WATER QUALITYAre Water Purification Tablets 100% Safe?

April 12, 2022

If you need to make water safe to drink while outdoors, during an emergency or in another country, you might think about water purification tablets. Are water purification tablets 100% safe, though?

Tablets are used by campers, backpackers and outdoor sportsmen. They are easy to use, easy to carry and don’t need other equipment or resources to work. It could be a good idea to keep water purification tablets on hand for disasters or emergencies that might make the normal water supply disrupted or unsafe.

What Water Purification Tablets Do

Water purification tablets usually contain chlorine, iodine and chlorine dioxide. These chemicals kill bacteria, viruses, microorganisms and parasitic protozoans in water. So used correctly, these tablets will make water safe for using and drinking.

Needing to get water from streams or other natural sources means needing to get rid of contaminants as best as possible in the water. Water from natural sources may contain harmful microorganisms and contaminants. There are other devices or methods for making water safe, but the tablets are easy to carry and use.

How to Use Water Purification Tablets

There are steps to follow to make sure you’re using water purification tablets right. It can depend on the specific tablet you use, so know and follow the directions for what you have.

Even though you’re using purification tablets, a good first step is to start with considering the water source. You want it to be as clean as possible. Next, you need to know the chemicals the tablet you’re using contains. Then, here are the basic steps.

  1. Get the dose right. The number of tablets for the amount of water is vital to making sure you end up with safe water. Follow the instructions of the water and tablet dose or ratio. If you use too little purifying content, you won’t kill everything the tablet’s meant to purify. Using too many tablets can make water too acidic to drink.
  2. After putting the tablet it, shake the container as instructed. Make sure the tablet is entirely dissolved. The tablet needs to be fully broken down so you know it’s chemicals are functioning.
  3. Follow the instructions about how long to wait before consuming the water. The wait time can be from a few minutes to 30 minutes depending on the product and the cleanliness of the water you started with.
  4. Tablets on their own might not do anything about the smell or taste of water. Some will leave behind a bad, chemical taste. This is true with chlorine and iodine. There are taste neutralizing products to use alongside tablets.

Are Tablets Safe and Effective?

Are Water Purification Tablets 100% Safe?
Are Water Purification Tablets 100% Safe?

Water purification tablets are safe but there are some considerations you might want to know about. It’s important to know what these tablets can and can’t do. It’s good to know how to make the water better while using such a purifying product.

It’s best to get the product from a reliable company. Then, once you’re experienced using tablets to purify water, you will know the dosage, type of chemical and prep process for the tablets you use repeatedly.

Tablets and the chemicals in them remove only some type of contaminants and pollutants. Tablets remove microorganisms, bacteria and viruses. They will not remove all chemicals, heavy metal, particles and sediment. You will need another product or method, such as an actual filter, to remove particulates.

You need to know and follow the time needed to use a tablet and get safe water. This is specifically true with chlorine dioxide which is very effective and safe, but takes more time to purify water.

It’s important to know other safety factors, health considerations and limitations with water purification tablets. Not all people can consume water that’s been treated with chemicals. People with thyroid problems, allergic reactions to a specific chemical or pregnant might not want to drink water after it’s had tablets used in it. Tablets can expire or become ineffective if they were stored improperly.

Positives with Water Purification Tablets

While there are some limitations and things to keep in mind, water purification tablets can be a beneficial, valuable item to have for outdoor trips, emergencies or international travel.

One pro is they work easily without any other equipment, power source or gear. You can make water safe to drink with water, tablets and a container.

Water purification tablets are relatively inexpensive to buy in bulk, then have on hand for long periods of time, although they can expire and must be stored correctly. Tablets are easy to carry. Many people have them as backups behind a primary source of purification in case of a power outage or another equipment issue or unexpected need for water without the filtration equipment available.

It’s good to remember what water purification tablets do not do. Tablets can’t eliminate all chemical or particulate pollutants from water. If you have a way to filter solid particulates, such as metals and sediment, from water and use tablets to eliminate bacteria, viruses and microorganisms, this is an even safer, cleaner result.

Finally, water tablets are a superb choice for water polluted with microorganisms. However, it’s critical to get the quantities of both the water and the chemical you use. You need to additionally make certain that you or someone else who could consume the water do not have thyroid troubles, allergies, is pregnant or has other health considerations prior to making use of these tablets. Follow all these steps will make sure the water is safe if you’ve used water purification tablets.


South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. HALO systems solve hard water problems, give your family clear, great-tasting water and are totally maintenance free. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.