What else could be more important than the clearness of the water you drink on a daily basis? To make sure that your drinking water is safe to consume, there are many disinfection methods you can try.

Unfortunately, wherever you live, disease-causing pathogens can be found in water sources, including rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater sources. While municipal water supply companies try their best to remove harmful contaminants from the water that enters your home, impurities can still find their way to your kitchen tap. 

Due to the serious impacts of water-borne illnesses, water disinfection is an equally concerning topic for both suppliers of municipal water and for those who get their drinking water from a private source.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at water disinfection, covering the 5 most common disinfection methods.

Why Should You Disinfect Your Drinking Water?

Disease-causing pathogens are responsible for a broad range of water-borne infections that can easily cause unpleasant gastrointestinal issues, which can eventually lead to serious complications and even death. 

Without the proper water disinfection pathogens like Campylobacter, Salmonella, Giardia, Shigella, Pseudomonas, Norovirus, Legionella, Cryptosporidium and a long list of other dangerous contaminants can easily end up in your drinking water. 

But when exactly should you disinfect your water? Here’s a list of the most common situations:

  • You are sourcing your drinking water from elsewhere than the municipal water supply (from a  private well or borehole)
  • There is a disruption of water supply due to a natural disaster (earthquakes, floods, etc.)
  • Tests were done and they show the presence of faecal coliform bacteria (e.g. E. Coli); 
  • You or someone living in your household has a weakened immune system
  • You are travelling off-grid or to areas that has questionable water safety

Things You Should Consider Before Choosing a Disinfection Method

If you decide to disinfect water, there are some crucial things that you should always keep in mind. Here are the most important things you shouldn’t miss if you aim for the ideal water disinfection method:

  • Make sure that the disinfection method you choose can destroy viruses, bacteria, cysts and other dangerous pathogens that may be present in your water.
  • The success of the chosen disinfection method cannot be compromised by the fluctuations in the composition of your water.
  • Disinfection should take a short amount of time, while a great number of pathogens should be destroyed. 
  • The chosen disinfection method should function regardless of the temperature of water. 
  • Tools and replacements for disinfection should be easy and safe to handle.
  • Make sure that disinfection doesn’t do any damage to the quality of your water (e.g. cause water to become toxic or unpalatable) 
  • Aim for disinfection methods, where the concentrations of the disinfection agent can be easily calculated. 
  • The ideal disinfection method offers residual protection against recontamination. 

How to Disinfect Water?

Now let’s see how exactly you can disinfect water. Of course, there are many ways to do this, each process relying on different methods. While some disinfection methods are chemical-based, others don’t require the adding of any chemicals. 

Here are the 5 most common water disinfection methods to follow:   

Boiling

One of the simplest and oldest ways to disinfect water is by boiling it. You can boil your water for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the type of pathogens you want to get rid of. 

This popular method is used for a long time to remove bacteria and viruses from water, even by water providers as well. In many countries it is not uncommon to issue a boil water notice in case there is a water contamination issue. If you happen to get this notice, follow the instructions and boil your water before using it for drinking or cooking purposes.

However, boiling your water cannot solve every contamination issue. If your water is contaminated with heavy metals or chemicals, boiling would not be the right disinfection method. In this case you can get a professional water filter system installed that successfully targets heavy metals and chemical impurities in your tap water.

Chlorination

Alongside boiling, chlorination is another popular method to disinfect your water from harmful contaminants. This water sanitising method is widely used by water providers worldwide.

By chlorination, pathogenic bacteria can be removed effectively, ensuring this way safe access to pure water in every household. Another advantage of chlorination is the simple and easy use of chlorine tablets that can be used in emergency situations or during travelling off-grid.

The bad news is that chlorination has its disadvantages as well. While chlorine is widely used to remove contaminants that are harmful to human health, chlorine itself can be the reason for unpleasant medical issues. 

Skin problems such as eczema flare ups, respiratory problems such as asthma, hair issues or even much more serious diseases like cancer can be caused by chlorine in the water you use daily. Not to mention the by-products and the unpleasant taste and smell of chlorine that we all try to get rid of.

Filtration

Professional water filtration is  one of the most reliable disinfection methods. Manufacturer companies offer a broad range of innovative filtration systems that feature powerful filter media.

Reverse osmosis systems and gravity water filters are great examples of high-quality water treatment products that are worth trying. 

These systems are able to target multiple types of contaminants and impurities, while even improving the taste and odour of your drinking water. Their great filtering capacities and versatility make water filtration a much better choice compared to chlorination and water boiling.

Another benefit of water filter systems is that thanks to their versatile and thoughtful design, they come in all shapes and sizes. Modern filtration systems are easy-to-install, so you won’t have to pay expensive fees to a plumber to get your water treatment system installed. 

You can also travel to remote areas and use your filter in off-grid areas as well due to the portable feature. 

UV Protection

Using UV water purification to sanitise your water is another great way to protect your health from water borne diseases. 

UV protection is able to eliminate bacteria and viruses, the only thing you should keep in mind is to pre-filter your water if the sedimentation level is too high. Unfortunately sediments can block UV light and can compromise the efficiency of the filtering process. 

Water filter systems that use ultraviolet light don’t alter the taste and odour of water and they don’t have any side effects. As you could see mentioned above, this is not the case when it comes to disinfecting your water by chlorination.

Ozone Disinfection

Ozone (O3) in water is a toxic, unstable molecule that is created by the combination of oxygen and UV light. Ozone disinfection offers a wide spectrum sanitising solution and compared to chlorine, it produces less dangerous by-products.

Wrapping Up

As you could see, you have different options to choose from when it comes to water disinfection. Whether you choose boiling, chlorination, filtration, UV protection of ozone disinfection, always keep in mind the criteria of water sanitising. Make sure that you find a process that is suitable for your needs and can effectively improve the quality of your water.

If you are looking for reliable water disinfection methods for your household, using UV protection or a professional water filter system is the very best option. Here at waterfiltershop.co.uk, we have a wide range of innovative water filter systems you can choose from. Feel free to navigate our webshop and don’t hesitate to reach out to our filter experts to find the very best purchase option for your specific needs!