DIGGING A SIMPLE WELL
This emergency water purification is a condensed version of some of the other water cleaning methods.
1) Boiling water is the best choice for killing nasties (parasites, bacteria, cysts, giardia lamblia, crytosporidium) before we drink it.
2) Unable to start or have a fire? Use unscented bleach, such as Clorox, in the water.
PROCEDURE FOR EMERGENCY WATER PURIFICATION
1) Filter or pre-filter the water to be used first.
The filter material can be:
- clean clothes
- coffee filters
- paper towels
A clean bucket with holes drilled in the bottom, filled with sand. (See Pure water from a bio filter).
The purpose of step one 1 is to remove suspended particles, debris and other easily filtered pieces from the water before we move on to final water purification.
2) a) Boiling water. This should be your first choice whenever possible. Boiling is the closest you can come to being 100% sure you have decontaminated the water.
Boil water for a minimum of one minute, preferably in a covered pot. This rule applies to water being treated up to 1,000 feet above level. Add one minute of boiling time per 1,000 feet above this altitude (water boils at a lower temperature as altitude increases). Obviously boiling won't remove chemical residues from the water. Only distilling or distillation offers more hope of separating potential residues from the water.
b) Using unscented bleach to purify water. The rule of thumb is two (2) drops of regular bleach per one (1) quart of water or eight (8) drops of bleach per one (1) gallon of water.
IF you are forced to purify cloudy or murky water, double the bleach quantities.
To correctly bleach:
i) Add regular unscented bleach in the correct quantities to the water.
ii) Shake or stir in until completely mixed.
iii) Let stand a minimum of 30 minutes for maximum sterilization.
Make sure the bleach is relatively fresh before using.
Cleaning water with bleach is not a fool proof method of supplying clean drinking water. Crytosparidium is resistant to this method of purification.
In addition to the above water cleaning methods, iodine tablets or tincture of iodine can be used.
- With iodine tablets, simply follow the instructions on the bottle or use one (1) tablet per quart or liter of water.
- Use 5 drops of 2 percent tincture of iodine for each quart or liter of water.
Always be sure to let the water stand for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Be sure to test your water before drinking.