Boiling water really gets all of the bad bacteria out of it. Boiling water is actually 212 F or 100 C and it takes a temperature of 160 F (70 C) to kill bacteria and other harmful pathogens in it, check it out on http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/manual/water.shtml.
The key is to boil the water long enough for it to do the job. However, boiling does not kill bad chemicals or inorganic poisons. Some of those can be removed by filtering but the best way to purify your water is through evaporation and distillation. There are some very economical counter-top home distillers for water (No you cannot use them for Vodka).
It will kill it yes, get rid of it, not so much, it is still there, though simply not harmful to your body. (only about 2% of bacteria is harmful to the human body) Often it is the bugs we are trying to kill.
2 years ago
Last edited at 8:06PM on 7/23/2011
Boiling water will kill most bacteria, but there are some organisms which can survive. Giardia is one organism which can survive boiling water and has been found living in boiling hot springs, however, the hard shelled eggs of the giradiasis are killed with freezing temperatures and with chlorine.
There are gram negative bacteria such as sulfur based bacteria which have also been found in boiling sulfur springs and can survive boiling and freezing. These bacteria are extremely hard to kill, but do not live long without water or moisture. A a dry hot heat will kill them and so will chlorine.
This is why chlorine is used as a water sanitizer by most states.
Boiling water can remove most vegetative bacteria; that is to say it destroys the number of bacteria capable of multiplying and reproducing. But a number of bacterial species are spore-forming, for example: Clostridium. Bacterial spores can survive a number of harsh conditions, including high temperatures. These spores are capable of becoming vegetative, given the proper conditions or environment (like... being in your body) and can lead to infection if ingested, regardless of boiling.