Survival Water Purification: Emergency Water Filtration Top Picks

survival water sourceWithout water, the human body will exhibit dehydration symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, and headaches, among others. On the other hand, drinking water that is untreated can increase the body’s water loss even further because of the influx of water-borne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. Fortunately, lack of water during an emergency situation can be prevented with appropriate survival water purification methods which could be used even if sources of heat and fuel are unavailable.

Water distillers, for instance, are effective emergency water filtration systems which can be easily built with the use of a tea pot or pressure cooker. Before water undergoes purification, however, we first need to choose its source wisely.

Rain Water Needs to Be Treated

Since water in urban environments is likely contaminated with toxic chemicals, choosing rain water as the preferred source in these areas should be exercised with a certain amount of caution. An effective way to collect large amounts of rain water prior to preparing it for emergency water filtration is with the use of water barrels which come in different sizes. Place the barrels strategically in areas below rooftops to catch cascading water. If treated properly, rain water can be preserved for several years.

Water from streams, ponds, lakes and creeks may also be collected to subsequently undergo survival water purification, albeit the weight of water from these sources could be a problem when transported. Water in five gallon containers or collapsible-type containers may be used to collect the water from the mentioned sources. Wheel barrows, old wagons and garden carts may be then used to transport the containers to the home.

Boiling and Distillation

There are several ways to treat rain water or water collected from streams, lakes or ponds. Boiling has always been the safest and also the easiest method. Distillation is done by boiling water and collecting the vapor only upon condensation; this condensed vapor does not include salt or other impurities. However, there are easier ways to acquire safe drinking water – especially if a heat source for boiling isn’t readily available.

Inexpensive Yet Highly Effective Ceramic Water Filters

A convenient method used by many is  a portable water filtration system in the form of water filters. This kind of water purification makes use of ceramic filters, chemical treatments, and a system which combines both. Ceramic filters are an inexpensive yet highly effective form of water purification. These filters are made from porous materials which can capture bacterial contaminants down to a range of 0.2 microns.

The pores in ceramic filters are smaller than bacteria, sediment, and viruses, enabling water to pass through them while the mentioned impurities are caught by the filters, albeit there may still be contaminates which could get past these filters. Boiling is still advised in some cases, but treating the water with a quality filtration system would be the best safeguard for this condition.

If you are unsure of which brand of water filtration system to buy, here are some of the best available choices (based on real consumer feedback) in the market:

Katadyn Pocket Filter

katadyn-pocket-filterOne of the best portable water purification systems available on the market today is the Katadyn Pocket Filter which can provide up to a quart of safe and pure drinking water per minute. For more than 20 years, the Katadyn Pocket Filter has been used by prestigious organizations such as the International Red Cross, the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, the U.S. Forestry Service, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other relief agencies in the world. With organizations such as these using the Katadyn Pocket Filter, it’s no wonder so many consumers choose this product for their emergency water filtration needs.

Built from extremely strong materials such as polypropylene, aluminum from milled aircraft, and ceramic as well as designed for lifetime durability, the Katadyn Pocket Filter remains the only water filter worldwide which has a lifetime warranty. Measuring 10 inches long by two inches diameter, the Katadyn Pocket Filter comes with a carrying case, instructions for use, and a 30-inch inlet hose, among others.

Not only are ceramic water filters, or CWFs, convenient because they are portable survival water purification devices, they also have extendable life. With silver elements guaranteed not to leach away, the Katadyn Pocket Ceramic element, for instance, has extendable life since its field is cleanable. These silver elements are capable of either incapacitating or killing harmful bacteria. These elements also help prevent mold and algae from developing in the filter’s body – an important benefit when it’s time to re-use the filter. The extendable life of the Katadyn Pocket Filter is made possible by the fact that the field of the ceramic element is cleanable.

Silver-impregnated to effectively inhibit the growth of bacteria in its own ceramic pores, it can filter 13,000 gallons of pure and clean water. The Katadyn Pocket Filter element removes not only bacteria but protozoa such as giardia, a type of microscopic parasite which causes bloating, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea, and also cryptosporidia, parasites that burrow into intestinal walls and cause watery diarrhea which can become life-threatening if left untreated. Those are benefits that you simply can’t live without.

Katadyn Expedition Group Filter

The Katadyn Expedition Group Filter is capable of yielding over a gallon of filtered water per minute. The Katadyn family’s “big brother,” the Expedition is used by the International Red Cross, the U.S. Navy’s SEALS, and the U.S. Marine Corps, among other renowned agencies globally. The Katadyn Expedition is the ideal water filtration for civic groups, churches, schools, emergency agencies, and search and rescue teams.

katadyn-expediton-group-filterWith a filtration capacity of up to 26,000 gallons at a ceramic depth of 0.2 microns, the Katadyn Expedition can be considered a survival water purification system that is almost indestructible. With a height adjustable between 24 inches to 32 inches for convenient and easy pumping, it comes with a 78-inch intake hose. The Katadyn Expedition hand pump and filter are constructed in a chromium-plated, solid brass housing, with an intake strainer of stainless steel and a ceramic filter silver-impregnated for high capacity. That’s more than a mouthful, but needless to say, the folks at Katadyn didn’t skimp on quality when designing this water filter.

Berkey Light Water Purification System

berkey-lightAnother emergency water filtration you should consider using is the Berkey Light Water Purification System, a device so powerful it has exceeded the capabilities of standard water filters. The conveniently portable Berkey may be used in the filtration of non-potable water in conditions that exclude availability of electricity or heat.

Long distance travel, camping, and emergency situations require the flexibility, adaptability, portability, and durability of water filtration provided by the Berkey Light Water Purification System. Berkey’s cleanable replacement cartridge is a reliable and economical solution to long term issues of water quality. Easy and convenient to use, Berkey is perhaps the only emergency water filtration system that self-sterilizes as well as produces a soothing sound similar to that of falling raindrops as it purifies water.

What Happens When You Don’t Filter Water?

Just as much as water filtration in daily living is indispensable, so is its counterpart in the form of emergency water filtration systems. This is the primary reason why choosing how your water is purified cannot be emphasized enough. Consider how the Berkey Light with Black Berkey purification element removes a vast plethora of up to 99.9999% of viruses, up to 99.9999% of bacteria, as well as a host of parasites and cysts.

Not to mention the staggering amount of organic solvents, detergents, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, silt, herbicides, foul odors, cloudiness, and other contaminants that would otherwise be in the water that you drink, wash your clothes in, rinse your dishes and cooking utensils in, and mix with your children’s powdered milk and other freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. The Black Berkey filter element also eliminates chlorine to levels that are undetectable.

Reasons to Consider Water Filtration

If you still need convincing that having an emergency water filtration system on hand is in the best interests of your health and the health of your family, here are seven validated reasons for your consideration:

1.    Drinking contaminated water may cause serious medical conditions of the intestines, skin, liver, kidneys, and      circulatory system. Such conditions develop over time and may not be noticeable until it’s already too late.

2.    Tap water has over 2,000 contaminants that may result in gastrointestinal diseases from potentially hazardous bacteria and some well-known poisons. Many of these bacteria can cause life threatening diseases.

3.    Outbreak of bacterial, viral, and fungal contaminants in common tap water may not be always be controlled by water supply facilities, especially in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or major power outage (remember Hurricane Katrina and Sandy).

4.  Development of rectal, bladder and colorectal cancers have been linked to toxins from chlorine and its by-products in drinking tap water.

5.    Children’s physical, mental and immune system development may be affected by the pollutants in the water that they may drink.

6.    Pregnant women who drink impure or contaminated water are likely to deliver babies with congenital defects which could have been highly preventable if they opted to drink filtered water during pregnancy.

7.    In the U.S., cases of learning disorders in children reach 480,000 each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many of these are attributed to unclean and unsafe drinking water.

An emergency water filtration system could very well spell the difference between life and death in the event of a major natural disaster or, God forbid, a terrorist attack. So it comes as no surprise that survival experts recommend a water filtration system as a necessary investment. It’s difficult to put a price on your peace of mind, so consider a quality built survival water purification system that’s durable and reliable as smart insurance to keep on hand. Should the need arise you’ll be glad you’re prepared!


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