The spread of Giardia has made most water sources that you used to be able to trust, unsafe. Whatever purification system you use, make sure it will get rid of Giardia. Giardia is spread through animal dropping. If you get this bug, it will seriously degrade you physically and reduce your ability to survive.
By drinking non-potable water you may contract diseases or swallow organisms that can harm you. Examples of such diseases or organisms are—
Dysentery. Severe, prolonged diarrhea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness.
Cholera and typhoid. You may be susceptible to these diseases regardless of inoculations.
Flukes. Stagnant, polluted water—especially in tropical areas—often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease.
We have the problem of industrial and chemical pollution almost everywhere. We have little idea what run off is going into the water. Stay away from water that is near roads.
Just today the EPA put out that they want to relax even more restrictions on poisons that can be allowed to run off into our water. Profit over people’s health.
Don’t drink downstream of factories that discharge into the water, sewage plants that discharge, mines or, frankly sites of major human habitation.
Don’t drink water draining out of utilized farmland.
If you are in an area that has been flooded (aka Katrina), consider all water sources affected by the flooding to be contaminated, even if they were previously considered drinkable.
You have to assume that any water that isn’t marked as potable (drinkable) is contaminated. Even in the deepest forest, there is a chance the water is tainted. Always stay on the safe side, because contracting giardia is no fun at all and cholera can be fatal.
There are items in your house that can be used to purify water:
Chlorine Bleach. Standard bleach is 5% chlorine. If the strength is not known go with ten drops per quart or liter for clear water, double that for murky water.
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The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.