Boiling Water Could Save Your Life

by Adel

Bacteria In water

The main benefit of boiling water is keeping it free from pathogens or bacteria. If you are ever in a situation where you are unsure whether the water is safe to drink it or not, simply boil it beforehand. 

Unclean water can carry a huge variety of diseases, which could cause many side effects, even possibly death. Many bacteria live in water and are especially comfortable at room temperature. 

Boiling water is the simplest way to get rid of the bacteria. Most bacteria cannot survive in extremely high temperature. So by simply boiling your water before drinking it, you can get rid of most if not all bacteria infecting the water.  

boiling water
Filling glass of water from stainless steel kitchen faucet

When You Should be Boiling Water

There are many different environments where you may be unsure if your water is clean or not. Even if you think it is clean

  • Water Boil Advisory
  • In a foreign country
  • Hiking
  • Urban areas with old infrastructure
  • Use with babies

Water boil advisories are issued in cities when the local government is not sure of the safety of the water. Cities routinely check water for bacteria. If any is found or there is even a potential for bacteria, an advisory is issued. These advisories are essentially the city telling its citizens to boil all their water before using it. Read more about them here

Many foreign countries, especially underdeveloped countries, often do not have the same standard of clean water. Or they simply do not have the infrastructure to maintain cleanliness of the water supply. So, if you are in a place where you can boil your water, always do so. 

You should NEVER drink untreated water from a water stream, regardless of how clean it looks. If you are going for a long hike, always go prepared. Bring the proper equipment for treating water. Treatment can be as simple as boiling before drinking, so it is not too hard to go prepared. 

If you are in an urban area, it may be a good idea to boil tap water before drinking it. Even if it is marked as safe by local government, this is not always the case. Often the pipes the water goes through are old and can contaminate the drinking water. One of the most famous examples of this is, of course, Flint Michigan. 

In 2014, lead pipes caused the water in Flint to become contaminated, poisoning the residents in the process. Although this was one of the worst cases in the US, there are many other areas with milder, but still dangerous piping infrastructure. 

All water used for babies in formula must be treated. Babies are extremely sensitive since their immune system is still very weak, so they need the cleanest water. You can buy purified water from the grocery store, or you can purify it at home. Here is a set of instructions on how to prepare baby formula from the Mayo Clinic

How Do I Boil My Water?

Boiling water is a straightforward process. Place the water in a pot and put the pot over the stove. Raise the temperature and wait until the water is bubbling for 1 minute. Once 1 minute has passed, wait for it to return to room temperature. Then voila, the water is ready for drinking.

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