Skip to Content

What Water Temperature Do You Need to Kill a Virus?

child getting glass of water from sink

As a homeowner, you never know when you may lose access to clean water. Whether there’s a damaged water main, a storm, or some type of other disasters, knowing how to remove bacteria from water can keep your family protected.

Diseases carried by water can be deadly, which is why boiling it can be an effective extra step to make sure what is really clean before consumption. Studies have shown that various viruses are inactivated by heat. This article is going to go over the process of heating water to deal with viruses and bacteria.

Boiling Water to Inactivate Viruses

If you are wondering if you can stall a virus with heat, the answer is yes. To prevent disease, water can be boiled in preparation for consumption. Like many water filtration systems, boiling water will kill most viruses, bacteria, and germs that may be in the water. You will want to reach a high enough temperature for this to happen. Raising the temperatures to a boil can kill impurities in the water such as viruses and bacteria according to the World Health Organization.

Viruses, germs, and bacteria do not stand a chance against the high heat created when boiling. Bacteria are super sensitive to heat and raising the water to boiling temperatures will inactivate them. Heating it at least at 145 Fahrenheit is an easy way to purify the water, and the minimum boiling point is 212 F! At this temperature, you can expect the water to start neutralizing germs, viruses, and other causes of disease.

After the water has been boiled it should be protected from outside contaminants until consumption.

Does Freezing Water Kill Bacteria?

So what happens to viruses and bacteria in freezing temperatures? Unfortunately, you can not actually kill germs just by freezing them. While freezing temperatures may stop a virus in its tracks momentarily, as soon as it reaches room temperature you are in danger again. In other words, freezing water over does not kill any of the viruses or diseases that it may contain. However, if there are viruses in the water they will become dormant when frozen. When the water reheats, the virus will wake back up again.

Looking for a Local Plumber?

The next time you need a plumber, give Knight Plumbing, Inc. a call. We are dedicated to providing the Milwaukee, WI community with the expert plumbing services that you need. Call (414) 420-0625 today to ask about our water filtration system installation services.