Sterilizing water by boiling is the best way to clean make the water safe to drink. However, it may look unpalatable with solids floating, making it unpleasant to drink. Typically you could clean the water before boiling by filtering most of the solids through a cloth first. The water needs to be boiled for at least 5-minutes, especially in mountainous areas, as the boiling temperature can be affected by altitude. While boiling is still a reliable method, it is often inconvenient and may still leave the matter in the water – the cyst may be dead but do you really want to drink it?
Water treatment liquids are often carbon, iodine, or other chemical-based. They eliminate bacteria and viruses but are not effective against all parasitic cysts such as Cryptosporidium, they taste the water, and many should only be used short term. Iodine water treatments should not be used by young children, pregnant women, and those with thyroid disorders.
Water purification tablets, like the liquids, are highly effective against viruses and chemical contamination, with some of the more recent tablets saying they are effective against Cryptosporidium and Giardia Liambia. However, they are a cocktail of chemicals, should only be used short term, and cause the water to taste awful.
Water filters come in many shapes and sizes, from the ‘troupe movement’ filtration units to Sure Aqua products personal water filter straws, ideal for almost every application.