While reading accounts of citizens adjusting to the aftermath of recent hurricanes, floods and tornadoes one common challenge has been mentioned and that is the need of clean, potable water. The following comes from ‘Drinking Water Guidelines’ from the Church’s website http://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage/drinking-water-guidelines.
“If your water supply is not known to be safe or has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Water purification is generally a two-step process.
Step 1: Clarify
Cloudy or dirty water must first be made clear. It should be passed through filter paper, fine cloth, or some other filter. It should be allowed to settle, and then the clear water on top can be carefully drawn. Filtered or clear settled water should always be disinfected before use.
Step 2: Disinfect
- Boiling Method
Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic contaminants if present.
- Bleach Method
Adding 8 drops of fresh liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to every 4 liters (one gallon) of water will kill most microorganisms. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used. The use of bleach does not address toxic contamination.
- Commercial Water Filters
Commercial water filters can effectively filter and purify water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. Their effectiveness depends on design, condition, and proper use.”
To clarify dirty water before using any of the above disinfection methods, simply run the water through a coffee filter. These can be purchased at the $1 store.
There are many commercial water filters on the market and these can range widely in price according to the filtering capacity and the amount of water that the filters will purify.
Another product that is quite effective for emergency situations is the Steripen. This is not a product you would use for gallons of water at a time, but to purify a personal sports bottle or glass of water, as it doesn’t take hours for the purification process to complete. In approximately 45 seconds you can be quenching your thirst.
Ask around the ward and other Church members to see what they recommend as products for purifying water.