Unclean water is a killer.

Those in a 40-50 mile radius of a contamination can be affected. Symptoms from ingesting contaminated water include:

  • Severe gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Weakness from the above symptoms

There are a number of ways to execute this critical task.

The trick is knowing your options, and then applying the best solution for the situation you find yourself in.

Your choice will vary depending on what supplies you have, whether you have access to heat, and how much fuel you have, of you have the necessary chemicals, filters or containers.

It isn’t necessary to boil water for a full ten minutes. The CDC recommends 1 minute at a rolling boil at sea level and 3 minutes of a rolling boil at 6000 ft. in elevation.

WAPI’s(Water-pasteurization Indicators)
In some 3rd world countries, WAPI’s are used. Water is heated in a tube with a wax that indicates it has reached 149 degrees.  In case your thermometer is inaccurate, and you do not have a WAPI, give it a spare 10 degrees higher to be on the safe side.

Boiling water will kill bacteria and living organisms, but will not kill toxic chemicals (or get rid of bad taste or odor)


Chlorine and iodine chemical treatments are often used to disinfect drinking water. Chlorination is the most common method because it is easy, abundant, and cheap.

IODINE– 5 drops per quart  * It should be noted that FEMA does not recommend any other chemicals besides those that contain a minimum of 5.25 % Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach).

(4 drops per quart) and allowing water to stand for 30 minutes.  The water should have a slight scent of bleach. If not, repeat the process, and wait another 15 minutes.  If there is still no bleach-y odor, get rid of that water.  Your bleach may be too old, or have been opened for too long a time period.

***It is not recommended to rely on the potency of liquid bleach after only 12 months at temperatures of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.  So don’t.


A very inexpensive way to treat large quantities of water is to use Pool Shock Treatment. ** ONLY Calcium HypoChlorite…not di/trichlor can be used to make a solution that not only your family, but many around you can use in an emergency.
A 1/4 of an oz., or a little over a teaspoon can mix with 2 gallons of water for a concentrated solution.

If you use that in a 1/100 parts ratio, it will clean your water for drinking.  Let this solution sit for 1/2 hour before consumption.
Clean water saves lives – this is an economical way to help many!  Not a bad thing to barter- small amounts of freshly made concentrated solution!

**If your water has a strong chemical odor:

  • expose it to the air for a few hours
  • pour several times between containers
  • have a pinch of salt added
  • have some lemon juice added
  • Powdered vitamin C will completely remove bad chemical taste.
  • Activated carbon filtering will also remove free chlorine, iodine, and bad tastes.


Some filters your will find are suited to portability. They are convenient, lightweight and easy to use.  Others will be more suitable for household use. These will filter larger quantities more quickly and with greater ease.
SteriPEN brand UV treatment is a UV treatment that will clear out 99.9% of all bacteria and parasites.  It has products that are both battery and crank powered.
Berkfield water filters like Big Berkey, British Berkfield are very reputable, and highly recommended, but for you Californians, or Iowans, you’ll have to look elsewhere…they are not legally allowed to ship to these states. ARGH, I know.  Maybe an Auntie in a nearby state will get it for you!

Katydyn has excellent water filtration products.  You can invest in a system that will filter quantities in your home at speeds that make sense, and you can also find portable filters, including personal water bottles with replaceable filters.
Filters with a carbon core also remove toxic chemicals, bad tastes and odors.


In this process, microorganisms that have resisted the other treatments, will be killed, along with salt, heavy metals, and various other chemicals.  This process uses the vapor that condenses when water is boiled.  This water will not retain salt or most other chemicals. You would, essentially, suspend a catch-cup in a closed pot of boiling water. AS the water boils for a period of about 20 minutes, the condensed water that collects on the lid will “rain” down into the cup

Leave a Reply