How to Sterilize Water during an Emergency

How to Sterilize Water during an Emergency

Make sure that you're only having sterilized water!

Have you ever faced situations where your water service isn't working? Such as breakage in a pipe or a dirty water tank? At this time, it's most advisable to use bottled water or stored boiled or disinfected water until everything is restored to normal. Follow the steps in this guide on how to disinfect water during an emergency. Do note, however, that while certain steps can indeed ensure that your water is completely disinfected, some steps such as boiling can only help in the short run.


Boiling

In case you don't have bottled water on hand, one way to make it somewhat safe to drink is boiling. Boiling can get rid of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that cause diseases. If you aren't a fan of boiled water, you can improve its taste by transferring it from one container to the next and letting it sit for a couple of hours, or by adding a dash of salt for each litre of this water. 


In case the water is cloudy, use the following steps: 

1) Take the water through a filter, such as a clean cloth, coffee filter, or paper towel, or if you don't have any of these, simply let all the sediments settle down. 


2) Separate the clear water from the deposits.


3) Boil the clear water for at least 1 minute and allow it to cool after.


4) Store this water in air-tight containers. Make sure that they are sanitised. 


In case the water is already clear, your job becomes easier. Simply boil it for 1 minute, and let it cool down, then store it in a sterilized air-tight container. 


In case boiling isn't a possibility, it is possible to make smaller amounts of settled or filtered water a bit safer to drink if you apply chemical disinfectants including bleach or chlorine, however, they must be unscented. We don't recommend this method unless the situation is extremely dire. 


Disinfectants 

These are very helpful in killing a wide array of bacteria and viruses that cause diseases, however, they aren't as helpful to kill off parasites such as Giardia. Certain tablets, such as chlorine dioxide, are ideal for killing Cryptosporidium but do make sure to follow the manufacturer's guide to the T. In case the water is radioactive, no amount of disinfection will help.


How to disinfect with household liquid in case the water is cloudy:

1) Choose an unscented product. 

2) Use a filtration method such as a paper towel, clean cloth, or coffee filter, or just let it sit. 

3) Separate the clean water.

4) Check your product's instructions on how to disinfect water for drinking. 

5) In case there aren't any instructions, then you must make sure that you can use the product for disinfection. Check out the active ingredient section of the product's label to find the amount of sodium hypochlorite. Depending on the amount, you would need to add the right amount of bleach. Make sure to use a dropper, teaspoon, or a millilitres measurer. You can always find the exact measurement guide online. 

6) Stir the mixture properly until everything is dissolved. Keep it as is for 30 minutes.

7) Store this water in a clean, air-tight container.


Tablets

Tablets are a favourite of hikers in the wild, where they don't have many options to disinfect water, and carrying around disinfectant liquid isn't the most feasible idea. Tablets come in various sizes, each created to treat certain quantities of water. Always make sure that you order or buy these tablets from reliable resources and renowned brands as you'll be drinking this eventually. 


Here's how you can use them:

1) Read the instructions in the manufacturer's guide. 

2) Chlorine tablets are also very effective against the bacteria Cryptosporidium if all instructions are followed. 

3) Tablets that contain iodine, or are made of only iodine, aren't at all effective against Cryptosporidium. Moreover, if the water has been disinfected with iodine, it isn't recommended for pregnant women or people with thyroid disorders, allergies to iodine, or for constant use.


In case the water is cloudy, then it's advisable to follow the steps mentioned above. Use a paper towel, clean cloth, or coffee filter to take away the sediment, or simply let the water sit for a while. Then add your tablet and follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Filters

A diverse type of water filter can remove germs and bacteria from the water, including Giardia or Cryptosporidium. This includes portable water filters such as at-home machines. 


When choosing filters, make sure that you go for those that have smaller pore sizes that can remove parasites. Most of the time, portable water filters cannot remove bacteria such as Giardia, therefore you'll have to pay close attention when choosing them. When using these filters, make sure you follow all the manufacturer instructions properly. After filtering with a portable filter, it's still important to add a disinfectant to remove the remaining bacteria. These include chlorine, iodine, iodine dioxide, and more, which completely kill viruses.


Also, make sure that your water filter has all the modern functions necessary to take care of your water woes. Waterdrop filters have everything you need to take care of your emergencies. Water that goes through these filters has between 20 to 50 times more efficacy and purity than even bottled water. Waterdrop filters maintain ideal pH balance and also take out hard chemicals from water, making it completely safe to drink. 


Waterdrop filters make water go through several cycles before making it available and fit for drinking. They have a pre-sediment filter that removes dust and impurities, ultra-filtration which takes care of 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, and carbon blocks which eliminate any heavy metal in water and make sure that it tastes good. 


We hope this guide has your emergencies covered!

Now you know what to do in case you're stuck during an emergency and need safe drinking water. From easy techniques such as boiling and liquid disinfection to using tablets and installing advanced water-filtration techniques, there are many ways through which you can make water drinkable during emergencies. However, having a water filter or water purifier in place is always the best option. 


To find out more about Waterdrop water filters, reach out to our experts. Give us a call at 800 4545 or fill out our contact us form.

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