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Water Purification Methods For Survival

photo of a water purifier pump as one of the water purification methods

Among the leading survival top priorities in an emergency situation is to discover good water purification methods and decontaminate adequate drinking water.. Whether your crisis scenario is unfolding in the desert after ending up being lost or in your own house after a natural catastrophe, the body can just last 3 days with no drinking water at all.

There are, howerver plentiful water sources throughout the world, and several methods to sanitize the water. Which approach of water processing is right for various circumstances? Follow along here and learn.

Discovering a Water Source

First, your need to find some water before you can sanitize it.. Depending upon your area and scenario, water can be plentiful or essentially non-existent. Water can originate from freshwater surface area sources like streams, creeks, ponds, and lakes. If you have the ability to boil down the water, you can even utilize brackish or salted water as a source.

Let’s not forget rainfall as an emergency situation supply of water. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, ice, and dew can be gathered for water. Fresh rain that didn’t come down from a jungle or forest canopy ought to be safe to consume as is. Recently fallen snow can be melted for drinking without processing too.

Water steaming from springs and other underground sources can likewise be safe in many locations. Water originating from tapped trees like maple and birch can be safe to consume and plentiful in late winter season. However most other water sources are probably unsanitized and need to be sanitized by the following approaches.

Water Purification Methods

1. Boiling

In order to eliminate the parasites, germs, and other pathogens in water, the most trusted thing to do is boil the water. Boiling will not vaporize all the of chemical contamination, however it is still among the best approaches of disinfection. 5 minutes of a rolling boil will eliminate most organisms, however 10 minutes is more secure. Elevations high enough to impact boiling and cooking times will need a little more time over the flame.

Boiling can be done over a campfire or range in a metal, ceramic, or glass container. If no fire-resistant container is readily available, heat rocks for 30 minutes in the fire and position them into your container of water. This container could be a rock , a bowl burned out of wood, a folded bark container, an animal hide or stomach. Do not utilize quartz or any river rocks as these can blow up when warmed.

2. Distillation


photo of a stove top pressure cookerDistillaton is one of the most effective water purification methods to rid of radiation, lead, salt, heavy metals, and numerous other impurities can taint your supply of water after a catastrophe, and attempting to filter them out will just destroy your costly water filter.

In a circumstance where the only water readily available isn’t clean, there aren’t to many choices. The most safe option is water distillation. Water can be heated up into steam, and the steam can then be caught to develop reasonably clean water, regardless of its previous kinds of contamination – even radioactive fallout.

Distillation will not get rid of all possible pollutants, like unstable oils and natural substances, however the majority of heavy particles will stay behind. For home-based survival circumstances, a fast method to make a steam distiller is with a pressure canner and some small-diameter copper tubing. The very best part of this operation (aside from safe water) is that the canner remains undamaged. This enables you to move from water distillation to food conservation really quickly (supplying you are not handling radiation). The only challenging part is getting the copper line fitted to the steam vent on the canner’s cover.

Solar Still

An illistration of one of the water prification methods using a solar still

If in the field, you could try a solar still, a basic creation that gathers and distills water in a hole in the ground. To develop one, put a square of clear or milky plastic (5×5 or 6×6 feet) over a three-feet-deep hole with a container focused in the bottom. (Run a drinking tube from the container so that you can consume your collected water without taking apart the entire still.)

Put dirt around the edge of the plastic at the rim of the hole to seal the still. Position a rock in the middle of the plastic to develop an approximately 45-degree cone over the container. Dig the still in a warm area and in the dampest dirt or sand offered. Include green plants and even urine to the hole to increase its water production. A transpiration bag is a smaller sized and less efficient variation of this set-up, including a clear plastic bag connected around live plants.

3. Survival Straws

photo of a asurvival strawAmong the tiniest, lightest of water disinfecting tools to strike the market recently is the straw design of water filter. More recent designs can be used like a drinking straw and can also link to the drain valve on a hot water heater to sanitize the water you may discover in a hot water heater after a catastrophe. They can likewise fit onto a garden tube to filter the water going through it.

Do not anticipate it to filter out each and every single infection or germs that could be growing therein, particularly a pipe that’s been laying in the sun, or a hot water heater loaded with warm water after an extended power failure. The majority of these filters include a triggered carbon filter component, which not just removes bigger germs and pathogens, however likewise gets rid of odd tastes and smells from the water.

4. Filters

photo of a pump action water filterThe two primary kinds of water filters in usage today are pump-action filters and drip/suction filters. The previous ones used a pump to draw raw water through a filter cartridge. The latter filter cartridges that utilize a gravity drip action (like an IV bag) or are put in line on hydration bladder hose pipes. When utilized on a hydration bladder, the user just draws water through the filter as required. My preferred (for several years now) is the Katadyn Pocket filter. It has a ceramic cartridge with silver inserted within. The ceramic filters out the bigger pathogens, and the silver eliminates or disables smaller sized organisms like viruses. The majority of filters like this will pump about a quart per minute. If time isn’t a problem, you may choose a gravity-fed system like the one revealed here.

5. UV Light Devices

UV light is extremely harmful to small organisms and is another one of the reliable water purification methods. It’s a remarkably reliable way. Gadgets like the Steripen Sidewinder are battery-free, hand-cranked water filtration gadgets that interrupt the DNA of illness-causing microorganisms in seconds. There are likewise a couple of battery-powered Steripen items that load the very same punch on bad bugs, and have been field-proven around the world. These are not 100-percent efficient in water with big drifting particles (which pathogens can conceal behind or inside), but for clear water of doubtful origin these gadgets will suffice.


photo of a plastic bottle for a solar still Solar water disinfection (SODIS) is another one of the effective water purification methods that utilizes the sun’s energy for disinfection. The most typical method is to expose plastic bottles loaded with infected water to the sun for a minimum of one day. The sun’s plentiful UV light eliminates or harms almost all biological dangers in the water. There are plenty of advantages of treating water this way. It’s easy to use; it’s economical or totally free; and it uses great (however not total or ensured) bacterial and viral disinfection. Moreover, the approach utilizes no harmful chemicals, and it does not need consistent attention.

However there are some issues with the approach. You require warm weather condition or 2 days of overcast sky to reach the optimum efficiency. You can not utilize it in rain; it provides no recurring disinfection; it might be less reliable against bacterial spores and cyst phases of some parasites; the water and the bottle requirement to be clear; and the bottle should not be glass. If that wasn’t bad enough, this technique does not help with chemical contamination, and just little bottles (2 liters, max) can be processed.

7. Sanitizing Tablets

Two of the most typical and popular water disinfection tablets are Katadyn’s Micropur tablets and Potable Aqua’s iodine tablets. They can both work really efficiently, however there are some distinctions. If you’re equipping a cabin, cavern, or BOB with filtration tablets, you have to think about the life expectancy of the item. The iodine tablets from Potable Aqua have a 1 year life span. That’s okay, however Katadyn’s Micropur tablets last for 2 years or more. While these two items are utilizing various chemicals, they both appear to be much better than 99-percent reliable against water-borne pathogens.

Potable Aqua is the clear winner when it concerns speed. Water treated with those tablets is ready to consume 35 minutes after treatment starts. The Micropur tablets take 4 hours to attain their optimum decontaminating action. There are some adverse effects to think about.


The toxicity and taste of iodine can be a little bothersome. The iodine tablets are usually not a great option for pregnant ladies or anybody with thyroid problems or shellfish allergic reactions. Choosy kids are likewise well-known for resisting to consume the iodine-infused water, which might cause dehydration and other major effects in a currently dicey emergency situation. The Katadyn item is chlorine based, the majority of which dissipates over the allocated four-hour waiting duration, so that item is commonly endured and tastes far better.

To sum up, the Katadyn Micropur tablets cost more and take longer to work, however they last longer. Potable Aqua’s iodine tablets are more affordable and work quicker, however taste even worse and do not keep as long.

8. Household Chemicals

photo of water purification household chemicalsTo sanitize water with great outcomes, either bleach or iodine can be used. Typically speaking, the quantity of the chemical you utilize will depend upon the water quality and temperature level. Cold or dirty water requires a bit more disinfectant (4 drops per quart) than warm or clear water (2 drops). After including the chemical, put the cover back on your water container and shake it for a minute. Then turn the bottle upside down, and loosen the cap a turn, or more. Let a percentage of water drain to clean up the bottle threads and cap.

Screw the cover back on tight, and clean the outside of the bottle to get the chlorine on all surface areas. If the water is clear and at room temperature, set the bottle in a dark location and let it sit for about 30 minutes. When you open the bottle after the allocated time, it needs to smell like chlorine. If not, include another drop or two and wait another 30 minutes. Do not take shortcuts with water security. The last thing you want to endure in an emergency situation is dysentery.


One of the least popular water purification methods is Iodine. However, there are two typical types of iodine to decontaminate your water. Iodine is a more damaging compound than bleach in many people’s bodies, however it is a choice. To utilize iodine, it is important to recognize which type you are utilizing. Tincture of Iodine 2% is in fact much more powerful than 10% povidone-iodine option. Usage 5 to 10 drops of Tincture of Iodine 2% in one quart of water and set in the shade for 30 minutes.

Once again, flush the threads and clean down the bottle. Usage 5 drops for clear or warm water, and as much as 10 for cold or cloudy water. Because 10% povidone-iodine option is weaker, you’ll require 8 to 16 drops per quart of water. Once again, utilize less drops for great looking water and 16 drops for cloudy water. Clean the bottle and wait. An included advantage to iodine is that you can utilize them for injury disinfections too. Chlorine is not good to use like this, and you need to never put bleach on any injuries. Do not mix iodine and chorine for water disinfection.

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