Welcome to SP!  -

Water Treatment
Gear Category

Water Treatment

Water Treatment

Page Type: Gear Category

Object Title: Water Treatment


Page By: Alpinist

Created/Edited: Jan 15, 2007 / Dec 27, 2007

Object ID: 65

Hits: 5723 

Page Score: 80.54% - 2 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote


Category Overview

The Water Treatment gear category contains various solutions for treating water in the backcountry to make it safe for drinking.

There are several ways water can be treated; boil it, chemically treat it, filter it using a water filter, or purify it with a water purifier.

Boiling water is 100% effective but requires time, fuel and cookware.

Chemically treating water is effective against bacteria and viruses, but not all protozoan cysts. In addition, many people do not like the taste of water after it has been chemically treated. Others should not ingest iodine for health reasons.

Filtering and purifying water are both good options but they require purchasing a device, usually a handpump, that can be expensive and heavy to carry.

The water treatment options found in this category generally fall under the following subcategories.

Chemical Treatment
Chlorine or an iodine solutions

Water Filter
A microbiological device that removes bacteria and protozoan cysts from water. It does not filter out viruses.

Water Purifier
A microbiological device that removes bacteria, protozoan cysts and viruses from water. Viruses are typically either filtered with an electrostatic filter, or killed through interaction with an iodine resine.

External links

The following websites contain some useful information on various Water Treatment options and/or types of pathogens commonly found in backcountry water supplies.

How to choose a water filter or purifier, by REI.

Water treatment clinic, by REI.

USACHPPM website Comparison of commercially available individual water purifiers by the US Army.

Description of Giardia lamblia, US FDA website.

Description of Cryptosporidium parvum, US FDA website.

Description of Campylobacter jejuni (bacteria), US CDC website.