Way before the dawn of modern and sophisticated medical care, industrialized countries have been able to stem the tide of water-borne diseases through the practice of good management of water sources. In spite of this, even the most developed countries undergo epidemics of water-related illnesses; in developing countries, such preventable diseases affect mostly those in the lower social stratum. According to the World Health Organization, around 3.4 million people die annually from preventable waterborne diseases; a majority of these deaths being children. Regardless of whether you live in a highly-industrialized country or otherwise, good hygiene and proper water source management are a must; here are some tips you can use right in your own home to protect your household.
Boiling Your Water
Whether you procure your drinking water from the tap or a well, boiling your drinking water is one of the most tried and true methods of purifying your water. However, boiling your drinking water is not as simple as it might seem; there are proper procedures on how to ensure that all waterborne pathogens are killed while boiling. According to the Wilderness Medical Society, boiling water at 160° F (70° C) kills all disease-causing infectious waterborne agents or pathogens within 30 minutes of boiling. At a slightly higher temperature, that is, 185° F (85° C) onwards, pathogens are totally exterminated within a few minutes. By the time your water reaches the boiling point, all pathogens will effectively be destroyed. To be sure of your water’s temperature at boiling, you may use a temperature to track its progress.
Using a Purification/Filtration System
Investing in a water purification or filtration system has its benefits, as they can be installed right at your taps; all that needs to be done is to turn the faucet on and let the systems do all the work. Although prices for purification and/or filtration systems vary depending on function and style, they not only guarantee safety from pathogens (depending on how their systems work, such as those using activated charcoal), but also from chemical and excessive mineral contamination. SoftWaterFiltration is a great resource to use in order to find the best purification system for your needs.
Other Purification Options
Other purification methods do exist, such as purification drops or tablets, which are mainly useful for hiking and camping, or in emergencies. These tablets disinfect your water sources using chemicals such as iodine, halazone, chlorine, or a combination of such substances, but these also tend to change the taste of your drinking water. However, it is a small price to pay, especially in extreme situations of water contamination, traveling to countries with poor water hygiene, or survival in the wild.
All these methods add a veil of water safety for you and your family; as the old maxim goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so consider these options when treating your drinking water for pathogens or chemicals. These suggestions will be worth the investment, knowing that your family is safe from diseases with potentially catastrophic consequences.