Ben is right, portable aqua also kills everything, leaves no taste, is small and light. Leave all of those pounds at home. Ecrow
Yes, Ben and Ecrow, Katadyn portable aqua tablets and all other chlorine based chemical treatments, or the Miox "new" (actually 100 year old) process of creating chlorine from salt electrolysis, can be used to kill some bacteria, some viruses, and many harmful pathogens. However, if no additional protection is provided against the bacteria that is attached to particles suspended in your raw water, then the limited efficiency of inactivation by chlorine will attribute to the continued presence of bacterial aggregates in all types of suspended particles. Particle-attached bacteria are universally more resistant to disinfection than are suspended bacteria.
To put it more simply, the particle-attached bacteria do not die as quickly, if at all, with chlorine treatment. You really should remove the particles and the micro size critters attached to the particles, not just kill some of them and then drink them down. They don't just simply dissipate into thin air when you chlorinate them, they are still there, and the now dead "bodies" of the bacteria and viruses are going into your system. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
I use solar treatment when I can by placing my raw water in gallon zip lock bags in direct sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) light destroys DNA and thereby prevents microbes from reproducing. That's all the SteraPen does, it adds UV rays to your water supply.
After UV treatment, ceramic filtering, and chlorine dioxide treatment of the water, I then carry 32 ounces of my water in a clear plastic bottle on top of my pack so it's exposed to the sun's UV rays most of the day. I always carry two 32 ounce bottles of ready-to-drink water. One in the pack and one on top receiving continued UV treatment, and rotate them out as I treat a new water supply.
Also remember that chlorine based treatment alone does not remove any harmful chemicals or heavy metals. To me, weight saving does not win out over safe drinking water. I cut down on weight where it won't harm me. EG: I changed out my leather belt with the metal buckle for a nylon webbing one with a plastic clip and saved 7 ounces. That alone is half the weight of my ceramic filter. Brum