UK water filter manufacturer Sawyer recently launched Sawyer Water Filters – a new, compact and lightweight water filtering system for travellers.

The world’s most common causes of death aren’t the obvious ones. Along with mosquito bites, which can pass on many infectious diseases, contaminated water is a major health hazard and, according to Sawyer, is one of the biggest causes of illness and death for people travelling in unfamiliar territory.

As anyone who has travelled to a place with less-than-safe drinking water will know, it’s not always easy tracking down bottled water late at night, when you’re in a hurry or if you don’t speak the local language.

Designed for travellers, gap-year students and people on business trips, and weighing in at 85 grams, their water treatment system includes a water filter, three sturdy folding pouches in different sizes, a tap adaptor and a cleaning device. The small attachment can be fitted to most standard water bottles, and then connected to a tap to filter unreliable mains water in hotels and apartments.

Additionally, walkers, hikers and cyclists can also use it to filter water from lakes and streams along their route, so they don’t have to carry water with them.

The system uses technology derived from kidney dialysis machines that has already been in use in the aid industry for decades. Hollow fibre membranes have been engineered to produce micro-pores in ‘Absolute’ microns – or one-thousandth of a millimetre – meaning it is impossible for viruses, bacteria or protozoa to pass through them.

It is guaranteed to effectively filter a minimum of a million gallons of water, without needing any filter replacements. And, because it dispenses with the need for bottled water, it reduces plastic waste.

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