We all know and understand that having drinkable water is very important for our health and survival. If you come from a developed country having safe, drinkable water is an expectation that you do not think much about and have gotten used to. Most developed cities spend millions on repairing their water treatment plants and piping system in order for people to have drinkable water come to their tap. Still, they might require additional filtration depending on how old the pipes are in their house. However, other people in less developed countries are not so lucky they simply do not have access to safe drinkable water. Hence, it is important that when you are traveling you understand if the water is safe to drink, and even if it might be you should always prepare yourself and not risk it. The risks of not Having a Water Filter and the way that you can ensure that you are drinking clean water.Learn all about Having a Water Filter.
Related Read: 7 Signs That You Are Drinking Contaminated Tap Water
Methods of Purifying Water Abroad
In third world countries, the best method for purifying water used by locals is boiling it. However, this might not be very convenient if you are always on the go and have a hard time finding a stove or kettle in a remote village or jungle. Here are some methods to purify water abroad:
In order to properly purify water by boiling it, you should place it on a heat resistant dish under a heat source and let it reach a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius for between 1 to 3 minutes depending on how high your altitude is. At an altitude above 2000 meters, you should boil for more than 3 minutes. Afterward, it is a good idea to let the water cool by covering it. If you find the water still cloudy you may choose to use a filtration system such as a coffee filter or several layers of cloth or paper to fully capture the larger particles.
2. Chemical Treatment
The most common water purification methods are chemical tablets or products such as chlorine or chlorine dioxide. However, before inserting these tablets into your water you need to ensure it is free from dirt or debris. This can be done by filtering the water through a few pieces of cloth, or paper towels. Chlorine tablets remove most bacteria and viruses in water. However, it does make the water taste bad unless you use a neutralizing tablet. In general, if you feel the water to be heavily contaminated you should use 2 tablets per 1 liter. After the tablet has been inserted you must shake the water dish thoroughly and let it rest for 30 minutes before you drink it. If you do not like the taste when using chlorine tablets, you may choose to use chloride dioxide tablets or drops. These are found to be the best chemical water treatment available because they do not leave bad taste or odor behind post-treatment and are able to remove most contaminants.
Filtering is a more convenient method to treat water abroad. The micro-sized pores help block harmful contaminants from passing through. Some filter materials have positively charged particles that help attract all viruses and bacteria while letting the water molecules pass through. According to experts, besides the large commercial options of filtration available, there are also several small-sized filter types in the marketplace convenient for traveling and taking with you everywhere. For example, a water-to-go bottle features nano alumina and carbon filter. This type of filter is proven to reduce up to 99 percent of all chemicals and bacteria. It may also filter heavy metals like lead and arsenic. The filter itself is good for treating up to 200 liters of water, making it much cheaper than the chemical options.
Risks of Not Having a Water Filter Abroad
Drinking contaminated water when traveling may lead to several illnesses or diseases ranging in a variety of severe symptoms. Harmful bacteria from drinking contaminated water may cause diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and/or intestinal discomfort. This can all be caused by protozoa bacterias such as cryptosporidium, giardiasis, and dysentery. Other more extreme diseases that can be caused by contaminated water include; Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Cholera. It is important to understand whether the country that you are traveling to has these diseases circulating in their water systems. The good thing is that there are vaccines that you should take before traveling abroad that help prevent Typhoid and Hepatitis A. However, no vaccine is available to treat cholera and some of the other mild symptoms mentioned above. Hence, one should always figure out the best method to purify water abroad.
In summary, it is important to understand the risks of the water in the country you are traveling to and take the necessary precautions to choose the best water purification method for your needs. Whether it be small, compact filters or chemical tablets you should make purifying water for drinking and washing a priority when traveling abroad.