5 Common Ways Of Purifying Water
There’re a couple of ways you can purify water. In this post we shall be looking at five of the most common, how they work and how effective they are:
- Boiling. This is probably the most commonly used method of water purification around the world and also probably the least effective. The process is pretty straight forward – just boil the water, let it cool and its ready to drink. Boiling, however, can only purify water to a very limited extent. Only microorganisms will be killed by this method of purification. Although it will protect you from ailments caused by viruses and bacteria, most of the contaminants in the water will remain even after you boil it.
- Pasteurisation. This method is pretty similar to boiling, the only difference being that you don’t actually bring the water to a boil. The liquid is heated to about 70 degrees Celsius and maintained at that temperature for about 6 minutes. This kills germs but does not remove other contaminants.
- Chemical treatment. In this method, the water is purified using a chemical such as chlorine, iodine or calcium hypochlorite. Chemical treatment is very effective for getting rid of any germs that could cause diseases, and its cost effectiveness makes it the preferred water purification method for the majority of the municipal water supplies. The downside to this method is that the chemicals remain in the water – some of which are actually harmful such as chlorine – and the water could get a weird taste. They also don’t remove other contaminants.
- Mechanical filters. These work by passing the water through a medium such as silver, sand, ceramic, charcoal, and/or other materials that strain out all the debris and contaminants in the water. Water filters will remove most of the contaminants in water but don’t work as effectively to remove viruses which are very tiny. Water filters will also, generally, not remove heavy metals unless specifically designed to do so.
- Distillation. Distillation is arguably the most effective way of purifying water. The process kills germs and removes 99.9% of all the impurities leaving you with pure, safe drinking water. During distillation, water is evaporated by being heated, then the vapour is transferred to another clean container and condensed back to water. All the impurities are left behind in the boiling container. Distillation combined with carbon filtration will remove heavy metals, chemicals, dirt and all other unwanted substances in water.
Drinking adequate water is important, but drinking safe water is just as important. Purify your water before drinking to ensure continued long-term health.