I’ve invited a water purification expert to tell us what different types of support are out there. I’m pretty vigilant in making sure I don’t dirty water in countries where their tap supply is unsafe to drink. Sometimes I carry around with me purification tablets. So here’s a water purification guide that she wrote to tell us more…
Drinking the water when travelling in certain countries can lead to a number of health issues, from a stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhoea to much more serious illnesses such as Giardiasis, Cholera and Dysentery. This is why it is extremely important to ensure you drink only treated or bottled water during your trip; otherwise you could find yourself in more than a little discomfort!
Benefits of Water Purification
Many people feel that the solution to finding safe drinking water when travelling is simply to buy bottled water, but this is only a short-term solution and the amount of wasted plastic left behind is problematic for the environment. Buying numerous bottles of water a day will also start to eat into your budget after a while, too! Not only this, but in remote villages and out in the wilderness, bottled water is going to be pretty darn hard to come by. For these reasons, we suggest using a form of water purification to treat your drinking water when travelling.
Types of Water Purification
Be it tablets, drops or a special portable filter device, there’s a type of water purification to suit every budget, personal preference and circumstance.
Tablets & Drops
Water purification tablets are possibly the most common and well-known method of treating water when travelling and options typically start from around £2.99 in price. Chlorine tablets are a popular choice amongst travellers and outdoor enthusiasts, but tend to leave a pretty unpleasant taste behind. This can be combatted by using neutralising tablets after you’ve treated the water with Chlorine. The down-side of this is that you end up buying two sets of tablets, and there are more cost-effective methods out there.
As the Chlorine and neutralising tablet method became a bit of an inconvenience to travellers, Chlorine Dioxide (typically around £7-£11 RRP) was introduced in both tablet and droplet form. This form of water purification is claimed to be the safest and most effective form of chemical water disinfection available. It also doesn’t leave any unpleasant tastes behind after you’ve used it.
Drops are possibly an easier option compared to tablets, as you don’t have to worry about residue from tablets that haven’t completely dissolved.
Water Purification Devices
Tablets and drops are a great and relatively cheap option for treating water when travelling, so it’s easy to see why so many people use them to make their water safe to drink. However, if you’re travelling for long periods of time or are regularly in a situation which requires you to treat your drinking water, you may want to invest in a water purification device. Now this immediately sounds like an option that would break the bank, and with products such as the Steripen carrying a price tag of around £50, it can be easy to see why budget conscious travellers steer clear of water purification gadgets!
However, it’s worth considering the benefits of investing in a water purification bottle or filter device. First and foremost, the impact to the environment is minimal as they are re-usable. Secondly, the convenience…the Water-to-Go bottle (RRP £24.95) looks just like a normal sports bottle and has an in-built filter to filter out 99.9% of contaminants found in a range of water sources, so you don’t have to mess around with tablets or drops, which is invaluable when you’re out exploring.
As previously mentioned, there’s a water purification solution for each and every traveller, no matter what your budget. Just ensure you use one of these methods to keep you healthy when travelling, don’t risk drinking contaminated water and ruining your trip!