Boiling is really great because you don’t have to add chemicals to your water in order to kill bacteria when you boil. However, there is one main drawback. Boiling generally lends itself to small batches of water (what can fit over a fire or on the kitchen stove). Large water treatment companies, for example, much prefer to add chlorine to the water to make sure the bacteria are dead, since boiling a city’s supply of water would be near impossible! You can purify water by adding small amounts of bleach, but boiling is by far the safest way to purify water.
Boiling does not get rid of metals or non-biological impurities. To do that, you need to get a water filter.
Another very effective method for purifying water is using UV light to eliminate any bacteria and other pathogens such as viruses. Vapor distillation can also be used to remove large particulate matter and some bacteria. Boiling and distillation are both cheap and effective at purifying water when combined.
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