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Thread: water purification tablets????

  1. #1
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    Default water purification tablets????

    Anyone use a tablet form to purify water.
    Looking to drop the pound of weight of my MSR water pump but not sure what other route to go.
    Any suggestions on another way to make the water safe to drink????

  2. #2

    Default Bleach

    My buddy started me on this after he went on a few camp outs with the boy scouts. Get a small dropper/bottle (we use the infant tylenol bottle) and fill it with clorox bleach(regular unscented). In a liter of water use 4-5 drops. wait 5-10 minutes and unscrew the cap on your water bottle and turn the whole thing upside down so the chlorinated water gets on the threads. Reseal and wait another 20 min and then it's safe to drink. We used this method for a couple of overnight hikes and on the haul road. we treated 1 gallon at a time. Never got sick and the water didn't taste too bad. Much better than the iodine tablets. The boy scouts have been using it for some time. Take 2 water bottles so you can treat one and drink the other. The dropper bottle with bleach only weighs a couple of ounces.
    Disclaimer: This has worked for me and several others but do your own research. I'm not responsible if you die from some rare water disease

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Water purification

    In an earlier thread, I was surprised by how many field-tested approaches seemed to work fine - http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ter+filtration

    Although discussion was about filters, the website posted by Springer, and comments by bstacy1974 were useful. Springer's website includes ratings of water disinfectants.

    Buck Nelson seemed to like Aqua Mira - which I think he used without a filter --
    http://www.bucktrack.com/Alaska_Back...st_Review.html


    When clear water was available, I usually have done without a filter, using chemical disinfectant only.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    I've used chlorine tablets on a few week-long hikes without getting ill. They have less aftertaste than iodine tablets. They take a while to work, so I usually have two canteens so I can drink from one while waiting for the other to sterilize. Tablets are nice because you don't have to sit there and pump water, and they take up a lot less space & weight than filters.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  5. #5

    Default

    I'm sure this is old news, but I've used iodine tablets for years. They work well and I've used them in some pretty bad water. To kill the bad taste carry a pack of lifesaver candies. Drop in one per quart. Although I have noticed the new tablets come with some sort of taste neutralizing tablet. I'd be curious how well they work.

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default taste neutralizing tabs

    I have used these and they neutralized the iodine just fine...water tasted pretty good. Does anyone just rely on boiling method? I know the tabs are fast and easy.

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    Default Water

    I have used clorox bleach for years, does not stain the canteen with a bad taste. Iodine tabs has been used for years but unless i am mistaken iodine does not kill geordia (sorry i can't spell that). One of the other post stated that they use a eye dropper and 2/3 drops for clear and 4/5 for muddy wait 5min and loosen cap and wait 4 or 5 min and drink away. That is exactly the way i have always done it. I have had friends laugh and say oh you can't do that and in about 4days and clogged up water filters they are asking for the dropper. I hope this helps
    Regards T

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    I have used clorox bleach for years, does not stain the canteen with a bad taste. Iodine tabs has been used for years but unless i am mistaken iodine does not kill geordia (sorry i can't spell that). One of the other post stated that they use a eye dropper and 2/3 drops for clear and 4/5 for muddy wait 5min and loosen cap and wait 4 or 5 min and drink away. That is exactly the way i have always done it. I have had friends laugh and say oh you can't do that and in about 4days and clogged up water filters they are asking for the dropper. I hope this helps
    Regards T

    Just don't use too much chlorine, other wise you will poop white for a while.
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    Member Dan W's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm pretty sure idione kills gairdia. I have a filter that we usually take it along if we have a base camp and use it there, but I use the iodine tablets and neutralizers for hunting/hiking from base camp and during more true backpack type hunting. I like the tablets a lot. The nuetralizers is simply vitamin C, and I think it does a great job of making the water taste like water. That said I think different people have different taste buds. Iodined water doesn't bother me much without the nuetralizer, but I know some folks whom have a real hard time with the taste.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Effective on giardia?

    In another thread, bstacy1974 posted basics of water treatment (his line of work) : http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ter+filtration

    Springer posted a website in that thread, the US Army's test report for different filters and disinfectants, including which ones are effective on giardia (also viruses, bacteria, crypto):
    http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx

    Based on many field reports from Alaska outdoorsfolk though, it seems like a wide range of methods works, even if they didn't score A-plus on the USACHPPM testing. I think Buck Nelson used Aqua Mira, for instance.

  11. #11

    Default Big Chunks

    When boat camping; I use a plastic funnel with a coffee filter to strain out the sediment and fish poop; Then I use a water purification tablet. When packing I use a handkerchef (takes up less space), then add the tabs. In camp, I just boil camp water. Lugging more than a couple of canteens is a waste unless your in an arrid area. Alaska usually has plenty of water available. I can handle the taste of iodine far better than the diarrhea and cramps.
    Water filters are heavier and bulkier than water tabs, and stop up too often.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  12. #12

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    BTW, iodine dosn't kill giardia or crytosporidium, and most chlorine based treatments don't kill crytosporidium Check out this link:

    http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx

  13. #13

    Default Not So

    Quote Originally Posted by springer View Post
    BTW, iodine dosn't kill giardia or crytosporidium, and most chlorine based treatments don't kill crytosporidium Check out this link:

    http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx

    If you click on the heading"USEPA Guide Standard Compliant" you'll find the labrotory tests didn't meet the EPA's requirements to be qualified. It doesn't mean they don't work it means they were tested differently.
    That's why they also have the term "no data" none was available that pertained to the EPA's study.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    If you click on the heading"USEPA Guide Standard Compliant" you'll find the labrotory tests didn't meet the EPA's requirements to be qualified. It doesn't mean they don't work it means they were tested differently.
    That's why they also have the term "no data" none was available that pertained to the EPA's study.
    You should go back and look at that webpage again. There are several devices with "no" or "no data" in that field that are effective for everything. Bottom line to me, if the army thinks that it's unsafe for their soldiers, I would think it's unsafe for everyone. I had a discussion about this subject with my PhD (he's a microbiologist) father in-law on a float trip. He agreed that water disinfectants wouldn't kill cysts such as giardia because they are so hardy, but they are typical only found on the bottom on streams (due to their density) so it's a non issue. I use iodine myself because when neutralized with vitamin C it's foul taste disappears.

    I read a great newspaper article about this subject a few years ago. It stated that the greatest concern was biofilm. Biofilm is clumps of bad bacteria and cooties floating on the surface of streams and clinging to rocks at the bottom. Here's a brief synopsis of the article:

    1) most intestinal problems are the result of bad hygiene habits, not bad water. Wash your hands after pooping and peeing. Better to use alcohol based gel in addition to soap.

    2) most water is fine.

    3) bacteria and crypot etc found in the average water is found in too small a number to overwhelm the good bateria that naturally exists in your gut.

    4) the problem comes from when you fill your bottle from either a) the surface of the water, where "biomasses" hang out and glide into your bottle. Or from the Bottom of the source, where the biomasses are found on rocks. The biomasses can have bacteria etc in sufficient quanity to cause a problem.

    5) fill your bottle from the MIDDLE of the water column. Put in in closed, open it under water, fill it, and close it underwater to avoid getting scum off the top and from the bottom.

    6) the other place biomasses hang out is . . .ta da . . .YOUR WATER FILTER!!!! Yes, that's right, your water filter is a great source of bacteria!! A little know secret is that everything that filters out then collects, and collects and forms the aforementioned biomasses.

    Scrub out and disinfect your filters!!!

    The consultant on the piece uses chlorine dioxide drops in his water.

  15. #15

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    I find it interesting that I spent my first 20 years camping, hiking and drinking water straight from the streams and never had a problem. I only started using iodine tablets when forced to by the USAF. As far as giardia goes, according to the USAF survival school, iodine does not kill giardia, but it does coat it in a way which prevents it from becoming a problem to your system.

  16. #16
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Giardia and iodine -- more to the mix than I thought...

    A lot of the comments above confirmed in these excerpts from the Army, the CDC and other.
    Overall, "rules of thumb" from this thread/links:
    1. Not all water makes you sick.
    2. Filtering is good, but not necessary. Plentycoupe, in the initial post, can probably lose the filter and spare himself the weight.
    3. Disinfecting though for giardia (and crypto) has limitations- to kill or inactivate. Turbidity, temperature, contact time (CT) matter. Type of iodine matters. Many people do fine with disinfectant only.
    4. A good case of giardia, when it hits, can make a bad time or a good story.

    That thread on water purification:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...tration&page=2
    has good info, but also in that thread, “Upstream” told of going from 200 pounds to 86 pounds within 1 week after contracting a water borne parasite. That's a bad time.

    A friend told me a story last spring on a float trip from his days as a power lineman in Minnesota. In short, they were working miles out of town in a farming area when one of their crew developed abdominal pain then explosive diarrhea all day. I’m sure it was terrible, but we couldn’t stop laughing at the story with lines like “Carhartts full of crap” and “We made him ride in the back of the truck on the way back”. Days later, the farmer complained to the power company, demanding that they send someone out to clean up all the crap left on his land by the linemen. That's a good story. (Thank you again, Brett)

    Some excerpts, first from the website:
    http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/Disinfectants.aspx

    Table 4. Iodine Solution and Resin Disinfection Capabilities
    …Cysts most resistant. Achieving Giardia cyst inactivation will ensure adequate bacteria and virus inactivation Cysts most resistant….

    Giardia Cysts Provide additional contact time beyond IWPD manufacturer recommended CTs. Pentaiodide resin effective. Triiodide resin not effective. Provide additional contact time after passing through resin.
    Cryptosporidium Oocysts Not effective. Not effective.
    Effects of Temperature Major effect. Increase contact time and/or dose at colder temperatures. CTs up to 720 mg-min/L recommended for Giardia cyst inactivation in colder waters. Major effect. Increase contact time after passing through pentaiodide resin at colder temperatures. Allow up to 40 minutes additional contact time for Giardia cysts inactivation in colder waters (< 5 deg C)
    Effect of pH Minor effect. Generally effective over typical pH levels for natural waters. Minor effect. Generally effective over pH range typical for natural waters.
    Effect of Turbidity Affects disinfection capability. Provide additional contact time and/or increase iodine dose in more turbid waters. Affects disinfection capability. Heavy organic matter loading can significantly reduce disinfection capability.

    Most of the guys posting on that other thread had used a wide variety of methods over many years of wilderness trips without becoming ill. The method used by Buck Nelson, for instance, while not rated superior on the USA CHPPM website, apparently did the job.

    From the CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasi...htm#prevention

    “If you cannot heat the water to a rolling boil or use a recommended filter, then try chemically treating the water by chlorination or iodination. Using chemicals may be less effective than boiling or filtering because the amount of chemical required to make the water safe is highly dependent on the temperature, pH, and cloudiness of the water.”

    From Colorado State University Extension
    www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000001-d000100/d000009/d000009.html

    “Giardia will not survive in water held at 59 degrees F for 30 minutes if one iodine tablet has been added per quart.”

    I will pay more attention, maybe sometimes strain water (bandanna) to reduce stuff/particulates, but keep using a disinfectant, which is easy for me. The extra insurance improves my odds. Who wants to miss 2 or 3 weekends of our short summer in the bathroom?

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    When i was in the Marines we had tablets and i did not like them. so we used chlorine bleach. a few drops and an hour later you were good to go. When we were playing long range patrols during training you could not carry all the water you needed for a week and some of it was not the best but you had to drink.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickb1b View Post
    I find it interesting that I spent my first 20 years camping, hiking and drinking water straight from the streams and never had a problem.
    We carry a few tablets for emergency situations but otherwise drink straight from the streams.

    5 gallon Igloos x 6 guys over 25ish days. Haven't had a problem.

    Granted nobody wants a raging case of the runs while in the field it is one of those risks you decide for yourself.

    Be weary of using bleach in the eyedroppers used in many pediatric medicines. You may be adding a "little extra" toxins to your water. That said, I will be taking a small glass bottle of bleach on our next trip. Good idea.

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