What Do I Do If My Water Isn’t Safe to Drink?

by wfnblog on March 26, 2010

As we all know, water is critical to human survival. We can go without food for many days, but not having water for only a few days can have devastating results. Dehydration can quickly set in after not having access to water—and the effects of dehydration can be catastrophic.

But what if someone has access to water but is unsure if the water is safe? This happens a lot to campers and hikers, but it can also happen to residents in less developed nations and even to those in industrialized countries who are facing a water safety crisis (for example: contaminated well, chemicals present in the water, etc.).

If faced with this problem, what are some things you can do to help ensure water safety?

The web site Survival Topics lists several tips for making your water safe. First, the old standby is boiling the water. This process can help remove organisms and viruses in the water, thus making it safe to drink. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes (that’s the most commonly-cited time frame).

Second, purchasing a water filter can also help remove contaminants. Filters are not only available for household use but now are available in portable formats for hikers and campers. Bringing along a water filter on a camping trip can be a life-saving idea.

Finally, according to Survival Topics, chemical treatments are another way to make water safer to drink. Chlorine bleach and iodine are just two of the chemicals mentioned that can be used to treat water. This method can be difficult to apply, however, in that you must know what amount of chemicals to use in order to effectively treat the water.

These are just a few ways to treat unsafe water—whether in the home or in the woods. It’s a good idea to keep this information on-hand in the event that you are suddenly faced with the danger of not having access to clean water. The time saved investigating treatment options will serve you well.

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