American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Water Treatment

For those times when it's not possible to purify your water through boiling there are some readily available chemicals you can use to do the job. While chemical means will NOT get out all the nasties that boiling will your water will still be potable and the chances of infection are significantly reduced.

Bleach (from

Emergency Disinfection: When boiling water is not practical, water can be made potable by using Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Before the addition of the disinfectant, remove all suspended material by filtration or by allowing it to settle to the bottom. Decant the clarified contaminated water to a clean container and add 8 drops of Clorox® Regular-Bleach to one gallon of water (2 drops to 1 quart). Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat dosage and allow water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers for several times. For cloudy water, use 16 drops of Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water (4 drops to 1 quart). If no chlorine odor is apparent after 30 minutes, repeat dosage and wait an additional 15 minutes. Do not use scented or Splash-less Clorox® Bleaches for this purpose.

Iodine (from

Tincture of Iodine - measure out your dose to water.

If using tincture of iodine 2% solution, add 5 drops to a Liter or Quart of clear water. If the water is cloudy, add 10 drops per Liter or Quart. (Note: 20 drops=1 ml.)
Allow the water to stand for 30 minutes before drinking when the water temperature is at least 25°C (77°F). Increase the standing time for colder water: (e.g., for each 10° less than 25°C (77°F), allow the water to stand for double the time before drinking it.

Actually the CDC document on water treatment (found here) is an excellent resource and I would encourage you to read the whole article.

Thanks for reading,



At 3:42 AM, Anonymous VisionQ said...

In this video the instructor advocates using swimming pool clorine tablets for water disinfection.

Killing pathogens in water can be done at lower temperatures.

Boiling has one great advantage over pasteurization or chemical treatment in that any pollutants with a boiling point of less than 212F are forced out of the water.


At 8:10 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...


Solar Cooking Article

Thanks for the links,



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