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Water Purification

In a potential disaster/emergency situation, water may need to be purified before it is used for drinking, food preparation or hygiene. In addition to having a bad odor and taste, contaminated water can contain microorganisms that cause diseases such as dysentery, cholera, and hepatitis. There are several ways to purify water. Sometimes the best solution is a combination of methods. Before purifying let any suspended particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of clean cloth. These methods boiling, chlorination and purification tablets will kill microbes but will not remove other contaminants such as heavy metal, salts, and most other chemicals.

Boiling Water:
Bring water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, note that some water will evaporate.

  • Cool the water before drinking.

  • Boiled water will taste better if oxygen is replaced by pouring it back and forth between two containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water.


  • Use unscented liquid bleach that contains 5-1/4% sodium hypo-chlorite and no soap.

Clear Water:

  • Add 8 drops of unscented liquid bleach per 1 gallon of water. Use 1/2 teaspoon for per 5 gallons of water.

Cloudy Water:

  • Add 16 drops of unscented liquid bleach per 1 gallon of water. Use 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of water.

  • Stir and let stand for 30 minutes before drinking or other use.

Do not drink water from swimming pools or spas. Drinking water from pools and, or spas could cause you to become ill. Use pool and or spa water for hygiene purposes only.

Purification Tablets and Chemicals:

  • They are generally inexpensive and available at most sporting good stores or emergency supply vendors.

  • Follow the package directions.

City of Calabasas 2017