Why boiling water makes it safe for drinking

The Claim: Boiling water makes its safe for drinking.
The Verdict: claim verdict

Bulawayo is currently facing water shortages due to low water levels at its supply dams.

The local authority has been forced to impose a water-shedding regime to preserve the precious liquid. However, the city has been battling a diarrhoea outbreak with the local authority confirming that “as of 06 September 2022, we have 1,213 cumulative cases reported”.

The surge in cases was blamed on the city’s water with some reports claiming the water was contaminated with sewage and not safe for consumption.

The local authority has refuted such claims as false.


Is boiling water the solution?

Council has often encouraged residents to boil the water before consuming it to protect themselves from any waterborne diseases. But the question most people ask is how does boiling water make it safe to drink?

Information gathered from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a world-renowned health care provider, says boiling water destroys harmful bacteria and other microbes in the water.

Bringing water to a boil can kill off bacteria and other organisms for a few minutes.

However, other forms of contaminants, like lead, are not as easily filtered out, UPMC warned.

Water from rivers and reservoirs contains a range of species, such as bacteria and viruses, before it reaches a treatment facility.

Although the water might seem clean, it likely contains bacteria.

Consuming some bacteria might disrupt your digestive system and result in cramping and diarrhoea symptoms.

When people have no access to clean, treated water, boiling is the most effective way to purify the water.

According to science, when water hits its boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius, many species cannot survive.

In fact, science says no aquatic organism will live if the water’s temperature is higher than 71 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, residents are recommended to boil water before using it for drinking and cooking.

Two minutes of intense, rolling boiling should be added to the water’s preparation, so in summary, boiling water makes it safe to drink in case of some type of biological contamination.

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