Purifying Water Via Distillation

While boiling water is generally the best way to purify it, this won’t work for water pulled from a hot tub or swimming pool. Boiling won’t remove the chemicals present in the water. Thus, you’ll want to know how to easily distill water.

You’ll need a large pot with a lid, a large heatproof cup or mug, and string. Fill the pot 1/3 to 1/2 with water from the pool. After making sure the top of the lid is clean, turn it upside down and tie the cup to the lid in such a way that the cup will remain upright while suspended from the string. Place the upside down lid over the pot and make sure the cup doesn’t go into the water. If the string is too long, adjust it accordingly.

The lid should fit tightly on the pot, leaving no gaps. Bring the water in the pot to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Do not remove the lid from the pot until the pot is cooled down.

What will happen is the steam from the boiling water will condense on the lid and drip into the cup. Naturally, you’re not going to be able to distill great quantities of water at one time using this method. But if you’re only source of water is either from the ocean (saltwater) or from a swimming pool that has been treated with chemicals, distilling it will make it potable.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

One thought on “Purifying Water Via Distillation”

  1. I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work worth a darn. I couldn’t imagine relying on this method to keep my family hydrated, let alone me. Maybe I did something wrong but I don’t think so. Plus it’s a huge waste of fuel. Best to store water and treat collected water by other means, IMO.

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