- Curtis R, 1998, OA Guide to Water Purification Princeton University
- A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use Centers of Disease Prevention and Control
- Water Disinfection for Travelers Centers of Disease Prevention and Control
- Schlosser O et al, 2001, Bacterial removal from inexpensive portable water treatment systems for travelers PubMed
- Wilson S, 1999, Disinfection Efficacy Studies With Electrochemically Generated Mixed Oxidants in the Development of CT Values for Drinking Water Pathogens United States Environmental Protection Agency
- King WD et al, 1996, Case-control study of bladder cancer and chlorination by-products in treated water (Ontario, Canada) Springer Link
- Villanueva CM et al, 2003, Meta-analysis of studies on individual consumption of chlorinated drinking water and bladder cancer Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
- Morris RD et al, 1992, Chlorination, chlorination by-products, and cancer: a meta-analysis PubMed Central
- Rennecker JL et al, 2001, Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts with sequential application of ozone and combined chlorine PubMed
- Chevrier C et al, 2004, Does ozonation of drinking water reduce the risk of bladder cancer? PubMed
- Venczel LV et al, 1997, Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts and Clostridium perfringens Spores by a Mixed-Oxidant Disinfectant and by Free Chlorine PubMed Central
- A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use Centers of Disease Prevention and Control
- Home Drinking Water – Quality and Treatment National Sanitation Foundation
- 2008, Household water treatment options in developing countries: ceramic filtration Centers of Disease Prevention and Control
- Clasen TF et al, 2004, REDUCING DIARRHEA THROUGH THE USE OF HOUSEHOLD-BASED CERAMIC WATER FILTERS: A RANDOMIZED, CONTROLLED TRIAL IN RURAL BOLIVIA The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- 2008, Household water treatment options in developing countries: solar disinfection (SODIS) Centers of Disease Prevention and Control
- Slow Sand Filtration Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Park H et al, 2011, Aquagenic Urticaria: A Report of Two Cases PubMed Central
Drinking Water Safety
What is water disinfection?
Water disinfection means destroying microbes or removing them from water. Two common microbes in water are parasites Giardia and Cryptosporydium .
Disinfection of Water for Personal Use for Travelers
Boiling water for one minute is very highly effective in killing all microbes . At altitudes higher than 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) water should be boiled for 3 minutes .
Reverse osmosis pumps are highly effective in removing all types of microbes .
Other water purifying methods:
Filtering through a dense cloth can remove gross impurities, but not microbes .
Coagulation-flocculation tablets can make cloudy water clear but do not remove microbes .
Disinfection with iodine tincture or tablets is highly effective in destroying bacteria and viruses, but does not reliably destroy parasites [1,2].
Disinfection with chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) or calcium hypochlorite (tablets) is highly effective in destroying bacteria and viruses, but not parasites . Water should sit for 30 minutes before use . Tablets that release chlorine dioxide are highly effective in destroying all microbes .
Water filters with absolute 0.3 micron or smaller pore size are highly effective in removing parasites, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and moderately effective in removing bacteria but not viruses .
Water purifiers that use filters with absolute pore size 0.3 micron or smaller pore size, combined with iodine or chlorine are very highly effective in removing parasites and bacteria but not viruses [2,4].
Portable MIOX (Mixed Oxidation) devices destroy most microbes within four hours .
Portable UV lamps may kill most microbes in clear water by ultraviolet light, but more testing is warranted .
Note that freezing does not kill all microbes, so, when traveling, you better avoid using ice cubs.
Disinfection of Municipal Water and Well Water
Chlorination of municipal or well water destroys most bacteria and viruses, but not parasites, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and helps to remove iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide . Several studies have shown that a long-term drinking of chlorinated tap water is associated with increased risk of the bladder and rectal cancer [6,7,8]. Residual chlorine can be removed from the water by using activated carbon or charcoal filters .
Ozonation, that is adding ozone (O3) to water, destroys most bacteria and viruses and is more effective in destroying Cryptosporidium than chlorination . Theoretically, ozonated water represents smaller cancer risk than chlorinated water .
Mixed Oxidation (MIOX) uses electricity and salt solution (brine) to produce antioxidants (chlorine, chlorine dioxide, ozone, hydrogen peroxide) to kill most microbes, including Cryptosporidium and other parasites .
Microfiltration is very highly effective in removing parasites, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, but only moderately effective in removing bacteria, and does not remove viruses and chemicals .
Ultrafiltration is very highly effective in removing parasites and bacteria and moderately effective in removing viruses .
Nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and distillation are very highly effective in removing all microbes .
Ultraviolet water purification (UV-C lamps) are very highly effective in removing parasites and bacteria, and highly effective in removing viruses from clear water .
In the U.S., the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) provides reliable information and certificates for home water systems in the United States .
Disinfection of Water in Rural Areas
Ceramic filters can significantly reduce bacteria and parasites, but not viruses, in drinking water  and lower the occurrence of waterborne diarrhea .
Biosand filters can effectively remove parasites, most bacteria, and some viruses and toxins from water .
Solar disinfection (SODIS) is disinfection of small amounts of water with the help of the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun in tropic and subtropic areas can kill all microbes in clear (but not cloudy) water placed in a translucent plastic or glass bottle in six hours on a sunny day or in two days during cloudy weather . Be aware that SODIS does not remove or destroy eventual toxins in water.
Contaminants in the Drinking Water
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined allowable levels of water contaminants that may affect health–Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL)–and levels of contaminants that may have cosmetic or technical effects–Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCL).
Does water allergy exist?
In rare cases, contact with water can cause a skin reaction with red wheals, known as aquagenic urticaria, which is a form of physical urticaria . Allergic reaction does not occur after drinking water.
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
- Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO)
- Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)
- Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS)
- Raffinose, stachyose, verbascose
- SOLUBLE FIBER:
- Acacia (arabic) gum
- Beta mannan
- Carageenan gum
- Carob or locust bean gum
- Fenugreek gum
- Gellan gum
- Glucomannan or konjac gum
- Guar gum
- Karaya gum
- Psyllium husk mucilage
- Resistant starches
- Tara gum
- Tragacanth gum
- Xanthan gum
- INSOLUBLE FIBER:
- Chitin and chitosan
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
- FATTY ACIDS
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Arachidonic acid (AA)
- Linoleic acid
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
- Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
- Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs)
- Very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs)
- Vitamin A - Retinol and retinal
- Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 - Niacin
- Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7 - Biotin
- Vitamin B9 - Folic acid
- Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
- Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid
- Vitamin D - Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol
- Vitamin E - Tocopherol
- Vitamin K - Phylloquinone
- Flavanols: Proanthocyanidins
- Flavanones: Hesperidin
- Flavonols: Quercetin
- Flavones: Diosmin, Luteolin
- Isoflavones: daidzein, genistein
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- Tannic acid
- Alcohol chemical and physical properties
- Alcoholic beverages types (beer, wine, spirits)
- Denatured alcohol
- Alcohol absorption, metabolism, elimination
- Alcohol and body temperature
- Alcohol and the skin
- Alcohol, appetite and digestion
- Neurological effects of alcohol
- Alcohol, hormones and neurotransmitters
- Alcohol and pain
- Alcohol, blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
- Women, pregnancy, children and alcohol
- Alcohol tolerance
- Alcohol, blood glucose and diabetes
- Alcohol intolerance, allergy and headache
- Alcohol and psychological disorders
- Alcohol and vitamin, mineral and protein deficiency
- Alcohol-drug interactions
- Moderate, heavy, binge drinking
- Alcohol intoxication
- Alcohol poisoning
- Alcohol and gastrointestinal tract
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Long-term effects of excessive alcohol drinking
- Alcohol craving and alcoholism
- Alcohol withdrawal