In the new year I'll be working in India for 3 months. The standard advice is to only drink bottled water, but I'm already feeling a bit guilty about the huge mountain of plastic 3 months worth of bottled water would leave behind.
What are my purification options? I've never had to purify my own water before so my experience is none. I'm aware that chemical additives like chlorine tablets or iodine kill just about anything, but that's as far as it goes.
My niece has not long returned from working in India. I lent her my MOD issue water-purifying bottle, which seemed to be more than good enough.
Try here - Drinksafe-systems
Wot CB sez.
Though personally I prefer the in-line filter for hydration systems rather than the bottle as less squeezy effort is required.
Thread drift, sorry.
Kate, how do you ensure that the inline filter doesn't freeze in these wintry conditions?
Is it possible to do this?
Maybe I ought to have apologised for snow drift?
Thanks guys, so I guess it's a toss-up between a cartridge system (tastes nice but is slow) or tablets (tastes horrible but is fast). And there's nothing much I can do about arsenic!
I'll be spending the majority of my time in Hyderabad working in an office, so the water quality should be reasonable although we've still been advised not to drink it. A cartridge system like those drinksafe ones might be useful for the weekends if I'm out and about, at least then I know I can top up from more or less anywhere and it's not going to result in instant delhi-belly (or worse).
Hi Matt C,
Started a thread in Gear for the response.
The drinksafe website claims that their filters remove pretty much everything (chemicals included) - details here.
Have you considered UV treatment? 'Steripen' is the one I know.
UV disrupts the microbial DNA, so works to 'neutralise' all lifeforms. The 'disruption' cannot be considered permanent but is sufficient to mean freshly treated water is effectively sterilised. The only downsides are that the water must be clear before treatment, and the 'sterilisation' is only effective for 24 hrs - but then you could just repeat the treatment.
It is particularly good if you are travelling solo as it treats 1 liter at a time. Not so good if you need to treat drinking water for a group.
If you're going to spend any amount of time in India I wouldn't worry about the guilt of a few plastic bottles. There are many more issues to trouble you out there.
I would stick with the locally available solution if I was you. I took a filter system when I went and found it too much trouble to bother with. The problem is that you will have to drink in too many places that aren't your hotel room or office. I drank the filtered water provided by most hotels and restaurants in preference to bottled water - although I was later advised that most Europeans can't cope with this. I would include local food too - don't ever be tempted by British dishes in India.
If it helps ease your conscience, you will discover when you get out there that there is actually very little waste in India and just about everything of any marginal value is recovered and reused or recycled. This is due partly to the conditions of poverty most people live in and partly to the prohibitive cost of importing foreign raw materials.
Oh sure, I've already been to the GP plus had my arm poked through of holes from various inoculations. He gave me a prescription for when the inevitable stomach bug hits although he refused to pre-emptively prescribe antibiotics (which I can understand given how overused they tend to be and the risk of resistant strains developing) so if it gets really bad I'll have to see a doctor out there. Fingers crossed it doesn't come to that!
I'm well aware that there's nothing I can do to avoid it, especially as I'm there for 3 months. Sooner or later I'll eat something dodgy or will end up with contaminated ice. In a way I'd prefer it to be sooner to get it out of the way and build up some resistance.
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