After air, water is the second most important resource for humans. After all, our bodies are made up of 50-70 percent water. Not having access to clean drinking water is also one of the best predictors of a shortened life expectancy. While those of us living in the western world generally have access to pretty clean drinking water there are still trace chemicals and contaminants present in our drinking supplies.
It will always be safest to take extra precautions and filter your own water. Filtering your own water can be done quickly and easily. An extra step prior to consuming your drinking water is a small price for clean drinking water.
There are several methods available. The method that best suits your needs will depend on your individual circumstances since every method has its own pros and cons.
Boiling is the simplest and most common method of water purification. The water needs to be clear prior to boiling and it should be allowed to boil for an additional couple of minutes after it begins boiling. The benefit of boiling water is that it will kill most bacteria and viruses. It will also vaporize quite a few chemicals. The downside of boiling water is that it can concentrate the metal content in the water.
2. Biological Sand Filter
A biosend filter is a slow sand filter that contains graded sand and the water slowly passes throw it due to the pull of gravity. A biosand filter will remove dirt and muddiness from the water but it won’t get all the bacteria and viruses.
3. Fiber Filters
Fiber filters can be made of a variety of materials but they all create a mesh with small pores through which water passes, but unlike a sand filter, that utilize just gravity, water is passed through the filter under pressure with a fiber filter. Fiber filters, like sand filters, will remove dirt and muddiness but, thanks the pressurization, they will also remove smaller particles that can cause the water to have a bad taste.
4. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is charcoal that, due to its oxygen treatment, has millions of tiny pores in it. The charcoal then, once water is passed through it, absorbs various substances from the water into itself. The benefit of activated charcoal is that in can pick up carbon-based impurities but the downside is that it won’t pick up others that are not in that category. It’s also important to keep in mind that once those tiny pores are filled up, the filter will need to be replaced because it will no longer pick up any impurities.
5. Reverse Osmosis
This method uses pressure to force the force through a microscopic membrane to separate the contaminants from the water. The purified water ends up on one side and the contaminated water is left behind on the other side of the membrane. The benefits of reverse osmosis water are that it is almost completely free of any bacteria or viruses, it is a faster method than distillation, and it requires no electricity, just water pressure. The downsides of this method are that it is still a rather slow process compared to the methods mentioned above and that it wastes quite a bit of water.
Distilled water is water that has been heated to a boil, the steam captured, and, through condensation, made back into water. The biggest benefit of distillations is that it produces extremely pure water, free of any bacteria, viruses, and contaminants. The downside of distillation is that it is a rather lengthy process that also requires electricity, which can be expensive in the long run.
A UV (ultraviolet light) system exposes the water to UV light which effectively kills most bacteria and viruses. It also doesn’t contaminate the water in any way. However, the major downside of UV light is that it does not have an effect on anything that is not a living organism (contaminants). Its effectiveness can also be reduced when the water that is being treated is muddy.
These are just some of the more popular water treatment systems. The method that is best for you will depend on your circumstances, your resources, and time. Safe drinking water is an extremely important factoryportant factory in human health and it is not something that should be overlooked. t it can conc in human health and it is not something that should be overlooked.