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Thread: Water filtering/purification – which to choose? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-04-2020 07:19 PM
IamZeke
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitySurvival View Post
No one has mentioned a SteriPen
So I'm guessing you haven't read the thousands of other water purification threads or hit that link I posted just above yours.

It isn't necessary to list every tool or permutation in every last thread.

Steripen works well enough for 1 of the 3 classes of threats. For biological threats it does its job properly.

It does nothing for sediment or toxins. Ergo, a decent tool as part of a system.
02-04-2020 06:41 PM
CitySurvival No one has mentioned a SteriPen,

I actually bought one for using Tap Water in south east asia. I never really used it except once and when I tasted the water I never wanted to drink it again, even if it was virus and bacteria clean.

Shouldn't you have a SteriPen with your Water Filter because the SteriPen will kill viruses. A filter like the sawyer will not kill viruses.

I figure you should use both a water filter like the Sawyer, and a SteriPen for some UV light to kill the viruses that can't be filtered.

What do you guys think?
01-30-2020 03:59 PM
IamZeke Unless you sit on right on the top of the continental divide then you are downstream from somewhere else.

The idea that you can find pristine waters deep in the boonies is just fooling yourself.

Just about every inorganic toxin was first sourced for raw material from under the ground. Fluoride, arsenic, metals, and radiologicals are commonplace as natural deposits that underground springs and rivers flow through to the surface. Mining runoff in elevated areas will mix with snow pack water coming down the mountain. Acid rain falls at the tops of mountains and is part of the snow pack.

Toxins are literally everywhere.

Sure, if you are at real risk of dangerous dehydration then do the best job you can muster with what you have on hand. But that assumes you were caught unprepared and indicates you weren't thinking in advance.

Never waive off the risk of either biological or toxic threats as unlikely in your supposedly pristine wilderness.

Unless you are drinking from a lab tested well or spring in a fixed location, or it is from a tested municipal source, then treat all water as raw water and do the entire treatment procedure.

Safe Water = Sediment Removal > Biological Remediation > Toxin Removal.

Learn and have the tools ready for all three factors involved that makes raw water into safe water.
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...php?p=19496020

Don't be a fool and think your clear running little mountain stream is safe. Just out of sight around the bend it could have washed over an ore deposit or a sick beaver just crapped in it.
01-25-2020 07:03 AM
ROCK6
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinfire View Post
notice how boiling always works

this is why i plan always to bring at least one metal water container that can support boiling

obviously you need a mechanical filter for chemicals in the water, but i'm going to just not drink water from a drainage ditch outside an oil-change quick lube or a factory
Outside of not being able to breath, a serious laceration, or a serious weather threat requiring immediate shelter, lack of water will sideline you quickly in the outdoors and dehydration is typically the cause of other injuries as well. While potable water is the goal, contaminated water can be deadly if you're out for more than a few days or long term effects of heavy metals and chemicals.

Even doing lightweight backpacking, water is still a focus for redundancy.

Yes, most of my water sources where I backpack are mountain rivers or ground springs. I still use the Sawyer to filter. If around popular shelters, I will use my chemical solution along with the filtration. And of course, I always have a pot to boil water if needed.

For any of those who've contracted a stomach bug or had the beaver fever in the backcountry...you quickly learn the importance of potable water and proper hygiene practices.

Another practice is to recon and know your water sources. I've hiked up small creeks just a few hundred meters and have found active beavers, dead carcasses in the river/creek, fracking used toilet paper a few paces from the water sources, etc. Heck, in Ecuador, I hiked up a along a remote small mountain stream thinking I was in an unchartered jungle area and stumbled into an active banana orchard...not sure if they used pesticides, but that wasn't expected

ROCK6
01-22-2020 12:27 PM
merlinfire
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_Rafe View Post
You're a bit more lucky with that in the US. Here almost everything's close to farmland. Not a problem for a few times, but wouldn't want to need to live on it for an extended time without a filter.
it's true....word is that it's turning the frikken frogs gay
01-22-2020 12:06 AM
IC_Rafe
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinfire View Post
notice how boiling always works

this is why i plan always to bring at least one metal water container that can support boiling

obviously you need a mechanical filter for chemicals in the water, but i'm going to just not drink water from a drainage ditch outside an oil-change quick lube or a factory
You're a bit more lucky with that in the US. Here almost everything's close to farmland. Not a problem for a few times, but wouldn't want to need to live on it for an extended time without a filter.
01-21-2020 11:11 AM
merlinfire notice how boiling always works

this is why i plan always to bring at least one metal water container that can support boiling

obviously you need a mechanical filter for chemicals in the water, but i'm going to just not drink water from a drainage ditch outside an oil-change quick lube or a factory
01-21-2020 08:52 AM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_Rafe View Post
Don't forget about particulate matter (only filtered through a low micron filter, but most filters will take this out) and chemical (active carbon for some chemicals or other chemicals or full chemical processes) contamination . Depending where you are, those could be very relevant and the last one is often forgotten.
Yeah, it appears that a good filtering, perhaps two stage, a good boil and something like Aquamira is the most effective all-encompassing treatment.
01-21-2020 08:43 AM
IC_Rafe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
2009 guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/dri...treatment.html

Protozoa - Cryptosporidium

...Methods that may remove some or all of Cryptosporidium from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium;
Filtration has a high effectiveness in removing Cryptosporidium when using an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter);
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine is not effective in killing Cryptosporidium;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing Cryptosporidium when used with chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Protozoa - Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia)

...Methods that may remove some or all of Giardia from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing Giardia;
Filtration has a high effectiveness in removing Giardia when using an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter);
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Giardia;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing Giardia;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing Giardia when used with chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Bacteria - (for example, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli)

...Methods that may remove some or all of bacteria from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing bacteria;
Filtration has a moderate effectiveness in removing bacteria when using an absolute less than or equal to 0.3 micron filter;
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a high effectiveness in killing bacteria;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing bacteria;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing bacteria when used with iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 0.3 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Viruses - (for example, enterovirus, hepatitis A, norovirus, rotavirus)

...Methods that may remove some or all of viruses from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute minimum) has a very high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Filtration is not effective in removing viruses;
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Disinfection has a high effectiveness in killing viruses when used with iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide.
Don't forget about particulate matter (only filtered through a low micron filter, but most filters will take this out) and chemical (active carbon for some chemicals or other chemicals or full chemical processes) contamination . Depending where you are, those could be very relevant and the last one is often forgotten.
01-21-2020 07:45 AM
Major Mjolnir 2009 guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/dri...treatment.html

Protozoa - Cryptosporidium

...Methods that may remove some or all of Cryptosporidium from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium;
Filtration has a high effectiveness in removing Cryptosporidium when using an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter);
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine is not effective in killing Cryptosporidium;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing Cryptosporidium when used with chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Protozoa - Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia)

...Methods that may remove some or all of Giardia from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing Giardia;
Filtration has a high effectiveness in removing Giardia when using an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter);
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Giardia;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing Giardia;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing Giardia when used with chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Bacteria - (for example, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli)

...Methods that may remove some or all of bacteria from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute) has a very high effectiveness in killing bacteria;
Filtration has a moderate effectiveness in removing bacteria when using an absolute less than or equal to 0.3 micron filter;
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a high effectiveness in killing bacteria;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing bacteria;

Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing bacteria when used with iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 0.3 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction / removal” filter).

Viruses - (for example, enterovirus, hepatitis A, norovirus, rotavirus)

...Methods that may remove some or all of viruses from drinking water are:
Boiling (Rolling boil for 1 minute minimum) has a very high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Filtration is not effective in removing viruses;
Disinfection with iodine or chlorine has a high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a high effectiveness in killing viruses;
Disinfection has a high effectiveness in killing viruses when used with iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide.
01-20-2020 11:01 PM
Astronomy For youse guys that went w/ Polar Pure...

Realize that the stuff always comes empty except for the iodine crystals. You have to add water to make a solution... even with a brand new bottle.

The brown staining is evidence of off-gassing (sublimation from the iodine crystals) from new old stock. They do that after time if you don't keep them immersed in water.

The one very nice thing about Polar Pure is that it will last damn near indefinitely. I still use a bottle purchased back in the mid-80s. I can't think of any other mainstream chemical water treatment with that kind of verifiable shelf life. Possibly potassium permanganate.
01-16-2020 10:18 AM
merlinfire so i've tried a few of these

my impressions of pump filters like the katadyn is that they work well enough for 1-2 people. it takes some time (active effort) to filter any significant amount of water, if you are planning on refilling 4-5 liters be prepared to pump it for probably 15 minutes. however it's a solid method

the gravity method works but in my experience there's always been leaks at one or more connections. tried different times with different adapters and bags. granted, it still worked. just didn't seem really robust, kind of fiddly.

either of them should work, but you will need a "dirty water bag", for both. yes you can pump directly out of a stream but that's a huge hassle. fill the bag, then go have a seat.

the straws seem like a good idea but imo they are last ditch survival gear, not practical outdoors gear. much rather boil water
01-16-2020 12:26 AM
ilgar Another popular purifier is General Ecology First Need XLE, that also comes with a gravity bag but at it's core it is a pump system designed to feed cleaned water into a screwed on bottle (whatever the Nalgene size thread is, that's the most common way to pair it).
It has a prefilter as well. It is heavy though and I'd not use it in snowy/below freezing temps. I'd say it's a camp use item just like gravity systems.

you may also want to look into prefiltering in general whether using a millbank bag or paint strainers or cheesecloth. they extend the life of the main filter and remove turbidity.

ultimately, i would want to not fully trust any filter especially in below freezing temps and carry a metal pot with fire making kit. I have a personal lifestraw that I use when encountering unfrozen creeks while on the go (keep it warm inside jacket). The sawyer mini is good for this on the go use as well. You don't need to lie down to drink with a staw. I use the pot or collapsible vinyl bucket to scoop a bunch of water out and then drink out of it.
01-15-2020 11:00 PM
Uncle Billy Don't buy the Katadyn Pocket. Too heavy and fragile. I wasted my money, around 3 bills for a filter... As Rock6 said, get a couple Sawyer Mini's and you're good to go. I went almost twenty years with the bandana and boil method and it didn't really hurt me but the convenience of a multi function unit (you can suck right out of a puddle or use a screw that fits onto almost every plastic bottle is quick and (dirty) clean. I scrapped the collection bag in favor of a simple plastic water bottle.
01-15-2020 09:50 PM
273andme Ive been looking into survival filter they have a few models. (straw, mechanical and battery powered). filters can be cleaned and/or replaced. Probably order some this week.

https://www.survivorfilter.com/pages...esting-reports
01-15-2020 04:53 AM
ROCK6 As Charlie pointed out, your water sources need to be taken into account...and it's not always obvious. In low lying areas, you may get run off if you know what's up stream (industrial or farming areas). As mentioned, even in old mining areas, you may have some leaching to be aware of.

Water that is heavy with silt, tannins, or a lot of detritus can be problematic for all filters, but the ceramic (silver impregnated ones) are easier to clean. The capillary filters like Sawyer, can require a lot of back flushing which can get frustrating.

Filters without charcoal will not change to taste of the water. I've been around sulfur springs and swampy areas and while the water is filtered, it may taste like rotten eggs or a$$ Activated charcoal works, but you have to manage it's use. They do have some inline filters and I carry a couple in my longer-term bags. Less for potential heavy metals and chemicals and more for avoiding water with a heavy sulfur content.



Every filter will have it's advantages and disadvantages (which is why I have about two dozen). Mechanical pump filters need just as much care as a capillary/gravity/straw filter, but for different reasons. Most filters that are marketed as purifiers to remove viruses often suffer from lower output rates...this is why I carry a backup chemical means to treat water, but you have to know the area and conditions to queue you when you need to add it.

Water filtering management is often overlooked as well. Just understand that a couple drops of contaminated water can get you sick depending on your tolerance. Keep output areas and containers/lids clean and away from non-potable water. For pump filters keep the hoses separate (input/output hoses).

Water collection is another overlooked aspect. Not all water sources are easy to get to and some are just a trickle or small puddle. If using something like the Sawyer squeeze, you need a small separate cup to collect the water and transfer it to the squeeze bag.

Some trails will have water access, but you have to hike a half mile down to it. It's nice to have a plan and system to carry water. As long as it's not extremely steep, I love the Sea to Summit 10L folding bucket; it's literally 1oz, and dries extremely fast. I can haul the water to the camp and we can filter and use water right there.



Even if the water is clouded with a lot of detritus, the bucket allows that stuff to settle at the bottom and helps clean up the top water for filtering.

From a "tactical" standpoint, I just don't like spending a lot of time at the water source, so I like the gray-water bags and bucket that allows me to spend as little time collecting and I can filter back at the camp site. That said, a good pump filter can be extremely fast as well. Not a big consideration for general backpacking...just habits developed over the years.

I know it should be common sense, but as long as weather isn't below freezing, I store my filter somewhere on the outside of my pack for fast access that also allows it to air dry as I'm moving. Your location will dictate how much water you need to carry, but I really try and just limit it to 2-3 liters when backpacking, so every couple of hours I'm filtering and refilling. Having hiked during droughts, limited water sources or forced to camp with no nearby water sources, having that additional capacity to haul more water becomes important and can be done without any major weight penalty when they're empty.

I did a 106 miles (no resupply) on the AT back in May. I brought two squeeze pouches, one was used and it blew out on day two. My backup (2L) was new and was fine for the rest of the trip, but I also pack a 1.5L or 2L collapsible water bottle that will thread onto the Sawyer if needed as well as the SmartWater bottle. Worse-case, I could go in-line filter with my hydration bladder and of course I had the Aqua Mira chemical solution. Lots of options in case of failures without piling on much weight.





If I was seriously going on a longer trip and further from civilization and wanted to stick with something like the Sawyer, I would likely choose their 2L gravity bag. It can still be used like a squeeze bag, but is more durable (built like the MSR Dromedary bags). As mentioned, I would likely forego the SmartWater plastic bottle and choose a lightweight titanium bottle as well. One thing I will say about the Sawyer Mini's is that I would recommend you check them out at home before taking them in the field. They're inexpensive enough and light enough that you could actually pack a spare if you're really concerned...but never had one fail, I just had one that didn't get cleaned up and back flushed after a trip and the output was poor and I couldn't fix it. The larger Squeeze Sawyer is much more robust.



ROCK6
01-15-2020 12:37 AM
ajole I’m all about the MSR/Katadyn/PUR water filters with a prefilter and a pump.

Like the ceramics you can “restore” by scraping.

I carry a few purification items as well, JIC.

And of course...boiling is an option. Fire or gas stove, depending on what’s going on.
01-14-2020 11:35 PM
mreddie I filter my water fist with a bandana with grass and plant matter, bandana with charcoal then bandana with sand then boil
if I cant do this I use my lifestraw
next I will use Aquamira Water Treatment
or 2% iodine as a last thing
that's 4 ways I know I have good water to drink
01-14-2020 04:49 PM
Surviving Suburbia Oops... I posted that. Sorry. Mine came the same way.
01-14-2020 04:23 PM
charliemeyer007 Have at least one all metal water bottle or a fair size pot, I prefer stainless steel cost wise but titanium works too if you can afford them. Fire is cheap and you will likely need it anyway.

Depends where you go what as to what sort of contaminates you can run across. Abandon mine leaching stuff just around the bend or a dead cow in the creek behind the beaver lodge.

I always look for fish or bugs in/on the water.

Words I like to see on my water filter - silver impregnated ceramic with activated charcoal.

Polar Pure is good stuff - that last Amazon bottle a few days was a flop (it was posted in the deal of the day thread) - it was nearly empty with the bags and paperwork stained brown - they did refund my money. I keep it for nukes.
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