Obtaining safe drinking water is a struggle for many people. The microbes that spread diarrhoea are often found in dirty water. Water becomes dirty in many ways. It may contain faeces and urine, soap from washing or chemicals from industry. Dirty water can be used for washing clothes. However, if we drink or cook with dirty water, we can become ill. Let muddy water settle for a day and then pour off the clearest water into a clean container. Repeat this a day later. This will produce clearer water that can be made safe for drinking in several ways.
We can boil the water for a few minutes if we have enough fuel. We can add chemicals such as chlorine bleach, being very careful to follow the instructions on the bottle. We can make and use a sand filter.
Another easy way is to use the sun’s energy. Collect some clean, clear large plastic bottles that are not too scratched. Fill each bottle 34 full and shake it for 20 seconds to add oxygen. This will help kill microbes in the water. Then fill to the top with more water. Place the bottles on their side in full sun for at least six hours on a roof, table or bench. If possible place them on a piece of black plastic or cloth. Cool the bottles. Keep the lids on until needed to keep the water safe to drink. If the weather is cloudy, there may not be enough sun and the method will not work.