Water is a vital part of human life. It helps to regulate body temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, and it also carries away waste products. However, access to clean and safe drinking water remains a significant challenge for many people around the world. This is why boiling water is so important – it kills harmful bacteria, viruses and pathogens, making it safe for consumption.
How long does it take to boil water depends on a number of factors, including the starting temperature of the water and the heat source used. Also, the surface area of the water affects how quickly it reaches boiling point. Water that is spread over a larger surface will reach boiling point faster than water that is contained in smaller containers.
In addition, the altitude of the water can impact how long it takes to boil. Water at higher elevations boils at lower temperatures and may require a longer time to reach boiling point.
Once the boiling point has been reached, the water should be boiled for a minute to ensure that all of the harmful microorganisms have been killed. Some people will even boil the water twice in order to be extra safe, though this is scientifically considered overkill.
The CDC recommends that bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute is enough to make it microbiologically safe to drink. This is sufficient to inactivate the major waterborne bacterial pathogens (including Vibrio cholerae, Enterotoxigenic E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella sonnei and Campylobacter jejuni) as well as the waterborne protozoa (including Cryptosporidia parvum, Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica).