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5 Ways to Disinfect Water

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right, according to the United Nations. However billions of people around the world continue to drink contaminated water and suffer the consequences. This includes a number of dangerous diseases, including diarrhea diseases and cholera. When humanitarian travellers make their way to communities where development projects are implemented, they often find themselves without access to safe drinking water. This can make for an uncomfortable and even dangerous scenario. That’s why we have put together a list of ways to disinfect water for drinking and cooking.

Ways to Disinfect Water

1. Boil Water for 1-5 Minutes

One of the easiest ways to disinfect water is to boil it. This true and tried method kills most germs and algae that may be hanging out in your water. If you have access to a pot or a kettle, then just boil water for about 1 minutes (it has to actually be bubbling). Keep in mind that water boils at a different temperature when you are at a high altitude, so you’ll need to boil it for about 5 minutes in this case.

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2. Use a Water Filter

Certain areas won’t allow for boiling water while on the go. Additionally, you may find yourself in the field without immediate access to a kitchen, or even on a camping mission. In this case, bringing a water filter is an ideal option. It is an affordable option since filters don’t need energy and many bottles for travellers come with a pre-installed water filter. You can also consider bringing a larger water filter to share it with the community where you will be living.

3. Bring Water Purification Tablets

For areas where water is very contaminated, water purification tablets are the safest option. They kill a variety of bacteria, micro-organisms and pathogens. You will typically only use these when it comes to drinking water from fresh-water sources, such as a river or a lake. Keep in mind that they often leave a funny aftertaste behind.

4. Solar and UV Water Purification

Did you know that you can purify water using UV lighting or solar rays? This is not the ideal method compared to the previous options, but it will have to do if no other options are available. You can purchase a portable UV filter to take with you. For solar purification, you can place a clear bottle in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. It’s important to know that if the water is not clear, then these methods will not work.

5. Chlorine, Iodine, Cloth and Other Methods

There are many other ways to purify water. For example, iodine drops disinfects water – it is also a great substance to have around for cleaning cuts! Chlorine is another option, as it is a very strong disinfectant. That said, it is advisable to take care when drinking chlorinated water, since too much chlorine can cause digestive issues and even be dangerous. If you want to learn about more ways to disinfect water, then take a look at this article, which provides both simple and sophisticated options.

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