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Aquamira Water Treatment Drops (1oz.)
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
For serious water treatment in nearly every situation, rely on Aquamira Water Treatment. Aquamira Water Treatment unlocks the power of Chlorine Dioxide to kill bacteria and enhance the taste of treated water. Small size, long shelf life, and high efficacy make this the ideal solution for anyone in any situation around the world. Unlike iodine or other treatments, Aquamira won’t discolor your water and actually improves its taste.
Top Customer Reviews
I've been using Aquamira drops since 2001 over hundreds of miles of hiking and backpack trips. So far, I've never been sick. Most of the water I've treated comes from high mountain streams and I suspect most of that water is pretty clean. In those cases, I have lowered the dosage from 7 drops per quart down to 3-6 drops, depending on my "gut feeling". Not very scientific, I know, but so far, so good. I have a very sensitive nose and palate, so yes, I DO notice a slight chlorine smell to the water (hence my desire to lower the dosage). I do prefer the pure taste of filtered water, but like others have said, this stuff is just so light, much lighter than a filter and unlike (from experience) filters, it doesn't break down. It does have an expiration date on it, but over the 10 years I've used the stuff, I've spent less on it than I ever spent on filter systems.
I did use Aquamira once on Kauai'i, in an area known to harbor Leptosporosis, which has similar symptoms as Cryptosporidium. In that case, I did use the drops at full strength, but never got sick.
And do note, CHLORINE (as in bleach) and CHLORINE DIOXIDE (Aquamira) are not the same thing. The latter is what is used in most municipal water supplies for purification.
The only time I used a filter over chemical treatment was in an agricultural area. Besides the masses of cow p**p and urine being washed into the lake, the lake was chock full of fish, algae and probably lots of nasty chemicals as well.
The wait time (20-30 minutes, depending on temperature) of purifying is something I just got used to. I don't even notice it now. What I do now is when I come to a fill up spot, I mix my chemicals, have a snack and then go fill my bottle(s). That'll be about 5 minutes for the chemicals to be ready to dump into the water.
If you want to read a technical paper on how well this stuff works, google for "Efficacy of Water Treatment Technologies" by the Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Light Magazine.
A tip: When you buy a second package of Aquamira after your first one has run out, be sure to save the mixing cup from the first one, then you'll have two handy mixing cups. Plastic water bottle caps also work well for mixing, just be sure to let the two chemicals mix well if there is any sort of ridge inside the cap.
Another tip: These are concentrated toxic chemicals, no doubt about that. When you've dumped your chemicals into your water, cap your water bottle and shake a few times. Then remove the cap and pour a tiny bit into the mixing cup, swirl around and dump back into the bottle. Pour, swirl and dump again. This way you will be getting all of the chemicals into your water, out of the mixing cup and less chance of the chemicals ending up in the waterways or environment.
The way these work is the following: (1) mix 7 drops from each of the two bottles in the provided cap. (2) wait 5 minutes for activation (the solution turns from clear to yellow). (3) add the solution to 1L (32 oz) of water and shake or stir. (4) wait 15 more minutes to purify the water. (5) at that point you can drink it with chemical taste, or use the filter straws to remove the taste plus anything else that might be in the water.
What I did was to get one of the 1L Platypus water bag-type water bottles and try to keep it always full with water treated from these drops. I decanted that water into glasses or other water bottles to hold it after treatment, and then used the Aquamira straw filters on that water to taste clean and fresh. This way I always had water available, and did not have to wait after the initial start-up time for the first bag.
I also used this water to sanitize hotel glasses (just fill them up with the treated water) and my toothbrushes (soak them in the treated water). So those are nice bonuses. I liked it enough to but extras for our home emergency kit as well.
Why not 5 stars? Well, for one thing it's hard to say that I "love" water treatment! For another, they do take a bit of time and have chemical odor that really necessitates the separate filters. On the other hand, it seems to work well and I'll happily get more when needed.
As for whether you need water treatment in Mexico, I've heard that it depends where you go. I was in Mexico City and the guidebook recommended it. I also noticed at the airport that the immigration officers' desks all had advertisements for Samsung water purifying containers. Given that the government itself seemed to be advertising the need, I guess it's a good idea. Have a good trip!
There are a few downsides, though. First, you have to wait about a half-hour for the water to be safe. Second, some people complain that the drops make the water have a slight chemical taste.. Third, you do have to be careful to dry off the rim of your water bottle—if you scoop water you'll likely get water on the outside of your bottle's rim that will be sealed off from the rest of the water when the bottle's closed. That means that it won't be treated and could still contain bacteria or viruses.
However, none of these are serious problems in my opinion. Waiting a brief time to drink after refilling your water isn't a big problem (especially if you've planned well), and it's not hard to remember to wipe off the rim of your water bottle. As far as the taste goes, I suppose it's personal, but I find that at worst it just tastes like drinking town water in many towns. The quality of the water you scooped up has more of an effect on its taste than these drops do, in my experience.
In short, these are great option for any kind of wilderness adventure. They can make practically any water safe from pathogens, they're lightweight and easy to use, and while there are a few downsides I think they're outweighed by the convenience of the lightweight/easy-to-pack form factor and the safety factor (not all filters will filter out everything that these can kill).