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Old 05-19-2017, 11:10 AM
Red Dirt Walker Red Dirt Walker is offline
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Default Stupid question about water filters



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There is much talk about water filters for SHTF usage where Swayer and the like come up, but a friend of mine and I have a question that I was unable to locate and answer to on the webs.

How useful after SHTF would the Brita water filters that you can buy for tap water now? Do they clean as well as the Swayer and the like? Good for taking the big chunks out, but that's it?
Old 05-19-2017, 11:30 AM
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Not a stupid question.

Find out the micron size and go from there. If companies like Brita do not publish the micron size, I would guess the filter is useless for bacteria, cyst and protozoa.

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto...o/filters.html

Brita says their filters are not for making water safe to drink - https://www.brita.com/faqs/what-are-...rita-have-them
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:42 AM
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I believe the Brita filters are full of Activated Charcoal (AC). While this doesn't do much for biological contaminants, it is useful for removing toxins like arsenic.

If you have a pile of them laying around, you could crack them open and dump all of the AC into one container for detoxifying your water after the purification step.

Remember when it comes to water, it's a three step process. Filtration > Purification > Detoxification.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:54 AM
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Brita is a polishing filter. It makes water taste better. It's designed to be used with water that is already safe to drink. It won't make bad water safe to drink.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:06 PM
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Arsenic is not removed by plain activated charcoal. There is a specific filter for arsenic that contains alumina. Or you can google iron impregnated activated charcoal.
Since activated charcoal catches stuff by its huge surface area it does become saturated and ineffective pretty quickly especially n such a small package.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:43 PM
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What a coincidence, I was literally in walmart a half hour ago reading the back of Brita filter boxes.

Keep in mind that Brita clearly states it is a filter, NOT a purifier (meaning not necessarily removing biologicals.)

Also, not all Britas are equal....



There is a pretty good water thread on here...I'm sure someone will provide the link.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSound View Post
There is a pretty good water thread on here...I'm sure someone will provide the link.
I added a water filter tag to the thread.

Click the tag links and you will be taken to a list of threads on the topic.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dirt Walker View Post
There is much talk about water filters for SHTF usage where Swayer and the like come up, but a friend of mine and I have a question that I was unable to locate and answer to on the webs.

How useful after SHTF would the Brita water filters that you can buy for tap water now? Do they clean as well as the Swayer and the like? Good for taking the big chunks out, but that's it?
Sawyer and Brita do completely different things.

One is a biological filter and the other is a toxin filter.

You cannot realistically clean a toxin filter. Once the Brita has filled up with toxins it is useless.

You require both types of filtration anyway. You would need both a Sawyer style filter AND a Brita style filter to make water safe to drink.

You need to learn how water filtration works.

Start here: http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=392651
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:17 AM
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Remember that these hollow membrane filters dont filter out viruses.
Old 05-20-2017, 12:05 PM
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Remember that these hollow membrane filters dont filter out viruses.
Waterborne viruses are not a realistic threat until you get around waters that are blood temp year round.

In temperate regions, like the entire US, they are not worth worrying about.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brettny View Post
Remember that these hollow membrane filters dont filter out viruses.
Waterborne viruses are not a realistic threat until you get around waters that are blood temp year round.

In temperate regions, like the entire US, they are not worth worrying about.
I did not know that. Are you positive on the blood temp? I wouldnt think many places if any would have water temps of 98*
Old 05-20-2017, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brettny View Post
I did not know that. Are you positive on the blood temp? I wouldnt think many places if any would have water temps of 98*
It's not a matter of if it ever gets to blood temp. It's is whether it stays at blood temp.

Viruses are not complete organisms. In order to be so small they rely on a host to take care of certain functions that larger organisms can. One of these functions is thermal regulation. That requires a circulatory system to move heat around or save or shed it.

Once the sun goes down or season's change the virus is subject to a cold death. So viruses don't linger longer than a day in water unless the water stays above blood temps all night. You have to go to Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia/Oceania to meet those conditions.

Can it possibly happen in the US? Yes. An infected animal that just happens to have a virus that can survive in water has to die in the water and then for the rest of the warm part of the day you have to drink from the water right around the dead animal. Viruses are hyper small. Them moving a few feet is like walking dozens and dozens of miles to us. But the chances of getting infected rate about as low as being hit by lightning. Lottery odds in other words.

So do you plan to spend a bunch of extra money and limiting your choice of equipment greatly just so you can avoid a lottery odds threat that day?

Might just be smarter to not fetch raw water where you see the dead racoon floating.
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:47 PM
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SO, I know CDC, WHO, EPA, OXFAM, etc will disagree with you. Viruses survive at room temperature, and in some cases longer at lower temperature. Ironically some of the water born viruses are among the more survivable I believe I've heard up to 2 weeks. A quick google search will turn up Hepatitis transmission from shellfish offshore from the US< almost certainly the result of sewage discharge. And I know of no ocean, gulf, or river discharge that approaches body temperature. Rotovirus is another enteric pathogen that survives in river and lake water.

You can get rid of a lot of the threat by mechanical filtering- the virus most like to survive are those attached to particles in the water. What's left is "naked" viruses very susceptible to chemical treatment. When camping I use 1/2 PPM of iodine after a filter to sure I'm getting any virus or bacteria that makes it past the filter. Similarly solar disinfection is going to be a lot more effective after filtration. Chlorine will work also, at low levels (1ppm is enough, and that's the target for municipal water distribution- so it's not objectionable for the vast majority of people.)

BTW, the two best sources for drinking water treatment information, IMHO, are Medicine for Mountaineering, which address treatment in the bush, and the section on water treatment in Chen "Handbook of Civil Engineering) Both are peer reviewed. There is/was a magazine out of England (I have to assume some involvement from OXFAM) called Waterlines that addressed water and waste treatment for the Relief Worker. Its is a gold mine for preppers.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:20 PM
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SO, I know CDC, WHO, EPA, OXFAM, etc will disagree with you. Viruses survive at room temperature, and in some cases longer at lower temperature. Ironically some of the water born viruses are among the more survivable I believe I've heard up to 2 weeks. A quick google search will turn up Hepatitis transmission from shellfish offshore from the US< almost certainly the result of sewage discharge. And I know of no ocean, gulf, or river discharge that approaches body temperature. Rotovirus is another enteric pathogen that survives in river and lake water.

You can get rid of a lot of the threat by mechanical filtering- the virus most like to survive are those attached to particles in the water. What's left is "naked" viruses very susceptible to chemical treatment. When camping I use 1/2 PPM of iodine after a filter to sure I'm getting any virus or bacteria that makes it past the filter. Similarly solar disinfection is going to be a lot more effective after filtration. Chlorine will work also, at low levels (1ppm is enough, and that's the target for municipal water distribution- so it's not objectionable for the vast majority of people.)

BTW, the two best sources for drinking water treatment information, IMHO, are Medicine for Mountaineering, which address treatment in the bush, and the section on water treatment in Chen "Handbook of Civil Engineering) Both are peer reviewed. There is/was a magazine out of England (I have to assume some involvement from OXFAM) called Waterlines that addressed water and waste treatment for the Relief Worker. Its is a gold mine for preppers.
Please feel free to post up links to any of those government or NGO sites where they distinctly cover waterborne viruses in North America. Not from other places or not other than waterborne. And nothing from a prepper site because rumor is everyehere.

While I'm waiting on your links I'll give you mine.

The only outbreak in recent times was the Hep A that people caught in pools where they had poor treatment of the water of human fecal matter in busy pools. It was a very minor outbreak.
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/...n-the-USA.html

Here is your list of waterborne viral threats in the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterborne_diseases#Viral

There are 4 known threats.

SARS: primarily in Asia. No cases worldwide since 2004.
Hep A: Only a small outbreak in crowded poorly treated pools. Not in the wild.
Polio: Extinct in the US.
Polyomaviridae: 80% of the population has resistance because it is common and mild. Not a real threat.

That list shows that waterborne viral threats are exceedingly rare in the US and the worst risk is a nasty public pool.

Sure, lots of airborne and contact viral threats out there, but water is different. Water hastens temp change in all living organisms and water isn't as benign as air as a medium.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:30 AM
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I made my own water filter from 2 five gallon buckets and a pare of large ceramic filters much like a Berkey filter.
The ceramic filters both clean and purify the water and all for under 100 bucks.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:06 AM
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I used Big Berkey and Aqua Rain gravity filters in Mexico for two years and never got sick. We added 4 ceramic filters (Aquarain filters work in both BB and AR), cleaned them regularly but never had to replace; Even after several thousand gallons
Some of the water we put in the top container was nasty but the filters did their job.
They are bulky and work best when staying put, but they work well! If you want to be extra safe add a water purification tab to the top container.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:18 AM
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That nasty Berkey word again. They sure have a great advertising plan.

Too bad that almost every urn filter brand out there is a better choice than Berkey.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSound View Post
What a coincidence, I was literally in walmart a half hour ago reading the back of Brita filter boxes.

Keep in mind that Brita clearly states it is a filter, NOT a purifier (meaning not necessarily removing biologicals.)

Also, not all Britas are equal....



There is a pretty good water thread on here...I'm sure someone will provide the link.
Good example of how reading is fundamental and how much information is really easy to find.
Old 05-21-2017, 07:58 AM
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I am just sharing my experience with the BB and AR. Never got sick after thousands of gallons of questionable water run through the AR filters. Are there better filters out there? Absolutely, just like there are better speakers than Bose; Which also have a massive advertising campaign touting them as the best. I am not keen on Bose. Anyhoo
Do your research, be safe. We are all here to try and help each other.

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Old 05-21-2017, 12:50 PM
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Look for the ANSI/NSF Rating. Usually printed on the box or filter. NSF/ANSI Standard 42 means for Aesthetic Effects and is what most Brita and Fridge filters are rated for. They do not filter bacteria or viruses.

NSF/ANSI Standard 53 is for Health Effects. Filters passing this standard filter bacteria and/or viruses. Always go with ANSI 53 when water is unsafe.

This is a quick and easy check when researching filters.

And a +1 on the Berkey Black filters, never had any issues with questionable water.
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