Turning Snow into Drinking Water

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Today, one of our fans on Facebook asked us the following question:

We just got a snow storm last night…Do you know anything about melting the snow and using it as water?

Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “Never drink yellow snow”. While that’s an easy truth to remember, the contaminants that we are most concerned about (disease causing organisms known as pathogens) are not easily detected or clearly obvious for that matter. And while you and I may think that newly fallen snow is pristine & perfectly safe for creating drinking water, we should always take steps where possible to reduce our risk of getting sick from consuming contaminated snow.

Here are the two most common ways to turn that freshly fallen snow into usable drinking water.

1. Gradually add snow to a bottle that already has drinking water in it. As the snow melts to create more water, add some more snow. Eventually, you’ll have a bottle full of water which can then be passed through a water purifier such as a Sport Berkey® or treated with drops/tablets. Traditionally, water treatment drops & tablets are thought to present less of a threat to your health than the pathogens that they address. Berkey® water purifiers are designed to address those same pathogenic organisms & remove them from the water without needing chemicals. If you subscribe to the best-practice of redundancy, the Berkey® products are your ideal go-to partner as they will also remove those water treatment chemicals as well.

2. In an appropriate container that already has some water in it, add some snow and then melt that snow by placing it near a heat source such as a stove/fire pit (use fire-safe vessel), solar oven, or microwave. Once the water cools, you can drink it.

References:

http://www.sportsmansguide.ca/Outdoors/Subject/SubjectRead.aspx?sid=0&aid=165008&type=A

http://beefmagazine.com/nutrition/snow-for-livestock-water-0101

http://water.greenventure.ca/capturing-rain-and-snow

http://www.summitpost.org/melting-snow-for-drinking-water/774270

http://www.waterfilterdude.com/water-find.shtml

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