That glass of river water may look clean but it may come with a few surprises

That nice, refreshing glass of creek water could contain:

Giardia and cryptosporidium cysts, herbicides, pesticides, trihalomethanes (THMs), volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), chlorine and chlorine by-products, sediment, bacteria, viruses, typhoid fever, coliform, dysentery, cholera, infectious jaundice, hepatitis and influenza virus, E-coli, enteric fever, Atrizine, Simazine, Cyanazine, Propazine, Simetryn, Prometryn, Desethyl Atrazine, Atraton, Desisopropyl Atrazine, Tertbuthylazine, Ametryn, 2-Hydroxy Atrazine, fungus, water soluble heavy metals, mercury, EDB, carcinogens — and that’s aside from a bad taste, color, or smell!

Treating water for drinking

There are three ways to treat dirty water to kill microscopic organisms. They are:

  • adding chemicals, just 8 drops of bleach per gallon should do it;
  • boiling, for over 5 minutes,
  • man-made devices

There are two types of mechanical hand-held devices:

  • water filters
  • water purifiers

Water is introduced into either device through a pumping action, is filtered and/or purified and discharged out as drinkable water.

Water filter

Water purifiers contain a filter device, an activated carbon (like charcoal) medium that removes odors and tastes, and a chemical that will kill viruses. Most small water purifiers will treat 100-125 gallons of water before the filter cartridge needs to be replaced.  In the US, purifiers have to meet EPA standards of 99.9% of protozoan cysts, 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.99% of waterborne viruses to comply with regulations.

We found a wide range of portable purifiers from water bottle size to hiking backpack size through to behemoths capable of handling a refugee camp. The web is a great place to go looking for what you want. Check out all your alternatives before you go shopping. Select the best size for your needs. You’ll be price savvy and have a better idea of what you are looking for.


Solar powered purifiers capable of filtering a gallon a minute from any type of water boast 99.999% purity and remove all bacteria, viruses, odors, tastes, etc. The daily water production when in solar battery mode is up to 100+ gallons (370+ liters) per day. For continuous water purification production a 12-volt electrical power cord that works off a cigarette lighter outlet, and battery jumper cable clips that can be plugged into any car, truck, boat, plane, generator or 12-volt electrical power supply source can be used.