Analysis of the Three Methods of Water Purification

Recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross in the Event of an Emergency.

Method #1:
Boiling Water
Method #2:
Chemical Disinfection
Method #3:
Kills live micro-organisms?1 Yes Yes Yes
Kills cysts & spores?2 With Prolonged Boiling Maybe Yes
Removes dead microorganisms?3 No No Yes
Removes toxins from the water?4 No No Yes
Removes radiological contaminants?5 No No Yes
Purifies sea water?6 No No Yes
Creates hiqh-purity drinking water?7 No No Yes
Incorporates a phase change?8 No No Yes
Improved Taste?9 No No Yes
Does it produce safe drinking water?10 No No Very Safe

SOURCE: FEMA and the Red Cross.


  1. Boiling, chemical disinfection and steam-distillation kills micro-organisms. 

  2. Chemical disinfection does not necessarily kill spores or cysts. Prolonged boiling and steam-distillation will kill cysts and spores. 

  3. Disinfection and boiling don’t remove dead microorganisms or endotoxins created by dead microorganisms. Steam-distillation does remove these. 

  4. Disinfection does not remove toxins. Boiling actually concentrates toxins that are present. Steam-distillation is extremely effective at removing virtually all toxins. 

  5. Disinfection and boiling does not remove radiological contaminants. Steam-distillation is extremely effective at removing radioactive contaminants. 

  6. A properly designed steam-distillation machine can purify highly-concentrated sea water into high-purity drinking water. 

  7. Steam-distillation produces high-purity drinking water. Boiling and chemical disinfection do not. 

  8. Steam-distillation changes water from a liquid to a gas and then back to liquid, thus leaving contaminants behind. 

  9. Chemical disinfection adds chemicals to the already contaminated water. Boiling concentrates the contaminants. Steam-distillation produces great-tasting water. 

  10. Disinfection and boiling probably kill the most deadly contaminants, but both processes have major flaws that make prolonged consumption risky. Steam-distillation consistently produces extremely safe water.