In order to choose the right portable water purification system, you should find out what contaminants you will need to remove. For example, I'm a hiker and they make devices that remove giardia, but they are quite expensive. If I don't have a reliable source, I usually boil.
If you are looking for a portable water purification system to use at the office, you can get an inexpensive sports bottle with a built in filter that removes lead, chlorine and some other chemicals, while improving the taste. The quality varies though, so again you to look at performance data to be safe.
Depending on where you work, lead could be a problem. It is relatively common in cities around the United States, particularly in older office buildings. In DC and Baltimore, for example, the lead content is quite high.
Consuming the toxic metal can cause a variety of health problems for people young and old. It accumulates in the body over time and causes high blood pressure and nutritional deficiencies. In children, it causes learning disabilities and behavioral problems. At high enough levels, it can cause severe brain damage.
Not every portable water purification system will remove lead. If you have the ability, you may want to consider a filter for the office tap. Kitchen countertop units, for example, can remove a wider range of contaminants.
There are numerous advantages to this tap of purifier. Coffee tastes better. Gaseous chemicals that cannot be removed by a portable water purification system can be removed with the right countertop unit. It just has to include a process called adsorption.
Some of those gases, THMs for example, cause cancer. THMs are byproducts of chlorination, so if your city uses chlorine, then your waters contain THMs. It is best to limit your exposure as much as possible, because they pass through the skin when showering or swimming. They can be inhaled whenever you turn on a tap and they can be consumed when drinking unfiltered waters.
The army uses a reverse osmosis portable water purification system for field activities where there is no reliable source for drinking. So, if you were planning a trip to a village in a third world country or a camping trip with hundreds of people, you might want to consider something like the army uses.
Just remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly, because there are some contaminants that RO will not remove. So, additional steps may be necessary.
If you decide on a sport bottle purifier, remember to avoid using it for hot liquids. Avoid the use of harsh detergents and skip the dishwasher. The plastic breaks down and can “leak" contaminants into the liquid stored inside.
The best choice really is to use a good multi stage filtration unit with certified performance and bottle the necessary amount in glass. But, of course there may be a time when that is impractical, either because of the amount that you would need or some other consideration. Just remember to choose the right portable water purification system , based on the contaminants you are faced with.
Laurel Tevolitz is a dedicated researcher of critical issues that affect health and well-being. Visit her water purification blog now at http://www.safewaterpurifier.com to discover which water purification system she recommends after extensive research.