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mmmmmmBacon12345 t1_j678emm wrote

You, and most other multicellular creatures, have a heart that pumps blood around your body. This heart is made up of lots of heart cells that can contract when electricity is applied but also make a small amount of their own. A collection of heart cells will sync up and start beating in unison

If electricity flows through your heart it can muck up the signals causing the cells not to beat in the right sequence and either beat erratically or just stop it. This results in no blood flowing around your body and kills you

Small things don't have a heart, they're just a little fluid sack. You could hit them with enough electricity to break down their proteins but you'll have boiled the water inside them first and killed them that way


frakc t1_j67iwer wrote

And a bit funnier - there are a lot of varios materials in mud water which will start to react with each other if there is enogh current making water toxic and undrinkable


hyzermofo t1_j684khs wrote

Like, life? Primordial soup, that sort of thing?


en1mal t1_j6865gd wrote

I think he means electrolysis. Putting a current in a solution (e.g between two metal prongs) makes the negative and positive charged particles flock to their according charge. Or new particles form. Its how the metal industry applies small films of materials to objects.


_ShakashuriBlowdown t1_j688uhy wrote

There are all these videos (I'll try and edit one in if I find it) of Chinese "water boilers", which are just + and - electrodes that you put into water. The problem is, even in "clean" water, the electrodes themselves begin to electrolyze into the water. The tap water isn't clean either, so all the minerals begin electrolyzing and depositing onto the cathode as well.

EDIT: This is used in a scam to show that one's water is actually impure, and that one should buy the salesman's water filter.


en1mal t1_j689ne9 wrote

Yeah "water purity" is a grey zone, lots of scams. When I was young I earned some cash as a handyman. The stuff some people wanted me to install in their water system was baffling. Especially since I live in an european country with probably the best tap water quality in the world.

edit: just watched the vid, hillarious, they are just disolving the toxic metal particles in the water holy moly and use distilled non conductive water for the "proof". Yay humanity!


zebediah49 t1_j68ho0z wrote

> edit: just watched the vid, hillarious, they are just disolving the toxic metal particles in the water holy moly and use distilled non conductive water for the "proof". Yay humanity!

It might not be toxic.

Looked like steel, so you're primarily just producing iron oxide (rust) and dumping that into/onto the water. But also whatever else is alloyed into the steel. And I still wouldn't touch it.


Juan_Ebolovich t1_j68l9f3 wrote

Yeah, if it's stainless steel for example, you're getting some delicious chromium, which is a Bad Time.


CulturalIndication1 t1_j692iez wrote

Yeah, fuck chromium. I grew up in a town that had a chrome plating factory and they dumped their waste in the creek that ran alongside two schools. I was born with correctable heart defect but damn there were a lot of kids with cancer.


Soranic t1_j6av8ti wrote

Jersey City?


CulturalIndication1 t1_j6avg7d wrote

Nah, Northern California, Willits


Soranic t1_j6awi2i wrote

Jersey City used to regularly turn some shade of purple because of the factory. Now there's a gated community in place of the factory.

The local wetlands preserve says not to eat the crabs in the water because you'll get cancer.


_ShakashuriBlowdown t1_j68o3c3 wrote

Been doing some home electrolysis for fun. Everything I read about chromium has me feeling like this.


calivino1 t1_j68llty wrote

To be fair, pure water doesnt conduct elctricity. So theyre technically correct


_ShakashuriBlowdown t1_j68oe2q wrote

That's how these scams work though, right? They prey on half-truths, things that "feel" right.


stupidshinji t1_j6ag0y0 wrote

you’re thinking of electrophoresis (and techniques that apply this phenomenon such as electroplating), not electrolysis


aberroco t1_j68m24i wrote

Like salt. Even the usual one, NaCl, dissolved in water and electrolyzed, dissipates to NaOH, NaOCl, HCl, H2 and Cl2. HCl, H2 and Cl2 are gaseous, so they bubble out, but NaOH (lye) and NaOCl (bleach) stays in solution.

And that's just one example, there's multitude of other chemicals that's produced by electrolysis, potentially making water toxic.


Alexis_J_M t1_j68ieax wrote

I don't think this is true. Please cite a source.


frakc t1_j68ly87 wrote

applying current to water will boil it. Note that the water became relatively darker than it was. Often it is harmless - oxidized iron. Sometimes it forms toxic compounds like sulfuric salts (such compounds do not darken the water and it is indistinguishable from normal water)


Rakeallday t1_j67evhg wrote

When electricity meets water, it heats up and boils the organism. The problem is it'd take a lot of electricity to kill as much bacteria as we do with other methods that are more energy efficient.


Kidiri90 t1_j67nw3g wrote

And, you know, it gets turned into hydrogen and oxygen.


[deleted] t1_j67wnz1 wrote



Vitztlampaehecatl t1_j680u5c wrote

Moral of the story, don't boil pool water


[deleted] t1_j6815sg wrote



Chromotron t1_j68255q wrote

Pure water electrolyses if you try hard enough. It's just silly inefficient.

Table salt is normally not used by people doing electrolysis. Other salts such as sodium/potassium hydroxide, or if nothing better is at hand, sodium (bi)carbonate, are safer, similarly cheap, and also do the job better.


zebediah49 t1_j68j9is wrote

> Pure water electrolyses if you try hard enough. It's just silly inefficient.

You have to be trying really really hard though. There's a classic demo where you can make water maintain a bridge between two beakers, by putting a decent few kV across it. You need to use extremely pure water to avoid electrolysis, which is pretty successful.

> > Table salt is normally not used by people doing electrolysis. Other salts such as sodium/potassium hydroxide, or if nothing better is at hand, sodium (bi)carbonate, are safer, similarly cheap, and also do the job better.

Well.. It's actually pretty common, but not for when people want to make hydrogen. The Chloralkali process (i.e. NaCl hydrolysis) is the primary industrial method for producing tens of millions of tons of chlorine and sodium hydroxide.


shinn91 t1_j680thg wrote

Little funfact my chemistry prof once told us. If you use desinfect, like isopropanol, it kills the bacteria by dissolving their shell and their inner parts run out and they die.


mr_birkenblatt t1_j68df5l wrote

That's why you should still wash your hands even after using hand sanitizer. The dead bodies of the bacteria become food for the next generation


happykittynipples t1_j694d91 wrote

If I tossed you into a swimming pool and added a few volts it would not pass through you unless you touched a ground, like the metal ladder. Then you would be in trouble. So, you could kill all those tiny bugs but they would need to touch a lot of tiny ladders.


unimportantthing t1_j689jzj wrote

Electricity is so bad at killing microorganisms in small amounts that in lab sciences we actually use it to introduce new DNA into them through a process called Electroporation. Basically, you send electricity into a solution that contains your microorganism and the new DNA you want it to have, and you zap the solution to cause pores to form in its cell membrane. These holes are big enough to allow the DNA to enter. It’s a very useful technique.


PigicornNamedHarold t1_j69t4dw wrote

This is incomplete - electroporation relies on large voltages but little to no current to be effective. If there are enough ions (i.e. salt) in your bacterial culture to carry a current, it will kill the bacteria (based on my experience with E. coli).


hyzermofo t1_j684ozd wrote

What if the lightning you use is greased? Surely then at least the chills would multiply?


pinkmeanie t1_j68eagw wrote

The problem with that approach is losing control, and then there's nothing left to do. I know that approach is the one that you want, but you'd better take my direction.


Abacab4 t1_j69dhvr wrote

I’m hopelessly devoted to this methodology.


Intergalacticdespot t1_j6811q7 wrote

Can we hit co2 with electricity and split it into carbon and oxygen? Seems like that would be a way to reduce CO2 emissions. But not sure how efficient it is or would be. Probably would need some economies of scale to make it viable in the long term. I'm assuming. Both carbon and oxygen have industrial uses so should theoretically count as useful resources. At least at any reasonable scale.


Chromotron t1_j682dm1 wrote

We could. It would be horribly inefficient, taking way more than other methods, and most importantly, the current methods of power generation would produce way more CO2 than this destroys. And to make it work at all you would need to remove the CO2 from air to get a tank full of it; at which point you could just sequester it, store it underground, or whatever else works and takes much less energy.

Both carbon and oxygen are way easier to get differently, even if energy were free it would not be worth it.


LowerEntropy t1_j682w1d wrote

You are talking about photosynthesis. That's were all our fossil fuels come from.


CharsOwnRX-78-2 t1_j685sog wrote

I mean we could do all that.

Or we could just let plants do it for us


Black_Moons t1_j68dtok wrote

If you take carbon and oxygen, burn them to produce CO2, any process you use to get back carbon and oxygen is by definition going to take as much or more energy then you got from burning it.

Chemical bonds all have a certain energy associated with forming and destroying them that must be paid (or released)


Busterwasmycat t1_j68m4ql wrote

throw in some water and make sugars. About the same idea as photosynthesis. Of course, electricity-driven reactions don't tend to be all that controlled and there is a lot of competition by other reactions, so costly and inefficient is probably a good description. It is why we don't already do that.

Just making carbon would be a fool's game, because the carbon would want to react back with any free oxygen as soon as it could. generally as a big fire. Sure, we can deal with elemental carbon in lots of ways (it doesn't generally spontaneously combust) but you would have to do something with all that carbon. And, of course, there is the question of how you make the electricity in the first place, ideally not from burning coal or inefficiencies would mean you release more CO2 than you break apart/recover.

But yeah, at least it is an idea. Thinking and coming up with ideas is usually a good thing. Most ideas turn out to have more problems than they solve, but occasionally a good one comes up, so don't stop, don't get discouraged that your idea isn't practical. Hardly alone with that.


chickenstalker t1_j68fti6 wrote

Plus, electricity is used to genetically modify bacteria via electroporation. Jolting bacterial cell walls will open their pores and allow plasmids to entrr the cell. In nature, plasmids can confer various resistance or virulence genes. So, using electricity might even promote new traits and mutations.


Buck_Thorn t1_j68glkh wrote

> Small things don't have a heart, they're just a little fluid sack.

Hey, now!


sysKin t1_j68jvx3 wrote

It is actually a little bit of evolutionary fluke that, in us, the electrical path from one hand to the other hand goes directly through our heart.

As a result, electricity is far more dangerous to us than to life in general.


Gladianoxa t1_j68kqrp wrote

Is it not possible to electrolyse them? Every cell uses ion pumps and things, to my knowledge.


thekreeture t1_j68n98m wrote

The science that keeps our heart moving is the same science that keeps their fluid sacks not shriveled or exploding. The concentrations of ions/salts on each side of the membrane creates a difference in voltage across the cell membrane, which creates potential energy. if that goes to equilibrium the cell is dead.

Idk if electricity would kill what’s in the water, but if you do something to the water to make the difference in voltage across their membranes become zero, they are essentially dead. It would be hard to calculate a voltage and duration or whatever to make every singe membrane in your sample go to equilibrium. Idk dammit Jim I’m a dietitian not a mad physics professor.

Also, not everything needs to be living to be dangerous. Many pathogens make things that cause us illness, if that thing is still in the water even after the microbe has died, we still get sick. And there are inorganic things that can make us sick, also. Plus spore-forming bacteria could die but leave tough little spores behind waiting to respawn. So..ya. Now I’m having physiology flashbacks and I’ll probably have nightmares on differentiating calcium channels.


Traininewe t1_j68rx6t wrote

Like salt. Even the usual one, NaCl, dissolved in water and electrolyzed


ChronoMonkeyX t1_j69bar3 wrote

I was wondering where you were going with your analogy, thinking "well, the water wouldn't be electrified while you were drinking it!"


man-vs-spider t1_j67k3g1 wrote

Putting electricity through water has the potential to produce other chemicals in the water that you would like to avoid


dvorahtheexplorer t1_j67kwmf wrote

> the potential



hyzermofo t1_j684v42 wrote



burrbro235 t1_j68bdro wrote

That hertz my feelings.


lordofthehomeless t1_j68bz1r wrote

I need to be part of the pun resistance and not partake.


RightInThePleb t1_j68dc3s wrote

I don’t really understand jokes like these. It’s just an attempt from people to stay current.


AlmostButNotQuit t1_j68ihys wrote

Shocking, right?


Swibblestein t1_j68j8ce wrote

I'm amped up to see the next pun someone comes up with.


2nd-kick-from-a-mule t1_j68lp1x wrote

I’m not sure you have the capacitance.


Killaship t1_j68meg9 wrote

Some of these puns, they need to be inducted into the pun hall of fame!


OpenPlex t1_j68wy2j wrote

You might feel electrified to see yours on display, a spark of joy!


dogism t1_j68m6k0 wrote

I dunno, I feel like this isn't conductive to stimulating discussion.

Edit. I was too late, but I'm glad to see there's a spark in people to make more puns.


OpenPlex t1_j68jney wrote

You have the power to change that habit.


wut3va t1_j68kikq wrote

I thought it broke down chemicals like water into it's constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen.


man-vs-spider t1_j691n5j wrote

There’s typically other things in the water that can be broken down / chemically changed. Even something like salt water can produce chlorine gas


Newone1255 t1_j6amahn wrote

If the water was 100% distilled fresh water it would be fine. But distilling the water achieves the desired effect in the first place


mrmemo t1_j689gep wrote

So we can't use electrical activity per se, but we can use electron radiation (Beta irradiation) to sterilize food.

You shoot an electron beam at the fruit and it kills microorganisms living inside. The fruit doesn't rot as fast now!

Downside, you're probably killing the good microorganisms as well. Oops.


Black_Moons t1_j68dxud wrote

The only good microorganism is a dead microorgamism. Now lets make these microorgamisms good!


ResoluteClover t1_j68mtw6 wrote

Fun fact: bacteriaphages (viruses that only target bacteria) are very effective at decontaminating and preserving food.


wut3va t1_j68ksrb wrote

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


Jaffacakereddit t1_j67th0y wrote

Electricity works on potentials. Horses are particularly sensitive to electric shock because their front and back legs are a good distance apart, the voltage difference is large. They can even die by walking on ground near a broken electrical connection that a human wouldn't detect because of close-together feet. There is a system of electro fishing where current is passed into water to stun fish so they float to the surface to be caught. Counter-intuitively you can stun a large fish with a smaller current than needed to stun small fish. Now imagine the size of a microorganism....


Kaibzey t1_j681ptp wrote

Whoa this was educational haha.

Makes sense.....electricity works on potential differences, which get larger with distances! So large organisms can straddle much larger potential difference zones.


Chromotron t1_j682q7w wrote

Fun fact: this is also the reason why you cannot microwave fruit flies (in case you ever tried... for... reasons...).


Marsstriker t1_j68it8r wrote

Some googling seems to suggest you very much can microwave flies. There are however some spots inside a microwave that don't receive as much energy, so a fly might survive if it largely stays within those points.

Besides which, microwaves don't work by electrocuting what's put inside them.


Chromotron t1_j68mw2t wrote

Fruit flies, not normal flies. Normal flies are large enough to die. The heating of an object significantly below the wavelength (centimeters) is proportional to the size, due to the electric potential created by the microwaves. The fruit flies also have the added bonus of much surface area per volume.

It is also not just the sweet spots, the flies survive even if they move around randomly. Anyway, here is a video by Cody.


OpenPlex t1_j68kodp wrote

The analogy is that voltage is like water pressure, so how does distance increase that?


Jaffacakereddit t1_j69iumy wrote

The surface beneath our feet usually has fairly high resistance. So voltage fades away quickly, electricity doesn't travel too far. If there's a live wire in the earth underground that's broken, a front hoof and a back hoof can be at very different voltages, so the power travels through the horse in preference to the earth. This is not a good thing.


OpenPlex t1_j6a2de5 wrote

Ah, so a larger distance wouldn't guarantee a larger voltage, it would merely raise the chances because of changes to the surface being walked on.

Or, wait. No, the voltage difference is because one hoof is over electricity while the other hoof is over zero or fewer electricity, so now electricity will travel through the horse which is electrically conductive.

> The surface beneath our feet usually has fairly high resistance

That's if we're wearing sneakers, right?

Like if one foot were barefoot and the other wearing a sock, we'd create a large difference in voltage?


DiscountFoodStuffs t1_j6a6py0 wrote

There is less of a distance between a person's two feet than that of a horses front/back legs. Earth, the surface beneath our feet, typically has a high resistance. There is a higher chance "electricity" will choose to flow through a horse, as it has to either travel that distance through the horse, or through the ground. For a person, that distance is smaller, therefore less resistance, and less likely to use us a bridge between two spots on the ground.


JimmyTheBones t1_j691to0 wrote

Imagine it more as water flowing downhill. Small horizontal distance, not too much change in gravitational potential energy, but from the top of a mountain to the bottom there's a huge difference there.


OpenPlex t1_j697mrn wrote

Doesn't make sense in the context of one horse's leg to another. (vs the distance from one human leg to another being a lower pressure)


JimmyTheBones t1_j699a6q wrote

So imagine the horizontal distance, not the diagonal distance.

The front foot is the equivalent of the top of a river up a mountain, and the back foot is the equivalent of the estuary at sea level.

The human's horizontal foot distance is much less, so there is a much smaller difference between the potential from one foot to the other.


RigasTelRuun t1_j68bqvn wrote

Killing the organisms in water by any means doesn't make it safe to drink. They dead corpses and other waste from them is still in the water and is just as dangerous to consume. That is why water needs to be actively filtered to be clean.


OpenPlex t1_j68kfo5 wrote

Good point about the toxins still being in water but living organisms can multiply so they'll usually be more dangerous merely because they continue creating new toxins as time goes on.


WakkaBomb t1_j68derg wrote

I just want to put a slight spin on things.

You cant kill small organisms (even some insects) in a microwave because the actual microwaves have a long enough wavelength that it doesn't produce a high enough gradient to heat their tiny bodies up.

The wave length is longer than the insects body so it doesn't do anything.


EmilyU1F984 t1_j6a3ni4 wrote

Only if you suspend the insect in a vacuum. And don‘t move it.


WakkaBomb t1_j6aad24 wrote

Mmmm nope. I did it as a science fair project back in the day :P

Blasted fruit flies for a minute and not a single dead one.

Infact: the microwaves are just a little bigger than the holes in the window on the front door.

So pretty much anything smaller than those holes cannot be heated by the microwave oven. (in air)

Obviously if you put it in a cup of water the water is going to boil.


s_m_m t1_j684l68 wrote

Yes, you can. I actually keep an electrolytic water purifier (mixed oxidant) in my emergency kit.


> A simple brine {salt + water} solution in an electrolytic reaction produces a powerful mixed oxidant disinfectant (mostly chlorine in the form of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and some peroxide, ozone, chlorine dioxide).


r40k t1_j6907cl wrote

In that case it's not the electricity that kills them, it's a product of a chemical reaction set off by electricity


[deleted] t1_j67upde wrote



FlyingMacheteSponser t1_j67vpp6 wrote

That's pretty much what a defribulator does. The heart muscles contracting out of sync is called fribulation, so a defribulator shocks them back into a regular rhythm.


fyonn t1_j67w79a wrote

I thought it basically temporarily overwhelmed all the electrical signals and effectively stopped the heart, allowing it to restart on its own but hopefully in sync..?


hyzermofo t1_j6850h4 wrote

TIL that I had zero idea how defribulator is spelled. I give it 30 minutes, then it's gone again.

Edit: turns out I knew very well it's spelled defibrillator. Bamboozled. Hoodwinked. And also the other one.


murmurat1on t1_j67vr3y wrote

You only have one mate


silma85 t1_j67wojb wrote

Speak for yourself, I have at least 3.5!


bugi_ t1_j67ygif wrote

Wait, is this a chess puzzle?


cantyman911 t1_j67w1n4 wrote

Basic premise of pace makers that are implanted in people.


igor33 t1_j688jni wrote

This is not ELI5 but.....Ozone is produced when oxygen (O2) molecules are dissociated by an energy source into oxygen atoms and subsequently collide with an oxygen molecule to form an unstable gas, ozone (O3), which is used to disinfect wastewater. Most wastewater treatment plants generate ozone by imposing a high voltage alternating current (6 to 20 kilovolts) across a dielectric discharge gap that contains an oxygen-bearing gas. Ozone is generated onsite because it is unstable and decomposes to elemental oxygen in a short amount of time after generation. Ozone is also commonly used to disinfect bottled drinking water, as it is both soluble and effective at killing microorganisms via the oxidisation of their cell membranes. (So you're not that far off....)


jakeofheart t1_j67z7co wrote

You would probably waste an awful lot of electricity, without being able to reach all the micro-organisms.

Ultrasound might be an answer though. I have seen a Swiss startup develop an ultrasound machine that you run your water through.

The vibrations field (or as Chromotron points out, the cavitation) has the effect of breaking down anything molecular that crosses it.


Chromotron t1_j682uyq wrote

It's probably not the vibrations but the ultrasound cavitation. It forms little bubbles at enormous forces, ripping stuff apart.


cuupa_1 t1_j67ziy7 wrote

You can to a certain degree, but only with direct current.

Alternating current will not Work on molecular Level but very Well for organisms with a heart like mentioned in the comments. It will mess up with nerves and muscles.

Direct current on the other Hand will start electrolysis, meaning the water (H2O) will split into hydrogen and oxygen. While this process can cause cell mebranes of for example bacterias to burst, it will also lead to building Up flamable Gas (hydrogen) and loss of water (since its Split into those molecules). Its also very inefficient.

This process is used in the Aquarium Hobby to reduce algae. (Chihiros sterilizer)


Chromotron t1_j682y3f wrote

Alternating current starts electrolysis just as well, only that now all products are created equally at both ends.


cuupa_1 t1_j6cgd8e wrote

I was unaware of that. Thanks for the correction!


karmacannibal t1_j68lbc8 wrote

Electrical current requires energy to produce

Heat requires energy to produce

Energy is expensive

All else equal, a process that is less expensive is preferable

The energy it takes to sterilize water with heat is less than the energy it takes to sterilize it with electricity

Therefore sterilizing water with heat is preferable to doing so with electric current


Ribbythinks t1_j68ycug wrote

Heat produced from electrical current (see: Amperature) is what causes tissue damage in organisms. It’s much more effective to use electrical energy create temperatures that are unfavourable than it is zap bacteria.

On another note, the US Army Corp uses electrical current in bodies of water to create invisible barriers for invasive species:


Random_Dude_ke t1_j686vpo wrote

That is how they kill harmful algae in the lake in my city.

Apply current across electrodes suspended from a motor boat cris-crosing the lake slowly.


Juiceworld t1_j68e960 wrote

Its not just the little orginisms that can make you sick. Their poop can also make you sick. No amout of electricity is going to magic that away.


alexytomi t1_j68epwt wrote

If you do it long enough then the water gets hot and boils and everything dies

It makes poison tho


bighitta12 t1_j68f8xy wrote

Because electricity kills you either by stopping your heart or burning you to would take a ridiculous amount of energy to thermally kill the microbes, and they don't have a heart or circulatory system so that's out the window...


joshuastar t1_j68glk1 wrote

Direct electricity would not get you the effect you want, but UV wands exists that can do what you’re saying. People use them for backpacking and camping.


herrbdog t1_j68o1m1 wrote

depends on the water. 'pure' water is actually an insulator, so that wouldn't work

if it has ions dissolved, e.g. SALT (not sugar!) or SOAP (don't drop the radio in the tub!) then it becomes a conductor and then, depending on what is IN the water, might kill it

but then you're left with ionised (salty, soapy, other) water full of muck

just boil it dude.


Axolotl-Dog t1_j68xlee wrote

In a way no: electricity can kill by stopping the muscles of the circulatory system, mainly heart and diaphragm, or burn due to high resistance. Microorganisms usually lack a circulatory system or are too small to provide any real resistance. And electricity doesn’t remove physical contaminates.

In a way yes: if you filter the water add salt and apply direct current you can make a weak solution of sodium hypochlorite or bleach (0.8% vs household/laundry bleach 5.5%). That can be used to disinfect other amounts of water. It’s a pretty controlled process and uses a lot of energy look up on-site generation for more info. Also, don’t drink bleach. Unless you have Covid lol.

Anecdotal experience: I was a pump operator for storm water and potable water systems. One of the older lift stations for storm water used 120 volt electrodes for its control circuit. So the wet well would have 120v in it. During maintenance periods we had to go in and vacuum out trash and sediments from the bottom. The water was not clean and you would find mosquito larvae swimming around. We also used on site chlorine generators for our drinking water wells.


sciguy52 t1_j6aq3wd wrote

The levels of electricity required to kill microbes would probably heat the water and/or cause some reactive chemicals to be produced that would kill them, not the electricity itself. Electricity will not clear muddy water. A lot of muddy materials are organic and would not be attracted to the electrodes.


Birdie121 t1_j6bsvva wrote

Electricity interrupts nerve impulses, which isn't helpful for microorganisms without nerves. It could help with nematodes and some some other animal pathogens. But water isn't a very good conductor of electricity and it would be hard to ensure that it's effective at killing everything rather than just some/most things.

Another way electricity kills stuff is by heating up the organism enough to cause severe tissue damage, but this is difficult to do with water and will take a lot of energy. Boiling has the same effect.


Gabriel38 t1_j69lsam wrote

Like boiling the water?

Sure we can!