How Do You Treat Contaminated Water after a Flood?

Do you dwell in a particular area where unwelcomed natural disasters and calamities are more likely to happen? Such disasters include hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes, storms, and floods. Now the issue here is water gets contaminated after a flood occurs in your area.

This is a very serious problem because contaminated water can cause many problems and complications to your health. In a situation like this, you should have sufficient supply of clean drinking water stored and kept right in your own home.

But in some unfortunate instances where you have consumed all your stored clean water and no other possible source is available, a much bigger problem is at hand. The solution is to assume that all water available is unsafe to drink, use for washing the dishes, or for bathing. Thus, you should treat any water available.

Contaminated water usually has a bad and awful odor, and of course taste. But most importantly, it contains a lot of microorganisms that can harm a human’s body. These microorganisms (bacteria, protozoa, and many more) can cause a lot of health complications such as typhoid fever, amoebiasis, diarrhea, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and many more.

Everyone would obviously not want to have these illnesses. That’s why it is very important to treat any contaminated water. So how do you do it?

There are two easy methods that are used for killing bad bacteria and some microbes namely Boiling and Chlorination, although they won’t remove contaminants like metal particles, salts and many other foreign chemicals. For that reason the water must be treated by first letting out large particles or rather strain it through a filter or a series of clean cloth or paper towels. In filtering, see to it that the “filter” is intact and it has no holes or you’re just wasting time and effort for nothing.

So the first method is boiling. This is actually the easiest and fastest way for treating and cleaning contaminated water. The process is done through rapid vaporization of the contaminated water by heating it to its boiling point. You could prepare a kettle and then boil the water for a minute or two, wait for it to cool down, and it’s good for drinking.

Note that some water would evaporate and lessen during the process, so it depends on the water’s quantity that is available. However, boiled water would taste different because it loses dissolved oxygen, and the water contains more minerals. Oxygenation can be done by pouring the water back and forth in two containers.

The second method is Chlorination. This process is kind of advanced in treating water. It adds the important element chlorine in to water as a wise method of purifying the contaminated water to make it suitable for humans to drink. This is also considered as the best method because water, which has been treated with chlorine, is effective in avoiding the spread of those unwanted water-borne illnesses.

This method can be done by either using household bleach or simply by purchasing beforehand a sodium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlorite usage won’t be that complicated since instructions are included in its package. Scented or other types of bleaches that have additives are not advised to be used because of the added chemicals that are harmful, which they contain. This can cause harm to the human body.

Keep in mind that the water must have slightly bleach-like odor present on it. If it doesn’t, it just shows that there are still bacterial contaminants present and thus must be treated in the same way again. If the slight bleach odor can’t be smelt from the water after two consecutive treatments, dispose it immediately as it simply indicates that the water is not successfully treated. 


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