How Do You Sterilize Water for Irrigation?


Quick Answer

To sterilize water, for irrigation or any other purpose, boil the water at full boil for at least one minute. Then, let the water cool, and store it in a clean container that is made for storing food or water.

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Full Answer

If you are using an automatic shut-off kettle, make sure that the water is boiled at full boil for at least one minute. If you are boiling water at an elevation of over 6,500 feet, the water should be boiled for at least two minutes. Also, keep in mind that if the water is heavily polluted, it is still not safe to use for irrigation or other purposes after boiling.

Alternatively, bleach can be used to disinfect water. Bleach kills many, but not all, germs that could be present. Add two drops, or 0.1 mL, of unscented household bleach to 1 L of warm water. Then, mix the water and bleach together, cover the water, and let it sit for about 30 minutes before using it. If you are using cold water, use four drops, or 0.2 mL, of bleach per liter of water, and let it sit for one to two hours before use.

The longer the water and bleach mixture sits, the better a disinfecting job the bleach does. Also, a slight chlorine smell indicates that the bleach has done its job. If the taste or smell of chlorine is too strong, let the mixture sit in the open air for several hours.

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