Water Purification Tablets

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This is required equipment for all participants including NATO and Warsaw Pact.

Micropur newB215H215.gif

There are two types or tablets available iodine and chlorine dioxide.

U.S. military or commercial iodine tablets are suitable for purification of bacteria and viruses but have no effect on Cryptosporidium and a low to moderate effect on Giardia and are not recommended.

Chlorine dioxide tablets are suitable for bacteria, viruses and has a low to moderate (slow) effect on Cryptosporidium and is highly effective on Giardia. You're most likely to find Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets available in the US, outside the US there are several available types.

  • Chlorine dioxide tablets come in individual foil blister packets and have a shelf life of 4 years.
  • Does not significantly affect the taste of water.
  • Read the instructions for the tablet you select and follow them.
  • If you suspect the area you are in (proximity to livestock) has Cryptosporidium contact time is 30 minutes for clear water, 4 hours for turbid water.
  • Remember that the colder/dirtier your water the longer any purification tablet will take to work.

Should you elect to use iodine:

  • Keep in mind that when exposed to air, water purification tablets do degrade. Make certain that your tablets are fresh to insure maximum effectiveness.
  • If you find the flavor of iodine distasteful, you can use vitamin C to eliminate the iodine taste after it has purified your water. Many tablets are marketed with a second bottle of tablets for for this purpose.
  • Be certain to read the instructions on your tablets, and wait the required time before adding any vitamin C tablet so that you do not neutralize the iodine before it has the opportunity to do it's job. Also, be sure to thoroughly rinse any vitamin C out of the canteen before you refill and attempt re-treatment.

You may also bring along a water filter if you so choose but doing so does not satisfy the this requirement for purification tablets.

CDC water purification guide