ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Water Filtration and Purification

Updated on November 4, 2017

Water, the source of Life

If you are a camper or back packer, you know you need to provide a gallon of water per person, for every day you are in the wild. That can add up to a lot of weight. This is why most outdoors-men and women carry portable water purification or filtration systems with them. If you have the right equipment, you can purify almost any water source, including sea water and those yellow bodily fluids in an emergency.

The Basics Of Water

At home, if there is no emergency, the water comes out of the tap or bottle already safe to drink. But in the wild, that clear lake may be full of bacteria, algae, and fish poo--so you can't drink it. Likewise, if you are traveling in foreign places, water treatment ma not be as good as in the USA. So it's a good idea to be prepared. Most campers buy inexpensive water purification pills, filtration straws, or other portable purification kits. These range in price from a few dollars to almost 100.00.

If you are a prepper, or you like really roughing it, then you might have some hydrogen peroxide, iodine, bleach (all in small bottles), some black plastic garbage bags, a few coffee cans, some candles, and perhaps some activated charcoal like that used in fish tank filters. All of these things will give you safe drinking water--you can even desalinate sea water, and have sea salt to season your fish dinner.

What Amazon Offers

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness

a simple disposable straw that works. These handy personal water filters do a surprisingly good job at filtering water, and they last longer than you would expect, for the price. My other half likes to keep several in his pack at all times, and when we're on a road trip there are generally a few in the glove box of the car, or the center console of our truck.


Simple ways to purify water

  1. You can purify a gallon of water by adding either: 2 capfuls of bleach, or 1 teaspoon of iodine, or 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and letting the open container stand in the sun or anywhere for a few hours to settle and clear out. If you use bleach, it should taste like tap water--anything stronger, let it sit longer after shaking. If you use iodine, take vitamin C--oxidized iodine creates free radicals.
  2. Make distilled water: 1. take a clean coffee can and fill to within an inch of the top with water. Place on level surface. Take two sticks and stick in the ground so they extend about an inch above the top of the can. Take the second can and place next to the first, partially in a hole, so the rim is about 2 inches lower than the full can. Stretch a piece of black garbage bag tight over the sticks, and tie to sticks. 3. stretch the plastic tight over the empty can, and tuck underneath it to keep it tight. Take a small rock and place on top of the plastic ob=ver the middle of the empty can. Depending on how hot and sunny it is, the water in the full can will evaporate and condense onto the plastic, and run into the empty can. In rainy weather, build a ring of stones with a hole in the middle. The ring needs to be small enough to support the can, and high enough so you can put your votive candles under it with 2 inches to spare. You only need one or two candles.
  3. Light the candles and boil the water (you can cook like this too). If you are using sea water, then set the other can lower than your hot can, and stretch the plastic as with the regular distillation. You will end up with a full can of distilled water, and an empty can with sea salt. To clean the salt, put a small amount of distilled water in the salt, swish around, and pour out excess--then dry the salt in the can over the candles.

If You Don't Want To Mess With Measuring Bleach

Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets - Portable Drinking Water Treatment For Camping, Emergency Preparedness, Hurricanes, Storms, Survival, and Travel (30 Tablets)
Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets - Portable Drinking Water Treatment For Camping, Emergency Preparedness, Hurricanes, Storms, Survival, and Travel (30 Tablets)

If you don't want to carry around a small bottle of bleach, I really can't blame you. Liquid bleach is corrosive, and if the bottle leaks it can ruin certain types of materials like plastics and weatherproofing coatings on textiles. If this is how you feel, then these water purification tablets are a good idea. We tend to carry liquid bleach, "pool shock", AND either these tablets or iodine tablets. I have found out the hard way in the past, that just because water LOOKS and SMELLS clean doesn't mean it IS clean


Have you learned anything yet?

view quiz statistics

Securing Water In Domestic Emergencies

Whether you live in the city or country,if there is an emergency, you will need water! It's a good idea to always keep 2 gallons on hand per person, just in case, plus 2 in the trunk of the car for road emergencies.

If you do happen to have an emergency, before the water supply is lost, fill the sinks and bathtub with water, and any available bottles. You should also have water filtration and purification supplies in your home and the trunk of your car.

Learn from the recent disasters, like Hurricane Sandy--if bad weather is coming--leave. Just because the weather man says it won't be too bad, or the mayor says you don't have to go--leave anyway! No personal possessions are worth your life.

A good emergency backpack has water purification tablets, some clothesline, a Swiss army knife, strike anywhere matches, candles, a good small headlamp (so your hands are free) with spare batteries, a change of clothes, and several pairs of socks and underwear. You should also have some shelf stable foods you can eat out of the can or cup cold, toothbrush and toothpaste, and medications, and a small roll of toilet paper. Every family member should have a "go bag" for emergencies. The car should have a first aid kit, a road emergency kit, spare fan belt, hose clamps, and fluids (oil, power steering, and brake, and anti-freeze--ad some of the stop leak products) and a full tank of gas.

Take care of filling the bathtubs and containers at home first--the stores will be mobbed with people who waited too long to get prepared. Also--no showers or baths--sponge baths only! this water might have to last a while, especially if you are without power for more than a few days or there is significant damage to the water delivery system. No power, no water flowing.

Are You Prepped?

If you needed to Purify Water, Could you--right now?

See results

Home Water Filtration And Purification

Though the bottled water companies would like you to believe that all the water you drink is contaminated, this is usually an exaggeration. The majority of tap water that comes from any county or city system is completely safe to drink. But if you want to know what is in your water, then you can contact you city or county and get copies of the testing reports for your area. By law, your local water company has to test the water regularly, and make those results available to the public. If you are still worried after you read the reports, then you can consider getting a home purification system. There are several different kinds, ranging from simple filtering pitchers you fill and keep in your fridge, to expensive reverse-osmosis systems.

Bear in mind, just because you have "hard" water, doesn't mean you have a problem. Hard water does cause mineral buildup in appliances, faucets and on bathtubs, but the minerals in water can actually be good for you. It's interesting to note that before the bottled water craze, when people were drinking fluoridated tap water, children and adults had fewer cavities. Water experts and scientists have come to the opinion that bottled water isn't any better for you than most treated tap water--and it certainly isn't "greener". Plastic bottles, after all, are made with petrochemicals--which are a finite resource, and not recycled very efficiently. Additionally, testing has shown that a lot of bottled water is really no cleaner than what comes out of your faucet. But if you want to get a filtration system for home, there are a few options listed below.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Tucson

      I agree- there is a lot of contamination in much of the tap water, and I should have made that more clear. Ideally, people should always filter their own water, or have it tested regularly. Unfortunately, some people don't have the time or the money to spend on filtration--and the money they could save by getting off bottled water so they could get a home filtration system would make more sense.

      Home filtration is something I'll be covering in another hub--because it is so important, and thanks for the link--very cool site.

    • MichaelsA profile image


      5 years ago

      While I enjoyed reading this article, there are a few points that aren't correct. First of all, the bottled water companies saying that tap water is contaminated is very true, but bottled water is usually tap water that is bottled. Our tap water contains many contaminants varying from common contaminants such as iron and mercury, to chlorine, chloramines, trihalomethanes and radiation. You can read more about these on and their blog, but once you do, you won't want to drink water from your tap anymore, but is important to know.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)