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Drinking with Cattle

I will be backpacking in southern Arizona's deserts and drinking from cattle tanks. How should I treat or filter the water inside these tanks?

Question:

I will be backpacking in southern Arizona’s deserts and drinking from cattle tanks. How should I treat or filter the water inside these tanks?

Submitted by - J.E., Phoenix, AZ

Answer:

Most cattle tanks will harbor a host of potentially infectious life forms. If it’s bad, it’s probably growing in there. I would recommend a two-step approach to ensure your water is safe to drink. First, use a water filter to remove the parasites and bacteria. Second, add a chemical treatment (like chlorine dioxide) to make sure viruses get wiped out. Adding this second step is a pain in the neck, but better than a pain in the gut.

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