Here are some ways to treat water found in the outdoors to prepare it for drinking:
- Boiling: This is the most effective way to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes), then allow it to cool before use.
- Filtration: Filters can remove bacteria and some parasites. There are a variety of filters available, including pump filters, gravity filters, and straw filters.
- Chemical disinfection: There are a number of chemicals that can be used to disinfect water, including iodine, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide. These chemicals can be used to treat water that is cloudy or murky, or that has been stored for a long period of time.
- Solar disinfection: This method uses the sun’s ultraviolet rays to kill disease-causing organisms. To use solar disinfection, fill a clear container with water and place it in direct sunlight for 6-8 hours.
It is important to note that no single method of water treatment is 100% effective. It is always best to use a combination of methods to ensure that your water is safe to drink.
Here are some additional tips for treating water found in the outdoors:
- Collect water from clean sources. Avoid collecting water from sources that are near animal waste, garbage, or other contaminants.
- Filter or disinfect all water before drinking. Do not assume that water is safe to drink just because it looks clear.
- Store treated water in a clean container. A clean container will help to prevent the water from becoming contaminated again.
- Drink treated water within 24 hours. If you will not be drinking the water within 24 hours, store it in a cool, dark place.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that the water you drink while in the outdoors is safe and healthy.