Water purification tablets have the ability to kill pathogens in water and make it safe for human consumption. Using water purification tablets are not only for backpackers and survival pepper’s but military forces around the world use these purification tabs to avoid sickness when fighting abroad. Click Here to go directly to Amazon for my favorite Water Purification Tablets!
International travelers also use purification tablets so to avoid contracting travelers diarrhea when on vacation. They are frequently in use in emergency situations such as floods or hurricanes, when the water supplies may be unsafe for human consumption.
Benefits And Considerations
Water purification tablets are portable and straightforward. Some tablets are even individually sealed, making it even easier to have in a small survival case. If you store them properly, some can last up to five years from their manufacturing date. Unlike many other purification techniques like boiling, filtration or ultraviolet radiation, water purification tablets require no specialized equipment, power or fuel. Water purification tablets can make an excellent filtration system as a backup for other techniques in case of equipment failure or other water filtration issues. Because water purification tablets are small and lightweight (size of a small Tylenol), people often include them in survival and emergency kits.
Downfall of Purification Tablets
The only downfall of using water purification tablets is its inability to remove sediment or chemical pollutants. Chemically purifying water containing sediment requires additional time and a more substantial concentration of chemicals. It’s always better to filter sediment out of the water before using purification tablets. Filtering sediments can quickly be done by directly pouring the water through a thin piece of cloth like a bandana into a container. The reason why it’s essential to filter out the sediments is that microorganism can hide inside sediments and survive the tablets purifying process.
We recommend the following general precautions when using water purification tablets. Keep out of reach of children. Do not swallow the tablets. If swallowed, seek medical advice immediately and show outside packaging. Wash after handling. Do not mix with other products. Store in a cool, dry place. Read product pamphlet for relevant information before first use.
Top Water Filtration Tablets On The Market Today
Aquatabs Water Filtration Tablets
Aquatabs Water Filtration Tablets contains a measured dose of Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate, commonly referred to as NaDCC. When added to water, it dissolves to release a measured dose of hypochlorous acid (free available chlorine) that is universally recognized as a safe and effective water disinfectant. Aquatabs will not color the water or leave an unpalatable taste. NaDCC works very differently from traditional chlorine, and as such, it is very difficult to distinguish any chlorine taste. In fact, there is usually less of a chlorine taste in water treated with Aquatabs than there is in any municipal tap water. Aquatabs are one of the few water purification tablets on the market today which are certified to NSF / ANSI 60. Its active ingredient, NaDCC (ACL60 grade) is also US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved.
Aquatabs take less than one minute to completely dissolve once placed into water and leave no residue or sediment. Length of time may vary depending on water temperature. The water is then safe for human consumption after 30 minutes. Click here to see current Amazon price.
One big Con of Aquatabs
Unlike Iodine water purifying tablets, Aquatabs only have a shelf life of 5 years when they are left in their original foil packaging in a cool, dry place. The expiry date is on each stip of 10 tablets.
This particular product is effective against Giardia when following the proper directions. There is no proof, however, that Aquatabs are effective against Cryptosporidium when this cyst is in the oocyst stage of its life cycle. Cryptosporidium is however not considered to be a common cyst. If you suspect Cryptosporidium contamination, boil the water for 1 to 3 minutes depending on elevation or filter to a level of 1 micron absolute and then treat with Aquatabs to inactivate remaining bacteria and viruses that filtration does not remove.
Micropur MP1 claims that its the only product of its kind, EPA registered as a microbiological water purifier. Micropur MP1 tablets release chlorine dioxide, the same substance used in municipal drinking water plants worldwide. So not only is the water safe to drink but it also leaves a bit of a chlorine aftertaste. The chlorine aftertaste is not so bad; I would compare it to the same level of chlorine taste as in most city water sources. Each Katadyn Tablets have an individual packaging giving it a shelf life of 5 years. Each tablet treats 1 liter of water.
Wait time is as follows:
- 5 minutes for Viruses and Bacteria in all water.
- 30 minutes for Crypto and Giardia in ordinary water (60oF, clear water).
- 4 hours for Crypto in worst case water (39o F, very dirty, slightly acidic water, i. e. the kind you’d want to double pump with a purifier).
Pros; Like the Aquatabs, they are individually wrapped for secure storage, packing, and safety. They are also very easy to use by just opening the wrapper and adding to your water.
Cons of Katadyn MP1; Since the Katadyn water purification tablets are stronger than other purification tablets out there, they may take longer to purify your water vs. other tablets on the market. The water may look yellowish after treatment, but even so, it’s still safe for human consumption.
Here is a short video review of Katadyn MP1 by PeakSurvial.
Polar Pure Iodine Water Filter Purifier
Polar Pure water disinfectant had been a long time favorite among wilderness enthusiast and is on many top 5 list of survivalist reviews. So for this reason, I decided to look a bit deeper into this so-called product. Polar Pure uses iodine crystals to disinfect, and it became prevalent over the years when it was available for almost thirty years. This small container has an indefinite shelf life, making it a great product if you want to store it in an emergency shelter that might not be in use for decades to come. Polar Pure can disinfect up to 2000 liters of water against water-borne pathogens including Giardia cysts… Giardia, of course, being marketed as being the pathogen to be aware!
Polar Pure water disinfectant uses iodine and is very highly effective against all bacteria and viruses. It is also very effective against the Giardia protozoa, although it has a limited effect on the Cryptosporidium protozoa even after prolonged exposure. That is because Cryptosporidium is known to be much more widespread and common than thirty years ago. Polar Pure, depending on where you intend to use it, might not be such a great water purifier as it might have once believed to have been.
Why Was There a Ban on Polar Pure?
So, does Polar Pure Iodine water purifier make it an ideal solution for your water purifying needs? Sure, except for a couple of facts that we will address. These facts are unfortunate for this company and this product because it doesn’t reflect on the effectiveness of Polar Pure itself.
In 2007, iodine became classified as a controlled substance. The reason for this is because manufacturers of methamphetamines (crystal meth) were buying vast quantities of the Polar Pure product to obtain the iodine necessary to make methamphetamine. Polar Pure became too complicated for the manufacturer to continue producing it because of the new classification. Sellers had no choice but to pull Polar Pure off their shelf so they wouldn’t be in violation of the controlled substance act. It became available again recently but under strict restrictions. One of the limitations is they can only ship one bottle per day to each customer, even if you order more than one bottle.
You can still find them on Amazon by following this link but are only available from 3rd party sellers. This product is always a favorite among many outdoorsmen. If I were you, I wouldn’t buy more than one bottle because it might look a bit suspicious in regards to the entire crystal meth ordeal.
Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets
On the Aquamira website, they claim their water purification tablets are the best, of course, they would. They are perfect for emergency kits, foreign travel, backcountry and outdoor activities; one tablet treats one liter of water and kills 99.99% of bacteria and cysts including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Further improves taste and removes odors. Aquamira claims that their tablets kill waterborne pathogens better than iodine or chlorine bleach with no strange aftertaste.
After Trying them
These water filtration tabs did not overly impress me. I did not feel comfortable drinking the purified water so I cannot attest to their taste or effectiveness. After putting the tablets into my water bottle, I turned to the packaging to determine if I could drink the purified water immediately. The individual packaging did not have any instructions but instead came with several warnings including :
- Hazardous to humans and animals
- DANGER Corrosive. Cause irreversible eye damage and skin burns.
- They are Harmful if absorbed through the skin or swallowed.
- Do not get in eyes, on skin or clothing.
- Wear protective eyewear (goggles, face shield, or safety glasses) protective clothing and rubber gloves.
- Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.
- Remove contaminated clothing and wash clothing before reuse.
While I don’t doubt that these tablets are safe to use if correctly following the instructions; After reading such severe warnings, I certainly didn’t feel comfortable drinking the water.
If you buy these tablets, make sure you memorize the instructions or have them written down since the individual packages do not have any instructions. The manufacturer should consider adding some simple directions to the individual packaging. Some people love this product and swear by it. Click here for Current Amazon Price.
Consider your budget
Picking the right purification tablets shouldn’t be much of a challenge. With the tips listed above, you’ll be able to make the right call and keep the perfect product on hand for whatever situation that comes your way. I would also suggest you click on one of the Amazon links above and read the many customer reviews to find out which water purifying tablet is right for you.
Budgeting is always an important step when choosing any product. Some of these pills are more expensive than others. The cheapest water filtration tablets I could find was Aquatabs. The link above is for a pack of 200 individual tabs for under 10 dollars! Now, that’s a bargain!
You might not need that many tablets since most have a 5-year shelf life. If you only take one or two big wilderness trips during the year, you might want to go with a pill that’s available in a smaller quantity. You might not need more than 10 or 20 tablets to get you through your hiking season, and you wouldn’t want to buy something that will expire before your next trip.
So which is the best water purification tablets for you? You’ll need to go through the information above to help you make the best choice. Remember to keep any emergency water purification you choose with you at all times when you’re hiking and camping. You never know when your water supply might run out.