The worst water I've ever had comes out of the taps in southwestern Florida--it tastes like someone spiked it with eggplant and a mild thickening agent--and I hope to keep it that way. If I encounter anything less potable than that, I'm reverting to my middle school years of drinking only Mountain Dew and milkshakes, with the occasional shot of peach schnapps. Oh Mom, stop crying. It's an empty threat. I have a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter now. Bacteria-and-protozoa-filled waters of mountain lakes, jungle rivers, and Tampa faucets, here I come.
The water microfilter contains a silver-impregnated (huh, huh they said "impregnated") ceramic element that effectively annihilates bacteria and protozoa--all microorganisms larger than 0.0002mm--even in extreme rainforest or frat house conditions. Katadyn's pocket model differentiates itself from disposable filters with its reusable ceramic element, which can be cleaned several times, both at home and in the field. A measuring gauge indicates when the filtering element needs changing.
Katadyn's pocket purifiers have a useful life of around 13,000 gallons worth of clear, potable water filtered at a rate of 1 quart per minute. Not bad for a 20-oz., 10" x 2.4" cylinder that looks like a penis pump. The microfilter package includes a prefilter, bottle clip, and carry bag. Katadyn also gives buyers a 20-year warranty.