Water Purification tablets are not important where most of us live. In our fairly comfortable environments, and we take things such as the purity of water almost for granted. But there are plenty of situations around the world, especially when traveling, where safe water cannot be guaranteed.
When safety of drinking water is an issue, Water Purification Tablets or a Personal Lifestraw are the answer.
Water purification tablets offer one of the most effective techniques that you can use to purify your water.
Without them you will be spending your time building fires, boiling your water and waiting for it to cool before drinking or transporting it.
In the outback you may not be able to wait that long.
First, it’s important to keep in mind that the water purification chemicals will only work on the micro organisms and chemicals in the water.
They are not going to remove the larger particles from your water. To remove those you will need to rely on manual filtration of the water.
What kinds of micro-organisms occur in non purified water?
Stream or creek water may appear to be clear and clean, but it can contain a host of dangerous micro-organisms. These include the following:-
Giardia lamblia: These are likely to cause gastro-intestinal infections or illnesses. It stems from animal or human feces.
E. coli: These are not as harmful but are likely to cause mild stomach upsets
Cholera: This is one of the most dangerous bacteria found in the streams and creeks. Likely to lead to diarrhoea and dehydration.
Salmonella typhi: This is the bacteria that causes the Typhus fever, which can be deadly if not treated in time.
So how do Water Purification Tablets Work?
Water purification tablets mainly consist of iodine or chlorine. These are the most effective agents that are used in the purification process. These ingredients will deactivate the viruses, protozoa or bacteria that are found in the stream, creek or river water so that it is safe for consumption. This is important as these micro-organisms are the main pathogens or pathways through which diseases enter the body to cause illnesses and even death.
It is good to start with the filtration of the larger particles that you can see. Take these out of the water before adding the purification tablets. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for dose. Generally, these will involve the addition of two tablets to, at most, 500mls of water but this varies from one product to another.
After adding the water purification tablets, shake the mixture to ensure effective mixing of the water and the tablets. Once the tablets have completely dissolved in the water, wait for the nominated time before using the water. Wait time can be as long as 30 minutes, or shorter depending on the tablets used.
The main issue with using water purification tablets is that your water will leave a strong taste in your mouth. If you don’t like that, you can also purchase neutralizer tablets. These will give you a more neutral taste free of the chlorine or iodine tastes.
Another great option is the personal Lifestraw, which removes 99% of harmful bacteria, and allows you to drink directly from a water source
Either way, you will be able to drink safe water, without the risk of debilitating diseases.