Water Purification

You want it reviewed? Ask. You have a review? Tell us about it.
User avatar
Pointman
Bush Wacker
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:45 am
Location: Dallas, Texas
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Water Purification

Post by Pointman » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:20 am

When on an extended stay, collecting water will be one of your priorities. Filtering sometimes begins with something as simple as a bandana over your container or as elaborate as constructing a crude filtration system consisting of layers of grass, sand, more grass, sand and finally hardwood charcoal.

The premise is that you don't have or can't afford a fancy schmancy hi-dollar filter and still need to kill protozoa with either boiling, SODIS, or purification tablets. How much experience do you have with these things? There are several kinds either two part or a single tab with varying degrees of wait time. The two part iodine tablets can take as much as four hours to make water safe to drink. Heck, you might as well take the time to build a fire and boil it as long as it's not pouring down rain and you have a container handy or can improvise one. Aquamira chlorine dioxide drops take only 20 to 30 minutes and offer a decidedly shorter wait time. Some taste like crap and others are more tolerable. After weighing the variables, how many have you actually tried and which tabs/drops do you carry or do you make your own?

A relatively cheap alternative to something expensive like the Katydin filter is the Aquamira Frontier Pro Ultralitght for around $20.00 available online at The Sportsman's Guide. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/a ... x?a=455792. Since it contains charcoal, it not only filters and kills bacteria, it also removes chemical toxins from pesticides, petroleum byproducts and hydrocarbons so commonly found in areas around towns and cities.

If you have any other recommendations, let's hear them.

User avatar
BigJesse
Site Admin
Posts: 2342
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Copperas Cove, Tx
Has thanked: 236 times
Been thanked: 200 times
Contact:

Re: Water Purification

Post by BigJesse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:47 am

I've only had experience with water tabs, and I've only used them once. Honestly the only reason I used it was to test the taste. It tasted like a hospital smells... ew.
Its funny you mention this because I was just doing some Amazon browsing when a LifeStraw caught my eye. So I started on a "recommended" adventure. There are so many options out there that pretty much do the same thing. 99.999% this, 99.999% that. It seems the only real determining factor is price, amount it can filter, and features like 'can it attach to bladder and such'.

So were going to do a bit of a "verses" here...
LifeStraw VS Aquamira Frontier Pro
Max Amount of Water Filtered
  • Lifestraw
  • 264 gallons

    Aquamira
  • 50 gallons
Contaminate Removal
  • Lifestraw
  • 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria
  • 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
  • Reduces water turbidity by filtering particles of approximately 0.2 microns

    Aquamira
  • Removes 99.9% of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other contaminants down to 3 microns
  • Carbon micro filter to absorb chemicals, odors and improve the taste of the filtered water
Additional Features
  • Lifestraw
  • High flow rate
  • wt: 2oz
  • 5 year shelf life

    Aquamira
  • Connect to almost anything, 28mm bottle opening (standard opening for water bottles), hydration bladder, straw for directly from source.
  • wt: 2oz
Price (via Amazon)
  • Lifestraw
  • $19.95



    Aquamira
  • $16.25


So, its a tough one to me. The Aquamira can connect to pretty much anything, the Lifestraw can't. The amount of water that can be filtered with the Lifestraw far surpasses the Aquamira, which is a big factor for me. About the carbon filter, I'm not too worried about the chemicals only because that isn't an immediate threat, the bacteria and parasites on the other hand are. The taste isn't that much of a factor for me either. With these two products back to back I think I would go with the Lifestraw, even with the inconvenience of it not connecting to anything but your mouth lol. I would rather be able to filter bacteria and parasites over 264 gallons than to have decent tasting bacteria/parasite free water over 50 gallons. Seems like you get less bells and whistles with the Lifestraw but a better bang for your buck.

About the water purification tabs. They kill... well... almost everything. They don't filter the chemicals of course and the water tastes like a hospital but they get the job done.

User avatar
Pointman
Bush Wacker
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:45 am
Location: Dallas, Texas
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Water Purification

Post by Pointman » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:49 pm

I would have to agree with you on the Lifestraw based on volume. My post was more centered on what kind of experiences folks had with either the tabs or drops.

Katadyn Micropure Tabs (Chlorine Dioxide) can run between 30 minutes up to 4 hours depending on water temperature.

MSR's Aquatabs (Chlorine Dioxide) are around 30 minutes wait time but are not proven to be effective against Cryptosporidium.

Coglins (2 part) Iodine (technically 'Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide') takes almost 40 minutes and taste like crap.

Aquamira drops (Chlorine Dioxide) take about 30 minutes.

Chlorine Dioxide is much stronger purification method over iodine and if allowed to 'out-gas' after treatment, is pretty much odorless and tasteless. Some say there is a strong taste while others report no taste at all. Heck my tap water smells like a swimming pool here in Dallas so I filter all my water anyway using a ceramic/charcoal filter or one of those Pur faucet filters I suspect those reporting a strong taste drank it right after treating with the drops without allowing it to breath for a few minutes.

In a strictly survival situation I would still want the additional charcoal filtration because when it hits the fan, no telling what is going to be in the water. For backpacking and short stays of a week or less I would opt of the Lifestraw. For now, I'll just use my homemade filter and some Aquamira drops when boiling is not practical

User avatar
BigJesse
Site Admin
Posts: 2342
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Copperas Cove, Tx
Has thanked: 236 times
Been thanked: 200 times
Contact:

Re: Water Purification

Post by BigJesse » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:59 pm

Oh I see. I've only ever used one type, the Iodine tabs. But it was on a river that I have drank from before, multiple times without getting sick so I can't attest to its effectiveness. But I do know one thing... it tastes terrible. Even after adding some Gatorade flavor packets.

User avatar
Newt
Wet Tinder
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 10:33 pm
Location: Brown county
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Water Purification

Post by Newt » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:06 am

Great post. I have been thinking about water purification lately myself. I have tabs but have never used them. Water is heavy so I've been trying to think of ways to lighten the load, and not have to carry so much water with me when I go out.
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own."

User avatar
DBX
Camp Curmudgeon Master Edge Technician
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 8:59 am
Location: Angleton, Texas
Has thanked: 207 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Re: Water Purification

Post by DBX » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:49 pm

Check out the Sawyer squeeze filter. Suppose to do a million gallons. I think you can find them at Academy. If not, I got mine from Amazon for around $30 or so.

Lather Rinse Repeat
"If you wants to understan' an enemy, you gotta walk a mile in his shoes. Den, if he's still your enemy, at least you're a mile away and he's got no shoes." -Troll wisdom

Climate change started with the Big Bang.

User avatar
Pointman
Bush Wacker
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:45 am
Location: Dallas, Texas
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Water Purification

Post by Pointman » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:47 am

I read somewhere that the squeeze bags are not very well constructed and can rupture easily. After watching the video, I think it is still worth the money especially due to the longivity of the filter. A million gallons? Heck, it'll never wear out or have to replace any filtration media and you can get more bags. As long as you don't try to gorilla squeeze the bags, I just don't see how they could be that unreliable. I also like that they are adaptable to a 1 litre or 2 litre bottle or to a hydration pack making them pretty versatile. Good call DBX. I'll be snagging one of these soon.

You can watch the video here....


http://www.sawyer.com/water.html

User avatar
DBX
Camp Curmudgeon Master Edge Technician
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 8:59 am
Location: Angleton, Texas
Has thanked: 207 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Re: Water Purification

Post by DBX » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:29 am

Haven't got to try mine out, yet. All the ditches around here are bone dry. I'm planning a little sanity trip, soon, will try it out then.

Lather Rinse Repeat
"If you wants to understan' an enemy, you gotta walk a mile in his shoes. Den, if he's still your enemy, at least you're a mile away and he's got no shoes." -Troll wisdom

Climate change started with the Big Bang.

User avatar
dragogt
Fair Weather Camper
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:40 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Water Purification

Post by dragogt » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:59 am

DBX wrote:Check out the Sawyer squeeze filter. Suppose to do a million gallons. I think you can find them at Academy. If not, I got mine from Amazon for around $30 or so.

Lather Rinse Repeat
I got mine from Academy, I put it in line on my camelbak for use out on the barges.. (the potable water tanks on the boat are rusty)

The bag doesn't seem that fragile, but I really haven't played with it much either.. Ymmv

Sent from my T-Mobile Galaxy S4 using Tapatalk 4

User avatar
dragogt
Fair Weather Camper
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:40 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Water Purification

Post by dragogt » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:59 am

DBX wrote:Check out the Sawyer squeeze filter. Suppose to do a million gallons. I think you can find them at Academy. If not, I got mine from Amazon for around $30 or so.

Lather Rinse Repeat
I got mine from Academy, I put it in line on my camelbak for use out on the barges.. (the potable water tanks on the boat are rusty)

The bag doesn't seem that fragile, but I really haven't played with it much either.. Ymmv

Sent from my T-Mobile Galaxy S4 using Tapatalk 4

Post Reply