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Does Its Job
on March 12, 2012
These do what they're supposed to do. Before I give a review, I'll quote the box on a few points.
1. For use only when drinking water is suspected or known to be bacteriologically substandard. Not to be used on a continuous basis. (Their website suggests a six-week limit.)
2. Unopened bottles should remain effective for four years. (Look at the bottom of this review for how to date your tablets.)
3. We recommend that you do not keep an opened bottle for more than one year.
4. 2 tablets make one quart of bacteriologically water suitable to drink.
5. Proven effective against Giarda Lamblia when used as directed.
6. Has not been shown to inactivate Cryptosporidium cysts.
In a nutshell, use according to the directions and you'll be just fine. The bottle contains 50 tablets; you use two per quart of water. In really murky water, I use three. The active ingredient is Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide 16.7% and each tablet contains 6.68% of Titratable Iodine. This is the same stuff that I used in the military, but just to be sure, I opened a bottle and got three quarts of water from the Ohio River. Murky stuff. The first quart was treated with just the Potable Aqua (2-1/2 tablets). The second quart was boiled for ten minutes. The third quart was boiled for ten minutes, then given two tablets of Potable Aqua. All water was filtered through an untreated handkerchief first to remove debris and sediment. I'll note that my measurements were three quarts before boiling, so I'm sure some of the water was lost in the last two quarts due to the boiling process. The results?
While none of the water was as good as tap water, I'm still alive. The first batch (just Potable Aqua) was okay. I remember Potable Aqua having a bad taste; so bad that they included a separate bottle of pills to add that made the taste more bearable. That other bottle is unnecessary here. The water definitely had a chemical taste, but I could drink the minimum of a gallon a day if I needed to.
The second batch (just boiling, no pills) tasted better, but smelled bad. I would be hesitant to drink any more than necessary.
The third batch (boiled, then treated with Potable Aqua) was obviously the best. Considering that boiling only took ten minutes and a metal water bottle, this is the best option. Remember that all of the water was filtered through a handkerchief first to get rid of any sediment, debris, bugs, etc.
I'll guess that if you filter the water, then boil, then use the tablets, you can use only one tablet. I'm not a doctor, dietician, or representative of the company, but I do have extensive training in SERE operations and I've been using these tablets for over fifteen years.
How can you find out when your pills were made? Each bottle has a series of numbers imprinted. For example: 403127. The first number is the month; in this case, the fourth month is April. The second and third numbers are the last two of the year; in this case, 2003. These pills were made in April of 2003. The last three numbers (127) indicate that this was the 127th batch made in that time frame. The code can be five or six numbers long; the first three numbers always denote the month and year; the last two or three always denote the batch number.