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Water Purification: Which Tablets Should You Use?

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December 13, 2013
Water Purification: Which Tablets Should You Use? - 4

Anyone who has ever had a waterborne disease can tell you that being sick like that is no picnic! There are many ways to prevent these illnesses from happening (i.e. boil the water, use filters, etc.), but the leanest and most effortless method to make water safe to drink is to drop a purification tablet into a bottle of the suspect water.

So, which tablet is best? Let’s take a look at two of the most common and popular options—Katadyn Micropur and Potable Aqua—and let you be the judge.

Shelf Life
If you’re stocking a cabin, cave, or BOB with water purification tablets, you certainly want to consider the lifespan of the product. The iodine tablets from Potable Aqua have a one-year shelf life. That’s pretty good, but the Micropur tablets have double the lifespan, lasting for two years or more.

Price
A 30-count pack of Micropur tablets retails for $12.95, while the iodine tablets can be found in a bottle of 50 for $6. Potable Aqua definitely offers a greater value.

Effectiveness
While these two products are using different chemicals, they both seem to be better than 99% effective against waterborne pathogens, which makes this category a draw.

Speed Of Disinfection
Potable Aqua is the clear winner in this round. The water is ready to drink 35 minutes after the treatment begins, versus 4 full hours for the Katadyn tablets.

Side Effects
The toxicity and flavor of iodine can be a little problematic, as they’re generally not a good choice for pregnant women or anyone with thyroid issues. The Katadyn product is chlorine based, most of which dissipates over the allotted 4 hour waiting period, so that product is widely tolerated and tastes much better.  

The Wrap Up
The Katadyn Micropur tablets cost more and take longer to work, but they last longer on the shelf and taste okay. Potable Aqua’s iodine tablets are cheaper and work faster, but taste worse and don’t store as long. Plus, they could cause complications in certain people. So what’s your pick? Please tell us which product you favor, by leaving a comment.

Comments (4)

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from nixstyx 12/17/2013 at 09:43am

Sorry mistype in last post. Should have said Katadyn's Micropur

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from nixstyx 12/17/2013 at 09:37am

You're partly right. Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate is not effective against cryptosporidium during certain stages of the cyst's life cycle. However, neither is iodine (which means that category shouldn't have been a draw...) And while Katadyn claims its chlorine dioxide Portable Aqua is effective against cryptosporidium, the CDC disagrees:

"Disinfection with iodine or chlorine is not effective in killing Cryptosporidium;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium"

Bottom line, cryptosporidium isn't very common. That's why all of these chemical treatment methods can claim they're 99.999% effective.

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from Tioughnioga 12/16/2013 at 06:59pm

Wow, look who's all full of himself. Actually, nixstyx, I don't believe MST Aquatabs are effective against as many pathogens as Potable Aqua ... I believe the Aquatabs are not effective against cryptosporidium, and Potable Aqua tablets are. I could be wrong, but I think I noticed that when I was looking up water filters and tablets a while back.

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from nixstyx 12/16/2013 at 03:16pm

You seem to be missing what should be the winner in this comparison: MSR Aquatabs. Allow me to enlighten you.

Shelf life: 5 years

Price: $12.95 for 30 -- same as Micropur

Effectiveness: Another draw

Speed: 30 minutes, better than both your options

Side effects: The active ingredient, Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate, is said to be safer to handle and consume than iodine and chlorine dioxide.

The wrap up: I'm free to start writing these Survivalist blogs whenever you'd like. :-)

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from nixstyx 12/16/2013 at 03:16pm

You seem to be missing what should be the winner in this comparison: MSR Aquatabs. Allow me to enlighten you.

Shelf life: 5 years

Price: $12.95 for 30 -- same as Micropur

Effectiveness: Another draw

Speed: 30 minutes, better than both your options

Side effects: The active ingredient, Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate, is said to be safer to handle and consume than iodine and chlorine dioxide.

The wrap up: I'm free to start writing these Survivalist blogs whenever you'd like. :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tioughnioga 12/16/2013 at 06:59pm

Wow, look who's all full of himself. Actually, nixstyx, I don't believe MST Aquatabs are effective against as many pathogens as Potable Aqua ... I believe the Aquatabs are not effective against cryptosporidium, and Potable Aqua tablets are. I could be wrong, but I think I noticed that when I was looking up water filters and tablets a while back.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nixstyx 12/17/2013 at 09:37am

You're partly right. Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate is not effective against cryptosporidium during certain stages of the cyst's life cycle. However, neither is iodine (which means that category shouldn't have been a draw...) And while Katadyn claims its chlorine dioxide Portable Aqua is effective against cryptosporidium, the CDC disagrees:

"Disinfection with iodine or chlorine is not effective in killing Cryptosporidium;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium"

Bottom line, cryptosporidium isn't very common. That's why all of these chemical treatment methods can claim they're 99.999% effective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nixstyx 12/17/2013 at 09:43am

Sorry mistype in last post. Should have said Katadyn's Micropur

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

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