25 Ways To Get Clean Drinking Water In An Emergency



survival-man-drinking-rain-water-leaf | Drinking Water | Featured

How many ways to get clean drinking water do you know? These methods will help you hydrate when clean drinking water is not readily available.

RELATED: Emergency Water Part 4: Resources

Different Ways to Get Clean Drinking Water

1. Rainwater

fiber-pipe-that-set-drain-rainwater | Get Drinking Water
This can be the most basic substitute next to having a direct source of potable water. You can collect them in rain barrels attached to the downspouts from your roof.

The need for straining, filtering, and purifying is still required prior to consumption.

2. Toilet Bowl

internal-mechanics-modern-flush-toilet | Clean Drinking Water

The tank of your toilet has a removable lid. More often than not it can be a good source of drinkable water.

Since it comes directly from your tap then it may be safe to drink. However, that would depend on the age of your toilet.

3. Water Heater Tanks

drain-valve-located-base-water-heater | Ways to Get Water

You don't have to boil water taken from these tanks as it has already done that for you. Just make sure you turn off the gas or electricity before unplugging the drain at the bottom of the tank.

4. The SODIS Way

SODIS or solar ultraviolet water disinfection utilizes solar energy (UV-radiation) to purify water to get rid of diarrhea-causing pathogens and other harmful microorganisms.

All you need is a clear water bottle or a plastic water bag, sunlight, and a short waiting time.

5. How to Purify Water by Boiling

boiling-spaghetti-pan-on-electric-stove | Ways to Get Water

Boiling tap water for drinking is one of the oldest types of water purification.

First, pour the water through a coffee filter or a piece of cloth to get rid of visible debris and dirt.

Next, heat up the water until it starts to boil. If you have a thermometer, it is best that the water temperature reaches a boiling point of 212° F or 100° C to kill all pathogens.

6. Soil/Sand Filter

simple-natural-water-filtering-gear-use | water filter

Without the latest water filter technology, one has to go back to the basics.

Using a clean empty container, place a shirt or piece of cloth over it then fill it with sand or soil. It will act as your filter where you would pour in the water.

Other than removing sediments and particles, there is no assurance of the presence of bacteria.

7. Use a Solar Still

Dig a 3-feet deep hole into the ground and use a wide plastic container to make a solar still.

It may take some time but if you really don’t have any other option, then waiting for your drink can be far off better than ingesting potentially harmful water.

8. Evaporation Distillation Method

You can turn saltwater into drinking water through different methods. It may require some scientific knowledge and some complex tools to pull this off.

However, it may be worth the wait if you’re located near the beach and it is the best water option you have.

9. Filtrating Through Moss

close-shot-homemade-waterfall-small-backyard | Ways to Get Clean Water

Moss absorbs moisture and can provide enough water to hydrate you.

The web-like structure of moss also helps sift visible dirt and debris. But this doesn’t ensure the water you take out of moss is 100% purified.

10. Bamboo Charcoal Water Filter

A small tube-like piece of material like bamboo can be used as your base. Fill it with moss, charcoal, then moss again to serve as a water filter.

11. A DIY Water Filter

With the use of ordinary day-to-day items such as a water gallon or a bucket, you'll be able to purify water to make it drinkable.

12. Purify a la Pool Shock

Also known as Calcium Hypochlorite can be a substitute for bleach in purifying water.

It has a very long shelf life, occupies very little space for storage, and is easy to find.

13. Fire It up System

old-drum-used-garbage-disposal | Drinking Water

With the use of 2 metal drums, a sheet of metal, and fire, you can get distilled water for drinking.

Place a fire at the bottom of the drum with bad water then arrange the metal sheet in a curve-like manner at an angle where it will drip steam into the catch drum.

RELATED: How To Survive Without Running Water

14. Bleach Your Way out of It

bleach-bypass-dropper-three-on-white | Get Water

You can disinfect a gallon of water with just 16 drops of chlorine bleach or a quarter with just 4 drops. This does not substitute the boiling method though.

Don’t forget to filter the water from sediments and debris.

15. Through Hydrogen Peroxide Purification

hydrogen-peroxide-solution-beaker | Ways to Get Water

Hydrogen Peroxide has the capacity to purify water like chlorine and bleach. You will have to treat the water with twice the amount of chlorine or bleach.

What is Hydrogen Peroxide? A colorless liquid and a highly reactive chemical that contains hydrogen and oxygen.

Shake or stir then let it sit for half an hour. There should be a slight peroxide odor after that.

Otherwise, it may not have done a significant purification effect.

16. Iodine Tablets

closeup-iodine-supplement-on-wooden-spoon | Clean Water

Filtering the water from sediments is still needed since all these little wonders can do is purify your water.

A small iodine tablet can purify up to a liter of water. Drop it in, give it a little shake and let it stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

17. Potassium Permanganate Purification

KMNO4 or more commonly called Condy’s crystals is a water softener sold in pill or powder form. 1g or 3 to 4 crystals can purify a liter of water.

18. Combo System

reverse-osmosis-system-water-filter | water filtration system

A combination of all the basic ways to get clean water would ensure it is indeed safe to drink.

Filtering, distilling, chlorinating/disinfecting water from different water sources will give you peace of mind that you’re drinking safe water.

19. Hydration Backpack System

You can fill a Geigerrig pack with water taken from lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams to collect water before attaching the filter.

You’ll be drinking clean H2O even on the go in no time.

20. The Berkey Light Purification Device

This lightweight and shatter-resistant purifier needs no electricity and is capable of filtering 4 to 8 gallons of the murkiest water.

Getting clean drinking water has never been this safe because it’s more than “just another water filter…”

21. LifeStraw

This little compact tool is called the Lifestraw and it weighs only about 2 oz.

It is an instant water filtering device that lets you sip directly from a water source and filters unwanted impurities.

22. SteriPEN It

This revolutionary handheld water purifier is tested and certified by the WQA against US EPA Microbiological Water Purifier Standard.

It uses UV light to make your water safe to drink. You will have to filter the water from dirt and debris though as it just sterilizes your water.

23. Sweetwater Purifier System

With an easy-to-use lever-action pump handle, it can provide 1L of clean drinking water per minute. This system weighs only 14 oz. and can be easily stored and pack in your bag.

24. Katadyn Water Filtration System

This mini filter can produce one to two quarts per minute with its hollow fiber water filtering technology.

Depending on the quality of the water source the cartridge can give up to 500 gallons of water.

25. DIY Water Storage

polyvinyl-chloridepvc-water-pipes-connected-unidentified | Water

Preparation for the long term is also a must. Carefully clean containers to be used for water storage, sanitize and label according to the date filled, store in a cool dark place and then rotate the container every six months to a year.


Here's a video by NightHawkInLight about an improvised distillation that turns salt water into fresh drinkable water:

There are a lot of other ways to get clean drinking water in the event of an emergency. The methods, as well as the tools and equipment we shared here, are but a few of these ways.

Making sure of the unsure should the situation call for it is the most basic survival tool any survivalist must utilize. You are sure to survive longer or even get through an emergency situation if you master the basic techniques above.

[poll id=”85″]

Which of these ways to get clean drinking water have you tried yourself? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!

Up Next:

Calling all preppers, craftsmen, bushmasters, outdoorsmen, and all-around skilled people, Survival Life needs YOU! Click here if you want to write for us.

Don’t forget to stay connected with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

*Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.*

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 10, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Continue Reading


  1. Hansel Gonzalez

    February 11, 2018 at 8:52 AM


  2. Pingback: 16 Long-Lost Survival Skills | SL

  3. Pingback: 17 Old School Survival Skills You Should Know - Survive!

  4. Pingback: 17 Old School Survival Skill That You Need To Know - Prepared Survivalist

  5. Pingback: Bug Out Bag Essentials | 30 Uses For Trash Bags - Survive!

  6. Pingback: How to Make Water Drinkable | Survival Life Self-Sufficiency Skills

  7. Pingback: Camping Made Simple: Camping Hacks - Survive!

  8. Pingback: How To Make Water Drinkable - Survive!

  9. Pingback: How To Make Water Drinkable | Online Colleges

  10. Pingback: Bug Out Bag Essentials | 30 Uses For Trash Bags – survivalgear

  11. Pingback: Camping Made Simple: Camping Hacks

  12. Pingback: Delectable Survival Food You Should Try | Survival Life

  13. Pingback: DIY Survival Food You’ll Actually Want To Eat - Survive!

  14. Pingback: Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later | Survivallife

  15. Pingback: 11 Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Survival Life

  16. Pingback: 13 Top Survival Skills | Learn Now, Survive Later – Ultimate Assets

  17. Pingback: 11 Uncommon Aluminum Foil Survival Uses | Primitive technology

  18. Pingback: 17 Old School Survival Skills You Should Know | Primitive technology

  19. Pingback: 8 Emergency Water Storage Tips For Preppers Like You | Survival Life

  20. Pingback: 17 Old School Survival Skills You Should Know – CNH Survival

  21. Pingback: Conquering the Cornerstones: Water - the 2nd Pillar of Survival

  22. Pingback: Conquering The Cornerstones: Water – The 2nd Pillar Of Survival – Ultimate Survival Alerts

  23. Pingback: How To Make Your Own DIY Water Filtration System | Survival Life

  24. Pingback: How To Make A Moonshine Still | Survival Life Self Sufficiency

  25. Pingback: How To Make A Moonshine Still - Survival Patch

  26. Pingback: DIY 5-Gallon Water Filter – Ultimate Survival Alerts

  27. Pingback: How To Make A Moonshine Still

  28. Pingback: How To Build A DIY Salt Water Distiller | Survival Life

  29. Pingback: Rain Barrel DIY | Do's and Don'ts of Building a Rain Barrel | Survival Life

  30. Pingback: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Building Your First Rain Barrel – Ultimate Survival Alerts

  31. Jerry

    May 24, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    On “Naked and Afraid” a lady used a magnifying glass to purify her drinking water. Does this work? I can find no information on this

  32. Pingback: How To Have Potable Water Anywhere | Preparedness – The Self-Sufficient Life

  33. Pingback: How To Have Potable Water Anywhere | Emergency Preparedness - Primal Survival

  34. Pingback: How To Have Potable Water Anywhere – surviveurself

  35. Pingback: Ways To Get Clean Drinking Water In An Emergency

  36. Pingback: Ways To Get Clean Drinking Water In An Emergency – KentuckySurvival.com

  37. Pingback: 25 Ways To Get Clean Drinking Water In An Emergency – SurvivalHood

  38. Pingback: How to Find the Best Places to Set Up a Tent - Survivalnomics

  39. Pingback: How to Find the Best Places to Set Up a Tent | Best Go Bag

  40. Pingback: When You’re Looking For Some Of The Best Hurricane Survival Tips | Best Go Bag

  41. Pingback: How to Find A Good Campsite: The Four W’s | Best Go Bag

  42. Pingback: Bug Out Bag Items - Cooking in Quarantine

  43. Pingback: Will Society Collapse in 2040? Society Collapse 2040 – The Reality of Our Societal Decline – SurvivalCove.com

  44. Pingback: Will Society Collapse in 2040? Society Collapse 2040 – The Reality of Our Societal Decline - Cooking in Quarantine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *