In many situations, if they could, the pioneers would boil their water first. It's undoubtedly a danger, but it's not as serious as dehydration after traveling for a day or more without water. In most situations, pioneers who drank water from a river or lake experienced no negative consequences. However, those who did not receive adequate medical care may have died.
The first thing you should know about drinking water in the wilderness is that it must be treated before you drink it. All untreated water contains some amount of bacteria that can make you sick. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid giving your body water that has not been properly sterilized.
The second thing you should know is that the quality of water varies depending on where it comes from. Some water is perfectly safe to drink even if it isn't necessarily tasty. Other water needs to be purified because it contains chemicals that can harm you if you ingest them. Still other water might make you sick if you drink too much of it too fast.
You can treat water quickly with common methods such as boiling or filtering. Both methods will remove any harmful organisms from the water and reduce the amount of bacteria by several orders of magnitude. Of course, you cannot get precise information on the quality of the water you find in the wild by looking at it; rather, you need to sample it.
Most people drank water from wells or springs 200 years ago. That's why I'm just asking for the pioneers, not someone from 200 years ago. A couple points To begin, while well and spring water are inherently cleaner, they are not clean. Well owners at that time would often treat their water with chemicals to make it more appealing to the palate or to reduce the amount of bacteria that would otherwise grow in it. Spring water was usually only lightly treated.
People also got drunk on beer then, which is probably what you were thinking of when you said "drink water." Beer is made from wheat or barley, and until very recently has always been brewed using all natural ingredients. But like any product that's exposed to the environment, it can become polluted with heavy metals or other substances. Even today in some parts of the world, people still die from drinking impure water. So although drinking water isn't very pleasant, it's certainly better than death.
Nowadays, most people get their water from sources that are considered safe to consume. This includes tap water, bottled water, milk, ice cream, and even fruit juice. However, if you live in an area where the water is not safe to drink, such as a coal mine or deep underground tunnel, you will have to rely on supplies dropped off by airplane every month.
Water is boiled in many houses before it is placed into a water bowl to be used at the meal. The Egyptians had discovered that, while the Nile River provided clean water, it was also tainted with sickness. Not everyone boiled the water first, and not everyone became ill after drinking water straight from the Nile. However, because of this danger, they developed ways to make the water safer to drink.
They started by boiling weeds and other plants that grew along the banks of the river. This process removed much of the harmful bacteria and dirt that made up 90% of the content of the river water. Next, they dug deep wells around Egypt that supplied water for drinking and cooking. These wells were protected by stone walls and covered roofs to keep out animals that would have otherwise contaminated the water supply.
For most people today, drinking water comes from pipes that deliver water from reservoirs or lakes. The ancient Egyptians didn't have this kind of water supply; instead, they got their water from the Nile River. However, they did know how to make water safe to drink by boiling it first.
People think that if you boil your water then there's no need to filter it, but this is not true. Even when using public water sources, it is still recommended to boil water before drinking it. This is done to remove any parasites or bacteria that may be present in the water.
The safest way to purify water is to boil it. Boiling water kills viruses and parasites whether you're camping, in a nation with dirty or un-sanitized drinking water, or if you suspect your local water source has been contaminated. When traveling, boiling water for drinking might be a more cost-effective option than purchasing bottled water.
However, this isn't always an option; for example, when hiking or climbing in remote areas without consistent access to clean water, boiling water can be difficult or impossible. In these cases, treating water with chemicals is the only other option for preventing illness. Purified water requires regular monitoring because any contaminants that remain even after treatment can lead to health problems.
Purification methods include filtering, chemical treatment, and thermal treatment. Each method has advantages and disadvantages depending on how much effort you are willing to put into cleaning up contaminated water and what type of environment you are in.
Filtering removes particles from the water by passing it through layers of fiberglass or polypropylene material. These materials filter out bacteria, viruses, and some chemicals. They need to be changed regularly (usually every three months) to maintain their effectiveness. Properly filtered water can be stored for longer periods of time before it needs to be replaced.
Chemical treatment uses additives to disinfect contaminated water. Chlorine dioxide is being considered as an alternative due to its ability to kill both bacteria and viruses.
Contrary to common assumption, peasants drank a lot of water. They were aware that dirty water may bring illness, but they didn't know why, so they drank water from wells or springs whenever possible. Water was cheap and easy to get, so there was no reason not to drink it.
The only people who didn't drink water were the sick and those on war campaigns. These people had reasons not to drink water; being sick could be cured by water, and going on campaigns could be helped by staying hydrated.
During times of scarcity and poverty, such as in the Middle Ages, people drank water because they had nothing else to drink. In wealthy households where beer or wine was available, people usually didn't drink water because they thought it was inferior to beer or wine.
In conclusion, peasants drank water because there was nothing else to drink. This is also why most animals drink water, including cows, pigs, and sheep.
Boiling water, on the other hand, was a fundamental and necessary skill for Native Americans. Water may therefore be raised to a boiling point for cooking without damaging the clay pot by filling it with water and carefully adding externally heated pebbles. The heat from the rocks slowly raises the temperature of the water until it reaches a boiling point. At this point, the water is safe to drink.
Native Americans used this same technique to make tea. They would bring a rock to a rolling boil in their teapot then pour out the hot liquid for a refreshing drink. Of course, they could also drink the water straight from a river or lake but that wasn't always an option if they were far from home or not allowed in certain places.
In conclusion, yes, Native Americans boiled water before drinking it. This was especially important when eating food cooked in animal fat or meat.