Save Money, Reduce Litter With Portable Water Purifier

Seasoned travels know to bring plenty of bottled water with them. But sometimes supplies run out. Fortunately, portable water purifiers have the ability to remove virtually all harmful contaminants from natural bodies of water.

Reusable water bottles with built-in filters and portable water purifiers have exploded in popularity in recent years. They're an eco-conscious alternative to buying bottled water in bulk. But there’s an important distinction between the filters and purifiers.

Filters remove chlorine and common odors from tap water, while purifiers can turn a river, lake or stream into a source of potable water.

"Most common straw or camping filters can't remove waterborne viruses from water," said Travis Merrigan of GRAYL, a Seattle-based manufacturer of the GeoPress water purifier. "Only purifiers remove all types of waterborne pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and protozoa."

Gridlock in searing heat becomes less annoying with a cold swig of water every now and then. Summer heat will be here before you know it, making now the perfect time to pick up a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter.

Plenty of us rely on water filters for the kitchen faucet or in the refrigerator to reduce the chlorine and odor of some tap water. But did you know some reusable water bottles include their own filters?

These reusable vessels also help cut down on waste created by discarded disposable bottles.

IMPORTANT: Filters are for removing common impurities from tap water. A water filter can’t remove viruses, pathogens and bacteria from water, only certain water purifiers can handle that task. So it’s crucial to know the distinction between filters and purifiers to see what suits your needs.

Water quality experts offer the following advice when shopping for a water bottle with a built-in filter or a water purifier.

  • BPA free. Look for bottles labeled “BPA Free”. BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that’s been used to manufacture certain plastics and resins since the ‘60s. It is a known carcinogen and can interfere with the production, secretion, transport, function and elimination of natural hormones.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts should invest in purifiers. The best purifiers remove bacteria and protozoa from lakes and streams, ensuring safe, clean drinking water.
  • Different filters for different jobs. Carbon filters are ideal for removing impurities from tap water, while more sophisticated filters utilize fiber membranes, ultraviolet rays and other high-end materials to kill bacteria and contaminants. Only purifiers have the ability to remove viruses from water, so be sure to read the label.
  • Convenience is king. Thoughtfully engineered bottles will have handles or sleeves that you can use to attach the vessel to a belt or backpack.