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Traveling is fun, but it can also mean exposing yourself to hazards. To most people, the only danger that comes to mind is an accident or being mugged. Very few people think about water contamination which can adversely affect their health and dampen the fun.
There is no telling if tap water is safe to drink unless it is visibly dirty. But visibly dirty water from a tap is rare, but do not let the clarity of the water fool you. It could have chemicals and pathogens that could harm you.
The Dangers of Contaminated Water
Common contaminants in drinking water are bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause various diseases and illnesses. These include gastrointestinal disorders such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and other water-borne diseases such as bilharzia and polio.
But, water contamination is not limited to disease-causing organisms. The presence of chemicals in drinking water can also pose a significant risk to the people that consume it, especially if the exposure is over an extended period.
The worst case of chemical contamination in US history is the Camp Lejeune contamination incident that took place from 1953 to 1987. The primary contaminant in the water was PCE, which resulted in many residents suffering many diseases, including bladder cancer and other types of cancer.
If you lived in camp Lejeune at any time between the years of contamination and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be eligible for compensation. However, you will want to seek the help of Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorneys to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How to Make Sure You Drink Safe Water When Travelling
Carry Your Water
If you can trust the quality of your tap water, it’s best to carry it. An average adult consumes two liters of water or more daily depending on several factors, such as the activity they are engaged in and the environmental temperature.
So you will need to carry enough water for all the people you are traveling with, making this option possible for short travels and small groups of at most four travel companions. Otherwise, you would need to carry a huge load, which may need to be more convenient.
Boil Your Water Before Drinking
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that travelers always drink boiled or bottled water when possible. Even elementary school science teaches about boiling water as an effective way of getting rid of any germs in the water.
So if you are traveling to a remote place where you are suspicious of the quality of the water, it’s a good idea to boil the water before consuming it. Boiling the water can help you have peace of mind when drinking the water, knowing you are not at risk.
Filter Your Water
Boiling cannot help eliminate visible dirt, heavy metals, and chemicals from the water, but a filter can, to some extent. Many filters promise the best results, but only some match the talk.
The best approach is going with a reputable brand. Also, check out CDC recommendations for water filters. You can be assured of clean and safe water if you use suitable filters.
Some filters go as far as to remove salt in the water, which can be very helpful if you travel in a region with slightly salty water.
Use Bottled Water If Necessary
Packaged drinking water is the way to go if you travel through areas where you can’t ensure clean drinking water. You will only need to grab a few packs of water, enough to stay hydrated even in the case of the unexpected such as you suffer a car breakdown.
Unlike the other options highlighted on this list, bottled drinking water is the only option that ensures that you drink water free of biological and chemical contamination. Most packed water companies take their water through a comprehensive treatment process to ensure that it meets legal standards.
If able though, we prefer using a refillable water bottle. You can buy them with filters attached now as well!