Take the following precautions as applicable when faced with any water that may be unsafe. Prevent Waterborne Disease.

  1. Don’t trust bottled water. Reports of locals filling bottles with tap water, sealing and then selling as purified water have come out of several countries. Water purification tablets like Aquatabs have no unpleasant taste or colour and are super easy to use. We also really like the GRAYL Water Purifier Travel Cup. Play it safe any time you are faced with suspect water.
  2. If you are re visiting or living in an area with poor sanitation, be especially wary of the water and take every precaution you can making sure your water is safe to drink AND safe to use for washing dishes, produce, etc.
  3. If your local Medical Officer of Health has issued a Boil Water Advisory for your community, take the advice seriously but remember, there are other options besides boiling depending on what type of contamination is behind the notice.
  4. Do not drink untreated water from a spring, stream, river, lake, pond or shallow well. Assume it is contaminated with animal, bird and/or human feces. Disinfect with water purification tablets like Aquatabs, filter with a reputable water filter like the GRAYL Water Purifier or boil for 1 to 5 minutes depending on elevation. Prevention is easier than seeking medical treatment once infected.
  5. Boiling water for 3-5 minutes will make it safe but will not protect it from recontamination (dirty water container, dirty hands, dirty environment). Use a product like Aqutabs to add residual chlorination to keep your water safe during storage and transportation.
  6. Not all personal water filters are capable of removing viruses. Check manufacturers claims carefully and be wary of filters that are not capable of removing viruses. When in doubt, treat with Aquatabs after filtration.
  7. When travelling in an area where water or hygiene may be suspect, ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water.
  8. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
  9. In many places, the food can be as risky as the water. You should be especially suspicious of salads, uncooked fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, raw meat, shellfish, and any foods sold by street vendors. Avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables unless peeled in your presence. Avoid raw milk and products made from raw milk. Drink only pasteurized or boiled milk.
  10. Practice good hygiene such as frequent hand washing and disinfection of cutlery, cutting boards, etc. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently using soap, in particular after contact with pets or farm animals, or after having been to the toilet. A simple rule of thumb is “Disinfect >or boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
Print Friendly