pack it!

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 July, 2006, 12:00am

Drinking six to eight glasses of fresh water every day has numerous health benefits, including combating the effects of jetlag. Good-quality drinking water is, however, not always easily available and recent investigations into airline supplies indicate the water we assume is adequately monitored may not achieve acceptable standards.

Water is a haven for a multitude of bacteria and viruses. If not properly treated, contaminants can cause anything from 'traveller's tummy' to cholera, salmonella and hepatitis A and E. Contaminated 'hidden' water, used in food preparation, ice for drinks or when cleaning your teeth, may also cause serious health problems. Enter the AquaPure Traveller, a portable water purification system finding favour with travellers of every description; from business executives to campers.

The AquaPure is a plastic bottle, which resembles a regular sport-drink bottle, with a separate cap containing a filter to remove visible particles, pathogens (such as cryptosporidium and giardia) and pesticides, and to kill viruses. Fill the bottle with water from any fresh-water source (it will not purify saline water), screw on the cap and shake it. Wait 15 minutes before squeezing the bottle to obtain clean water. The company's online demonstration video, at, has to be

seen to be believed: black liquid is transformed into crystal-clear drinking water. One cap will purify up to 350 litres and replacement caps can be ordered.

The AquaPure amounts to a lightweight, self-contained clean-water source - a vast improvement on carrying heavy bottled water. It also gives peace of mind to vulnerable travellers such as the elderly and children, although pregnant women, those sensitive to iodine and anyone with hypothyroidism are advised to seek medical advice before using it. Bottle and cap have been tested and approved by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and endorsed by the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, as well as a host of other organisations.

The AquaPure Traveller costs GBP39.99 ($560) and is available at the aforementioned website. A pack including a bottle and an additional cap costs GBP69.99.