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River and lake water may contain harmful bacteria as well as disease causing spores such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidum. To completely kill these microorganisms you will have to vigorously boil the water for at least one minute as recommended by EPA (environmental protection agency). To be on the save side, you can boil the water longer to ensure that all microorganisms have been killed. When you are on higher elevations, you will have to boil the water longer to effectively disinfect.
When boiling is not an option, chemical disinfection is effective at killing disease causing microorganisms. One of the most used is the iodine pellets sold in recreational stores and online retailers. These pellets are easy to use and very convenient to carry around with you.
Make sure you evaluate the condition of the river or lake water before deciding to disinfect. Some water might be colored and can indicate more trouble than microorganisms. The water might be contaminated with chemicals that disinfection won't be enough to make it potable. In other words, choose your sources carefully and use common sense to judge the situation.
For more information on emergency water disinfection, see EPA's official website on advice: www.epa.gov...
This is an old standby. It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Matches can get wet and be become pretty much useless, but you can still get a spark from putting steel to a good piece of flint. Sweedish Firesteel-Army model is a good set to use.
Collecting and Filtering # The first step is to get the seawater and transport it. You'll need large plastic or glass jugs. At least 5 quarts of seawater will be needed. Once it's been collected and taken back to your home, the water has to be filtered. A cheesecloth is a common filter used in this process, but others serve the same purpose. You don't want to lose the salt in the filtering process; you want to lose the materials like sand.
Originally posted by AngelsOnMyShoulder
Another good way to get fresh clean water is by use of a solar still. Basically a plastic sheeting and a cup is all you need.