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Home Methods Of Purifying Water

Source: A Handbook Of Health

Boiling. Where the water that you are obliged to drink is not known to
be pure, then it can be made quite safe for drinking purposes by the
simple process of boiling it for about ten or fifteen minutes. But this,
except in travelling or in emergencies, is a lazy, slipshod substitute
for pure water, and extremely unsatisfactory as well; for the boiling
drives off all its air and other gases, and throws down most of the
salts, so that boiled water has a flat, insipid taste. These salts,
although sometimes regarded as impurities, are not such in any true
sense; for the lime and soda especially are of considerable value in the
body, so that boiled or sterilized water is neither a pleasant nor a
wholesome permanent drink. Instead of boiling the water, get to work to
protect your own well from filth of all sorts, if you drink well water;
or, if not, to help the Board of Health to agitate, and keep on
agitating, until something is done to compel your selectmen or City
Council to secure a pure supply.

Domestic Filters. Much the same must be said of private or domestic
filters. These are, at best, temporary substitutes, and should not be
depended upon for permanent use. Many of them are made to sell rather
than to purify, and will remove only the larger or mechanical impurities
from the water. Others, while they work well at first, are exceedingly
likely to become clogged, when the tendency is to punch at them to make
them work faster, thus either poking a hole through them or cracking the
filter-shell, so that a stream of water flows steadily through, just as
impure as when it entered. Private filters, like boiling water, are only
temporary ways of meeting conditions which ought not to be allowed to
exist at all in civilized communities, or in your own homes.

A score of court decisions in all parts of the world have now held that
the water company is legally responsible for all avoidable pollution of
public water-supplies, and nine tenths of pollutions are avoidable.

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