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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a number of different methods of purifying water, so I thought it would be good to get some feedback on what others think are good methods.

Personally, I don't like chemical filtration- it works, but chemicals like chlorine cause cancer. Activated Carbon is pretty good, but I've heard it has some problems flushing out smaller bacteria, say, in a pandemic SHTF incident.

Some of those Berkey filters work well, but smaller viruses get through. You do NOT want to get diarrhea in a post-TEOTWAWKI world...

So, what types of filtration would you use?
 

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How do you plan to purify water Post-SHTF/TEOTWAWKI?
Hang on just a second before we get too far. There is no way to 100% purify water. Even the water that has been sent through the local water station could have contaminants in it.

To purify water implies that your also removing viruses, which in some cases may not need to be done.

The only way for a filter to remove viruses is to use a super filter, and not a micro filter.

In the USA, the majority of waterborne infections are from cryptosporidium - which is a large protozoan. Its easily removed by filtration, but not affected with chemicals. Chlorine has a difficult time killing cryptosporidium due to its outer shell.

If you can filter out cryptosporidium, you can remove about 85% of your chances of getting a waterborne infection.

My primary way to filter water is through berkey water filters. Right now my Berkey light is on loan to a buddy.



Inside the USA, viral waterborne infections are very rare, and they have to come from some kind of human host - such as hepatitis A. If your water has hepatitis A in it, you have bigger issues at hand because your drinking water that is contaminated with human feces.

Polio is still around, but its very rare. Most of the time polio is limited to the amish communities due to their objection to vaccines and poor sanitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hm... that seems pretty interesting.

I was thinking of a combined unit- it uses Reverse Osmosis, activated carbon, and MKD filters to remove pretty much all bacteria, viruses, VOCs, heavy metals, iron sulfates, chemical agents, etc.

The reverse osmosis system is pretty good at removing viruses, bacteria, protozoans, fungi/molds, and cysts- it has a pore size of 1/1000 of a micrometer, whereas the smallest microorganism (Rhinovirus- the virus that causes the common cold) is about 1/500 of a micrometer. Even if there was a defect in the pore size, even the smallest viruses would be filtered to a pretty high percentage (the filter removes up to 99.9997% of viruses down to 0.02 micrometers, the size of a Rhinovirus). As far as Cryptosporidium and Giardia- it's rated to remove 99.9999% of those and other Protozoa. Also, it removes 99.99999% of bacteria such as salmonella, cholera, and E. Coli.

BTW, I've tested the filter myself (I'm not easily convinced by advertisements), and I've found that it fits the bill pretty well- after testing it using heavily contaminated water, the water came out fine, tasted pretty good, and didn't cause any problems. I checked some of the water out under a microscope (again, advertisements alone don't convince me...) and found an *almost* total lack of microorganisms. (almost being the key word- like you said, nothing removes 100% of all contaminants)

So, do you think that would be a pretty good filter system to use? It's not extremely expensive- about $270 for both filters- and the filters are pretty durable as far as filtering out a great number of gallons before becoming too clogged. I've tested the flow rate, and I get about sixteen gallons a day, although I could get up to 170 gallons if I removed the Reverse Osmosis component. Also, if water was in short supply, I'd remove the RO filter, because RO uses a lot of water just to clean the membrane. Even without RO, the filter still works really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But yes, in response to what Flex said, I would probably use boiling and SODIS long term- since I would eventually run out of filters. But for the early TEOTWAWKI scenario, I'd probably use that filter.
 

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Boil to kill/denature organics, then follow up with activated carbon to remove chemicals. Both can be done with post SHTF technology from basic tools.
 

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I have microfilter material: biodiesel filter bags that are 1 micron and usable just about forever because you can wash them. I also bought, and am waiting for a ceramic, silver-impregnated filter that has a .2 micron size and will remove all biologic pathogens. At under $50 it can be reused as well, up to 1000 gallons, I believe.

Additionally, boiling will be on the list of my methods. I plan to build a solar pasteurization setup big enough to do about 3 gallons a day. And using colloidal silver is also an option.
 

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Poolshock, as long as the only active ingredient is only calcium hypochlorite. Around $10 for 5 lbs. of it and you can do over 100,000 gallons with that. The powder will store until water is added so just keep dry, and you have alot of cleaning power.

You make your base bleach with the pool shock and then treat the water with the bleach. The bleach evaporates before the water so you just leave the water to sit for a few hours, to speed it up just aerate the water.

EDIT: Just wanted to cover the fact that you said chlorine can cause cancer. In my opinion in a SHTF scenario my life expectancy is probably already way down, but besides that I think simple and easy water treatment is important. Also bleach is a EPA reccomended method, althoguh they do mention it is not the most effective with crpyto. So I would probably also include a carbon filter system, if that would help at all, but that may be about it.
 

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While nothing is 100% safe Berkeys are you best bet. One of my sponsors, Jeff over at Directive21, he told me they've used it in haiti after the earthquake with good results.
I've been using water filters on daily basis for a couple decades now. Tap water wasn't good here to begin with and it keeps getting worse. A good filter like the Berkey will work, dont get worked up over which virus is this or that micron. Heck, good sunlight iliek the one found in most well illuminated kithcens is enough to kill most of those.
What I keep in small survival kits and such is a small vial with potasium permanganate. Buy a pound of that stuff and you're set for life for emergency purification purposes. :D:
FerFAL
 

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This class is 6 hours long, but I think its well worth it. Sign up at the train, then look for the potable water class.

https://www.train.org/

04. Potable Water - South Central Center for Public Health Preparedness

If your not interested in watching all 6 hours of videos, just watch the ones that touch on the topics that your interested in.

the potable water class covers everything from the intake of river water, all the way to the distribution system.
 

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Filter out the bigger stuff, boil it, and let it set to settle out finer material that made it through the first filtering.

P.S. live near a endless river.
 

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sand/carbon filter via silk screen layers, boil twice for 25 minutes each time, if needs be distill. Dig for water 3'-5' away from the water source.
 

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I think those who feel they need to protect themselves against any possible threat are violating an important principle: Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

I have some monolithic filters. I think they'll do fine. The odds of some peculiar virus just happening to be where I am filtering water are very slim.

And if I'm concerned about that, I have calcium hypochlorite to create bleach solution to disinfect the water. Those who are concerned about chlorine causing cancer are again, allowing the perfect to be the enemy of good enough. Most people drinking chlorinated water aren't dying of cancer, and after TSHTF, dying of cancer from chlorinated water is going to be maybe the least of your concerns.

I think most people would be better served by getting good enough water purification, and putting the savings toward other preps.
 

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I'm going to use the Sawyer water filter system I use for backpacking. It filters down to .1 micron, it filters around a gallon per minute and has a million gallon guarantee.
 

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There is a hand operated well nearby and since there is 45,000 gallons of H2O in my pool I just plan to distill it using a simple still to remove the pool chemicals and treat the water. It's composed of a 55gal drum and a homemade copper condensing coil that's fitted within a 16in diameter 8 ft long section of pipe that's filled with water. It's simple, highly effective, no mechanical parts to break, no filters to replace and you can run 30 or so gallons at a time. Just set it on the brick BBQ pit, fill with water and build a fire underneath and out comes clean water. (you can use it to distill hooch as well)
 
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