Should I Drink It?

“An Overview of Water Purification” by Tim Sprinkle. Posted on the main page today, fails to mention the Steripen water purification system. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on Steripens? Has anyone used them?

Depends on Sediment Load
I used a steripen on a 9 day trip in the Quetico this year. The primary concern here is giardia. I think the steripen has a lot going for it compared to filters; ease of use, speed, compactness and lightness. I liked it a lot. But the lake water in the Quetico / BWCA has virtually no sediment load, allowing the UV light to be totally effective. If the water you will be using has a sediment load, you will have to pre-filter or allow the sediment to settled out before the steripen will zap all the nasty’s in the water. On the other hand filters rapidly clog up with sediment laden water and their effectiveness is also questionable then. Maybe the only sure thing is boiling water for 10 minutes in these conditions. The steripen only kills microbes, it doesn’t remove them from the water. So you do drink whatever algae, zooplankton, and dead microbes were in the water.

Northern Ontario waters
have a high algae load near shore…its from years of algae development and little disturbance…

Need to prefilter to ensure you get rid of the algae before Steripen… So in the long run for us it was easier just to clean the filter every day. One person used Steripen for extra insurance, having had giardia once.

The question is where are You going…not us.

Should you drink it?
Aside from the floaties, my problem with the Steripen is its size. It won’t fit inside a platypus container, so one has to treat the water in a wide-mouth Nalgene bottle and then transfer it into the platy. I’ll stick with my MIOX or Aquamira solution for treating large volumes of clear water, and filter through a fine screen when needed.