How to Remove Viruses from Drinking Water

remove viruses from your drinking water

What Viruses are in Water?

Contaminated water is linked to the transmission of diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, and polio.

How to Remove Viruses in WaterWaterborne viruses and bacteria cause hundreds of millions of people to become afflicted with sickness each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers water-transmitted viruses to be a significant health concern worldwide.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Potential health effects from ingestion of water contaminated with viruses are: Gastrointestinal illness (for example, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps), hepatitis, meningitis."

Viruses that spread through water include meningitis, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, SARs, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, and Typhoid.

What Kills Viruses in Water?

Install UV Water Sterilizer System
Install UV Water Sterilizer System

UV water disinfection is the most powerful and effective way to remove 99.99% of viruses (and 99.9999% of bacteria and cysts). With UV light sterilizers, you have the option of a whole-house system, ensuring water at every faucet in the household is free of harmful microbes 24/7.

Boil Drinking Water for 1 Minute
Boil Drinking Water for One Minute

Boiling water for at least one minute is an effective way to kill viruses in drinking water. But boiling water it is a time consuming and tedious process, thus usually used as a temporary fix during an emergency or “boil water advisory”.

Disinfect Water with Chlorine
Disinfect Water with Chlorine

Millions of households on private wells must regularly monitor their well water for viruses and bacteria. Chlorine and other chemicals can be used to “shock” or disinfect a well. But the amount of chlorine depends on the presence of biofilm, the depth of the well, the water pH, water temperature, etc.

Expert Tip

The UV system's effectiveness is dependent on correct system sizing and low sediment and turbidity/cloudiness in the water. A prefilter installed before a UV system is generally recommended.

Top-Rated UV Water Treatment Systems

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VIQUA IHS22-D4 UV Water Treatment System
  • The Viqua IHS22-D4 inclues two integrated prefilters to improve the taste and odor of your water.
  • LED Status system indicator.
  • All-in-one UV solution boasting added layers of water filtration and treatment.
  • Safeguards ALL the water coming into your home.

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  • Compact, yet powerful design treats water with UV light, plus includes an
  • Integrated pre-filter that can remove sediment, dirt and rust for improved taste.
  • Includes a lamp replacement timer.
  • Proven UV system with premium-quality parts at a value price.
  • Treats up to 9 gpm, perfect for a home with 1-3 bathrooms.

Are UV Filters Necessary for City Water?

A UV water purifier isn’t necessary if you get your water from a municipal supplier. But more and more households on city/municipal water are choosing to install a UV water filter system as an added layer of protection. Because the public water system is often vulnerable to impurities leaching in, not to mention the inconvenience of “boil water advisories”, millions of families have installed a whole-house UV disinfection system. UV light sterilizers are considered to be a safe, effective way to disinfect water.

How to Remove Viruses from Water During an Emergency

The US Government recommends that to prepare for a pandemic, storm or other natural disaster, households should store a 2-week supply of water and food. And the need for making water safe from bacteria and viruses is more common than you might realize. Every day, hundreds of boil water notices are issued in cities throughout the U.S. With an installed UV water filter system, there is no need to boil water or any of the methods listed below.

1) Boil Water: While boiling water for one minute is one of the surest ways to kill viruses in drinking water, it is often not possible during an emergency because an energy source is needed to heat the water.

2) Household Bleach: You can also use unscented household bleach to disinfect water during an emergency, applying two drops of bleach per quart of water.

3) Gravity Water Filter: Typical water filters do NOT remove viruses and bacteria. But systems such as the Outback Emergency Water Filtration system have the right filters to protect against 99.99% of all viruses and 99.9999% of bacteria. The system has been used worldwide since 2003 by relief organizations such as the Red Cross and Peace Corps.

Emergency Water Filtration

The Outback Emergency Water Filter System meet US EPA standards for virus reduction and requires no electricity to operate. Check out the Outback test results. The Outback has been thoroughly tested for virus reduction.

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Top-Selling UV Water Filter Systems

Viqua VIQUA VH410-F20 Model 18 GPM Combo UV System VH410-F20-
  • Economical UV Treatment

  • Lamp Life LED Display

  • 9 gpm UV for Small Home

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Viqua VIQUA D4 Model 12 GPM UV System - 650694-R 650694-R-
  • Color LCD Screen

  • Lamp Replacement Timer

  • 12 gpm Monitored UV
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  • Includes 5-Mic Pre-Filter

  • Lamp Life LED Display

  • 9 GPM Water Treatment

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