Clean water is a given for life, but certain circumstances may call for purification of one's water source. The average adult cannot last more than a few days without enough clean water—the EPA recommends half a gallon of clean, fresh water a day, and no one wants lead, arsenic, bacteria, or other toxic contaminants in his or her canteen of drinking water. Tap water, municipal water, lake water, and bottled water are all at risk for contamination. If clean water accessibility and pollution issues concern you, then this article is for you and will prepare you for whatever emergencies may arise using the best water purification tablets available.
We have researched several brands of purification tablets in the paragraphs below. This article will review each of the best water purification tablets focusing on price, how the tablets work, how long it takes before purification finishes, and where to purchase each brand of water purification tablets. We'll first mention a few commonly asked questions and the different water purification chemicals used in products to get you started.
Product FAQ for the Best Water Purification Tablets
1. What Are Water Purification Tablets?
Whether you're hiking in the mountains, enduring a drought, visiting a third-world country for humanitarian aid, or surviving a water crisis in your hometown, you'll need a convenient and accessible way to safeguard your water source from pathogens. Carrying around a heavy water filter isn't ideal. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your water is the best it can be: the best water purification tablets available for both you and your family.
Militaries initially used purification tablets to save time versus boiling water, as was done in the old days. With the advent of water purification tablets, providing drinkable water became a lot easier and faster for an army.
Water purification tablets contain harmless chemicals and additives that react with water upon contact. When applied, the chemicals destroy harmful pathogens and parasites and neutralize toxins. The result is a clean, crisp taste with maximum hydration. The added chemicals from the solution are harmless and dissipate after a brief amount of time, so you don't have to worry about any residue chemicals in your water.
2. What Situations Are Appropriate for These Tablets?
One of the handy aspects of the best water purification tablets is their versatility. You can apply them in a wide variety of scenarios and stay healthy and hydrated. Here are examples of circumstances that warrant the use of the tablets:
As you can see, there are plenty of uses for water purification tablets including some scenarios that may save a person's life, be it your family member, a friend, or your own.
3. How Do You Apply the Tablets to the Water?
The tablets are easy to use. Place a tablet into a container of water, as per the directions of the product, and allow the tablet to dissolve or react with the water. You may have to shake the beverage gently to maximize the tablet's effects. Remember to wait for the designated period as specified by the product's packaging. Some purification products involve drops instead of tablets that react with the water.
Be sure to strain the water first if there are visible particles or debris in the beverage. Warmer water purifies faster and better than cooler water, which is something else to remember when you're in an arid, hot region. Never drink the treated water until enough time has passed.
4. What Are Some Additional Benefits of Purification Tablets?
Not only are the best water purification tablets convenient to use for a wide variety of situations, but they are also lightweight, easy to carry in bulk, and inexpensive. Each tablet is perfectly measured, so you don't have to fiddle with measuring cups or other chemistry tools. You just pop the tablet into the water and wait for the substance to complete its cleansing of the water.
What Types of Water Purification Products Can Be Used?
Iodine works surprisingly well as an antiseptic, and it's also a necessary nutrient for the human body. After applying this substance, the wait time for purification is thirty to sixty minutes. Iodine is effective against bacteria, viruses, and parasites, like Giardia. Warmer water works better for iodine. Water applied with iodine will have an iodine-like taste; this is normal, although some products may remove the awkward taste. Most iodine purification tablets last for up to six years on the shelf.
The wait time for purification is thirty to forty-five minutes. Like iodine, chlorine is effective against bacteria, viruses, and somewhat effective against Giardia. Most chlorine purification methods will be droplets rather than tablets. Chlorinated water has a bleach-like smell which will dissipate in the open air. The average shelf life is five years.
This method of purification requires about four hours but kills a broader range of bacteria that other substances won't. Chlorine dioxide does not alter the taste or smell of the water once the purification process is complete. Chlorine dioxide is especially potent against parasites like Giardia but takes longer to have a full cleansing on a batch of water. The shelf life is four years in a dry environment.
How We Reviewed the Best Water Purification Tablets
After careful research of the best water purification tablets on the market, we've constructed a comprehensive list of products that are both affordable and effective for consumers. We reviewed the following products based on price, accessibility, the chemicals used to purify water, and how long they last.
Overall Price Range
The average price range for the best water purification tablets is $10 to $30. The higher priced products come with a longer shelf life, no aftertaste from purification, and no chemical residues. The more economical products may not cleanse the water compared to the more expensive tablets. Some products offer larger deals or multiple sets of tablets at a better price.
What We Reviewed
Below are five products our research suggested to be the best water purification tablets on the market.
About the Product
This product is chlorine dioxide-based with a five-year shelf life. Twenty tablets come in a package, and only one tablet is needed for purification of one liter. Wait time is thirty minutes for most pathogens—up to four hours for a complete cleanse. The tablets don't leave an aftertaste in the water, unlike with iodine or straight chlorine. This product meets EPA standards for microbiological water purification.
Katadyn is an American company that produces reliable water filters and chlorine dioxide tablets. They have a strong reputation among hikers and backpackers with their Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablets in particular.
- Use with Aquamira Frontier Emergency Filter System or Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter for a complete system
- Reusable storage pouch with no packaging waste
- EPA Registered Water Purifier. EPA Reg. No. 70020-22-71766
About the Product
This product is chlorine dioxide-based with a five-year shelf life. Twenty tablets come in a package—only one tablet for purification, equating to twenty liters cleansed. Wait time is, again, thirty minutes for most pathogens—up to four hours for a complete cleanse. The tablets don't leave an aftertaste in the water after the four-hour mark, unlike with iodine or straight chlorine; but the Aquamria will smell before the purification process is complete because of its potency.
This product can work with an Aquamria filter to remove any dirt or other visible solids in the beverage. This is an EPA registered water purifier. Product weight is 0.2 ounces. Dimensions are 5 x 5 x 5 inches.
Aquamria is a water purification company with international recognition for its humanitarian projects and quality products since the late 20th century.
- Trusted for over 20 years for use in emergency situations
- Hurricanes - tornados - earthquakes - floods
- Over 3 billion gallons of water treated annually
About the Product
This product is chlorine-based with a five-year shelf life. A hundred tablets come in a package—only one pill for purification, equating to two-hundred liters cleansed. Wait time is only thirty minutes for a complete cleanse. These tablets will kill most pathogens and parasites within thirty minutes. Unlike most chlorine tablets, the Aquatabs does not leave residual taste or odor after the full thirty minutes. Someone can use this product for a variety of water sources, from rainwater, lakes, rivers, and cisterns. Compared to other brands, Aquatabs is a fast-acting product.
For over twenty years, NGOs and other emergency companies have relied on Aquatabs and their products—treating three billion gallons per year. Aquatabs has an international reputation for its quality products.
- Potable Aqua - the most trusted name in water purification products, Potable Aqua is used by militaries and relief...
- Potable Aqua Plus are neutralizing tablets for use after water has been treated with Potable Aqua. P.A. Plus neutralizes...
- 2 Potable Aqua tablets are required to treat 1 quart (1 liter) of water. 2 PA+ tablets will neutralize the residual...
About the Product
This product is iodine-based with a four-year shelf life unopened—one-year shelf life opened. Fifty tablets come in a package—treating twenty-five liters of water. Wait time is thirty-five minutes for a complete cleanse. These tablets will kill most pathogens and parasites within thirty-five minutes but are not effective against Cryptosporidium. This product is unaffected by colder temperatures, but has a distinct iodine taste and smell to it.
The bottle is EPA registered for water purification. The dimensions are three inches by one inch, weighing 1.4 ounces.
Potable Aqua is a trusted brand for militaries and emergency organizations across the globe. Hikers and campers are also fond of Potable Aqua and their fast-acting and convenient to use iodine tablets.
- Illustrated Tri-Fold Color Manual Included.
- Use one 49mg USA/UK/NATO/UN Mill-Spec Aquatab tablet for up to 5 litres of water. Up to 500L total of water treatment...
- Safety heat sealed in 4-layer 140 micron thick TAC-H20 Mylar pouch. Resealable zip-lock, waterproof, sunlight proof,...
About the Product
This product is chlorine-based with a five-year shelf life. A hundred tablets come in a package—only one pill for purification, equating to five-hundred liters cleansed. Wait time is just thirty minutes for a complete cleanse. These tablets will kill pathogens and parasites like dysentery, cholera, and typhoid within thirty minutes. Unlike most chlorine tablets, the Aquatabs do not leave residue taste or odor. TAC is a globally EPA approved product because of its active chemical designed for long-term water drinkability.
Tac-Bar Tactical Food Rations is a humanitarian organization that sells prepper goods and water purification globally. They were involved in supplying aid during Hurricane Matthew in the Bahamas during 2016.
Our Pick for the Best Water Purification Tablets
After a careful examination of our research, we have concluded that the Katadyn Micropur MP1 performs the best as far as quality and taste. The TAC-H2O comes in second for its price and the number of tablets that purify five-hundred liters per product. The Katadyn Micropur MP1 will perform better, but we recommend the TAC for those seeking a more economical choice.
The Aquatabs, Aquamria, and Potable Aqua brands did not meet our research's standards because of residue odor and taste issues, price per tablet, and insufficient information provided by the wholesaler.
Water purification is now one of the most important facets of life on this planet. Proper purification ensures health for both you and your family members, wherever you may be in the world, providing a convenient and lightweight option for clean water. Because of their flexibility and ease of use, water purification tablets are used worldwide by military and campers alike.
Our research suggests the Katadyn Micropur MP1 for the best quality water with taste, which is ideal for a camping vacation or hiking venture. The TAC-H2O is better for a cheaper, long-term option like an international trip to a third-world country or a military campaign.
We hope this article has helped you with your water purification questions. Remember to choose the best water purification tablets that suit your needs and stay hydrated.
Featured image via Amazon