Water purification tablets

Travel Forums General Talk Water purification tablets

1. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Does anyone use these?
Does the water taste OK after it has been purified like this? Are there any adverse health effects from using these tablets?
I am thinking about taking water purification tablets with me when I travel to prevent tossing so much plastic into the environment.
Apparently plastic is becoming a big problem in the third world. Apparently they dont have the facilities to recycle the amount of it that is produced and it is clogging up drainage and sewage systems and killing amimals that eat it when it litters the countryside.


2. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey Mel,

where're you going again to need these tabs?

I've never tried them but friends who have (ie guys who've had to undergo jungle training in Brunei during their army days) say they make the water taste like it came from the swimming pool. However many brands of water purification tabs market themselves as odourless, tasteless, colourless etc (hmm maybe the army is cheap and gives its soldiers the cheapest tabs).

Most water purification tabs contain some sort of halogen ie flourine/fluoride, chlorine/chloride, iodine/iodide as they are very powerful germ-killers. You'll also have to allow the tabs 30-60min to work and filter off residue that collects at the bottom (if there're any).

It is possible to overdose on halogens/feel uncomfortable after ingesting them even though the amount in the tabs are not supposed to be sufficient to cause harm but some people are more sensitive than others - see these sites

Fluoride overdose http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002650.htm
Chlorine overdose http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002772.htm
Iodine overdose

3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Here's what we have on the topic already.

AFAIK, the environmentally problematic plastic is not so much the bottles, but rather the plastic bags. If you want to help the environment, not accepting any more plastic bags (esp. the thinnest kind) would be more effective. Plus, water purification tablets in the long run (the REALLY long run) are supposedly detrimental to your health, so I'd avoid them if you can.

You beat me to answering this one, Sapphyre :)

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 14, 2008, at 7:29 AM by bentivogli ]

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the info. :)
From what u two say I dont like the sound of those purification tablets.
Travelling can be already wearing on the health without adding more things that put stress on the body. I think I will continue drinking bottled water until something better is available to purify it.

Sapphyre this year I am going to Kyrgyzstan and India. But I go to a lot of places where one shouldnt drink the tap water.

Yeah u are right Neils, avoiding plastic bags is a good idea. No need for even the thin ones. I will take cotton shopping bags with me.


5. Posted by jhetland (Budding Member 43 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I use the tables regularly. I cant taste any different with them. They are not there to kill the taste of the water, rather the germs. I reckon its better to not be sick, than dehydrated and/or sick. So, id rather use the tablets. These are the guys I currently use (because thats what my local shop sells). Katadyn Micropur. If you are concerned about any potential side effects, use the ceramic filters instead. They can be hard work, but does the same job, maybe even better.


6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Jo:)

I like the filter idea.


7. Posted by jhetland (Budding Member 43 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Well, they can be hard work! I found this video of my mate operating the pump. He used his flask to collect the water, then the pump to clean it into his camelback.

Water pumping

Id still go for the tablets.


8. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Jo :)