Aquatabs and cryptosporidium
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Up to now i just boil my water, but want to save weight on fuel and aquatabs are the most lightweight water treatment. Have just learned that they are not effective against cryptosporidium, which is news to me, as i thought they killed everything. Anyway, how common is cryptosporidium in NZ? I typically tramp around the kaimais and most my mates say its safe enough to drink without treatment in most parts up there, but i am always on the safe side. Im assuming the risk is higher if the streams pass through farms etc? Should i be worried or look for a better treatment option?
""While Aquatabs are effective at neutralizing viruses, bacteria, and Giardia, they are not effective against Cryptosporidium. That’s because Aquatabs are not chlorine dioxide tablets, but contain another substance that’s less potent called sodium dichloroisocyanurate."" https://sectionhiker.com/aquatabs-chemical-water-purification-tablets-review/ Boil water for at least a minute or use a 0.4 micron filter, if you're worried. Something like 0.0003 % of the population reported each year, tho if you don't swim with sharks you don't get bitten ie some people are at higher risk of exposure than others. Majority of infection is through handling animals, followed by drinking contaminated water. Most contamination seems seasonal, in Spring when new livestock are born. Same old same old - Don't drink water that's run through farmland. Wash your hands thoroughly. Public swimming pools can be nasty too. I'm in a South Island tramping club with 400+ members. No reported cases. Ever. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870738/ https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2013/vol-126-no-1383/article-cowie https://www.nmdhb.govt.nz/public-health-service/a-z-public-health-topics/cryptosporidium/
If the water is free flowing not turbulent and clear pus you collect your water away from the river bottom then crypto wont get you. Even if it does it takes till your back at work to incubate so you get an excuse to use some of that unused sick leave.
OK, that confirms what I had assumed, nothing to worry about then. What I like about the aquatabs is it hardly changes the taste of the water and easy to use.
Thought bubble - if it kills bacteria in the water, why won't it kill bacteria in your gut? (which would be an undesirable side effect)
@bernieq Probably reacts with your stomach acid, changing it's chemical properties to be less effective as an antimicrobial agent. You already have HCl in your stomach, so an abundance of H+ and Cl- ions. Cl- is a very good antimicrobial agent. The pancreas produces bicarbonate buffers to neutralise things before they reach the intestines, so slow release Cl- antimicrobial agent will be neuralised along the way before they can be effective against the stronger microbial invaders that can survive your normal stomach acid.
Also forgot to mention about tank water. Is cryptosporidium typically found in rainwater tanks? Some tanks have a rather muddy colour if you open the tap for the first time which i drain until it goes clear. Do possums and birds spread this at all on rooftops?
Rainwater tanks have great water Always. Never an issue. Of course that is ignoring the soot from the coal (and plastic rubbish) fire, the bird (and rodent / possom) droppings on the roof, and the occasional animal dropping into the tank. See nothing to worry about in tank water that a well trained immune system cant handle
Not so, yarmoss, I think. After my post, I went looking for research and found evidence that gut bacteria is (negatively) impacted by ingestion of chlorine-sterilized water - and, in mouse models, increased the incidence of intestinal tumour (resulting from the changed gut-biome, not the chlorine directly). Alarm bells aren't clanging for me but it's enough information for me to continue to not treat seemingly good water. In back-country (ie not draining farmland), a stream, a good tarn, a tank have never caused any problems for me. The one issue I've had was (in Aus) a small stream (a trickle, in kiwi terms) down from a hut where horse-riders frequent. I had a filter because I knew I was relying on the source but it broke and, rather than use tabs and wait 30 minutes, I thought 'it'll be ok'. It wasn't.
I doubt its an issue bernieq, many places have chlorinated tap water way more strong tasting than water treated with aquatabs. Besides most of the chlorine has reacted especially if you leave it settle for a bit before drinking. Not going to kill you anyway for the few times you use them.
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