Don’t Make These Common Deadly Water Purification Errors

tea kettle on fire

a person boiling water

Mistake #1

One mistake that some make is assuming that by boiling water they will destroy or remove chemical toxins, poisons, and petroleum products from the water. This is not the case, so if your water source has an oil slick on top leave it alone.

If you use commercial grade activated charcoal as a filtering medium, you can remove certain pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and some petroleum products from the water, but this is not foolproof, so if you do suspect contaminates of this type it is best to leave the water alone.

Hey, we are only human. While you probably have never had problems with water purification before, maybe that stream outside you backyard is pure enough, you can never be too careful!

For another mistake that you must be aware of while getting water in the wild to drink, check out the next page.

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  1. Thomas Whitten said:

    All these are true. Best thing to do is to see if there’s any oil or a sheen on the surface of the water, usually a multicolored sheen. If there is, I would not mess with it. As for water born pathogens, water generally boils at 212 degrees depending on elevation. Once your past the 160 degree mark, most organisms are dead. Boiling for 3 minutes is somewhat of a myth but if it makes you feel better about it, then do it. No harm done. Just bringing it to a boil is good enough. Proof? I’m still alive with no problems. 🙂

  2. Chris Webb said:

    I stopped at removing pesticides and herbicides, leeching hasn’t been an issue in 2 decades. Sounds like someone didn’t do their homework.

  3. Thomas Whitten said:

    I respectfully disagree. It is still very much around in many places around the country. Good that’s not where you live though.

  4. Chris Webb said:

    I’m a farmer that uses them, I know quite a bit about herbicides and pesticides, (which are mostly used in produce). Runoff is not an issue, lie to yourself all you want.

  5. Jonathan Duke said:

    Based on most water treatment plants it is. You’re already drinking water that has been pissed in and used a few million times. my degree is in waste water management.

  6. Jonathan Duke said:

    Yes specifically because of my experience drinking straight out of creeks as a kid and wanting to know how to do it in the event of a disaster.

    No water is ever 100% pure. Mock me if you want but I do know what I’m talking about.

  7. Jonathan Duke said:

    I would rather drink Mexico water vs several places I know of in the states.

  8. George Parsons said:

    building a small water still is a very good idea. stolen from duel survivor show once. turned salt water into fresh drinking water.

  9. Sean Mel said:

    Runoff is found in literally every river and tributary.

  10. Daniel Wallace said:

    i humbly disagree with your “no runoff” statement. my friends daughter lost her eye swimming in a creek contaminated by the runoff you claim doesn’t exist.

  11. Chris Webb said:

    Not buying it dude, I’ve had 90% of these chemicals directly on my skin, ur full of it…