Making Safe Drinking Water
The first choice is to bring water treatment devices with you whenever you travel to a developing country. However, if you have forgotten to bring one, consider the following options to make safe drinking water:
Boiling: Vigorously boil water for 5 minutes. The flat taste of boiled water can be improved by pouring it back and forth from one CLEAN container to another. Also, a small pinch of salt can be added to each quart of water boiled;
Chlorination: Add 5-10 drops chlorine bleach per quart of clear water, thoroughly mixing it and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes. The treated water should have a slight chlorine odour; if it doesn't, the dosage should be repeated and the water should stand for 15 minutes more. If this treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, it can be made more drinkable by allowing the water to stand exposed to the air (should be a light cover over the top to prevent insects, etc. from falling into the water). Pouring it back and forth between two CLEAN containers will also help.
As a last resort, if the above options are not available, consider the following:
UV Exposure: Make safe drinking water by putting clear water in a clean container and expose it to bright, hot sun for at least 8 hours;
pH Adjustment: Add lime to bring the pH above 10 for several hours. Expose the water to atmosphere for several hours to allow natural CO2 reactions to bring the pH back down to at least 8.5 prior to drinking. Please note that this should only be used as a last resort since the validity of this method to make safe drinking water has not been scientifically investigated.
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