e. Potable. Potable indicates only that a water source, on average over a period of time, contains a "minimal microbial hazard," so the statistical likelihood of illness is acceptable.
(1) Sedimentation. Sedimentation is the separation of suspended particles large enough to settle rapidly by gravity. The time required depends on the size of the particle. Generally, 1 hour is adequate if the water is allowed to sit without agitation. After sediment has formed on the bottom of the container, the clear water is decanted or filtered from the top. Microorganisms, especially cysts, eventually settle, but this takes longer and the organisms are easily disturbed during pouring or filtering. Sedimentation should not be considered a means of disinfection and should be used only as a last resort or in an extreme tactical situation.
Was this article helpful?