Given the current explosion of water treatment options (UV, chemical, filters), I’m really happy to see the comprehensive test of products by the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. They don’t test the UV purifiers, but the they have great coverage of filters and chemical treatment with a clear presentation — green, yellow, red for coverage of pathogens and one, two, or three checks for degree of purification for each class of pathogen.
In chemical purification, the Katadyn Micropur MP 1 Tablets (link to REI) are the clear winner. Reading the detailed writeup, the MSR MIOX gets three checks across the chart when used with an “overkill” dosage — the 8X option in the MIOX instructions. That’s good, because I already own that one.
No water purifier is a substitute for washing hands. We had clean, pure water at Scout camp this summer but still had a few kids get the barfs and runs. Use soap and water, and scrub for the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Not at The Chimpmunks tempo. No cheating. If your patrol gets sick, the fingers point at the cook.
Side note: REI has really improved the linkability of their URL, stripping lots of paramjunk off the end. Let’s all give them some linklove.