The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and willing service.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next in our series of articles on short term water purification solutions, we look at water purification tablets.

Water purification tablet have been around for many years; mostly used by hikers, campers and tourists that have no immediate access to fresh drinking water, but they can also provide sort term emergency solutions. Water purification tablets kill pathogens in water to make it safe for human consumption.

They are not generally used on a large scale due to expense. Water purification tablets take anything from 15 – 45 minutes to sanitize one liter of water. After using the tablets, the sediments must be filtered through a cloth until the water runs clear. Obviously this is not a long term solution for whole villages or communities that have a severe water shortage.

Water purification tablets are usually supplied by charities after natural disasters, like the floods in Pakistan this year, when usual water supplies can become contaminated.

One of the biggest risks after a disaster is disease (especially water borne disease contracted through polluted water), which can kill as many people as the disaster itself.

Tablets are also used by charities such as UNICEF and CONCERN for families fleeing to refugee camps during conflict when there is often lack access to safe water, by donating to charities such as these you enable a family caught up in an emergency or natural disaster to collect, store and purify water.

Although water purification tablets are not a viable long term solution, a single tablet can mean the difference between a child’s survival and mortality.

Viable Long Term Alternatives to Purification Tablets

There are many alternatives to purification tablets when an emergency such as an unexpected drought, flood or accidental water contamination strikes:

With 3.575 million people dying each year from water-related disease, our current water crisis is one of epic proportions. At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by those suffering from illness brought on by limited access to safe drinking water, poor hygiene and sanitation. Granted these harrowing realities plaguing our society, it’s imperative that designers, inventors, engineers and visionaries do what they can to find a solution.

Follow the link to discover 6 innovative ideas for emergency clean drinking water in the developing world:

Read more:
6 Water-purifying Devices
Inhabitat