Defining Purification

Water purification is a process in which all types of impurities, contaminants and pollutants are removed from the water. If you remember, contaminants and pollutants can include a variety of substances like microorganisms, metals and chemicals. Most purification processes involve multiple steps, and especially when water purifying is done in emergency conditions.

Contaminated water can cause serious health problems that include:

  • Severe and prolonged diarrhea
  • Diseases like typhoid and cholera
  • Parasites in the digestive system or blood stream
  • Leeches that can cause internal bleeding wounds
  • Infections

In a disaster, or when treated water is unavailable for whatever reason, water should be purified. Sometimes the water will clearly indicate contamination, like when it is cloudy or dirty. However, the appearance of water does not always reflect its contamination with microorganisms or pollutants.

The most rudimentary purification process involves allowing sediment to settle in the bottom of the water or pouring the water through some handy material. However, all this does is remove larger materials and dirt and does nothing to eliminate biological contaminants.

There are a number of methods for purifying water, and some are more effective than others.

However, by knowing different purification methods, you are better prepared to handle an emergency or disaster when treated water is not available.