The Types and Uses of a Portable Water Purification System - By: Venkata Krishnan Rajagopalan
If you have ever been camping in the wilderness then you may have used a portable water purification system. These systems, otherwise known as point of use (POA) systems have uses in many situations. They are ideal for travelers worldwide, campers and survivalists. The military have also been using them for years. They work by filtering pathogens and debris from water that would otherwise not be safe to drink such as sea water.
The water from a lot of public sources may appear to be fresh, clean and good to drink, but this not always the case. In a lot of large lakes and other bodies of water there may be a number of pathogens and bacteria that can not be seen with the naked eye. Even running water, which we are told to believe is pure, can have sewage effluent or industrial waste in it. This can effect the plants growing along side the banks of the river or lake too, such as water cress, so be on the safe side and don't ingest them
Purification systems are a lot smaller and more light weight than they used to be so you can take them in the car or your backpack without adding to much weight or bulk. These systems can work in a number of ways. By boiling, filtration, chemical disinfection, U. V filtration and solar disinfection.
Boiling water can get rid of a lot of unwanted viruses and bacteria however not all pathogens will be killed at this temperature. Some require to be at 118 Celsius. If you boil the water and then use a charcoal filter to remove the last of the bacteria most water will be safe to drink.
Filtration systems work by by pumping the contaminated water through a filter. These devices are safe up to a point although some bacteria that are thin enough to get through the filtration system. Pathogens can also, over time, start to grow on the actual filter mechanism although you can now get systems with an inbuilt mechanism to prevent this problem.
Chemical disinfection is used a lot in developing nations as you can purify a great deal of water with quite a small amount of product. The use of U. V light is a method that is effective, though it depends on batteries to run it, so might not be the best choice if you are going for any length of time.
Water purification is not just restricted to the wilderness. Many people in the united states and Canada as well as other parts of the 'developed world' have to filter their water to drink as it's not safe or particularly pleasant to drink.
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