I know that sounded alarmist subject title, but it really is not. It seems like I keep ....well.....regurgitating information that I run accross.
THis month Backpacker magazine had a terrific article on water qualities and reviewed the whole filter/ not to filter thing.
Basically, it said that overall, water is generally safe from making you sick from Giardia/Crypto bacause they are rare, most people are not very susceptible, and you would generally have to drink a fair amt of it.
Great article though and you should check it out if that kind of thing interests you. They tested water around the country and in fact, did find Giardia in Wet Beaver, which really should be of no suprise since, cattle graze at its' headwaters.
Reminded me of DoFear's "Ugly Observation" topic and made me wonder if he's doing any better.
http://www.hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtop ... sc&start=0
That brings me to the next point of the article that stated,
"Cleaning eating utensils and washing hands regularly with soap and water proved more effective at reducing the risk of diarrea than treating water."
Jaret, Peter Backpacker
, "What's in the Water?"
, December 2003 pp45-65
"I'd feel better if we had some crampons. Oh, what the hell, let's go for it..." — Common climbing last words.