Water - make it safe to drink
Written on the 26 October 2013 by Peter
Water - make it safe to drink, Filtered Water made from your own tap
If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or four-wheel driving, you should take drinking water with you. If you run out of water, or cannot carry enough water with you for your entire trip, you may need to drink from natural water sources. Drinking untreated water such as creek water, bore water or sometimes even rainwater can lead to illnesses such as gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. The following is some simple advice on how to ensure that if you need to use natural water sources you minimise the risk of getting sick.
Avoid the danger zones
Check how it looks. The appearance of the water is not always a guarantee that it is safe to drink, but water that is clear, free of surface scum or debris, and has no odour is more likely be to free of contaminants than cloudy, smelly water that has a surface scum.
The most straightforward treatment method is to filter the water before you drink it. If water filtration is not an option bring the water to a rolling boil, cool it and then use it for drinking.
Boiling is effective against most microbial contaminants, but may not make the water safe if it is contaminated with chemicals or heavy metals. If the water tastes metallic or unpleasant, do not continue to drink it.
If boiling the water is not practical other treatment methods can be used. These include chlorine and iodine tablets, handheld UV units, microfilters and purifiers. These can be purchased from camping and outdoor stores. In all cases, follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for use.
Remember – think before you drink, and treat the water if you are unsure.
Things to remember