i’m not talking about the love river here; i mean the stuff up in the mountains. i’m sick of buying a bottle of ‘supau’ every 45 minutes when i go biking, and i would love to drink from the streams. any of the hikers/cyclists out there fill up their bottles in the creeks and rivers?
i probably won’t try, but i got quite used to drinking creek water in the canadian rockies with no problems.
i do in remote places, but only where i’m pretty sure that there’s no farming going on upstream. ie, just about anything on a less than vertical face is out. many small rivulets pop out of cliffsides or trickle down steep gullies close to the top… and that’s generally where you need the water, anyway.
lots of human and animal waste used as fertilisers on vegetables, and pig farms or duck runs are just asking for trouble. small farmhouses generally crap almost directly into the streams. gross, and terribly unhealthy.
When I hike in the mountains, I bring a filter pump along (brand: MSR), which works very well. Always look for streams with no farms or houses upstream.
The filter sounds like a good idea. I brought one of those with me when I first traveled to Asia (Thai, Laos, Vietnam, etc) but quickly got tired of it when staying in civilization almost all the time, where it was easier to just buy bottled water (given the dubiousness of much bottled water, it would probably be prudent to filter even that, but it’s too much hassle). For camping trips though, that’s the way to go.
As for urodacus comment, I was under the impression that the world is so screwed up today that 99% of all water (even seemingly clean streams) is contaminated with giardia and it doesn’t matter that there may be no grazing upstream, because the little parasite is remarkably sturdy and capable of being transported by various means. I thought drinking from streams was now, sadly, a quaint thing of the past. Is that not so? If a stream is truly above people and livestock is it safe?
giardia mostly floats downstream, and they’re not terribly effective at purposely heading upstream from their ‘birthplace’ poo… but yes, the risk is there, as it is from cryptosporidium, a similar parasite.
but then, there are so many other ways to catch it, and other diseases, that it’s not worth fussing over, i think. at least we don’t have to worry about even worse diseases here, like brucellosis, cholera, dysentry, typhoid, etc, in most of the water sources you might consider.
but a filter is a good idea if you’re concerned. just make sure the membranes are replaced often enough. a split membrane is worse than useless.
Is there crypto in Taiwan? I was under the impression it is not prevalent everywhere.
Chris and I use the same filter, literally, and have not had trouble. Once we even drank water downstream from a chicken farm but had no adverse affects.
Instead of a filter you can also use purifying drops, like Clear Water. We used those on a week long trek across Yushan National Park and had no problems. Smaller than a filter.
actually, not sure there is any cryptosporidium here. loads of it in eastern Aussie, tho, so there’s my assumptions again.
Taiwan’s public TV station had a program about Jiaming Lake. It turns out that even that, way up in the mountains, has been contaminated … by chemicals from batteries tossed aside by tourists. Lovely. So people shouldn’t forget about forms of pollution other than the usual suspects.
I drink the water above about 2300 meters. The highest inhabited places in Taiwan are at about 2000 meters, so I think that cuts down on the risk. I would never drink the water anywhere on a popular hiking route since hikers create all kinds of nasty pollution in a concentrated area.
I’ll also drink the water in a watershed area if I’ve run out of water etc. and I have on occasion taken even bigger chances when really thirsty. I’ve never had any problems. Then again, I drink tap water in Taipei at least a few times a week. Again no problems in nearly 20 years. YMMV
[quote=“Feiren”]I drink the water above about 2300 meters. The highest inhabited places in Taiwan are at about 2000 meters, so I think that cuts down on the risk. I would never drink the water anywhere on a popular hiking route since hikers create all kinds of nasty pollution in a concentrated area.
I’ll also drink the water in a watershed area if I’ve run out of water etc. and I have on occasion taken even bigger chances when really thirsty. I’ve never had any problems. Then again, I drink tap water in Taipei at least a few times a week. Again no problems in nearly 20 years. YMMV[/quote]
brave soul. I drank tap water by accident once and I worried all night
I’ve swallowed plenty of water unintentionally when swimming in turbulent mountain streams, trying to swim under waterfalls, and stuff like that, but have never suffered any ill-effects as far as I’m aware.
I always make sure to take enough bottled water with me out in the wilds, so that I never have to drink from any stream. I’ll take as much as I need for a long hike, and not mind the weight. I’ll rinse my mouth with stream water, but will never imbibe it.