Portable water purification devices are self-contained, easily transported units used to purify water from untreated sources (such as rivers, lakes, and wells) for drinking purposes. Their main function is to eliminate pathogens, and often also of suspended solids and some unpalatable or toxic compounds.
These units provide an autonomous supply of drinking water to people without access to clean water supply services, including inhabitants of developing countries and disaster areas, military personnel, campers, hikers, and workers in wilderness, and survivalists. They are also called point-of-use (POU) water treatment systems and field water disinfection techniques.
Techniques include heat (including boiling), filtration, activated charcoal adsorption, chemical disinfection (e.g. chlorination, iodine, ozonation, etc.), ultraviolet purification (including sodis), distillation (including solar distillation), and flocculation. Often these are used in combination.