Can You Drink Lake Water If You Boil It? Follow Our Guide

Can you drink lake water if you boil it is covered here and I suggest you follow our guide with care to ensure your safety at all times.

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What Happens If You Drink Lake Water?

It depends on where you get your lake water. Nothing terrible will probably happen for hikers or campers who have been used to drinking unsterilized water outdoors. According to the National Park Service (NPS), never drink water directly from a natural source, no matter how clean it looks. Water from a stream, river, or lake may be refreshing and clean as it seems, but it can still have bacteria, parasites, and viruses that could cause waterborne diseases.

Can You Get Sick from Lake Water?

You can get sick from lake water significantly if contaminated with fecal matter, sewage spills, or water runoff. Pools, lakes, or rivers are generally inhabited by parasites, germs, and viruses that the naked eye cannot see. When swimming, you are at risk of skin rashes or itching, primarily when bugs infest the water. You can also be prone to diarrhea or any waterborne illness if you ingested even a small amount of contaminated water. 

What Can You Catch from Lake Water?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can get recreational water illnesses (RWIs) by ingesting, breathing, or even touching waters from pools, lakes, or rivers that are contaminated with bacteria, parasites, germs, and other harmful chemicals. One of the most dangerous bacteria you can get mostly from freshwater like lakes and rivers is the Naegleria fowleri known as the brain-eating amoeba. Other bacteria you can get from lakes and oceans are Vibrio, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. Besides that, you can also get infections in the skin, ears, eyes, and wounds when exposed to contaminated water.

Is Lake Water Safe for Babies?

No. Babies are generally at risk of waterborne illnesses if you expose them to contaminated water such as swimming pools, lakes, or rivers. They have a delicate immune system that may not yet be able to protect and defend their bodies from potential illnesses. They could get recreational water illnesses (RWIs) which are generally caused by germs, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and even chemicals found in the water. They can acquire it if they accidentally swallow the water, come in contact with bug-infested waters, or even breathe mists or aerosols from the contaminated water.

Is It Dangerous to Drink Lake Water?

Yes, it is dangerous to drink lake water no matter how clear or clean it may be. There are parasites, bacteria, germs, and viruses that cannot be seen by our eyes that inhabit in lake waters. Drinking water from a lake may result in waterborne diseases.

Why Should We Not Drink Water from Rivers and Lakes?

According to the New York State Department of Health, drinking water from any surface water source such as lakes, rivers, and streams imposes health risks. Water from these sources can have parasites, bacteria, germs, viruses, and other contaminants. To drink water from these mentioned sources, it must be adequately filtered and treated.

How Is Lake Water Treated for Drinking?

Water treatment means removing contaminants from the raw water to produce water that is safe enough for human consumption. For lake water to be potable, it needs to be transferred to a tank with the presence of coagulants and flocculants. These two help clean and clarify the water. After that, the water then passes through a process called filtration to remove the smaller particles. Lastly, chlorine is added to disinfect and kill any remaining germs and bacteria present in the water.

Is Lake Water Salty?

Lake waters contain salt but not enough to make it salty. Water from the lake or river comes from the rain and underground aquifers. As the water travels through the soil and rocks, it breaks up minerals, including salt, flowing into the ocean. The ocean, however, does not have an outlet to remove the salt that flows into it except through evaporation. Evaporation still leaves concentrated minerals back to the sea, making it even saltier.

What Illness Can You Get from Lake Water?

You can get recreational water illnesses (RWIs) from lake water. The most common RWI you can have is diarrhea. This happens when you accidentally swallow water that is contaminated with fecal matter. Other RWIs reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include acute gastrointestinal illness, which may be exhibited through diarrhea and vomiting, acute respiratory infection, and skin illnesses like rashes caused by parasite-infected waters.

Can You Get Parasites from Lake Water?

Yes, you can get parasites from lake water. The most common parasite found in lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers is the Giardia parasites. You can be infected with the Giardia parasite if you swallow or drink, even accidentally, water from contaminated sources. Symptoms of Giardia infection may appear three weeks after your first exposure. These include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Lakes with freshwater snails that have parasite worms may also transmit Schistosomiasis. The parasitic worm could leave the snail and enter a person’s body that is swimming or drinking from contaminated lake water. Although symptoms may develop a month or two after exposure, leaving Schistosomiasis untreated could damage other body organs.

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Can Lake Water Give You a Sore Throat?

Swimming in lakes or rivers with blue-green algae blooms could cause stomach pain, nausea, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, watery eyes, and runny nose. These blue-green algae usually bloom during summer produce microcystin, a toxin that causes these symptoms.

Should I Shower After Swimming in a Lake?

You have to shower before and after swimming in a lake, river, sea, or even in swimming pools. Showering before swimming could remove the germs and microbes found on your skin and hair before dipping into the water. These could help you and other people prevent contracting recreational water illnesses (RWIs). Showering after swimming is equally important because it reduces your risk of getting skin infections and rashes. Washing your body with warm water and soap means you leave the germs and other microbes behind.

Can You Get Salmonella from Lake Water?

A study published in Frontiers in Public Health Journal in 2018 showed that Salmonella is present and thriving in surface waters like lakes, ponds, and rivers. Salmonella can be found in water sources that are polluted and contaminated with animal or human feces, sewage systems, and agricultural runoff. Although no filter could prove the removal of Salmonella in water, you can inactivate the Salmonella when you bring your water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes.

Can You Drink Lake Water If You Boil It?

Yes, you can boil lake water to make it safe for drinking. Boiling water is a sure-fire way of killing the bacteria and germs that are present in the water. The National Park Service (NPS) suggests bringing the water to a rolling boil of one to three minutes, depending on the elevation, to kill all the microorganisms.

Does Boiling Lake Water Purify It?

Filtering and boiling lake water could purify it. Once you collect water from the lake, it must be filtered first to remove protozoa and more significant contaminants like soil, dirt, and sand. It is much better to filter your water before boiling it. The most important step in purifying lake water is boiling the water. Boiling at the right temperature and exact time could effectively kill all the microorganisms present in the water.

Can Brita Filter Lake Water?

No, Brita pitchers may filter out all more significant contaminants and sediments present in lake water. Still, they couldn’t purify and remove all viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms in the water. It is always better if you boil the water after using the Brita filter.

How Do You Purify Lake Water?

Here are the three steps recommended by the National Park Service (NPS) to purify lake water:

Step 1: Collect water from the rivers’ moving waters or the lake’s top surface, or any other source. Make sure that your container is already clean and disinfected.

Step 2: Using a screen or filter, filter out your water to remove the more significant contaminants and sediments from the soil, dirt, and sand.

Step 3: Boil the water to effectively kill all the microorganisms in the water. As an additional precaution, you may also add iodine or chlorine dioxide to disinfect the water.

Can You Filter Lake Water to Drink?

Yes, you can filter lake water, but filtration alone does not guarantee that lake water is already safe for drinking. Filtration only removes the dirt, silt, and sediments, but it doesn’t kill the virus, bacteria, and other microorganisms in the water. To make lake water safe for drinking, you could bring it to a rolling boil for one to three minutes.

What Are Three Ways to Purify Water?

Water filtration is not enough to purify the water. To make it safer for drinking, here are three ways to purify water:

  • • Adding iodine tablets or iodine solution into your water could help purify your water.
  • • Boiling water is one of the easiest ways to purify water. The water must come to a rolling boil to effectively kill all the parasites and viruses present in the water.
  • • Distillation enables water to evaporate and return into its liquid state through condensation. A distilled water is specialized purified water, but it may still have carbon dioxide and ammonia.

Is Rainwater Safe to Drink?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds the public that rainwater may look clean, but it’s not pure and safe enough for drinking. There are states where rainwater collection is allowed for cleaning, bathing, and watering the plants. However, drinking rainwater could depend on your location and season. There are environmental factors that could affect the cleanliness and safety of rainwater. The dust and soot from the air can be dissolved in rainwater. Rainwater could also be contaminated when it falls in polluted areas.

How Do I Make My Lake Water Clear?

A heavily polluted and dead lake may be difficult to clean and revive, but in the case of Fish Fry Lake in Montana, it was possible to clean and make it a home again for fishes. To make the lake water clear and clean, they covered rafts in plants and set them afloat in the lake. The plants mimicked the wetlands that helped clean up dirt and purified the water. After almost two years, the algal blooms were gone, and the clarity of water improved. The presence of black crappie, yellow perch, and Yellowstone trout was also noted.

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Can You Drink Lake Water If You Boil It Article Conclusion:

Many thanks for taking the time to read my article concerning whether you can drink lake water if you boil it. I trust that the information has been of great help to you and that you will now remain safe concerning this matter.

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