How to Treat Water for Drinking Using the SODIS Method

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Simply stated, the SODIS water treatment uses sunlight, 6 hours of sunlight, and empty soda bottles to produce safe disinfected water suitable for drinking.


SODIS means "solar disinfection" and is used in several developing nations. In the USA, we have excellent water treatment systems and this is unneeded. In unthinkable situations, this could be used.

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Examples of empty 2 liter soda bottles. To treat water, just rinse them several times with JUST water - NO soap or detergents.

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Take off the labels. Be careful not to scratch the bottles. This is the basic water treatment system. These bottles are filled with clear (more later) and then placed into sunlight for 6 hours.

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Summary: sunlight, clear bottle, 6 hours.

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Your water must be clear enough to see a newspaper at the bottom of the bottle when it is filled with water. If not that clear, it must be treated - sorry, another guide in the future.


Your water is clear enough for the SODIS method. How much water do you need per person? 4 liters per day. So, 2 bottles per person. Consider doubling this number - 2 for treating, 2 that are cooling.

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This shows a SODIS setup in a developing nation. You could have a similar setup anywhere. A simple one is suggested in the next step.

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This black plastic paint tray easily holds 2 two liter bottles. It has a slight tilt and can be placed in the sun with the filled bottles. Shake the bottles 20 times for some air (taste) in it.


Remember, this is not meant to be a routine way of treating water, it is a suggestion for something that can be used in extreme situations. A later Snapguide will discuss how to treat cloudy water.


If you are interested in helping people in other societies to have safe drinking water, visit www.flowingstreamsministries.… Thanks!

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