Does the LifeStraw Actually Work in a Dirty Pond?December 8, 2014
- Kathy HofileñaWords
A few months ago I was introduced to the LifeStraw, a fairly straight forward device that acts as a personal water filter. A quick Google search on this lead me to a video of a woman drinking from a bowl of water mixed with excrement using the LifeStraw and claiming that the water was potable and safe. I was perplexed, hooked, and itching to give it a try.
I managed to borrow one from a friend, and after some time mustered enough guts to try it out for myself to verify the claims about it in the internet. Turns out the straw isn’t just for crazy experiments just like the Youtube video.
So what is it?
In the simplest sense, it’s a personal water filtration unit that can turn most contaminated water into water safe for drinking. I say most as I’ve learned that it can’t filter out seawater, chemicals, and viruses. So don’t get any ideas of testing this straw out in seawater or water contaminated with chemicals. What it does filter out though are sediments, bacteria, and protozoa that are the usual suspects when it comes to upset stomachs caused by drinking dirty water.
How does it work?
For a water filter with heavy claims, it’s crazy light and also pretty simple to use. If you’re familiar with a concept and use of a straw, then you wont have any problems with the LifeStraw. There are no fancy buttons and chemicals in it so it’s not only safe but also rather fool-proof. You simply uncap the top and bottom covers, stick the straw in a body of water (lakes, streams, a bottle of water you’ve collected from a source) and sip. Voila, clean and safe water.
Although it will take a few hard sips to get the water going at first, after that the work is pretty much done. After blowing out the excess water, keep the caps open to clean out and dry the straw.
Does it really work?
This was the question on my mind too: was it really worth all the hype the YouTube video I saw made it out to be? The answer was yes. Although I had seen the video, and read various reviews attesting to it, I was still skeptical. So with an adventurous mindset I went and tested it in a creek near the house.
I admit I was hesitant as I made my first sip, luckily, and to my stomach’s relief the water tasted clean and had no aftertaste. I was however, too chicken to try the water without the aid of LifeStraw so I can’t really say how it tasted on its own. But it’s been a few days now, and my stomach is without any problems.
Next I tried it in a mixture of Gatorade diluted with water to see how much the taste and color of Gatorade would come out. This was make or break for me, if this didn’t work, I would seriously regret drinking from the creek. In terms of taste, there was a slight flavor of Gatorade present, but not really noticeable. Now to see if there was a change in color I spat out the water that I sipped, and I know I shouldn’t have been as surprised, but I was in utter amazement when I saw that the water was clear! From that blue liquid to clear water. This thing was the real deal.
The LifeStraw was originally created as an emergency response tool for situations where clean drinking water is hard to come by. Now it’s widely available and useful for travelling, hiking, and camping as well. Still a bit doubtful? You can buy yourself a LifeStraw and test it out for yourself. It’s for sale in ROX and outdoors shops for PHP 990 which is a great deal given what it can do.