As much as we’d like to believe that the water from our faucets is pure H2O, that is not the case. And while your water supplier treats the water before it reaches you, this water typically features many other things. Even if the water looks clear, that does not mean there are no hidden nasty surprises.
Depending on where you live, your water could contain several contaminants, from aluminum to uranium, and microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
The good news is that there are several ways to purify your water. Some are easy, convenient, and straightforward.
In this article, we’ll explain several methods of purifying water before discussing which is the best. By the end of the article, you will know what your options are for purifying your water and be able to choose the best method for your particular circumstances.
Please feel free to scroll ahead to any section that jumps out at you.
Boiling water is one of the most convenient ways of purifying your water. You can do it cheaply, without fancy equipment – all you need is a kettle, a stovetop, or a saucepan.
To purify your water by this method, you just have to bring the water to a boil, and let it continue boiling for about 3 minutes. (Longer if you are at a high altitude).
The effect of boiling water is that it will kill off or inactivate pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and other organic impurities. The heat damages the structural components of these pathogens, for example, by denaturing their proteins.
However, although boiling water can purify it from various organic impurities, there are several contaminants that boiling does not remove. Including chlorine, fluorine, iron, magnesium, nitrates, and even lead.
The evaporation that occurs by boiling water means that inorganic matter remains in the water.
If you wish to remove organic and inorganic contaminants from your water, you should boil the water in conjunction with an additional water purification method.
While boiling water can help purify it from organic impurities, such as pathogens like bacteria and viruses that cause disease, it does not rid the water of inorganic contaminants.
However, it is possible to remove these inorganic contaminants by filtering the water. This method does not have to be especially expensive.
For example, if you own a standard coffee filter (or other conventional filters), you can use this. However, if you use this method to filter your water, remember that coffee filters do not boil your water.
They only raise the temperature to between 180 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not high enough to kill off pathogens such as bacteria.
If you wish to filter your water in an outdoor environment, you can improvise by using clean fabric such as cotton, wool, or clean clothes.
Another simple way to filter water is to buy a dedicated water filter pitcher. These fit within the door of your refrigerator, and they feature a specially designed filter. Here’s the link for a good one.
Or, for a comparative price tag, you can invest in a faucet water filtration system like this one.
If you wish to both boil the water and filter it, filter the water first before you boil it.
Adding chlorine dioxide to water is also a very effective purifying method. It kills off germs, parasites, and other disease-causing organisms. And chlorine will react with inorganic impurities as well.
Of the various types of water purification tablets on the market, some of the more common ones are chlorine-based, like this one from Amazon (though there are others, such as iodine-based ones like this). Chlorine dioxide-based water purification is also available in liquid forms, such as this.
And if you follow the links, you will see that these treatments are very affordable as short-term, temporary measures. But you can’t be expected to buy chlorine dioxide every time you want to enjoy a glass of water.
It’s no good as a long-term solution for purifying your drinking water.
That concludes our quick run-through of the three most common and effective means of purifying water. Which method you use will depend on your circumstances and whether you happen to have the right equipment to hand.
For purifying water at home, your best solution is to boil or filter it, or ideally, a combination of both. You don’t need expensive equipment – you can use a kettle, stove, saucepan, coffee filter, or a water filter pitcher for cold drinking water.