The Safe Way to Drink Pond Water

In some cases you may find it necessary to obtain your drinking water from a fresh water pond. Drinking the water from the pond as it is can be dangerous to your health due to contaminants or microorganisms that may cause various harmful conditions such as E. coli infection or leptospirosis. There is a way to significantly reduce risk and make the pond water safe for drinking.


Water can be piped in from a pond and run through a filtering compartment that uses sand and gravel to rid the water of foreign debris, according to University of Missouri Extension. On the other hand, if your needs are more immediate and you do not have the time or luxury of installing a pond water filtration system, it can be done by hand. Gather the water you wish to use for drinking, and filter it into a holding container using a strainer lined with paper towels or coffee filters. You may also use a funnel clogged with cotton balls to remove excess debris, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Filtering alone does not make the water safe enough for drinking necessarily. After filtering the water should be purified using one or both of the methods below.


Water that comes from ponds, streams or lakes should not be used for domestic drinking water unless it is boiled first, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Place your filtered water in a pan over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Allow the water to reach a high, rolling boil for one full minute. The 212-degree temperature required to boil water is plenty high enough to kill the bacteria or other organisms that may be present in the water.


In addition to filtering and boiling, water can be further treated for harmful contaminants by disinfecting the water with chlorine. City water contains added chlorine for this purpose, but you should only add small amounts, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Use regular household laundry bleach for the chlorine source. Bleach is typically between 5 and 6 percent chlorine. Use only the type with no added dyes or perfumes. Add only three drops of bleach to a quart of water, or about one-eighth of a teaspoon to a gallon of water. One teaspoon should take care of 10 gallons adequately. Let the water stand for 30 minutes after adding the bleach before drinking. Wait 60 minutes if the water appears cloudy or is extremely cold. Store drinking water in containers that have been thoroughly cleaned and have been rinsed free of detergents or soap.