water, causing an unstable ionic environment. They can change the rate of biochemical reactions. If carbon dioxide is in excess, it results in acidity in water.
There are two basic types of particles in water. They are colloidal particles and suspended particles. Colloidal particles can interfere with analytical strategies and ionic exchange. Suspended particles can pollute osmosis membranes and chromatography columns.
The simplest way to prevent the contaminants mentioned above is by purification systems. Reverse osmosis is the most effective method of removing pollutants up to 99.99%. Contaminants pollute water and should be dealt with immediately.
Different Methods to Clean Water
Now is the time to discuss how to clean water. The following are some detailed instructions on how to improve the quality of water by purifying it.
Boiling is the act of vaporization of liquids. Boiling is the easiest and reliable method of how to naturally purify water. All you require is some fuel to place beneath the water to bring it to a boil. First, filter the water, put it on heat, bring it to boil, wait for it to cool, and store it in a container for later use.
This process might cause the water to become completely tasteless. In order to improve taste, add some salt or pour it from one container to the other. It is a natural and quick way to purify water by boiling.
2. Use of iodine
This is a very convenient method. Make sure you add these tablets to your next grocery list. All you need is an iodine solution, which is cheap and can be bought anywhere. It kills viruses as well as bacteria. It has a wait time of 30 minutes and has a slight aftertaste. Place the tablet inside the water container, shake it, and hold it upside down to let iodine diffuse through the loose bottle cap.
3. Water disinfection tablets
These tablets may be based on iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide. They are available online or in local pharmacies. Each tablet bottle comes with its own set of directions for usage.
4. Water filter
There is no guarantee that your tap water is safe unless you run a lab test. A lab test will help determine the quality of your water. Tap water can be purified by filtration to remove all the solid minerals and particles. These particles and minerals can cause your water to have a certain aftertaste.
A water filter can help remove significant contaminants. Such are viruses, bacteria, metals, and others. The working of the filter depends on its quality. Better the quality, the better the results. Although it needs regular replacement, it still works wonders.
Water filters are of many types. Some are given below.
- Pour through filters: this filter is convenient to use and can fit in your refrigerator with ease. Although they are inexpensive, they can filter only a short amount of water.
- Faucet mount filters: these filters can easily attach to your faucet. It is easy to install, but the flow of water is slow.
- Countertop filters: These types of filters are fit for the filtration of large quantities of water. They only work on certain types of filters and don’t clog as much.
- “whole-house” filters: they are fit in the water main and filter the water in your whole house. They are inexpensive and last much longer.
5. Using bleach
If the above resources are unavailable, then you can use bleach. Bleach is just right for disinfecting and sanitizing water. Color safe, scented, bleaches with cleaners are a no-go. Use a dropper to pour the bleach in the water for eliminating impurities. Although it leaves a slight aftertaste and a chlorine smell, bleach works best.
6. Citrus Juice
If you’re outdoors and require clean water, you’re in luck. Citrus juice also works as a disinfectant for water. They have certain antibacterial qualities, which justifies its performance as a water purifier.
How to convert lake water into drinking water?
Lake water can be converted into drinking water by using any of the above 6 methods. But boiling is the easiest method and works in less than 5 minutes. Citrus juice is also a good way to convert lake water into drinking water.
How to purify water in the wild?
If you’re in the wild, you’re lucky if you find a source of water. But even then, the water will be filled with harmful contaminants. Any one of the above methods can lend a great deal of hand in purifying water in the wild. All of them require minimum effort if you have them around.
Benefits of Purified Water
When it comes to impurities, it doesn’t matter if you use tap water or well water. Both of them will contain a number of impurities that should be looked into
Well, water is known for containing the most impurities. This is because they have heavy metals like lead, copper, iron, and mercury present in them. In the short-term, they can cause distress and discomfort. But, in the long-term, it can result in brain damage.
There’s nothing simpler and convenient than purifying water at home or even outdoors. It requires only boiling, filtration, tablets, iodine tablets, bleach, or even citrus juice. These techniques help ensure your water is purified by disinfecting it. It gets rid of all the harmful contaminants in your water.
Purified water plays a significant role in increasing our health. Clean water helps keep our organs fresh and working. It reduces the risk of diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, etc. Hence, purified water increases your life-span too.
Not only does it improve our health, but purified water also removes the nasty aftertaste. Water that is treated with chemical or water plumbing tends to leave an unpleasant taste. Purifying water with the aforementioned techniques gets rid of the aftertaste immediately.
Disadvantages of Non-Purified Water
Being hydrated should be your number 1 priority, wherever you are. Drinking non-purified water will do you and your health no good. Non-purified water is present around the globe, affecting many people. But in what ways? Read below.
- Non-purified water, whether its tap water or well water, has a large number of bacteria present in it. Water can have over 2000 contaminants if not treated. It can cause you a great deal of trouble. Filtration of water is the best way to eliminate bacteria from your water.
- Second largest contaminants present in water are pesticides and lead. It can be quite risky for children or pregnant women. It can cause defection in birth and developing issues.
- Unfiltered taste is the most common disadvantage of impure water. Minerals are often responsible for such aftertaste and smell. This is because they contain large amounts of chlorine in them.
- Impure water can also damage your hair and skin. It can harm you inside, as well as outside. It can cause loss of hair and damage your hair in specific ways. Non-purified water can also affect your skin with acne. If you’ve sensitive skin or hair, quit drinking impure water immediately.
- If you’re drinking water from a plastic bottle, stop. Using plastic is not only harmful to you but also for the environment. Bottled water is just regular tap water but in a plastic bottle. Avoid using them and save the environment, along with yourself.