Drink it! Water Purification Methods

By Seth Rollings | Sustainable Living, Urban Design

Water is an important resource – more precious than any other material on earth. This simple, yet vital part of life is being wasted without a second glance. Nothing can survive without water and not everyone has access to the clean, purified version of it. There are two main water purification methods. One of which is to eliminate harmful bacteria, toxins, and viruses in the water. The other water purification method purify is to filter the water and trap the unwanted bacteria.

Methods of Purifying Water


Boiling water to purify. Image via Farm4.StaticFlickr.


This water purification method seems simple but should not be overlooked.  Pour the water into a pot or pan and place near a heat source. The water needs to boil for around 15 to 20 minutes to make sure it is sterile. The chances of getting sick after that are slim to none. Let it cool, no one likes a burnt mouth.


Iodine tablets are sold most frequently but chlorine works just as well.  Using 8-16 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water will also purify. Wait 1-2 hours after the drops are administered. With tablets or bleach, make sure you shake or stir vigorously.


LifeSaver bottle used to purify water. Image via Wikimedia Commons.


Using a word to describe itself is a pet peeve of mine and I don’t recommend doing it. In this case, it’s acceptable I guess. So, there are many variations on filtering or eliminating the harm in water. Ultraviolet purifiers are normally in the shape of a pen and will radiate ultraviolet light through the water which kills anything undesirable. A filter or gravity fed system also works well. Normally this uses a tank of some sort and water slowly goes through layers of sand, rock, charcoal, and gravel to keep the water safe. In a survival situation you can take a makeshift funnel, cut a short tree branch, and place it at the small end of the funnel. The function of a tree’s branch is to deliver water, and that it will do. It will also act as a filter for clean drinking water.


Water pump. Image via c2.StaticFlickr.

Above a water pump can dramatically decrease the time in which it takes to obtain clean, safe drinking water.

Feature Image: Water drop on a leaf. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

About The Author

Seth Rollings
My name is Seth, and I am a New Mexico Transplant from Georgia. I have a passion for all things science and technology. I love playing the guitar and record my songs as well. I'm currently attending Eastern New Mexico University at Roswell for Renewable Energy Technologies. Questions are always encouraged.