Humans cannot drink salt water, as this can make them sick and even die if done continuously. However, steps of purifying water can be done to get more potable water from salt water. Called desalination, this process basically separates the water from salt, through evaporation, condensation and collection. While most people think that this process can only be done through desalination with state-of-the-art method, this process can also be done with really simple tools, ranging from home kitchen tools to survival method.
Purifying Water with Pot and Stove
This can be done at home with simple things like glass, pot and stove, and good enough to collect small amount of water. You should prepare stove, pot with lid, and glass that has perfect height so you can put it in the pot and place the lid perfectly. The glass should be from save material that can stand heat, such as metal or Pyrex.
The steps are:
- Pour salt water into the pan, and stop before the water reaches the mouth of the glass. Make sure that there will be no splashes that can enter the glass when the water boils.
- Place the lid upside down, with the point of the highest lid surface (the tip of handle) is right on top the glass. During the purifying water process, water will drip from this point into the glass. Also, make sure the edge of the pan is sealed properly.
- Turn on the stove with just small fire to ensure slow boil. Slow boil during purifying water process is important to keep the glass in place and the water does not splash.
- When the water is finally collected, take out the glass and let it cools off before drinking the water.
This method is super simple for purifying water, but can only be effective to get a little water. However, there is method that can work as survival method, especially if you get stranded in coastal area, by using sunlight, plastic wrap and some containers.
Purifying Water with Survival Method
Solar desalination is an effective way you can purifying water when stranded in coastal area, using tools that you might find from lifeboat or ship debris such as plastic wrap and a pair of big and small containers. The method is similar with the above, using condensation, except that you use sunlight, which means you need to wait hours to get decent amount of water. The first step is similar; you put smaller container inside the bigger container, and you fill the bigger container with salt water (perhaps put a dusted off rock inside the small container so it will not slide during purifying water process. The small container should not exceed the height of the top of big container.
The next step is putting the plastic layer on top of the big container, and then holding the edge so the plastic seals the edge of big container nicely (you can hold the edge with rocks). Put another rock on top of the plastic, so the plastic forms pointed cup on top of the container. Make sure you do this under the sun, so the process happens smoothly and you can get good droplets of water in small container when purifying water.