It should be no surprise that the sun can not only power and heat your home, but it can make your water safe to drink. And the process is really simple once you know how.
Here’s the easy way to purify water:
- Use clean, clear plastic PET bottles or soda pop bottles no bigger than 2 liter size. PET bottles are usually marked with the recycling symbol and a numeral ‘1’. Remove all wrapping and packaging.
- Fill them water and close the cap tightly.
- Lay them out for maximum sun exposure. A rack tilted at the sun is best, but if you can’t use a flat surface that has good sunshine but won’t let the bottles roll away.
- Expose the bottles for at least 6 sunny hours, preferably more, or 2 full cloudy days.
- Do not overuse bottles, you will be ingesting the plastic material over time, so keep your bottles fresh.
- Do not treat too much water at once. The depth of the water is key as the UV rays from the sun kill bacteria. Do not use buckets and keep the water depth that is perpendicular to the sun a maximum of 4 inches.
If you’re like me you’re probably storing bottled water anyway. Now you can reuse the bottles when that water runs out, and purify untreated water as you need it without using fuel or electricity.
The method show above has been proven to kill bacteria effectively (see this article for more details). And the longer you ‘cook’ the water in sunlight, the less bacteria there will be.
The article above notes that water does not have to be boiled in order to kill 99.9% of the microorganisms. Heating up the water to 120-140°F for one hour has the same effect. (If you have a tin roof or other sun-facing metal surface, place your water bottle on it to increase the water temperature.)
The best practice is to refill bottles as soon as they’re empty and let them bake in the sun for as long as possible.
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