Water purification other then boiling

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by robfindlay, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    What is your BEST method of decontaminating suspect water? Iodine or bleach?

    Scenario, I'm near a river/creak/lake, gutter, I dig a small trench to let water filter through (obviously not with the gutter). I fill my canteen, what method is going to give me the cleanest water?

    I've heard different things about iodine AND bleach.

    Lastly because salt lake has ALOT of water that is salty at least in places I might want to hide out in, anyone know of some good plans for a solar still or are we back to boiling when it comes to salt water?

  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    katadyn hiker pump filter gets every critter.Kastadyn or msr all are good and so easy; its alot lighter than lugging around lots of water up here. we have alot of ponds up here and alot of giardia.I pump filter everything I didn't carry in..
    How about the plastic sheet over a hole "solar distiller" this is a fancy method: http://www.ehow.com/how_2284283_solar-water-distiller.html
    usually I have seen: digging a hole; center a ("collection cup)"canteen cup or other cup
    cover the hole with a piece of plastic sheet
    seal the edges with dirt
    drop a stone in the center to form an inverted cone over the collection cup.
    Some times you see a piece of plastic tubing in the collection cup so you can drink throughout the day without disturbing the plastic.
  3. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    I recommend the Katadyn Pocket filter. It uses a ceramic element that can be cleaned. It is fairly expensive but since the element can be cleaned it has the potential to last much longer and filter thousands of gallons beyond the cheaper filtration systems. Cheaper filters use replaceable non-cleanable cartridges that filter as little as 1500 gallons before needing replaced compared to 13k gallons between filter replacements.

    So taking everything I could into account (not nearly all of it mentioned here), I came to the conclusion that the higher entry price would be worth it. I will be purchasing the system as well as a second element and a few rebuilt kits. Quite a large initial investment but again one that I believe to be well worth it. Can't seem to find any rebuild kits on line right now.


    They also make an expedition model that can provide greater volumes of water and at faster rates. This one is a bit out of my price range though!


  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I would argue that water is the most important element to survival in any situation, including daily life as experienced today. Seems like a worthy expense for bugging in. (No, I don't yet have one, but a portable version is on my list. If I have to bug out, there is a limit to what I can carry.)
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    starting to look at the berkefeld gravity filters for the house( bug-in)...around$240 to get the 4-filter 24/gal/24hour unit. All gravity and the filters are scrubbable diatomaceous earth with silver...
  6. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Yeah, ghrit, I agree with your assessment. Being alone I have myself to worry about (selfish I know) so the small version would provide sufficient water filtration for me in a BUG in or out situation and has the added benefit of being small enough to pack. I included the link mostly just to inform anybody with responsibility for larger groups that there is a solution for them as well. For those of you planning for larger groups I do recommend that a portable filter solution be packed and ready in case a BUG out becomes necessary. I would think that 1 filter+spare element/cartridge per 2 people would be excellent and 1 per 4 the very least. In fact I'd probably plan on a 1:3 ratio as the minimum for my piece of mind! I tend to error on the side of caution! I blame it on my mom's side of the family...

  7. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Oh yeah, T3, I did forget to mention that for BUG in solutions gravity filters usually offer the added benefit of removing heavy metals. Heck it's not a bad idea for any household to have those in place anyway. Something I've never worried about since losing my mind due to mercury poisoning probably wouldn't bother me so much!

  8. robfindlay

    robfindlay Monkey++

    Eventually I'm going with a filter system of some kind, but in the mean time what will make questionable water safer iodine or bleach?

    SlĂ inte mhath
  9. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Define questionable! I won't drink non-running water unless it's filtered. For running water I'm fine with iodine. If you go with bleach you'll prob need to let it sit longer to render the water safe. Iodine has asit time too but is much short if I recall correctly. In an emergency situation where I can't boil or filter due to time constraints like being on the run from the zombies and all I see in my path is standing water I'd dip my canteen and use iodine. In my opinion bleach is pretty much just to prevent bacterial growth when setting aside water in jugs while BUGing in.

    In order of preference for me:
    .2 micron filtration
    boiling/filtration (if the filter is long past it's rated filtration volume)
    boiling (I pour it through cheesecloth I keep in my camping box! so i still filter. I hate ash in my water. cotton T-shirt would prob work as well)

  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I don't know which is "better" but both will work on bacteria, and to a lesser extent on viruses, and to no good at all on toxic chemicals. You need to settle out solids with either one. If it were me, I'd go the iodine tablet route, simply from the safety and stability angle. Bleach degrades, thus dosing becomes problematic. Boiling (long enough) will do in viruses, but again nothing for non volatile toxics, salts, or silts. Volatile toxics will mostly boil out, non volatiles don't, obviously. Heavily salted or silty waters are best handled by boiling and condensing as in a still, concentrates the minerals for later disposal, you drink the condensate. Condensing arrangements are very energy inefficient compared to filtering unless you can rig a solar still.
  11. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    I can only speak for iodine since that's what we used at survival school. we drank out of the most vile puddles you can imagine and had no problems. the iodine doesn't actually purify, but it coats the bacteria allowing it to pass through your system without absorbing into the body. I would have no qualms using iodine for just about any water source.
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