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How To Find Safe Drinking Water While You Travel

Should you follow the age-old advice “Don’t drink the water” when traveling? Research shows that one-third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to global safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. While visiting another state, region, or country, you probably won’t have access to tap water filters or purified water delivery. So, it’s critical to ensure the safety of your drinking water and food hygiene for the family to stay healthy. Consuming clean drinking water can keep your family safe when you're on holiday. Here are some quick tips on how to find safe drinking water while you travel.


Check water safety using portable testing kits

When traveling, it’s important to test water’s potability to ensure it’s clean enough for human consumption. Unsafe water can cause various health issues, including digestion problems. You can do a spot check by watching for off-colored or cloudy water, which could indicate a high mineral content, or extra iron. Meanwhile, a rotten egg smell could indicate sulfur, while and a strong chemical scent could be a sign of chlorine.

Meanwhile, mini testing kits can help to detect impurities various since they have no color or odor. Several travel-size water testing kits can fit in your suitcase or backpack, so you won’t have to send water samples to a lab. These kits can be found at retailers like Amazon, and they contain everything that you need including a small vial, testing strips, and color-coded results charts. The products can test for common contaminants like chlorine, iron, copper, nitrates and nitrites. You can also test for other factors like pH level, while a bacteria test screens tap water for E-Coli and other bacteria. You just fill up the vial with a water sample, shake it, and see if it changes color in a few days.

Remove unwanted particles by filtering

When backpacking or camping, it’s important to take various water-related safety steps and be familiar with the common causes of drowning. It's important to wear a lifejacket when swimming in unfamiliar waters, and avoid drinking alcohol before heading into the water as this can result in an accidental drowning. It's also important to avoid swimming in polluted water, which can trigger symptoms including headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stomach ache. When wild swimming in rivers, lakes, streams, etc. you should also avoid accidentally drinking the water. Meanwhile, if you're camping near a stream or any other body of water, make sure to use a water filter if you have no other source of water within the area. Water filters typically use cartridges or elements to collect various bacteria and debris. Filters can also remove contaminants like parasites and micro-plastics, or improve bad-tasting tap water.

One of the main drawbacks of filtered water is it doesn’t remove viral contaminants. The Minnesota Department of Health reports the sources of such viruses can originate from sources including farms, wildlife, and sewer systems. Waterborne illnesses from contaminated water can result in digestion, breathing, and skin problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports every year over 2 percent of the US population experiences water-borne diseases.

Ditch chemicals and contaminants by purifying

Portable water purifying kits are more effective than filters for removing contaminants and avoid water-related illnesses and diseases including hepatitis A, cholera, and dysentery. Purifying tap water is also a more affordable and eco-friendly option than buying bottled water. One of the best options is a portable ultraviolet (UV) water purifier. It’s sturdy, lightweight, and removes 99.9% of water contaminants. Another common option is to use chemicals to purify water. This includes water purification tablets, which are convenient, effective, and won’t leave a chemical taste. Finally, one of the easiest and effective methods for purifying H2O is by boiling water. It kills any disease-causing pathogens including bacteria and parasites. While traveling, lightweight camp pots are a practical option.

Weekend getaways and summer vacations can provide some much-needed rest and relaxation. It’s important to have no worries by consuming clean drinking water that’s free of contaminants. Water testing, filtering, and purifying are some of the most effective ways to help you avoid water-borne illness and disease. You can then drink to your health while you’re on the road or up in the air.

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