How to sanitise water

boiling water to sanitise

If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.
If you are uncertain about the quality of drinking water, be cautious and purify to be safe even if it looks clean and clear. This will help avoid diarrhoea, or worse, a serious infection.

Boiling: Boil all drinking water for at least three minutes at a rolling boil to kill off pathogens that could cause serious illness

Bleach: Not all bleaches are created equal. To purify water safely, you need a regular, full strength, unscented bleach containing at least 4% sodium hypochlorite – about 70ml or 1/3 of a cup to 1000 litres of water. Stir well and let stand for at least 30 minutes – the water should keep a slight chlorine taste. If it doesn’t, dose it again as above, stir, and leave it for another 15 minutes.

Purification tablets: These use iodine to purify water and are found in supermarkets, pharmacies, camping and sports stores. Follow the direction on the pack and only use in case of emergency.

Iodine: If it’s an emergency and there are no other choices, use the iodine liquid from the first aid kit. Use 2% USP-strength iodine, adding five drops per litre to clear water and 10 drops per litre to cloudy water. Mix well, then leave 30 minutes. Iodine is poisonous, so be careful if this is your last option and measure carefully.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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