If your water supply is not known to be safe or has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Clarification of cloudy or dirty water by one of two methods is the first step.
- Filter it through fine cloth or filter paper designed for preparing hot drinks.
- Allow it to settle, and then draw off clear w ater.
Clarified water must be disinfected by one of several methods.
Bring it to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
Caution: prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic chemical or heavy metal contamination.
- Alternatively, add 2-4 drops of fresh household chlorine bleach to 1 liter or quart at room temperature, mix, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. There should be a slight chlorine odor. If not, then repeat the dose of bleach and wait 15 minutes. If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from one clean container to another several times.
Commercial water filters can effectively clarify, disinfect, and purify water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. Their effectiveness depends on design, condition, and proper use.
Water filters produced by Seychelle have been used successfully by Church missionaries for many years. Filters which include silver or iodine (e.g., Seychelle Advanced and Katadyn 0.75L) more effectively kill micro-organisms.