[cdt-l] Water treatment answers

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 28 21:26:37 CST 2007

Put me down for "Rarely Treat Water". (As my fellow CDT06ers can tell you! :D ). I did use iodine once in a great while.

I think it is much more important to wash your hands before eating and after doing #2 (Purrell works well), as well as pouring shared food into other people's hands (rather than having them stick their hands into your food). The article Jeff mentioned seems to point this out as well.

Another article worth perusing is one from the LA Times  I have saved. Some excerpts:

The 1995 University of Cincinnati survey of 48 of the
50 state health departments in the United States came
to similar conclusions. Only two of the agencies
considered giardia a problem for backpackers, and even
then, they had no data to support this concern.
Although giardia sickens about 20,000 Americans each
year — outbreaks have been linked to contaminated
drinking water in small towns, food handlers and
child-care workers who are infected when they change
diapers — the researchers didn't find any evidence
that wilderness water is a cause. "Neither health
department surveillance nor the medical literature,"
they note, "support the widely held perception that
[giardia] is a significant risk to backpackers."


The typical chain of events is that hikers or
backpackers go to the bathroom, then don't wash their
hands thoroughly, if at all. Afterward they make
dinner or even share a snack and contaminate the food
with fecal matter, along with any disease-causing
germs that were hitching a ride in their intestines.
Giardia can even be spread by touching surfaces —
eating utensils, camping gear, water filtration pumps
— that are contaminated with feces from an infected


And so on..good article!

The only time I became sick was when I had food poisoning from rancid bologna (mmmm!)

I'm not saying don't treat water (so that means no arguments! :D), but rather than hygiene is often overlooked and is probably more important.
So treat your water...but don't forget to listen to what Mom said: Wash your frickin' hands! :)

The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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