The first time I went to the Minnesota Boundary Water area, lake water was clear and drinkable. This is no longer so.
You would probably get mercury poisoning if you drank the water now.
Most mercury pollution is airborne. It can come from as far away as the coal fired utilities in China.
Other pollutants are from the campers themselves. I don’t know of an easy solution to this problem.
Another big problem is that many cities used lead pipes to deliver water. We now know that the lead gets into the water and does extensive damage to our bodies.
Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of cover-up. Most victims were unaware or the source of their health problems.
Now, every country in the world except the USA has agreed to begin cleaning up the mercury in our planet. Fortunately, many US states and cities have agreed to continue their local efforts. I hope that the high price of coal will continue to phase out its use.
Perhaps the increasing intensity of floods and hurricanes will get the attention of politicians. Let’s insist that common sense prevail.
In other parts of the world, water pollution is caused by poor sanitation. Lakes and rivers are polluted by human and animal waste. Even wells are often polluted for several weeks following a flood.
If you are a camper, or are worried about the water supply after a hurricane or flood, you have 3 options:
- Store bottled water. It is convenient, but expensive.
- Purchase enough filters to out last the crisis. They are less convenient and less expensive.
- Obtain pasteurizing equipment. This option is even less convenient, but also less expensive over the long run. When powered by the sun, the power itself is clean and free.
We at Solar Solutions Central are developing a solar powered pasteurizer. In the meantime, you can use the Haines Solar Cooker in combination with a North Star WAPI – Water Pasteurization Indicator. The cooker heats the polluted water. Then, the WAPI indicates when the pathogens have all been killed.