Water is one of the fundamental elements required for human life. If...
Whether you've already read H20 Hygiene, the water filter buyer's guide in Issue 15 of our printed magazine, or you're brand-new to the concept of waterborne pathogens, one thing's for sure: we all know there are many ways to purify water. You can boil it, chemically disinfect it with drops or tablets, hit it with UV light, run it through a filter, or even use more complex processes like ozonation or reverse osmosis.
At the end of the day, all of these methods can kill, inactivate, or remove nasty contaminants and microbes from your water supply. That means you'll stay healthy and hydrated, rather than puking your guts out or suffering from Montezuma's revenge. A case of E. coli or giardia may not kill you, but it'll probably make you wish you were dead, and if left untreated, these waterborne pathogens can severely dehydrate you and endanger your life.
Obviously, all water purification methods are not created equal. Thorough boiling is a sure-fire way to kill off bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, but it won't remove chemical contaminants like lead or mercury. Hollow-fiber filters like the LifeStraw and Sawyer Mini can remove bacteria and protozoa reliably, but aren't effective against viruses. Chemical disinfectants or tablets can leave an unappealing taste in water, and UV purifiers require batteries. Some devices are light and compact, while others are bulky and heavy. Price and preparation time are also factors to consider.
Here's a quick summary of each method, to refresh your memory:
So, consider your favorite method for water purification, and submit it into the poll below. We're curious to see how these methods stack up.