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Survival Nerd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked at the Katadyn water purifiers and have been thinking about getting one for our hiking trips; but for a SHTF situation here in FL, there is a lot of access to "backwater" canals. These canals open up into the gulf (or atlantic depending what coast you are on) and are slightly brackish.

Will I need to get a desalinator or will a regular filter be enough? Any references on how to process and purify brackish water? Anything else I should have asked but didn't?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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A filter won't remove the salt. If it's too salty to drink, then you'll need to look into other methods such as reverse osmosis or distillation. Both have severe drawbacks though.
 

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Sadly Yes you will need a purifier that is a desalinator if you wish to be able to drink "Brackish" water without distilling first. Depending on where you live, most wells are deep enough to avoid this problem. You just need a generator to power up the pump to bring the water up(over 60ft in most cases in SW Fl). Understand that most ponds not contected to the gulf are fresh water, and purifiers will work. FYI, I shouldn't say this but most boats over 45-50 ft. have a desalinator on board. Something to keep in mind if you live near the coast. Just saying .....
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Looking on Amazon.com I found these two models of desalinators:

Katadyn Survivor 35 Desalinator ($1,985.00)


and the smaller/cheaper

Katadyn Survivor 06 Desalinator ($895.00)


Neither of which is cheap, but in a pinch may be a good thing to have in a BOB. Anyone have any experience with either of these?
I've used manual watermakers in sailboats before. You have to exert a lot of effort to create very little water. To me they're not really an optimal way of making water, long term. They'll keep you alive on the sea until a rescue boat comes, but to make water for a family for long term, no.
 

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Survival Nerd
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've used manual watermakers in sailboats before. You have to exert a lot of effort to create very little water. To me they're not really an optimal way of making water, long term. They'll keep you alive on the sea until a rescue boat comes, but to make water for a family for long term, no.
Great feedback thanks. I guess I'm off to learn how to distil water now!
 

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Totally off grid
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If i'm not mistaken, the Berkey ceramic filters will work with brackish water. I don't think it will work for sea water. That is a good question and i'll do some research.
 

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distillation............ I am going to try it this summer using the heat of the sun..... will let you know how it works if it gets hot enough here.........
 

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Gitter Done!
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You can boil any water and then run it through a filter for drinking. You can also filter silty water through a bag of sand before running it through your filter. When in question , boil it.

If you see colored water that looks like a rainbow on the top of it, usually it is contaminated with oil or gas. I would avoid it completely and dig down next to the stream and get a little fresher water as the soil between your dug hole and the stream filters that junk out. Let the hole fill up with water and then filter that. Even boil it to kill the bugs before filtering it if you are not sure about your water filter.

The handy canteen water filters are great for hiking.

You can make your own nice water filters and there are videos on youtube how to do it.
 

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Get a metal pot or metal container with a top
insert copper tube into top of pot
fill pot with brakish water
build fire under bottom of pot
have copper tube where it drips into another pot or container

The water boils, condensates through the tube, turns back into water, drips into container

During the boiling process, bacteria and viruses are killed.

use the salt left over from boiling the water to season your food, or as a barter item.
 

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See you in my Scope
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Ultimately, For really long term water you will want to filter in a biosand type filter and then i would run it through a Solar Still.

This is the one I am building. This pic is from today. Should be done tomorrow and I will show it all off.

Water still.jpg
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Great feedback thanks. I guess I'm off to learn how to distil water now!
Distillation is another hard one. In the summer you can use solar distillation, but you have to build quite a still to get enough water for a family. And in the winter, it becomes a fuel hog. It's an energy intensive process. If you have strong sunshine year 'round, a solar still ain't a half bad idea.

I think I'd look into collecting rainfall if you get much there. And maybe a fresh water well.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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You can boil any water and then run it through a filter for drinking. You can also filter silty water through a bag of sand before running it through your filter. When in question , boil it.
Neither boiling it nor filtering it removes salt. In fact, boiling it concentrates it.

Ultimately, For really long term water you will want to filter in a biosand type filter and then i would run it through a Solar Still.
No reason to filter before distillation really. All the nasties get left behind when you distill it.
 

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Big word of caution. While Distilling water is a great way to get some really clean water, consider the source. if the source has oily film or you suspect that there are chemicals in the water, distilling it will most likely produce clean water with chemicals in it.

Chemicals will distill as easily as water and sometimes easier. Chemicals in water would definately have to be filtered using activated charcoal filters prior to distilling.
 

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Survival Nerd
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Distillation is another hard one. In the summer you can use solar distillation, but you have to build quite a still to get enough water for a family. And in the winter, it becomes a fuel hog. It's an energy intensive process. If you have strong sunshine year 'round, a solar still ain't a half bad idea.

I think I'd look into collecting rainfall if you get much there. And maybe a fresh water well.
A well is not possible where I live in Florida. I'm looking into rain water collecting to be sure. I was curious about the brackish water simply because I live next to a deepwater canal ... And it's full with water year round. There is the occasional boat, so the point ComancheSniper made about chemicals is a strong possibility. I suppose that the water could be used to flush a toilet easily enough.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Big word of caution. While Distilling water is a great way to get some really clean water, consider the source. if the source has oily film or you suspect that there are chemicals in the water, distilling it will most likely produce clean water with chemicals in it.

Chemicals will distill as easily as water and sometimes easier. Chemicals in water would definately have to be filtered using activated charcoal filters prior to distilling.
Proper distillation gets rid of the first part that distills out. That contains the lighter distillates. And gets rid of the tailings. Those contain the heavier ones. If you're distilling at the right temperature, what you have left is pretty much pure water. There aren't that many chemicals that distill out at the same temperature as water.

I'm certainly no expert on distillation, but I do know that there is a right and a wrong way to do it. It becomes especially complicated when there are volatiles in the water, as you mentioned.
 

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Big word of caution. While Distilling water is a great way to get some really clean water, consider the source. if the source has oily film or you suspect that there are chemicals in the water, distilling it will most likely produce clean water with chemicals in it.

Chemicals will distill as easily as water and sometimes easier. Chemicals in water would definately have to be filtered using activated charcoal filters prior to distilling.
I agree to filter first...However, if that is not an option, most chemicals do not boil at the same temeperature as water. So in a "must" situation, boil the water for at least 5 minutes to get any out chemicals that evaporate before water.

Then never boil all the water in the container to help make sure any chemicals that will vaporize after water stay in the container.

Here's a Water Cone...They are expensive, but the design can easily be copied with less expensive materials. If you have enough sun (and warmth), these concept will work. In the winter, boil water when you cook or need warmth. Also mirrors or other reflective surfaces can be used to concentrate more sunlight on the black container, which absorbs the light/heat.

 

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A well is not possible where I live in Florida. I'm looking into rain water collecting to be sure. I was curious about the brackish water simply because I live next to a deepwater canal ... And it's full with water year round. There is the occasional boat, so the point ComancheSniper made about chemicals is a strong possibility. I suppose that the water could be used to flush a toilet easily enough.
Why is a well not possible?(outside of cost) As long as your canal is open there should be enough water flow that chemicals from minimal boat traffic shouldn't be a problem. The real problem with chemicals will come from run off from lawns. If your water is brackish you must be up river from the Gulf. I'd check out your rivers water quality if you really want to know what you're dealing with. You also might be able to find out your canal salinity level. Important to know if you want to use the water to irrigate a garden.
 

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Survival Nerd
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Why is a well not possible?
I live in a deed restricted community governed by a group of power hungry retired idiots with nothing better to do with their time ... I'm lucky if I can get approval for a new mailbox ... No way I'd get a well approved.

With the housing market the way it is, I can't sell and move right now ... So I'm trying the make the most of what I have.
 
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