Water is our most important resource and is vital for all forms of life on this planet. Our planet consists of 71% water, however, only about 3% of it is fresh water. The vast majority, 97%, of this water is in seas and oceans.
According to the EPA, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has not been detected in our drinking water supplies. The EPA also reiterated that risk to our water supplies is extremely low and Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap. Although the risk to our water supplies is low, many of you are very concerned about the water supply and rightly so, since supermarkets are unable to keep bottled water on the shelves.
I’ve put together some information on water filtration systems that may be useful to ensure you have access to water that’s safe to drink at home, on the go, and out in the wilderness.
At home, I personally use ZeroWater because I like the 5-stage filtration process and simply because I like the taste of the filtered water from ZeroWater a little more than other systems. I have used both Brita and PUR in the past. In my opinion though, ZeroWater, Brita and PUR have all proven their ability to filter out impurities in tap water and make it safer to drink and improve the taste.
ON THE GO
For my daily hustle and bustle, I like the LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle. It holds 22 ounces of water and you can filter around 1000 gallons of water before you need to replace the filter. The bottle is lightweight and its convenient size makes it easy to travel with. It's great for office use, hiking, running, and backpacking. I have not independently tested this but according to LifeStraw, their 0.2-micron filter physically removes 99.9999% of all bacteria such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli from the water as it passes through the straw.
IN THE WILDERNESS
If you are camping or backpacking, you can't go wrong with the MSR Guardian Purifier. The Guardian is a bit pricey but it's worth every penny if you are spending any amount of quality time camping or in the backcountry where you are unsure of the water supply. This water filter has won numerous awards for its ability to filter out viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and sediment from “worst-case” water conditions. You can get yours at REI or anywhere that carries MSR products.
BACKUP SOLUTIONS (IODINE or CHLORINE TABLETS)
When you are out in the wilderness, it's a good idea to have some Iodine or chlorine tablets with you to disinfect water and kill harmful bacteria and viruses before drinking. I have not personally used these but I've seen Potable Aqua Iodine and Taste-Neutralizer Tablets in some specialty stores. You can find more information on Potable Aqua's website.
Boiling water is one of the best solutions for ensuring you have safe water at home. Boiling will kill bacteria and viruses in water but be sure to maintain a rolling boil for a full minute.
Another option is to use regular unscented household bleach. The CDC recommends the use of unscented household liquid chlorine bleach to kill most harmful or disease-causing viruses and bacteria in water. Instructions from the CDC can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/making-water-safe.html.
As you can see there are many options available to ensure you have clean water at home and on the go. We will absolutely get through this crisis. Stay safe, stay healthy and lets support and help each other during these extraordinary and challenging times. We are absolutely stronger together.