Portable water filters and water purifiers have become not only a convenience, but a necessity for traveling, hiking, camping, backpacking, as well as for emergency water needs.
The reason for this is because nearly 90 percent of the world’s water supply is contaminated, considered unfit for human consumption, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Recently a huge storm (“Sandy”) hit the Eastern coastline of the United States, causing flooding and power outage for thousands of people for a few weeks.
During and after the storm, clean drinking water was certainly at the top of the list of priorities for most people.
Even though I have a portable countertop water filter in my home and I use a filtering water bottle when I travel, this storm inspired me to look at emergency water purification options so that I am better prepared for a natural disaster.
As you may know, water may contain numerous contaminants, including harmful bacteria and viruses such as giardia, cryptosporidium, coliform and E-coli. These microorganisms are even more of a threat during natural disasters.
Water may also contain chemical contaminants such as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), including pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing chemicals, as well as thousands of untested chemicals from our household cleaning and personal care products.
Most municipal water in the U.S. also contains chemical additives, such as fluoride and chlorine.
Your water source may also contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium, and/or aluminum. These metals can cause serious health problems, and are very difficult for the body to get rid of if ingested.
When shopping for a portable water filter or water purifier, it is important to understand that a water filter is not the same as a water purifier. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
A water filter removes sediment and other particles from water, including numerous contaminants and some chemicals.
The degree of filtration depends on the size of the particles, the type of filtration media, and the number of filtration stages. The more stages it has, the better the filtration.
Boiling water is a form of water purification. It kills most microorganisms and will disinfect the water to a certain degree, but boiling will not removal the chemicals and heavy metals.
Some of the other methods for portable disinfection (i.e., water purification) include the use of ultraviolet light, ozone, as well as the use of chemicals such as iodine, chlorine or bleach.
The most common forms of water purification include the process of distillation and reverse osmosis. However, these are not good options for portable water filtration because they require electricity.
Of course, if someone had a generator and a distiller, for example, they could continue to get purified water at home, even though both would be difficult to move to another location if needed.
Thus, in most cases, when the water quality is unknown or questionable, it is best to use a portable water filter that also includes a form of water purification and is light enough to move quickly as needed.
The best portable water filters that also purify water are the Berkey Water Filters.
Portable filters and purifiers can cost anywhere from $20 to $1500 or more. Most portable water filters require two or more replacement filters a year at about $10 to $30 each.
However, how much and how often you use the portable filter will be the determining factor in the cost of replacement filters.
If you are looking into purchasing a portable filter or purifier, we want to help you save time and money by sharing our reviews and recommendations.
We have used a number of the portable water filters, and we have evaluated the company water quality certifications, professional and customer reviews, and buyer ratings.
PUR and Brita still remain the leaders (most popular) in the portable water filter market.
However, Berkey, Katadyn, and Everpure are gaining more and more popularity, especially for emergency and outdoor use.
As you will see from our reviews, we believe the Berkey and Katadyn are the highest quality portable water filters on the market.