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Thread: now they tell us, don't worry about Giardia?

  1. #1
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    now they tell us, don't worry about Giardia?

    https://slate.com/technology/2018/02...recirc_engaged

    This is about high mountain water, but i wonder about the rivers and lakes as well

    "In fact, it’s unclear that dangerous protozoans and bacteria occur in very many of North America’s wilderness streams and lakes at all—and where they are present, they are usually found far below levels that should concern humans. Though studies have confirmed the presence of fecal coliform bacteria near sites with heavy human or pack animal traffic, they occurred only at a minority of sampled areas, and mostly at concentrations so low they were barely detectable. The data on Giardia and Cryptosporidium are similar: A study in the popular magazine Backpacker again only found pathogens in a minority of sampled sites, with the highest recorded concentration still so dilute that obtaining an infective dose would require consuming 7 liters of water in one sitting.
    How, then, did water treatment become the norm? Because the outdoor recreation community is far whiter, wealthier, and better educated than the U.S. population at large, it’s an interesting case study in how misinformation propagates through privileged communities. Asking two friends with different recreation backgrounds about their habits suggests educational programs play a significant role. “I’ve always been taught it’s good practice to keep yourself from getting sick,” says Brooke Warren, a mountain biker, skier, and rock climber based in Colorado, who typically treats her water. Patrick Fink, a medical student and former mountaineering instructor for an industry-leading outdoors school, said concerns about liability may be at play, too. “While we conservatively taught our students to purify all water regardless of source, I found that many fellow guides opted not to purify their water, instead choosing selectively among water sources and drinking from them directly.” (Full disclosure: I’ve also been drinking unfiltered water in the backcountry without incident for a decade, which may have biased my perspective.)"...

    I have religiously used a water filter in the wilds for 20 years, but i always wondered.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shawn C.'s Avatar
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    Interesting. I always filter and will continue to do so. I think it is the right course of action given the increasing number of people recreating. Lots of grazing and horses out there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn C. View Post
    Interesting. I always filter and will continue to do so. I think it is the right course of action given the increasing number of people recreating. Lots of grazing and horses out there too.
    Growing up we used to drink from springs all the time. They used to have drinking water springs all along the roadsides. I've always wondered how necessary it was to filter but was never willing to find out. Hiking out with the bubble gut is something I'd rather avoid.

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    I imagine more than a few waterskiers and whitewater kayakers have flipped mouth wide open and gulped a litre or two of the fresh stuff

    Not sure if the body builds some sort of tolerance?

    1st peoples all drank untreated----not sure bout overburden or dug wells---susceptible to run-off?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeA View Post
    Growing up we used to drink from springs all the time. They used to have drinking water springs all along the roadsides.
    Same here.

    I still fill up gallon jugs with the stuff.

  6. #6
    Senior Member swizz's Avatar
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    In the '60s and early '70s it was still safe to drink out of Lake Superior. We all had our own special lake cups.
    I wouldn't drink out of it now.
    All of your Trout are belong to me.

  7. #7
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    After a bout of Montezuma's revenge in Mexico years ago, I'll stick to filtering water even from the highest, cleanest sources. I won't take the chance.

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