On the subject of water purification, lets look at water purification tablets.
You have 3 days accordingly to the rule of 3’s. (previous post) So, you have 3 days to find a clean water source. For me, boiling is the way to go. But boiling water may not always be possible. Boiling water is the most effective way to eliminate water borne pathogens. With boiling you have a visual indication of purification. A poet and didn’t know it. (sorry couldn’t resist) But in all seriousness, it’s good to have confidence in what your trying to accomplish. With a tablet, there is no visual indication. The water isn’t going to magically change colors. You wait the allotted time and take your chances. The package tells you it isn’t proven effective against crypto. The water source is the major deciding factor. I will go over that in a following post. Stay tuned.
Cryptosporidium as well as Giardia, both being a protozoan parasite, are difficult to neutralize. Water tablets are not overly effective in killing them. With no visual indication you are taking your chances, but its better than nothing. Having lived in Canada for 2 years, beaver fever was not unheard of. What is beaver fever? Giardia! In the winter the beavers would do their business (s..t) under the ice. The purification process in public water wasn’t fully effective in taking care of that. I know people that will, here in the States, boil city water before drinking it. As another example….. while in the boyscouts, there is a merit badge for wilderness survival. For the merit badge you had to survive one night out with only 5 items. One scout brought water purification tablets and used lake water for his water source. He ended up sick within hours. Hind sight being 20/20 and knowing that it takes about 3 days for most water bourn illnesses to manifest, he was most likely home sick. Either way, ALWAYS go for the most pure water source. Lakes and rivers do not meet that qualification.
So the effectiveness of water purification tablets are a bit questionable at best. Emergency situations, something is better than nothing. Always read the claims of water purification tablets, what they’re effective for, as well as any cautions. It varies from brand to brand. Like I said earlier, more to follow on the best water source. So, for my evaluation, boiling is the most effective method of purifying water against biological contaminants, BUT when boiling isn’t always achievable, water purification tablets may be a good fall back plan.