If You Want to Drink the River Water . . .

Posted December 22, 2008 by Tessa Sibbet

If you have ever been on an All-Outdoors rafting trip, you might remember that #16 on our pre-river orientation is “Don’t Drink the River Water.” This is usually further explained by one or our lovely guides; while a little splash of water from the Tuolumne River won’t hurt you, you probably shouldn’t fill your Klean Kanteen straight from the river. While we actually don’t know anyone who has gotten even remotely sick from any of our rivers, some wild streams have a parasite called giardia which can cause temporary illness if a copious amount of water is consumed. If scientists in Argentina are successful in developing their new vaccine for giardia, we may have to change our directions to “drink all the river water you want.” However, we will probably continue to err on the side of caution and direct you to fill your water bottle away from the river. If you want to learn more about the science behind this potential vaccine, read the New York Times article on the topic.


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