What Water Filtration Method Removes Viruses?

by Jay | Posted on January 30th, 2023

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), up to two billion people use a polluted drinking water source, and waterborne viruses sicken millions of people who drink contaminated water every year.

Knowledge of illnesses like waterborne viruses will become more crucial as the world’s population grows and access to clean drinking water becomes more difficult to come by.

Viruses with surface spikes, 3D illustration. Science research background

How can you then preserve your water supply and eradicate viruses from water?

What water filtration method removes viruses?

Our water supply is readily contaminated by viruses, which can spread the disease for as long as ten months. Before drinking, water should ideally be virus-free, but not all water filters or purifiers can do this.

Systems for treating water that eliminates viruses include nanofiltration, distillation, Ultraviolet, and reverse osmosis. Depending on the filter’s pore size, ultrafiltration methods can be only moderately successful in removing viruses.

Ultraviolet light (UV) technology is frequently used in the best water filtration systems to help with the filtration process.

These bacterial purification devices release high-frequency Ultraviolet light that damages the DNA of bacterial cells, preventing them from replicating and causing infections. These UV systems can remove nearly all pathogens from your drinking water without affecting the flavor.

What is a water filtration system?

Water filtration is the process used to remove impurities from water. It entails purging our water of all sediments and undesirable elements, including pathogens and hazardous chemicals.

A filter enhances the flavor and odor of the water while lowering the quantity of several chemical pollutants.

Thanks to a water filtration system, your drinking water will be free of any dangerous impurities, such as germs and heavy metals. A water filtration system is an effective approach to raise the caliber of your water without wasting water or power.

Improved health can be attained by using water filtration systems tailored to target specific water problems like high sediment, fluoride, or chlorine taste.

How do viruses get into the water?

Viruses enter our water supply via contaminated water, typically water that has been tainted by an infected person’s or animal’s urine or feces. Water from wells and untreated sources, like lakes and rivers, is particularly prone to pollution. All polluted water sources are susceptible to viral contamination, and a lack of access to clean water is a major contributor to viral epidemics in many underdeveloped countries.

There are several routes for excrement to get into our water; however, the following are the most typical ones:

  • A malfunctioning sewage system 
  • Runoff from farming
  • Sewage overflows
  • Polluted stormwater runoff

How do you remove viruses from water?

Ozone water treatment

Through oxidation, ozone water treatment eliminates viruses and other pollutants from water. One of the strongest oxidizers found in nature is the oxygen compound ozone (O3).

An ozone generator initially produces ozone. It is then pumped into the water, oxidizing organic substances found in parasitic, bacterial, and viral membranes. Their cells get weakened, break, and die as a result.

In addition to getting rid of viruses and other harmful pathogens, ozone water treatment is also remarkably quick and can clean water in only a few seconds.


Through a chemical reaction, chlorine removes viruses and other organisms from water. Hypochlorous acid, a weak acid formed when chlorine is added to water, penetrates the cell membranes of bacteria and viruses, killing them from the inside out.

Because it keeps the water clean throughout time, chlorine is a common choice for water treatment worldwide. Your tap water could, however, retain a chemical odor. If you experience this issue, an activated carbon filter is suggested to enhance the flavor and odor of your water significantly.

Water distillers

Through distillation, water distillers get rid of viruses. Distillation is a method that imitates the way water gets naturally cleansed via evaporation in the atmosphere. By converting water into steam with a water distiller, viruses and other pollutants are removed since they cannot evaporate as quickly as water. The water is purified after it has reverted to a liquid state.

Ultraviolet purification 

UV radiation is used in ultraviolet purification systems to destroy the DNA of living organisms like viruses, preventing them from reproducing and generating infection in the water supply.

However, because dirt and debris protect small viruses, bacteria, and other organisms from UV radiation, ultraviolet purification systems perform best when the water has already been pre-treated by a separate filter, like a sediment filter. UV purification systems can eliminate 99.9% of living organisms in pre-filtered water.


An ultrafiltration system forces water through a hollow fiber membrane that captures bacteria, viruses, algae, chlorine, and metals under normal residential water pressure. Only pure water and minerals are allowed to pass. Ultrafiltration should not be used to purify water from organic sources, like a lake or rainwater. An ultraviolet system or other methods and an ultrafiltration system work best together as preventative measures.

What viruses can you get from water?

Many viruses are waterborne, meaning they can live in water and infect anybody who drinks it.

Anyone who consumes or touches water has the potential to get infected by waterborne viruses; all it takes is for the water to come into contact with the nose, eyes, or mouth.

The following are the most prevalent viruses that can be acquired by water:

  • Rotavirus
  • Adenoviruses
  • Meningitis (viral)
  • Enterovirus
  • Hepatitis E
  • Astrovirus
  • Norovirus
  • Hepatitis A

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does boiling water kill viruses?

Yes, viruses are killed by boiling water. If you are at a height of 6,500 feet or above, boil your water for three minutes; however, the usual method is bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute. Boiling drinking water will inactivate viruses, parasites, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens if there is a boil water advisory or if you must consume water from an untreated source, like a creek, when camping.

How long do viruses live in water?

Only when they are residing inside an infected host are viruses truly alive. “Hosts” take the form of living cells, including human cells.

Therefore, it depends on the following variables:

  • Type of virus
  • Water temperature
  • Type of water.

When it comes to how long viruses can live in water, the answer isn’t clear-cut. It largely depends on the type of virus and the conditions of the water it is in. Generally speaking, viruses can survive longer on hard surfaces like stainless steel, plastic, and similar materials than on soft surfaces like fabric.

Viruses can also survive in tap water over long periods of time, especially when it is unfiltered. This is true for virtually all forms of water, including surface freshwater, groundwater, estuaries, and marine.

In addition, studies have shown that representative coronaviruses, feline infectious peritonitis virus, and human coronavirus 229E can survive in both filtered and unfiltered tap water. Therefore, it is important to stay informed about the water in your home and to take precautions to ensure its safety.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."