When SHTF, however, potable water may become scarce and preppers will be left with water sources that have not been properly treated, or worse, contaminated with pathogens and chemicals.
With this in mind, you have to rely on yourself to purify your water when SHTF. There are many water treatment methods that are available for you to use in your bug-out shelter. Before choosing one, however, you need to decide what’s important to you as some of the more practical methods do not cover all the bases.
Here are six factors you need to consider when choosing a water treatment method. (h/t to PrepSchoolDaily.BlogSpot.com)
Eliminating bacteria in your drinking water is a must. These microorganisms are everywhere, as such, you have to make sure to deal with them so that they don’t make you sick.
Water treatment methods that can eliminate bacteria include:
Similar to bacteria, viruses can also make you sick. As such, you need to eliminate them from your water. Waterborne viruses include norovirus, rotavirus and the hepatitis A virus. Norovirus and rotavirus infections mainly affect the stomach and the intestines while hepatitis A affects the liver.
Kill viruses in your drinking water through the following:
Protozoa are another group of microbes that can also cause infection. Protozoa tend to prefer moisture and the diseases that they cause, such as giardiasis and toxoplasmosis, are spread through contained water.
Eliminate protozoa in drinking water using:
Chemicals are the hardest to eliminate. In fact, many community water systems in the U.S. still contain trace amounts of chemicals. Every time you drink water from your tap, you're likely ingesting substances that treatment plants are not able to remove.
That said, there are only two water purification methods that may get rid of them:
Charcoal filters may also work, though more research still needed to verify this.
Cloudy, milky water is said to be caused by tiny air bubbles. These bubbles rise to the top and go into the air above, clearing up the water. Cloudy water is harmless, though some people prefer a clear drink.
Here’s what you can do to get rid of cloudy water:
A more simple method is straining through cloth or coffee filter. However, it’s not on par with the methods above. (Related: Water is life: 10 Ways to purify water when SHTF.)
Some water sources are said to have a distinct taste. That doesn’t mean they’re not potable, but like cloudiness, some people are more comfortable drinking water that doesn’t “taste weird.”
Consider these purification methods:
You can also pair your drinking water with a flavored drink to mask the taste or the cloudiness.
Regardless of what water treatment methods you choose, you should make sure to eliminate any pathogens in the water as these pose the greatest and most immediate risk to your health.
WaterFilter.news has more on water treatment methods and how they work.