According to the different opinions, should be boiled water from one to ten minutes. The boil to disinfect water before drink but not to sterilize her. Be careful, make sure the container in which you pour water is clean!
Aloft, remember that water boils at a lower temperature, and germs are therefore more likely to resist. It is recommended to treat your water or filter.
(1) Chemical disinfection:
The traveler Chemical disinfectants are effective on bacteria. Among them, some also eliminate viruses and parasites. They must always be used with clear water. It is important to wait before sufficient time to drink, of 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on the product used.
Some disinfectants may give a bad taste to the water; others are more neutral. You test the water bottle on EDUCATIONVV!
The most effective is iodine, available in France from pharmacies in the form of iodine 2% alcohol. It is used in doses of 5-10 drops per liter of water turbidity and with a contact time of 30 minutes. Its use must however remain ad hoc, extended use at risk for thyroid. There are also iodine resins which equip some systems for the traveler. All these iodine products are to be avoided in pregnant women and in people who have a thyroid problem.
Other available water disinfectants are chlorine-derived agents:
- The Sdic: Aquatabs® (available in pharmacies);
- The Sdic with silver ions: Micropur® Forte Sdic (in association with silver ions) is the only product on the market that not only purifies water but also preserve (water remains potable up to 6 months; ideal for the tank of a campsite car or boat). This product eliminates both bacteria and viruses in 30 minutes, but also pests (amoebae, giardia, cryptosporidium) in 2 hours.
- The chlorine dioxide: Micropur® Express for adventurers who need a very short action time: eliminates bacteria and virus in 15 minutes and parasites in 30 minutes.
- Chloramine T: Hydroclonazone®, less effective than the previous ones and with a strong chlorine taste.
The problem with chlorinated agents, is that their effectiveness depends a lot on the pH of the water, what the traveler cannot control.
Furthermore, all of these chemical disinfectants, iodized alcohol and chlorinated, agents have an effectiveness that decreases when the water is cold (< 10oC). Must double the time of contact.
A micro-filtration of absolute porosity between 0.2 and 0.4 µ will effectively stop bacteria and parasites, but not viruses, that are too small. An advantage of this method is that water can be consumed immediately.
There are different systems, flow varied, membrane or ceramic, hand-pump, which attach to the faucet, etc. In practice, a good filter is one that displays an absolute porosity between 0.2 and 0.4 µ, and which presents a good overall quality of manufacture. The rules of use and maintenance of the filters are important. We must respect the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Ceramic filter, Katadyn® type: thanks to its smoothness and the presence of silver salts, this type of filter (0.2 microns) eliminates the germs of fecal contamination, inorganic material (sediments, clay) or organic. There are several models according to use (individual or family), the place of use (camping, cooking), the volume of water to be treated, etc. For the backpacker, there is even a filter very resistant and guaranteed for life (from Katadyn Pocket).
A revolutionary filter: the bottle filter Katadyn®: as a gourd, three levels of filtration that allow ease of use are inserted. Filled with water, we press, we drink immediately! Bacteria, parasites and even viruses are eliminated instantly. In addition, taste is neutral thanks to the presence of active carbon (specialty stores travel/sport and pharmacies).
In summary, what is the best way to disinfect its water?
To choose a means of disinfection for the duration of the trip, to the country where we’re going, to the type of activities which it is drink during the journey.
- The safest way is still boiling, which is effective against bacteria, viruses and parasites. But this is not always the easiest way.
- The best compromise between effectiveness and usability, it’s a good microfilter. If you want to increase the protection against viruses or store water, then you can disinfect water filtered with an agent chlorine or iodine alcohol, but then, according to the disinfectant, between 15 minutes and 2 hours before drinking.
- Chemical agents are low cost and remain useful for bacterial disinfection of the water from the tap for a short stay.