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LifeSaver: Comparing different types of water purifiers: which one is best in an Emergency?

Comparing different types of water purifiers: which one is best in an Emergency?

Comparing different types of water purifiers: which one is best in an Emergency?

Posted 10 months ago

In a SHTF (sh*t hits the fan) situation, access to clean and safe water can become a serious concern. During natural disasters or other emergencies, the regular water supply may become contaminated or disrupted, and waterborne diseases can spread rapidly through contaminated water sources.

Waterborne viruses, such as hepatitis A, norovirus, and rotavirus, are especially concerning in emergency situations. These viruses can cause severe illness and even death, particularly among vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

In the absence of proper sanitation and hygiene practices, waterborne viruses can easily spread from person to person through contaminated water sources. This is why having a reliable water purifier in your emergency preparedness kit is essential. A water purifier can remove or inactivate waterborne viruses, ensuring that the water you drink is safe and free from harmful contaminants.

But with so many types of emergency water filters and purifiers available, how do you know which one is best for your needs? In this blog post, we’ll compare different types of water filters and purifiers to help you make an informed decision.

  1. Water Filter Straw

We’ve included straw style water filters as they are very popular, but strictly speaking straw filters are not water purifiers, they are just water filters. The distinction could be the difference between life and death. Water filters cannot remove waterborne viruses, but water purifiers can. For this important reason, we wouldn’t recommend water filter straws in an emergency, unless it was all you have of course. The benefits are that they are compact, lightweight, and easy to use. They work by filtering water as you drink it through a straw. They are typically effective at removing most bacteria and protozoa, but as stated earlier, they are not at all effective at removing viruses.

Another downside is that they are for individual, immediate use. i.e you can’t purify litres of water into several containers for a group to be drank soon after. Therefore straw-based water filters are not an efficient option and would only serve as a backup to other water purification methods.

  1. Gravity Water Filter

They are designed to filter water as it flows through a gravity-fed system. They are typically larger and heavier than water filter straws, but can filter larger quantities of water. As above, it’s important to note that not all gravity water filters are purifiers. Most gravity filters are effective at removing bacteria, protozoa, and some can remove viruses. The ones that can remove viruses tend to purify water extremely slowly. They are a good option for groups or families who need to purify larger quantities of water. The downsides are waiting times are long and that sometimes the gravity bags themselves can tear.

An exception in the gravity water purifier camp is the LifeSaver C1. Our large scale gravity water purifier if fed by either a water header tank stored 2 metres off the ground or directly from municipal supplies. As long as the pressure is sufficient to force the water through our hollow fibre membrane, ultrafiltration cartridge. The LifeSaver C1 will purify up to 500,000 litres of water at a flow rate of around 5 litres per minute. This is an incredible long term solution for families or communities in the aftermath of a disaster. We do recommend setting up pre-filters between the source water and the C1 itself, to aid its longevity.

  1. Pump Water Filter or Purifier

Our personal favourite, pump water filters use a hand-operated pump to filter water through a filter cartridge. They are effective at removing bacteria, protozoa, and some, such as our own, can even remove viruses. Pump filters are a great versatile option for individuals or small groups who need to purify water anywhere. Pump filters or purifiers require no chemicals or external power to operate and will block up when a cartridge needs replacing so the user remains safe and knows when to change their cartridge. This is Failsafe technology.

  1. UV Water Purifier

UV water purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. They are effective and easy to use, but require batteries or a power source to operate. UV water purifiers are not reliable for particularly turbid water sources and would take a long time to purify large quantities of water.

  1. Chemical Water Treatment

Chemical water treatment involves adding chemicals such as chlorine or iodine to water to kill bacteria and viruses. Chemical treatment is lightweight and easy to use, but may not be as effective as other methods. It also leaves an unpleasant taste in the water. Chemical treatment is best as a backup to other water purification methods.

  1. Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Reverse osmosis water filters use a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities from water. They are effective at removing bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and other contaminants. However, they are typically larger and heavier than other water purification methods and require a lot of power to operate.


In conclusion, the best water purifier for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your group, the length of your emergency, and the type of water source you have available. We recommend investing in a water purifier that is versatile, effective, and easy to use. By doing so, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable source of clean water in an emergency situation.

Our range of LifeSaver Emergency Preparedness Packs are aluminium foil sealed so you can have peace of mind knowing your purifiers will be there for you, if you need them, for over 10 years.

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