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How to Treat Water in an Emergency Scenario

Treat Water

In times of disaster or emergency the human body still requires water to survive. Usually taken for granted, access to clean drinking water can truly be the difference between life and death as seen time and again on survival reality television shows.  Learning to treat water found in wilderness or urban survival scenario sources is vital.

So, how are you going to be sure the water you find is safe to drink? The short answer is filters and chemicals can ensure you won’t get sick from any water source you may encounter in a survival situation. Here is some important information to consider when choosing how to treat water for consumption:

Filters to Treat Water

Filters are the most common way of purifying water. Usually these come with some type of pump attached to a main unit with a flexible hose to pass water and these are called pump filters. However, we will also discuss two other common types of water filter – gravity filters and bottle filters.

Pump Filters

treat water

Pump filters are the most common method of water purification for prepared survivalists. The pump feature will allow you to gather water from even shallow places, but be sure to allow it to dry completely before repacking otherwise you may end up with a lot of unwanted bacteria living in your drinking water pump .
Every model works a bit differently, but all pump filters are easy to use and solve the critical problem of clean drinking water. This is an absolute must in every survival kit.

Pro Tip – When buying pump filters, look for models that have a built-in pre-filter because this will extend the life of your pump by trapping rough sediment before the water reaches the actual filter.

Gravity Filters

Gravity filters are a simple and low-effort way to purify and treat water for drinking. As the name suggests, you just let gravity do the work by collecting water into the reservoir and hanging the unit which allows the water to pass though a built-in filter.

Gravity filters are lightweight, quite efficient and very inexpensive which makes them a popular choice for may survival kits. Again, the only drawback is that it will take about 30 minutes for your water to filter and be ready to drink.

Bottle Filters

If you don’t like waiting to have a drink of water then a bottle filter may be exactly what you need. A bottle filter is simply a bottle and lid which contains the built-in filter. Just fill your bottle, turn it up and start drinking! The water will pass through the filter as you drink making this the fastest way to get some hydration back into your body.

Boiling to Treat Water

Let us never forget the oldest and most trusted method of water purification in all of history – boiling. Yes, as long as you have the utensils and a heat source you can boil any reasonable water you find and it will be safe to drink after just one minute. In fact, you can even boil saltwater from the ocean and condense the steam into pure drinkable H2O. Boiling works just fine if that’s an option for you.

Chemicals to Treat Water

A much simpler and easier way to purify water is to add chemicals. This may sound extreme, but these are actually just water purification tablets you can find online or at any outdoors shop. Simply add 1 or 2 tablets to your collected water and let the chemicals do their magic. The drawback is you’ll have to wait at least 30 minutes before the water is ready to drink. Be sure to read the instructions on the package and follow them to ensure safety.


Your survival situation won’t last long if you don’t have drinking water. It is a priceless commodity that you must have access to and you should know that others will be needing it badly in a survival or disaster scenario. Be prepared.


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What started out as a commitment to protect my family from the dangers of the world has turned into a mission to share my research with as many people as possible. Despite the ever-increasing threats of today, there are ways to keep ourselves protected. Knowledge is Power.

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