In 2017, more than 220 million people worldwide sought treatment for schistosomiasis – “an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted through exposure to infested water.” This disease is not the only consequence of contaminated water. Each year, 485,000 people die from diarrheal deaths as a result of drinking contaminated water.
You may think these shockingly high numbers come from third-world countries, but this is not true. The Flint water crisis made it clear that, even in America, we have to protect ourselves against unclean water. Moreover, Science Magazine claims, “In any given year from 1982 to 2015, somewhere between 9 million and 45 million Americans got their drinking water from a source that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
Just this year, Union County schools in North Carolina were closed for a day due to the presence of E. coli in the drinking water, in addition to a county-wide boil water advisory. If these school children drank contaminated water from the school fountains, the children would have suffered serious health conditions.
Even with the Safe Drinking Water Act in place, we can’t always trust the water coming from our faucets. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides this list of the most common causes of contaminants...
- Naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium).
- Local land-use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, concentrated animal feeding operations).
- Manufacturing processes.
- Sewer overflows.
- Malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems (for example, nearby septic systems).
But these are not the only causes of water contamination. In the event of a natural disaster, flooding or sewer issues can contaminate public water systems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains, “Natural disasters such as floods, drought, hurricanes, winter storms, and earthquakes can disrupt access to clean drinking water. These events can result in any number of types of water service disruptions including pipe breaks and leaks; power outages; infrastructure failure; reduced water quality; loss of access to facilities and supplies; as well as financial, social, environmental and health consequences.”
When Hurricane Hugo pummeled Charleston, SC, in 1989, residents were left without clean water. Those who didn’t prepare or know how to create clean drinking water had to rely on the goodness of others.
Tim Armstrong says, “Since water was provided by an electric pump, we had to drive a few miles to church to fetch water for cooking, bathing or drinking.” But that’s not the worst of it. South Carolina health officials believe most of the Hurricane Hugo health problems resulted from residents drinking contaminated water.
You never know when you will face a water crisis. You may receive a boil water advisory from public health officials or find yourself in a disaster situation where you cannot access clean water. That’s why learning how to create clean water is a survival skill must.
Water is essential for survival
You cannot survive without water. While we may live for a few weeks without food, we will not live past a week without water – most likely, we won’t make it past three or four days. Our bodies require water to function, but we lose water every day, so we must replenish it. If our body’s water is not replenished, our blood pressure will drop, we will become dehydrated, and if not reversed in time, we will die.
When in a survival situation, you know you need water to survive. However, you can’t just drink any water you find. Drinking contaminated water is incredibly risky for your health and could also result in dire consequences. And because you can’t always rely on your senses to determine if water is safe to drink, it’s always best to try purification methods. That’s why it is important to know how to create clean drinking water in an emergency.
Emergency preparedness begins with safe water
Ideally, the best way to make sure you have clean drinking water in an emergency is to store it, or have a water filtration system on hand, before an emergency occurs. Experts suggest you store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person in your household for at least three days. Keeping gallons of clean drinking water in your home will give you peace of mind. But there may come a time when you do not have access to the clean water you have stored, which is why it is just as wise to know how to create clean drinking water.
What boiling water can and cannot do
The CDC claims, “Boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.” Hence, the boiling water advisories. In these instances, you simply need to bring your water to a rolling boil before using it. If the water appears cloudy, filter it first using a paper towel or something similar to a coffee filter.
However, some contaminants cannot be removed by boiling, such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, which will lead to a “Do not drink/use” public health advisory. In these situations, you will need to use other methods to create clean water rather than boiling the water. This is because boiling water with these types of contaminants can release even more toxins.
Plus, in some disaster situations, it may be difficult to find the supplies you need to boil water, such as a pot or heat source. This is why we recommend knowing other water cleaning methods.
How to disinfect water safely
Add 16 drops (approximately 1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water.If you are unable to boil water, you can also disinfect the water using unscented concentrated bleach (with 8.25% sodium hypochlorite).
- Stir in the bleach and then let the bleached water stand for 30 minutes.
- You should be able to smell a bleach-like odor. If not, then repeat step #1. Let it stand for 15 more minutes.
- If you have treated it twice with bleach and it still does not have a bleach scent, you need to discard it and find another water source.
If you prefer to avoid bleach, there are other options, including these Drinking Water Germicidal Tablets. These tablets make it easy to disinfect water in emergencies.
Never fear with the Alexapure Pro Filtration System
While neither boiling nor disinfecting destroys all potential contaminants, the Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System removes 99.9999% of 206 contaminants, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals. It also removes heavy metals, lead, fluoride, chlorine, viruses, and bacteria. You can use it at home when you have a boil water advisory or simply because you don’t trust the city tap water. You can even take it with you if you bug out because it turns virtually any water into clean drinking water.
Additionally, it is wise to invest in personal filtration straws. A straw-sized version of traditional Alexapure water filtration systems, these are perfect for emergency kits, car consoles, and bug-out bags.
Whereas boiling and disinfecting water is better than doing nothing, investing in water purification filtration systems will make it even easier to create clean water in an emergency.
Increase your survival chances by knowing how to create clean water in an emergency.
Be prepared, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply