Microbiological contamination of drinking water is a risk. The traveler should not consume water even from the best hotels. The traveler should only consume safe drinks such as:
· Beverages made with boiled water (broth, herbal tea, tea, coffee);
· Bottled water (water, juice or soft drinks of renown brand, beer, wine);
· Water pretreated by means of a reliable method: boiling, chemical disinfection, fine filtration, purification.
· Rolling boil for two (2) minutes, five (5) minutes.
· To improve the taste, add a pinch of salt per liter.
Advantages: the most reliable method. No toxicity.
Disadvantages: Not always practical, and requires pot heater.
2. Chemical Disinfection:
Iodine: For the best result, it is best to filter it before.
· 05 iodine drops to 2% or a compressed tetraglycine hydroperiodide per liter of water. This product is sold in pharmacies or in sports stores or stores specializing in travel.
· Let stand in a function of temperature:
Cold water (between 5¼ and 15¼ C), leave for 120 minutes;
Warm water (between 15 ° and 20 ° C), let stand 60 minutes;
Water to over 20 ° C, let stand 30 minutes.
· Stir the solution frequently.
Disadvantages: It is contraindicated in pregnant women because it can affect the fetus. Not recommended for children, people with a thyroid disorder, or allergic to iodine or for regular use for more than three weeks because of its harm to the thyroid gland. Iodine taste. 30 minutes contact time to over 20 ° C.
Chlorine: For the best result, it is best to filter it before.
· Two (2) drops of bleach (4-6%) per liter of water.
· Chlorine tablets lose their effectiveness in a few months and are not recommended to use.
· Let stand 30 minutes to more than 20 ° C.
· Stir the solution frequently.
To hide the taste of iodine or chlorine that can be found in the treated water, just add vitamin C tablets or fruit juice powder.
Disadvantages: Chlorine is less effective than iodine, especially against Giardia cysts. Chlorine taste. Efficiency varies depending on the pH, temperature, turbidity of the water and organic contaminants. 30 minutes contact time to more than 20 ° C. Need for fine filtration in advance.
With one of these two methods of chemical disinfection, the water can be kept several days without refrigeration.
3. Fine filtration:
· Supplement prior to disinfection, never use it alone.
· Depending on the size of the pores of the filter, it is possible to remove bacteria and cysts, but not viruses. Filters with pores less than 1 micron eliminate bacteria and parasites.
· Several types are available to travelers.
Advantages: Fast, convenient, easy to carry, effective against Giardia cysts.
Disadvantages: Costly, ineffective against viruses, regular maintenance (change of an item or cleaning), and possible obstruction. Life varies according to the amount of contaminants in water. Sometimes difficult to know what time the filter is no longer effective.
4. Purification devices:
· Resin impregnated with iodine, with or without a filter.
· A device with a membrane having pores less than 1 micron and an iodine impregnated resin may be used for disinfection in one step.
Advantages: Chemical disinfection with iodine with or without filtration. Convenient
Disadvantages: Costly, regular maintenance. Sometimes difficult to know what time the filter is no longer effective. Lack of independent efficiency study.