During emergencies, some water sources may require treatment to be safe to drink. Commercial water purification tablets and filters are available at sporting goods stores, otherwise, follow the instructions provided below.
- Before disinfecting, allow suspended particles to settle to the bottom of the container, or strain water through clean cloth or paper towels to trap large debris in the water.
- To disinfect water, boil for 3-5 minutes. Some water will evaporate during this process. Cool water before drinking. Improve taste by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers.
- If boiling is not possible, household bleach (5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite) can be used to disinfect water. Do not use scented, “ultra” or “color safe” bleaches for water disinfection. For clear water use 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon or 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per gallon for cloudy water. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes. If you cannot detect a slight chlorine odor after standing, repeat the process. Bleach potency diminishes with time, so store a bottle with your emergency water supply and replace on the same schedule as your stored water.