BROUGHT TO YOU BY Mortons on the Move
In Latin, the verb “potare” means “to drink.” That’s how we get the word potable. Experts believe the term has been in constant use since the times that the Romans built the aqueducts. We wonder if there has always been confusion over its meaning in the hundreds of years since.
Here’s another way to break it down. Think of the word “potable” as an assurance that the water is safe. On the other hand, consider “non-potable” to be a warning – it may as well have a red flag attached to the sign. If a faucet, fountain, spigot, or hose is labeled simply as “water,” that leaves some doubt.
You can treat the water with a few drops of chlorine bleach or iodine. Others prefer to use calcium hypochlorite in a granular form. In addition, a few different companies produce water purification tablets to disinfect non-potable water.
Heating water to the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit is one of the most common ways of removing potentially harmful contaminants. It’s effective and doesn’t require any additional chemicals. That’s why communities issue notices to boil water in the event of emergencies or burst pipes.
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