Bottled water will only last you so long and regardless how much you have stored it will eventually run out, either that or you may be forced to leave it and only take what you can carry which may not be more than a few litres. In this circumstance it is imperative you know how to process water and make it safe for consumption. Below are a few methods to get yourself familiar with and even begin practicing in case the time ever comes when you may need it.
With 100's of different water purifyers on the market, you have a lot to choose from, as such it is very much down to personal choice, however one important thing you need to consider is the quality of the filter. We would suggest that you do not use anything larger that 0.1 Microns. In the UK that will filter everything that we aren't immunised against as children, The Sawyer Mini sits in this field perfectly and is a tried and tested filter with fantastic reviews across the board. Our team highly recommend the Icon Lifesaver, this filters down to an incredible 0.015 micron, this is smaller than even the smallest virus or water born pathogen, for us this is one of the safest pieces of kit on the market. It not only filters 4000ltrs, but it will actually stop working once its reaches end of life. One of each member of your family guanrantees safe drinking water for 3+ years.
A water filter is exactly what it says, it will filter your water of particulates and debris however the water will still need to be purified before drinking. A good long term and reusable option for a filter would be a millbank bag, however you can use something as rudimentary as a cotton bandana, or even a bottle filled with sand, stones, grass and charcoal which filters as the water passes through the layers.
When a filter is used in conjunction with a purification tool like the Sawyer Mini or Lifesaver, it will help prolong the life of the built in filter and make cleaning much easier.
Boiling is the oldest form of water purification and in is still the primary method of processing clean drinking water in many cultures around the world. Boiling will kill germs and most viruses, however it will not remove chemicals, metals or debris. In many places around the world this isn't a concern, however post SHTF if you are going to be collecting drinking water from any of the main rivers such as the Thames or Tyne which are heavily polluted, then boiling may not be enough on its own.
Water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute to kill bacteria before consumption.
Remember "Big Bubbles - No Troubles"
In a nutshell distillation is a method of obtaining pure drinking water by boiling the water you have and cooling the steam so that you can collect the condensation. This condensation is in turn completely safe to drink and free of contaminants and particulates. It is possibly the safest and cleanest way of purifying water, however the equipment required is quite bulky, its very time consuming and requires and abundance of fuel, unless you use a solar still, which will provide d
safe water but VERY slowly and in lower quantities than you will likely need.
Puri-Tabs and Bleach
Both Puri-Tabs and Beach are similar forms of chemical purication, you can also use Iodine and Potassium Permanganate however these are less common as the chemicals are harder and more costly to source. Both Purification tablets and Bleach are both relatively cheap and can be purchased from supermarkets, camping shops and even online auction sites. Again, these will just purify the water and are best used in conjunction with a filter of some kind. Please note, the water will have a chemical after taste that many people don't like. If you have fussy kids you may struggle to get them to drink it.
1 x Puri-Tab = 1Ltr clean water
2 x Drops (0.1ml) = 1Ltr clean water
Leave to stand for 30 minutes before drinking.