How To Make Water Safe For Drinking

beautiful young woman drinking water in the morning

The quality of water you drink can impact your health positively if the water is purified or negatively if the water is contaminated with harmful bacteria and chemicals. Unfortunately, people fall sick by consuming water they thought was clean just by judging with their eyes. Water that appears clean can return negative results when tested. 

If you aren’t sure whether your available drinking water is safe to consume or not, it would be best to purify it. When choosing purification methods, there are a few things to consider. For instance, your water source may demand that you use a specific purification method that will be the most effective way to decontaminate your drinking water. So, take your time to examine your options and water source before trying out the methods below.

That said, let’s now have a look at some of the ways you can make your water safe for drinking:


Boiling water is probably the simplest, cheapest, and oldest method of purifying water. Just pour the water from the tap or other water source into a clean boiling pan and bring it to a boil over high heat. If you live in a low altitude area, one minute is enough to kill germs and make it safe for drinking. But if you’re at altitudes above 5,000 ft., you should wait for about three minutes because water boils slowly at high altitudes.

Once the water has cooled, sieve off the impurities, which will have settled at the bottom of the container, using either a paper towel, coffee filter, or clean cloth. At this point, the water will now be safe for consumption. However, it’s important to note that re-boiling or boiling the water for too long may concentrate certain unwanted chemicals present in the water.

Water Purifiers

Water purifiers make it possible to access clean water on demand. There are different water filtration processes like Ultra Filtration (UF), Reverse Osmosis (RO), and Ultra Violet disinfection (UV). The system you choose will depend on the condition of the water.

  • Ultra-Filtration: In this process, water is forced to pass through a super fine semi-permeable membrane where sediments, microorganisms, and bacteria are blocked from the purified water. If you add carbon filament, bad odors will be taken care of. This process does not alter the composition of your water.
  • Reverse Osmosis: RO water filtration works by passing waterthrough a semi-permeable membrane. The water flows from a more to a less concentrated area, making it possible for water contaminants like pesticides, microorganisms, and salts to be filtered off.
  • Ultra Violet radiation: Here, water is passed through a UV system, and when harmful microorganisms come into contact with the UV light, they are deactivated and cannot reproduce, therefore making your water safe for consumption. UV destroys 99.99% of disease-causing microbes, making it one of the most effective ways of purifying water. The smaller version of the UV light water treatment system is submerged and swished in water for a reasonable amount of time. After then, the water is considered ready for consumption.


You can make your drinking water potable by using your household unscented chlorine bleach. The bleach should have sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient with a 5% concentrate. If the water is cloudy, filter it and let it settle. Then draw out the clear water and add the appropriate measure of bleach. Use eight drops for every gallon of water. Stir in the bleach well and let the water sit for about 30 minutes before consumption. You should store the unused disinfected water in tightly closed clean containers.


Campers or hikers usually use iodine tablets, crystals, or solutions to purify water since they can add them to the water containers conveniently while on the go. To measure the correct amount of the iodine product to be added to your water, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer as they vary from product to product. Then mix well with your water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the iodine to dissolve and disinfect the water. Water treated with iodine will, however, have an aftertaste. 

Solar Purification

Make water safe for drinking by placing them in transparent plastic bottles, shaking them to activate oxygen, and exposing them to direct sunlight for six hours. The sun’s rays can kill harmful bacteria and viruses in the water, making it safe for drinking.


Distillation is an effective way of purifying water by collecting vaporized water. In this method, water is brought to a boiling through heating. After which, the vapor is channeled into a condenser to cool. The cool vapor is then reversed to liquid. Distillation is effective for killing harmful bacteria in drinking water because, in vaporization, other substances are separated and left behind.    


As you can see from the above information, you don’t have to use sophisticated equipment to purify your drinking water. Once you know the condition of your water, use the method that is available to you and do it properly and safely.