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Treating Water with Bleach

Will bleach make water safe to drink?

Question:

I’ve read that household bleach—add four drops per liter of water and up to eight for questionable sources), then wait a half hour—can be used to purify water. Your thoughts?

Submitted by - Mario, Calabash, NC

Answer:

Technically, we’re talking about water disinfection and not water purification, but otherwise, yes, household bleach will kill germs and make water safe to drink, generally speaking, if you follow your formula. Keep in mind that the pathogen cryptosporidium will probably be resistant to any halogen (in the case of bleach, chlorine). Also keep in mind that you’ll want to wait longer if the water is really cold, and you’ll want to strain the water if it has a lot of stuff floating around in it.  —Buck

1 Comment

  1. meanolddog

    Please make sure that you are using ONLY Chlorine Bleach and not a Bleach that you will find on the store shelves with a number of additives to make your clothes brighter or softer..Also if you buying your Bleach at one of those popping up everywhere cheap stores check the label for the amount of real product versus filler or water. Those stores my be cheap but their sizes in ounces on many Nationally known products make them the same price or more expensive than the same product in a regular store…

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