Scotzman wrote:I'm also in the market to purchase a water purification system and gave been strongly leaning towards the steripen option, but being new to the mountains of CO, my question/concern would be, is the majority of water one would be pulling from fairly free of sediments and therefore perfect for the pen or would the water also need straining if some sort and therefore be more practical for a traditional filter?
A coffee filter or bandanna serve as as pre-filter in the rare case you need it in Colorado. For running streams the level of sediment is generally low. In lakes just be careful to take water from the upper few inches of the water to avoid sediment. That also has the benefit of taking water exposed to the most UV which further benefits from a reduced level of potential pathogens.
The biggest concern in Colorado is with Mine runoff. No filter or portable purification process will help with that. Look for discoloration or crystallization in the water as one means of identifying mine contamination.