Drinkable water is a scarce resource. Even though the Earth is covered in a massive portion of the element, we can only use a fraction of it. It is said that the next great war won’t be fought over land or ideologies but instead water. That is a scary thought considering all of the previous wars the world has seen. With that in mind, it is up to everyone to save as much water as possible if not for us, then future generations.

 

Apart from general water usage, there are ways to filter and reuse the element in order to preserve it. Purifying water on a small scale is easy enough for a people to do. But when it comes to industrial solutions, such as desalination, that’s where companies like PROXA Water with total water management solutions come into play. It is a reason why the Cape now requires desalination plants to fight the ongoing drought.

 

Here are a few ways in which you can purify water at home.

 

Buying a water filter

An easy way to clean water at home is a purifier or filter. They are available in a variety of types and can be freestanding or connected to a water source, such as a tap. Traditionally, they will purify water through chemicals or a range of natural minerals and solutions.

Some of these purifiers, such as the free-standing types, will have water pass through a number of layers of rocks, minerals, moss, and charcoal in order to clean the water. This results in a more ‘Earthy’ taste, but one that has eliminated impurities. The filters need to be changed often so that a buildup of bacteria does not occur.

The devices connected to taps will traditionally be filled with chemicals and a reverse osmosis solution to force the water through a sheet and leave behind any impurities. It is a much faster process than the natural alternative.

Both of these options will work on tap water, but not necessarily greywater. And they definitely will not work with polluted water, either.

 

Chemicals and tablets

Store-bought chemicals and tablets are an alternative to filters and purifiers. These are generally placed into a container of water where they will dissolve and begin eliminating foreign bodies. The process can take up to several hours to compete and these tablets can have a limited shelf life. Be sure to check your allergies before using them as they’re not suitable for everyone.

Only purchase tablets and chemicals that have been specifically designed for this process and are suitable for human consumption. There are many online articles that state home chemicals – such as bleach – will do the same thing, which is not recommended.

 

Boiling water

One of the easiest and well-known ways of cleaning water is through the process of boiling. Heating water to boiling point – but not enough to turn all of it into vapour – is able to kill off most parasites, bacteria, and pathogens. This makes the water at least drinkable for humans and animals. The process won’t remove harmful chemicals, as those cannot be removed just by heating the water, but it is a good way to ensure your family has drinkable water.

You’ll need to place a pot of water over a fire or stove. Within 15 minutes or so, it should come to a boil. Leave it on for a few more minutes and then remove it from the heat. Once the water is cool enough, it is ready for consumption. Using a kettle is another alternative, but it may use up more electricity than it’s worth for large amounts of water.

 

The SODIS method

Named Solar water disinfection (SODIS), it is similar to boiling water but has a few extra steps. The process doesn’t kill all of the bacteria in water, but it works if you’re in a pinch. And it is an easy process overall.

To start the process, you will need a plastic bottle no larger than 2l and it must be clear. Don’t use any bottles that have colour in them as it won’t work as well. Fill the container with the unpurified water and leave it outside in the sun for a day. The day needs to be perfect and sunny, cloud cover and rain will dampen the process. The entire process will take around two days to complete.

The water being used will need to be mostly clear as murky or ‘foggy’ water will deflect the sun’s rays.

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