To find the right portable water purification system, you should first learn a little about the different technologies and what each product will remove. The needs of a hiker are quite different from those of a city worker or college student. Here, we have a brief overview of four of the better products on the market and what they can be used for. |
Named after the highest mountain in Maine and the northern end-point of the Appalachian Trail, this hand held portable water purification system is a must-have for backpackers. At one time, we could hike the AT collect water from streams and springs without worrying too much about bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
Today, the most common ailments affecting backpackers are cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis and other waterborne illnesses. Symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain can ruin your trip. You should never drink from an untreated source, without first boiling or filtering.
The Katadyn Ex-stream water bottle is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. It will remove all types of disease causing microorganisms, including viruses, for a cost of about $50.
Waterborne illnesses can also be a problem when travelling in other countries. Although most cities throughout the world use some type of disinfection method, there may still be bacteria present, with which your body is unfamiliar. The UV penlight can be put in a glass of treated water to kill additional bacteria and it is compact enough to carry in a pocket or purse. The price is a little high. Most cost around $90, but it could be worth it, if it saves the trip.
Base Camp Filters
For large groups and family outings, you may want a portable water purification system with a larger capacity. Sports Imports has several varieties to choose from ranging in price from $65 to over $100. Each of the systems is certified to remove bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium.
Sports, Work & Everyday Use
For those who work in a city or simply want clean water anywhere they go, without the cost of buying bottled, there is a reasonably priced portable water purification system that removes chlorine, odor, bad taste and lead. Those are the most common contaminants in publicly treated water.
Depending on the area that you live in, the level of lead can be quite high and there is no safe level of consumption. DC, Baltimore and Detroit, for example, have elevated levels of lead in their publicly treated supplies.
There are a number of sports bottles on the market with removable and replaceable filters, but most do not remove lead. They only remove chlorine filters. It is extremely important to choose one that does remove lead.
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