There is no denying the fact that water is one of the most essential products for human survival. In fact, just imagining about living without water for a day is traumatizing. But drinking pure, healthy water is a necessity. Consuming contaminated water is not only unhealthy for your body, but also severely threatening, as the minerals and pathogens in water may be carriers of water-borne diseases. One can understand the necessity of purified drinking water by the fact that almost 75 percent of the children dying before the age of five succumb to water borne diseases.
Because of increasing levels of pollution and rising levels of salt in water, purifying water is crucial. There are several methods of purifying water, the most common one being distillation. Distillation is a process through which water is initially evaporated, leaving all minerals, germs and salts behind. The vaporized water is then condensed for purity. Other methods include reverse osmosis, iodine based treatment and neutralizing tablets. Water filters are modern methods of purifying water.
How to purify water
Water is one of the products that exist in nature in its true form. But that doesn’t mean that drinking water needs no purification. Water, whether obtained through rain water harvesting, sea, rivers, and underground water bed or through taps, does require purification. In the earlier section, methods of purifying water were discussed. But do you know the process of water purification?
Well, every method of purifying water involves a different process of purification. These methods and their employed processes are discussed below:-
- Distillation – Distillation is one of the most popular methods of purifying water. The process of water purification through this method varies. Traditionally, distillers were made in homes using plastic cups and containers along with pipe to transfer evaporated water and to condense it in later stages. While evaporation ensures that minerals and chemicals do not vaporize, condensation allows vapour to convert into original liquid form. Currently, a number of modern water distillers are used for the process. These distillers do not operate manually and use electricity. Several water packaging companies employ this process.
- Water purifying systems – A technique called reverse osmosis technique, which employs the principle of distillation is used in modern water purifying system. Since distilled water may be devoid of essential minerals like calcium and manganese, hence water purifying systems also use techniques to ensure that healthy minerals are dissolved into purified water to make water healthier and fit for human consumption.
- Boiling – Boiling is definitely one of the best ways to get rid of pathogens and germs in water. Although, boiled water may taste bland or flat because of removal of oxygen, yet it is fit for human consumption. Such purified water works well for families that don’t have modern purification systems. Boil water for at least five minutes to make it pure.
- Neutralizing tablets – Several chemicals like chlorine or iodine can be used for disinfecting water. These chemicals come in the form of water purifying tablets that offer effective treatment against germs and sediments to make water portable. But water purifying tablets aren’t recommended for long use. Iodine tablets must not be used for people with thyroid problems; moreover, pregnant women must not use iodine tablets for purification of water.
To use these tablets, take a water purifying bottle, add a tablet and shake it. After about a few minutes (generally recommended on the tablet packaging itself), unscrew the lid of water purifying bottle and rinse the lid. These tablets shall be taken along with other medicines while you travel to places where purified water isn’t available or is relatively expensive.
- Purifiers – Purifiers and commercial filters are excellent for home and industries. Purifiers at home follow different techniques and processes to make purified water. Depending on the water that comes in your area, you can choose a purifier that has a sediment filter, reverse osmosis or mineral providing systems. Commercial filters come in different sizes and provide water in purifying water bottles.
- Primitive methods – All the methods mentioned above have evolved from primitive methods of filtering water through soil and sand and traditional distillation process. But if you are on tight budget and want to make purified water at home, then you can opt for methods like collecting water from underground levels. For this, you can dig a deep hole and place a purifying water bottle in the centre. Make sure that the sides of the hole are covered with plastic. The plastic shall act as a greenhouse and evaporate the water in soil. After the water is heated up, it reaches the plastic, condenses. Once enough water is collected, you can fill it in a bottle.