Make Water Potable
Hey man, there's lots of different ways to make your water safe. It's not too hard and not too expensive but lots of folks ask me "Hey, Water Dude, will I REALLY get sick if I drink water straight"?
My pat answer is, "I don't know, but what IF you do? Hmmm?"
I'm a risk-taker and thrill-seeker but not for something silly like playing russian roulette with a glass of water. I'd rather float the Nile, climb Mt. Everest, or hike the Pacific Crest Trail than drink straight from a river because there's a good chance of bad stuff in that water. If you don't believe me, just take a look at why I don't drink wild water!
Filter Water to screen out impurities. To work, a filter must let water flow through but stop particles. Since there must be a path for the water to pass through the filter, that also means there is a path for particles to pass. The size of the path, or the pore size, determines the size of the particles that can be trapped. Two main types of filters are membrane-type and depth-type and each has its pros and cons.
Purify Water by combining filtration and chemical treatment. Water filters can not remove the tiniest of critters - the viruses. In most areas of the United States, bacteria are the biggest concern with viral contamination not a significant risk. But, in other countries, viruses in the water can be a cause for purifying water rather than just filtering it. Purification systems often use a filter and chemical treatment to purify the water completely.
Boil Water to kill the bad guys swimming around in it. That's not just making the water hot or even bringing it to a boil; that's a full, rolling boil for a few minutes to make sure everything is dead. Unlike filtering, boiling water does not remove anything from it so you still drink all the junk that might have been floating around in there.
Treat water with Chemicals - chemical treatment of drinking water poisons the inhabitants of your refreshing drink. Chlorine and iodine are the common chemicals to use and its important to use these correctly since they aren't something your body really needs going into it either. Used incorrectly, chemicals can be just as poisonous to you as to the creepy crawlies you are trying to get rid of, but they are a good backup to purifying and filtering.