Boiling is one of the first ways to purify drinking water. Bring the water to a boil and once it has reached this point all living organisms will be dead. If you let your water boil longer, and it has some chemical contamination in it, most of the chemicals will vaporize out of it. However, not all chemicals will vaporize out of your water. You will also have to strain out any solids that might be in the water.
Disinfecting water is done by, putting in a chemical that will kill bacteria, tiny bugs, and viruses. But before doing so, it is very improtant to know your water. You can use household bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite with nothing else in it. Add 16 drops to 1 gallon of water and let it sit for 30 minutes. You can also get chlorine dioxide tablets that are good to us for camping and backpacking. Iodine purification tablets have been used for a very long time. However, they can be harmful to people with thyroid conditions and do not kill Cryptosporidium cysts. They also leave a very unpleasant taste to the water.
Using UV or ultraviolet light will kill bacteria, water cysts, and viruses. The water is passed through a chamber that is lighted in UV light. The light is what kills or sterilizes all the unwanted organisms. This system will not remove any other type of contaminate. The water going through this has to be clear, and have most of the iron removed. The lights protective covering must be kept clean at all times or the light will not reach the water to do its job. This type of system can be found for home use, up to commercial use in the public building.
Distilling or Distillation
Distilling of water is done by bringing the water to a boil, then catching the steam and cooling it down to turn it back into the water. This will remove solids and non-vaporizing contaminants like metals and minerals. Chemicals that can vaporize with the water will carry over to the clean side of the system.
The medical community has scrutinized drinking distilled water, due to the fact that all the minerals have been removed by distilling. You can always take a mineral supplement to make sure that you are getting what you need.
You can get home distillers that will distil one gallon at a time. These units can cost less than one hundred dollars. I use one of these units in my home, the liquid left behind in it when done is very yellow in color. I have city water too. I wonder what has been left behind that I am not drinking.
From simple faucet filters to reverse osmosis are ways to filter your water. A simple way to filter your drinking water is to put on a faucet filter. You can get these in 1 to 3 stages of filtration. The more stages a filter has, the more types of contaminants that it will remove. They will eliminate sediment, lead and microbiological cysts Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
You can go from an on the counter type filtration system with more stages and filter capacity, to full-blown whole house filter systems. You can customize the filter system to the water contaminates that you have also. You only need to get a sample of your water analyzed and build your filter system from there.
One thing to be aware of when looking at a reverse osmosis system is that it uses a great deal of water to get a small amount of clean water back. You may only get five to fifteen percent of the treated water back into clean water. The rest of the water goes down the drain.