Try This Weirdly Wonderful Water Purification Trick

When Samuel L. Jackson asks, “What’s in your wallet?” I usually think to myself, “Not enough.”

I’d like to be able to ask Mr. Jackson a slightly different question: “What’s in your water?” Actually, I could ask a bunch of people that question, including myself.

Up until a few years ago, very few people were asking the water question. Yeah, we all knew that water got contaminated sometimes, usually in connection with some kind of crisis. But most of us felt pretty safe drinking our tap water.

And then it started.

  • News from Michigan and Ohio that lead in their water was going to give kids serious problems as they aged.
  • News from the West and Midwest that high levels of uranium were being found in drinking water.
  • News from Colorado that the EPA had dumped iron, zinc and copper into the Animas River in Colorado.
  • News from the East Coast that perfluorooctanoic acid was being discovered in drinking water.

The list goes on. Then it dawned on us. If all these places across the country are having contamination issues with their water, we probably are too. We just don’t know it yet.

If you are a serious DIY guy or gal, take a look at this trick for purifying water. If not, make sure to check out the final paragraph of this blog post for a much easier and dependable way to purify water.

You know the sun can power your home and electrical devices, but did you know it can purify water? Here’s how:

  1. Use clean, clear, plastic PET bottles or soda pop bottles no larger than 2 liters each. PET bottles are usually marked with the recycling symbol and a number “1”. Remove all wrapping and packaging.
  1. Fill them with water and close the caps tightly.
  1. Lay them out for maximum sun exposure. A rack tilted at the sun is best, but if not, use a flat surface that gets good sunshine but won’t allow the bottles to roll away.
  1. Expose the bottles for at least six sunny hours, preferably more, or two full cloudy days.
  1. Do not overuse bottles because over time you will start ingesting plastic material. Keep your bottles fresh.
  1. 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 four 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. 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.

The longer you “cook” water in sunlight, the less bacteria there will be. Water does not have to be boiled in order to kill 99-plus percent of the microorganisms. Heating water to 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit will have the same effect.


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