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Preventive Medicine-H2O

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by phishi, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    3 days without water and you are toast, literally. Its needed not only for drinking, but also for cleaning yourself and food. Not only do you need it, but you need it to be clean. The following is a short guide to finding and treating the water in your area. This post does not deal with the storage of water, for that please see the following link: http://www.survivalmonkey.com/water_storage_container_faq.htm

    Lets start by defining the sources of water. It can be found in the forms of surface water, ground water and precipitaion. Surface water sources are lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. These are often the least desirable, but easily accessible as well as pollutable. Ground water sources are wells and springs. These are the most desirable, but are easily polluted and can be hard to find. Finally there is precipitation, which is rain and snow. This can be hard to count on, is therefore the least common, and can be dangerous when not fresh.

    The conclusion that can be reached from the sources listed above is that all water should be treated. To not do so would be to risk disease, which is the last thing you want to have occur when disaster has struck. You should all ways be on the lookout for sources of pollution which have contaminated your water source. Pollutions include animal carcasses, garbage, feces, and chemicals.

    Treatment for water includes boiling, filtering, and chemical methods. Each of these has their own strengths and weaknesses. In the end, it multiple methods may be needed to make the water safe.

    Boiling: Kills enteric pathogens (cysts, bacteria, viruses and parasites) by creating an enviroment that is harmful to them. Thermal death is determined by both time and temperature. A lower temperature will work, but only if you have a longer contact time. Sterilization of water is done by boiling for 10 minutes. This will kill enteric pathogens and heat resistant bacterial spores. Disinfection of water takes less than 10 minutes. In fact, the disinfection takes place as the water is reaching a boil, making it safe to drink by the time the first bubble appears. Just to be on the safe side, let it bubble for a minute, and keep a lid on the pan as it cools.

    Filtering: These will remove cysts and bacteria, but not viruses, making them a poor choice for fecal contaminated water. They rely on mechanical means to achieve their goals, are expensive and heavy compared to other methods. That being said, when outfitted with a charcoal filter, they will remove organic pollutants, chemicals and radioactive particles. This includes the taste of iodine or chlorine.

    Chemicals: Sometimes refered to as halogens, this includes iodine and chlorine. These work against bacteria, viruses, Giardia, and cysts of amebae with the exception of Cryptosporidium. They are cheap and light weight. They also are dangerous, too much chlorine can be bad for your system. Iodine is a bad idea for an individual that is allergic, has a thyroid condition, or is pregnant. People often camplain of the taste, although this may be dealt with by flavoring the treated water.

    To use, one must consider the water temperature and how cloudy it is. If the water is cold, or cloudy, one must increase the amount used, or the length of time the halogen is in the water before drinking. Iodine target amount is 4 parts per million (ppm) or 8 ppm for cloudy water. In tablet form, thats 1/2 for 4 ppm, 1 for 8 ppm. In 2% solution its 0.2 ml for 4 ppm, 0.4 ml for 8 ppm. If its a tincture, its 5 drops for 4 ppm, 10 drops for 8 ppm. 10% equals 0.35 ml/8 drops for 4 ppm, and 0.70 ml/16 drops for 8 ppm. All measurements are for 1 liter.

    Chlorine's target is 5 ppm and 10 ppm for cloudy. Household bleach 5% is 0.1 ml /2 drops for 5 ppm, 0.2 ml/4 drops for 10 ppm. Again all measurements are for 1 Liter.

    Time limits depend on temperature. 4 ppm requires 180 minutes for water the temperature of 41 degrees F, 60 min/59 degrees F, and 45 min/86 degrees F. 8 ppm needs 60 min/41 F, 30 min/59 F, and 15 min/86 F.

    In reality, this is all situational. In the mountains you might use any of the above, seperately, because the quality of water is going to be considered high. Near a town, or fields, you might boil or filter (your choice) followed by a halogen to kill any remaining bugs. Third world country, or disaster like Katrina, boiling followed by halogen will be needed to protect yourself. In the end, the choice is up to you.

    Remember, check your source and treat accordingly.

  2. Gunny Highway

    Gunny Highway Hard Work and Sacrifice blessed by God's Grace Site Supporter

    I can tell you that a variety of ills in our body are brought upon by not maintaining proper fluid balance. As Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

    Proper hydration cures and prevents a majority of ills
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