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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How To Make Questionable Water Drinkable

There are several ways to make questionable water drinkable.  Below
are just a few well known methods.  I am NOT an expert on this topic.
Entire books and websites could be devoted to this one topic. The
purpose of this article is simply to give people a very quick overview
of what options are available to make questionable water drinkable.  I
encourage people to click on the links I have provided to read more in
depth about this topic because it is incredibly crucial.  Now is the
time to educate yourself, your family and your loved ones on this
vitally important topic.

1.) SteriPEN      SteriPEN Classic Handheld Water Purifier

The SteriPEN uses ultraviolet light to destroy viruses, bacteria, and
protozoa.  The SteriPEN can purify 16 oz. of questionable water in 48
seconds. According to their website, "SteriPEN utilizes C wavelengths
UV (ultraviolet light).  UV-C light is a short wave light, between
x-rays and visible light wave lengths, which destroy the DNA of
microbes in seconds".

Advantages to SteriPEN:

a.) lightweight
b.) compact
c.) you can use a container made of glass, ceramic, metal and nearly
any plastic with a SteriPEN

Disadvantages to SteriPEN:

a.) requires batteries
b.) does not filter out debris
c.) depending on your budget this can be expensive - the price range
seems to be between $60 - $100 or so
d.) will not decontaminate threads in your screw top water bottle
e.) you can only use clear water with a SteriPEN because cloudy water
inhibits its effectiveness

2.) Boiling Water

Boiling water kills most types of disease causing organisms.  Boil
water for one minute, let cool, and then drink.  At altitudes above 1
mile, boil water for 3 minutes.  Some websites suggest boiling water
for up to 10 minutes.  Again, now is the time to start doing research
on this topic so you can decide for yourself how long you think it is
necessary to boil water to make it safe.

Advantages to boiling water:

a.) no special equipment or skills needed
b.) currently relatively inexpensive (so long as fuel is inexpensive
and plentiful)

Disadvantages to boiling water:

a.) water must be filtered first if filled with debris
b.) water may have flat taste after boiling (if it's a TEOTWAWKI
scenario then who cares)
c.) requires fuel (wood, propane, electricity, etc.)
d.) boiling water may give away your location especially if you are
doing it outside with a wood fire
e.) you may lose precious water during boiling process because of evaporation
f.) may be time consuming (especially if you need to build a fire)

3.) Potable Aqua Iodine Tablets

Iodine tablets kill bacteria, viruses, and giardia.  Iodine tablets
work by "penetrating the cell wall of the microorganism, therefore
rendering it inactive".

Advantages to iodine tablets:

a.) relatively cheap (approximately $6.50 for 50 tablets). Two tablets
treat 1 quart of water.
b.) lightweight
c.) portable
d.) can be used to treat cloudy water, low temperature water, and
water with extreme PH

Disadvantages to iodine tablets:

a.) must wait at least 30 minutes before drinking
b.) not effective against Cryptosporidium or chemical contaminants
c.) should not be used on a long term basis (6 weeks is the limit)
d.) opened bottles of tablets go bad after one year
e.) tablets may add strange taste to water
f.) must filter water to remove debris
e.) women who are pregnant or people who have thyroid problems should
consult a doctor before using iodine tablets (this may be impossible
in a TEOTWAWKI situation)

4.) Chlorine

Use non-scented household chlorine bleach to treat water.  Chlorine
kills microorganisms.  (I was unable to find out exactly what chlorine
does/does not kill and it how kills it. If anybody knows, please
post.) Click on above EPA link to view the chart regarding how much
chlorine to use to treat water.  Mix water treated with chlorine,
cover, and let stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

Advantages to using chlorine:

a.) relatively cheap
b.) fairly easy

Disadvantages to using chlorine:

a.) water may taste strange
b.) must filter out debris

5.) When there is nothing to treat water, but water is still available
then try to gather fast moving water rather than stagnant water. Stay
away from water that has floating debris, an odor, or a dark color.
WARNING:  Do this only in a TEOTWAWKI situation.  Even clear water
with no debris can be contaminated with nasty stuff.

Like I previously stated, I am NOT an expert on this topic.  If anyone
has anything to add to this post (i.e. corrections, clarifications,
personal experiences, etc.) then post away!  Today is the day to talk
about this topic before TSHTF.

P.S.  Once my Go Berkey Water Filter arrives then I'll do a review of
that.  Can't wait!  :)

Sincerely, Samantha In The Trailer Park

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