Home Science Physics Can You Drink River Water if You Boil It? 

Can You Drink River Water if You Boil It? 

Can You Drink River Water if You Boil It? 

A few things that people who have gone hiking or camping are very familiar with, is making use of the natural resources available to them. This includes, but is not limited to, finding drinkable water.  

A lot of people believe that running water is clean, which means it is drinkable, as it is. This is not true. Water that may seem clean to the naked eye may be laced with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. This means that drinking that water can result in various waterborne diseases. If there are any factories or farms nearby, the water may also be contaminated with chemicals such as pesticides or metals. This makes the water undrinkable.

It is important that, before going on the nature hike or camping, one needs to check if the surroundings have “potable water”. Even though boiling the water may kill the living organisms present in the water, that is not the only step required to purify water enough, and make it drinkable. However, boiling is a pertinent step in the water filtration process, which makes it drinkable.  

One cannot take water from a river, immediately boil it and drink it. This may not clean the water as well as one might believe it too.  

Steps for cleaning river water to make it drinkable 

Once one has located potable water in their surroundings, they should take the following steps to purify it.  

  1. The first step should be to collect the water in a container that has been disinfected. It is ideal to collect the water from higher elevations or places closer to the water source. Water near animal grazing points, farms, or factories is not suitable.  
  2. The next step is to filter the water. This filtration process helps in purifying the water just enough to get rid of any silt, sand, or bacteria. The viruses may still be lurking in the water.  
  3. After filtration, one should let the water sit for a little bit. 
  4. After letting the water sit for a while, the cleaner water from the surface needs to be boiled or treated with disinfectants. It is easier and safer to boil the water. This would help kill the germs, viruses, bacteria, and parasites which have survived the filtration process.  
  5. One should wait for the water to cool down before transferring it into a container, again.  

These steps ensure that the water has become drinkable.  

Things to be mindful, of when drinking river water 

Anytime one believes that they are on a journey toward a place, where they might need to use natural resources in order to drink water, they should always carry purifiers and filters with them. A very effective purifier is one that is portable and can be charged with the help of UV rays.  

Additionally, one should be mindful of their water source and should conduct prior research which would suggest that the water they plan on using is not laced with metals or biochemical products. The point of collecting water is also a vital step, which the user should be mindful of.

Watch this video to learn more:

That being said, staying hydrated is important so one should never take it for granted. It is important to be mindful of what one is consuming and take the necessary measures for their own well-being.