Note from Mrs. Green: Do you know how happy it makes me to have someone to REQUEST being a guest blogger for Mrs. Green?  Very. Thank you Stephanie Monty for reaching out! This is a GREAT read for anyone who travels & worries about the drinking water or for anyone who wants to know what might lie beneath!

Yes, You Can Drink the Water Here

Ah, the joys of travel! The thrill of unfamiliar sights & sounds as foreign cultures transport you to another world.  Foods that make you crinkle your nose and serene beauty that makes you want to weep. Bustling crowds that murmur familiar sentiments though alien languages and wildernesses so vast you wonder how cities ever truly came to be.

There is a perfect place for every type of traveler and culture enthusiast, but there is a darker about side of travel that begs to be illuminated with the marvels of modern invention: the drinking water.

There is nothing that will cripple a fun adventure more than a sip that leads to vomiting, diarrhea or worse.  Since pure agony can really put a damper in your fun, it’s good to get a grasp on what dangers you may face when attempting to drink from anything but bottled water.

Know Your Pathogens

Dysentery is no fun and is spread through fecal contamination of the water. While you are unlikely to get dysentery from a mountain stream, you are likely to encounter the Shigella bacterium or an unfriendly amoeba, say in Africa, where poorly composted human fecal matter is commonly used as fertilizer.

Speaking of mountain streams, a case of giardia has ended more than a few hiker’s reveries. This nasty little critter probably won’t kill you but be prepared for an explosive two-week adventure.

And how about Montezuma’s curse? Mexico seems to have taken more than its share of happy travelers to queasy and uneasy places. One sip of some fresh E.coli and your vacation turns into a sweaty, crampy fight to stay hydrated!

Know Your Technology

There are a few tried and true methods for purifying your water but they all leave something to be desired. For instance, simple iodine pills work but they take time to dissolve and leave a funny aftertaste. There are other chlorine-based pills too. Same general unpleasant taste but invaluable to the traveler.

Imagine only carrying these funny-tasting purifiers as backup. Meet the SteriPEN. Quickly becoming the favorite of travelers, the SteriPEN seems to be a practical answer to safe water for thousands of travelers.

The “pen” is small and easy to transport. Most run on a couple of AA batteries and use UV light to kill off any unsafe life-forms that want to steal your vacation or travel fun. Reviews from across the web seem favorable with a few styles getting more flack than others for having “continual errors,” though most devices in the higher price ranges don’t carry the same complaints.

The one caveat is that the water must not be murky, so if you have a lot of sediment in your water source you’ll have to figure out a way to filter it before the SteriPEN can do its job. Hooray for modern technology and thank you SteriPEN for saying “Yes, you can drink the water here!”


Stephanie Monty is a freelance writer that works with Ward Water, a water purification company that operates out of the state of Maine. Ward water specializes in Maine water contaminant removal using nano filtration systems and absorptive Media Resins.


Photo link:

Photo credit: Yogendra Joshi

(Sounds like it’s time for a show on clean water with Mrs. Green on green talk radio.