In many parts of the world, access to clean drinking water is not nearly as convenient as simply turning on a tap. Drinking water that has been polluted and contains bacteria and viruses can cause serious medical illnesses and even death. That’s why when it comes to using tablets that are designed to clean drinking water, it’s important to only use trusted products that have been proven effective.
Water purification tablets are an affordable and easy way to keep drinking water safe. For use outdoors on camping and hiking trips when access to clean water isn’t always possible, these tablets provide a convenient way to turn lakes and streams into sources of drinking water.
When traveling to developing countries, drinking local water can often cause sickness with tourists. Water purification tablets can help keep users healthy and hydrated when traveling.
Water purification tablets are also an excellent item to add to any emergency or survival set. A first aid kit should always include tablets that remove viruses and bacteria from water in case disaster strikes and access to clean drinking water is no longer possible.
For our top picks on water purification tablets to keep you safe, check out our list below.
1. Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets
For a water treatment that is used by military and emergency organizations around the world, try the Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets. The pack of 50 tablets is proven to be effective when used to get rid of Giardia lamblia in questionable water. Two tablets can decontaminate one quart or liter of water.
Pros: Water is bacteriologically suitable to drink within 35 minutes of adding a Potable Aqua tablet.
Cons: The Potable Aqua tablets have an impressive four year shelf life, but once the bottle has been opened the shelf life is cut down to one year.
Whether you’re looking for tablets to use in emergency situations or when traveling to developing countries, Aquatabs will help provide clean drinking water. In only 30 minutes, the effervescent tablets kill microorganisms in water to prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other water-borne diseases. The only tablet with NSF 60 certification and an approved formula for routine use by the World Health Organization, Aquatabs can be used in emergency situations or in continued use in homes that don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Pros: Each package contains 100 individually packaged tablets with a five-year shelf life, which makes these a great option for traveling and doesn’t require carrying around a large jar of loose tablets.
Cons: The Aquatabs are packaged in a paper and foil packages which can be difficult to open.
3. Ef Chlor Portable Water Purification Tablets
Clean a large body of water with only one tablet using the Ef Chlor Portable Water Purification Tablets. The tablets are used by leading infection control experts around the world and are effective against virtually all known bacteria, viruses, and spores. Fast dissolving and easy to use, the tablets have a rapid release of HOCI that encourages fast biocidal activity and forms a clear disinfecting solution.
Pros: One tablet can purify five gallons of water in 30 minutes.
Cons: The Ef Chlor tablets have a 2-3-year shelf life which is shorter than other tablets.
4. Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets
Eliminate viruses, bacteria, giardia, and cryptosporidium one tablet at a time using the Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets. One individually wrapped tablet can clean up to 1 liter of water. An effective treatment against microorganisms, Katadyn comes with 30 tablets that will not only clean water but also improve the taste and odor. Katadyn tablets meet EPA standards for microbiological water purifiers.
Pros: The Katadyn are individually wrapped in foil and won’t disintegrate even in hot and humid climates, making them ideal for travel.
Cons: Users must wait four hours for the Katadyn tablets to take effect, which is substantially longer than other tablets on our list.
5. Coghlan’s Drinking Water Tablets
Treat up to 25 quarts of water with the Coghlan’s Drinking Water Tablets. Packaged in a compact and lightweight jar, the tablets provide emergency disinfection of drinking water, making them a great option for outdoor retreats or survival situations. Coghlan tablets make most water bacteriologically safe for drinking and have proven effective against Giardia. The Coghlan filter is effective down to a nominal one-micron level.
Pros: The Coghlan tablets use iodine for their water treatment which does not leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
Cons: Coghlan tablets are not designed for continued use.
6. Rothco Chlor-Floc Us Military Water Purification Tablets
Strong enough for the US military and affordable enough for civilians, the Rothco Chlor-Floc Us Military Water Purification Tablets are a fast and easy way to disinfect naturally polluted water. One box comes with 30 tablets, with 1 to 2 powdered tablets strong enough to eliminate Giardia, bacteria and other viruses from one quart of water. Rothco uses chlorine instead of iodine, which cuts down on the chances of an allergic reaction.
Pros: The Rothco are packaged in powder form, which helps them dissolve faster than traditional tablets.
Cons: The Rothco tablets have a short shelf life, making them ill-suited for use in survival packs that may not be used for months or years.