Be water safe: Water treatment options for international travel


It’s every traveller’s fear: Being on your dream vacation but unable to enjoy it because you’re stuck in the bathroom with a bad case of traveller’s diarrhea.

Most cases of traveller’s diarrhea can be traced back to drinking contaminated water. Hygiene standards vary across the world and, when you’re travelling, sometimes there’s just no way to know if the water is safe.

Sticking to bottled water is one option, but it might be hard to find in every location and it’s not the most environmentally-conscious option. Boiling water is another alternative, but it won’t remove all contaminants, and continuously having to create water-boiling stations can be inconvenient. That’s why travellers, especially those venturing to developing countries, need to think about their water purification needs.

The London Drugs’ Travel & Immunization Clinics offers several different water treatment options, which we’ve listed below. No matter which option you choose, make sure to follow the directions carefully. Also, keep in mind there are differences between purification and filtering. Book a one-on-one consultation with a London Drugs Travel Medicine Pharmacist to discuss any water filtration questions, as well as any other health risks specific to your destination of travel.

Water treatment options*:

image1Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

These handy tablets are iodine-free and take up almost no space in your bag. They’re safe for pregnant women and for people with iodine allergies. Aquatabs work after 30 minutes of contact and don’t add any colour, odour or taste to your water, either.

image2PureWaterz Filtration Straw

Another uber-portable device, this straw will filter the equivalent of 190 litres of boiled water. It removes chemicals such as industrial and agricultural wastes, zaps out heavy metals, nixes chlorine and obliterates sickness-causing pathogens.

image3PureWaterz Filtration Bottle

This lead-free, stainless steel bottle by the makers of the PureWaterz Filtration Straw filters the water while you drink it.

image4Pristine Water Purification System

This product excels at making lake, stream, river or tap water safe by producing a dilute chlorine dioxide solution. It removes sediment and organic debris and any chlorine taste.

image5Pristine Water Bottle & Microbiological Filter

This easy-to-use bottle offers the same benefits as the Pristine Water Purification System listed above, but gets bonus points for convenience.

*Please note: Not all water treatment options are available at all Travel & Immunization Clinics.

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