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Best Water Purification Tablets 

 August 6, 2021

By  Mike Millerson

Introduction to water purifiers

You need to stay hydrated all the time! But there isn’t always a chance to boil water or use water filters. You might be an experienced hiker, prepper, or survivalist, or you are in the wild by accident. You can have rigid survival skills, and a well-packed backpack filled up with super survival gear. But what if you don’t? What is certain, you will surely need a lot of fresh and clean water in your storage. Even substantial food consumption is not as crucial as that of water since humans can survive for only two days without drinking anything. However, if you are planning to go on an extremely long and exhausting hiking route, you will not be able to take as much water as you will really need with you. A proper water filter or chlorine dioxide tablets that can handle viruses are a way to go.

How to solve this problem? You may find a river, spring, or lake. Nevertheless, we do not recommend drinking contaminated water straight out from any water sources in the wild unless you have a proper water filter at hand.

You never know for sure if the reservoir is clean enough from the dangerous bacteria, rubbish, and emissions. It is better to make sure that you drink one hundred percent clean water with a good taste, not to harm your health.

How do water purification tablets work?

Potable Aqua is a chemical method of water treatment that was developed by the US military in WWII and is still in use in the military today. It has been approved by the World Health Organization. They have a great shelf life and can last up to 4 years in a sealed bottle in normal conditions. An open bottle can be kept for up to a year if it is not exposed to excessive amounts of heat, humidity, or moisture. They are small and lightweight, which makes them perfect for camping, hiking, and international travel. They are also a great addition to a survival kit in case of emergency. Since they kill viruses, they are great for travel to foreign countries where the water quality may be questionable.

In fact, the CDC reports that up to 70% of travelers will have a bout with traveler’s diarrhea at some time.

When do you need water purification tablets?

When you are in the wilderness without household bleach at hand or other areas with no access to boiling water,  you are gathering water from a questionable source, and it is important to treat the water so that you can avoid getting sick. There are a few different ways to treat drinking water, and you should always have at least one method in your bug-out bag at all times. The main categories are filtration and purification. Iodine water purification tablets are a type of chemical water purification. The water purification tablets do not remove bacteria from water but neutralize them instead.

There are three types of impurities in water that need to be neutralized by neutralizing tablets: bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Most types of water treatment in the United States do not treat viruses because they are found more rarely in natural water sources, and they are so small that most filters cannot catch them.

However, chemical treatment such as iodine kills all three kinds of impurities.

In a nutshell

  1. To begin with, you might want to prepare a 72- or 96-hour survival kit that is useful in case of emergency situations or during a natural disaster.
  2. You will not want to carry a lot of bottles with filtered water. Also, you might want to purchase a water purification tablet pack and install them in the bottles of all family members.

  1. Hikers and runners may take part in a marathon in the wild or challenge themselves bypassing an obstacle course in the forest or mountains.
  2. In addition, more and more people are trying to be eco-friendly and not to support excessive consumption.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that purification tabs can kill dangerous viruses, but they do not always help to get rid of Cryptosporidium.

What Else You Should Know Before Purchasing Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

Consider purchasing some water purification tablets, and do not be afraid of any dangerous bacteria that might cause malicious infections in your stomach. These water purification tablets make safe drinking water from contaminated water within minutes and do not allow 99 percent of bacteria and viruses to come to your body.

If you need to purify water, we recommend choosing the most suitable tablets for your case. For instance, there are iodine and chlorine tablets. Various brands and types work differently and kill different dangerous bacteria. Therefore, some of them can be more suitable than others in one particular case. Getting acknowledged with all the information and instructions is strongly recommended. In general, to get some potable aqua chlorine dioxide is a must.

Nevertheless, the majority of tablets cannot remove some chemicals and pollutants anyway. Using potable aqua tablets is still a convenient way of getting drinking water since they are relatively safe and straightforward to take away with you. You do not have to bring a few huge bottles of water. Instead, take one package of water purification tablets and enjoy drinking water that you do not run of. 

Features of Water Purification Tablets

Before purchasing water purification tablets, you should get acquainted with the pros and cons of this method of purifying water.

Pros:

  • The company lists that these tablets are for short-term and emergency use only. The bottle comes with 50 iodine tablets. It takes 2 tablets to treat 1 quart of water and about 30 minutes for the water to be safe to drink after application. Each bottle treats 25 quarts of water.
  • Shelf life of 4 years
  • It kills most bacteria, protozoa, and viruses found in freshwater
  • Effective against cysts such as Giardia Lamblia
  • Effective against common bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea, such as E. coli, Cholera, and Salmonella
  • Effective in low temperatures

Cons

The iodine can add an odd taste or color to the water. Sometimes, the tablets will stain containers an orange color. They are only for short-term use and are not the best primary water purification for extended traveling or hiking. Iodine tablets are not effective against cryptosporidium, which can sometimes be found in freshwater sources in the United States. 

If you are planning a hiking or camping trip, usually park management will know if there are cryptosporidium cysts present in the area. You will have to wait 30 minutes after adding the tablets before drinking your water. If the water is excessively dirty or particulate-filled, you may need to pre-filter the water before adding the iodine.

Best Water Purification Tablets to Choose

In general, all the brands treat water right and kill bacteria, dangerous chemicals, and animal feces. Nevertheless, the choice of the best purification tablets or powder can be challenging. You might ask yourself the following questions: Which of the products presented kill cryptosporidium? What active ingredient is better: iodine or chlorine? Which one will last longer and is the best value for money? The main difference is connected to the shelf life of the tablets and their basic component.

Below you will find the list of various water purification tablets brands, the advantages and disadvantages of each type, and the best water purification tablets that we would recommend you purchase to treat the water from natural reservoirs and get rid of all the dangerous bacteria in it. 

1. AquaMira

Aquamira water purifier tablets contain chlorine dioxide as the main active component. Therefore, they kill viruses, bacteria, and even Cryptosporidium. Aquamira water purifier tablets come in two little bottles with various liquids. The first one contains chlorine dioxide; the second one is based on acid.

The minimum time that you have to wait for Aquamira water purifier tablets to deal with dirty water is 15 minutes, and a maximum is four hours. Aquamita water purifier tablets do not change the taste of the water so that you can enjoy clear and tasty water from natural sources. The shelf life of Aquamira drops is four years.

2. Chlor-Floc

When looking for a potable aqua chlorine dioxide tablet, consider a product that is called Chlor-Floc tablets. The product’s name refers to the process of flocculation. This water purification tablet is often used by soldiers in the army that needs clear water in any place they currently are. 

Chlorine dioxide is used as an active ingredient that kills viruses, bacteria, and chemicals. One sache makes clear water from cloudy water that you fill your bottle with. One package contains thirty packets of wonder, and each one can be used for no more than 100 milliliters of water. You do not have to wait for four hours for one tablet to do its work. Actively mix it with the water for approximately seven minutes and wait for 15 minutes more.

The water treated with Chlor-Floc is known to be a very effective water purifier. Talking about some disadvantages, these packets have not very long shelf life and leave a slight chemical aftertaste because of chlorine dioxide.

3. Katadyn Micropur MP1

Check out these Katadyn Micropur MP1 chlorine tablets! There are two options available on the market: a package of twenty and thirty tablets. Choose a suitable one depending on how often you do hiking or how long your route will be. These tablets are known for good disease control and eliminating dangerous viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Each tablet treats one liter of water. Concerning the time that is needed for treated water to become clean, it may differ depending on your goals, taste preferences, and willingness to kill as much bacteria as possible. Put a Katadyn Micropur MP1 water purification tablet in a new bottle for at least 15 minutes. Wait a bit more for a tablet to also deal with Cryptosporidium. If you are extremely concerned about the safety of treated water, you will be able to leave a water purification tablet in the bottle for a maximum of four hours.

Individually packaged tablets make the shelf life of Katadyn Micropur MP1 much longer, so if you do not hike regularly, you still will be able to use the package for a couple of years. Another advantage of this brand is that tablets produced by Katadyn Micropur do not leave any disgusting taste after the water purification process is done, so you can drink purified water without being afraid to get too much chlorine in your stomach.

4. DayOne Response

A purifying powder that can compete with effervescent tablets is made by a famous company called Procter & Gamble. The product comes not exactly in the form of a tablet, but it is a powder that is based on calcium hypochlorite. The shelf life of the product equals three years.

Each package contains twelve sachets. On the whole, all the sachets treat less than 2,5 gallons of water. A DayOne Response powder can be used to purify water and clean it. With this powder, you will be able to prepare potable aqua to drink with no viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

There are a few pros of the DayOne Response purification powder. To begin with, you have to wait only for half an hour for a powder to get rid of bacteria in the water. After thirty minutes, it is allowed to start tasting water. Moreover, the powder does not affect the smell of the purified water.

5. Polar Pure

Polar Pure is not the only brand that produces iodine powder for purifying water, but this one is probably the best value for money. These tablets are very economical. One package of Polar Pure tablets lasts on and treats approximately 2000 liters of contaminated water.

Polar Pure powder has only two major drawbacks: time of purification and chemical taste. If you have enough time (1,5 hours) and do not mind the nasty taste, we will recommend buying potable aqua powder of this brand.

6. Potable Aqua Tablets

One of the best water purification tablets is portable aqua tablets. The main active ingredients that are used in them are tetraglycine, hydroperiodine, and iodine. Activation time equals half an hour. After that, the water is almost obvious. Iodine in these tablets deals with Giardia cysts. A tablet treats muddy water and decreases the chances of getting water-borne diseases.

Unfortunately, these tablets cannot kill Cryptosporidium and some other viruses. Another drawback is the concise shelf life. One tablet can be used during one season only. For next year’s hiking, you should buy a new one. It is easy to understand when the tablets cannot be used anymore. Normally, the tablets are grey. When they turn yellow, it will mean that you need to purchase a new package to purify water.

If you hike regularly and need to treat water often, these aqua tablets are the best option for you. There are 50 tablets in one bottle in total that treat 23 liters of water. To clean 100 milliliters of water, you have to take one tablet. If you have to deal with filthy water, it will be better to use two tablets.

7. Aquatabs

Unlike aqua tablets covered above, aquatabs are based on chlorine instead of iodine. There are two packages available: one that contains 100 tablets and another one with 200 tablets. Compared to other aqua tablets, aqua tabs have a longer shelf life (five years of usage). The time of purification is the same, and you have to wait for at least half an hour.

One obvious advantage of aqua tabs is numerous certifications. On the other side, it is hard to get rid of the taste of chlorine afterward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which tablet is best for water purification?

The choice of the best purification tablet depends on your preferences and goals. For instance, some people cannot stand the taste of chemicals in the water, while others would better taste some chemicals but be sure that the water is spotless.

If you want to purchase tablets without an aftertaste, we will recommend buying DayOne Response or Katadyn Micropur MP1. If you care about certifications in the first place, it will be better to purchase Aquatabs. If you want tablets that are effective and fast, you will like Chlor-Floc tabs.

What is the most effective way to purify water?

In general, there are four main methods: filtration, boiling, chlorination, and distillation. Boiling and filtration are the most common ones that the majority of people use at home. Filtered water is considered to be safe and free from dangerous components that can cause serious health problems in humans’ bodies.

Filtration is effective too, but it is quite a complicated and long process. Chlorination is great for getting rid of parasites, chemicals, and bacteria. Since chlorine is a powerful substance, chlorination is the best way to treat water from natural sources. That is why chlorine is widely used in purification tablets.

Are water purification tablets safe?

World health organization claims that purification tablets are completely safe when used in the right way and proportion. For example, the majority of chlorine dioxide tablets do not contain a huge amount of chemicals. When being dissolved in the water, they might not even bring a chemical taste.

All the purification tablets are based on components such as chlorine dioxide or iodine as an active ingredient, so it is crucial to understand that they cannot be taken as medicine. Pregnant women should be cautious with proportions when using purification chlorine tablets. In addition, keep the tablets away from children.

How many aqua tabs per liter?

The number of purification tablets that you need to add to prepare some drinking water depends on the type and brand of tablets being used. Usually, manufacturers recommend using one or two tablets per liter. However, the number of some tablets will be doubled when you are concerned about the water quality, or it is too dirty to drink. It is crucial to get acknowledged with all the instructions and details attached by a manufacturer before using purification tablets.

Should I use water purification tablets to purify water and kill harmful bacteria?

Iodine tablets are a reliable method for water treatment. They are best for short trips as either main water purification or as a backup because it is so light and small. I have used iodine tablets on many weekend backpacking trips. If I choose a different type of water purification, such as a filter, I usually bring a bottle of iodine with me as a backup. During a normal hiking trip, you can expect to treat at least 6 quarts per person per day.

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A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.

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