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Aquamira Water Treatment Drops


Weighed On Our Scales » 3.0 oz (85 g)

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

Chlorine dioxide based chemical water treatment kit.

Guides Gear Award Gear Guide's Gear Award Recipient
Aqua Mira treatment drops have been awarded the Backpacking Light Guide's Gear Award because of their outstanding performance:weight ratio, where performance is defined as their efficacy in killing pathogenic organisms relative to other treatment methods, including iodine, chlorine, and mixed oxidants. In addition, Aqua Mira imparts no foul tastes to the water, and in most cases, improves the taste of nastier water sources.

Overview

Be sure to read Efficacy of Chemical Water Technologies in the Backcountry by Erica McKenzie and Dr. Ryan Jordan, which compares the efficacy of AquaMira to other chemical treatment methods, including iodine and MSR Miox. This report is available in Issue 2 of Backpacking Light Magazine.

McNett Aqua Mira (AquaMira) is a chlorine dioxide based chemical water treatment kit and provide a safe and easy way to treat drinking water when hiking or traveling. Aqua Mira uses stabilized chlorine dioxide, generally accepted among the scientific community to be more effective and with less health risk than iodine, and free of iodine's unpleasant tastes and odors. The one-ounce kit provided here has a capacity to treat 15-30 gallons (60-120 liters) of water, depending on water quality and dosage used.

BackpackingLight.com Editorial Comments

By Ryan N. Jordan, Ph.D.

I've had the opportunity to review the scientific validity of chlorine dioxide chemical treatment, including McNett Aqua Mira ("AquaMira") as a means of portable water treatment for several years. Our research group at Montana State University has investigated its efficacy against pathogenic bacteria, and primarily, bacteria attached to silt and soil particles in the biofilm mode of growth ("biofilms"), which are notoriously resistant to killing by traditional germicides such as chlorine (bleach) and iodine. In short, chlorine dioxide's efficacy against biofilm bacteria (and the protozooan cysts and viruses entrapped in bacterial biofilms) can be attributed to its ability to penetrate the depths of the biofilm, a characteristic that cannot be matched by iodine or chlorine. Consider that the majority (some say 99.9%+) of bacteria in natural stream and lake waters (let alone stock tanks) exist in the biofilm mode of growth where microorganisms are associated with suspended particles or agglomerated with each other, then a germicide that can effectively penetrate these "slime layers" is going to have a higher probability of neutralizing the pathogenicity of these bacteria. Also consider that an increasing number of waterborne intestinal illnesses are resulting from bacteria (despite the increasing hype about viruses and protozoa) such as Enterococci (common in areas where stock animals are allowed). After reviewing virtually ever water treatment technology on the market (both chemical and physical), I have settled on Aqua Mira (AquaMira) as my backcountry treatment of choice. I have used Aqua Mira (AquaMira) alone on clear mountain streams, mucky pond water, stock tanks, ranchland / rangeland / riparian waters (including irrigation ditches), and international waters known to be contaminated with amoebic pathogens and other forms of dysentery. For more contaminated or suspect waters, I do recommend doubling the dose and/or the contact time, but for most U.S. backcountry locations in the mountain west, the standard dose and contact time is usually sufficient (with high stock use areas being the exception). Aqua Mira is a great way to reduce the weight of your water treatment kit while being assured that your water is drinkable.

I have reviewed Pristine / Aqua Mira (AquaMira) against other water treatment methods in a BackpackGearTest (BGT) review found by clicking here.

Is Aqua Mira Effective Against Viruses and Protozoa?

Laboratory studies continue to show that McNett Aqua Mira (AquaMira) is effective against viruses and protozoa. The US Environmental Protection Agency is evaluating these claims and approval is pending. While Aqua Mira (AquaMira) has an EPA Registration Number, this only indicates that it is a chemical recognized for its intended use, and does not indicate efficacy in any way.

How Much Does it Weigh?

The two bottle Aqua Mira kit weighs 3.0 ounces with the mixing cap and provides enough chemical to hike for 15-60 days (typically 30-45), depending on your rate of water consumption and level of dosage.

BackpackingLight.com recommends that your repackage Aqua Mira in our MiniDrop Bottle, which results in a lower-volume kit suitable for up to a week of hiking at a total weight of about an ounce.

Supplemental Materials Provided by the Manufacturer

Important Storage Information

For best results, cap bottles tightly and store away from heat and sunlight. Contact with extreme heat or extended direct sunlight will reduce the effectiveness of Aqua Mira.

Technical Data

Technical Data (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why treat stored water with Aqua Mira™?
It is important to protect all stored water supplies from bacteria.
Aqua Mira is an extremely versatile water treatment that can be used to treat water as containers are being filled to protect water against bacterial growth. Aqua Mira may also be used to treat existing stored water supplies to refresh water quality and enhance taste.

2. Why is Aqua Mira considered a breakthrough in water treatment technology?
Chlorine dioxide is a proven water treatment that has been used in hundreds of U.S. and European city water treatment plants for over 50 years.
Aqua Mira represents a breakthrough in technology that allows stabilized chlorine dioxide to be made available to consumers.

3. Is there chlorine in chlorine dioxide?
No, there is no chlorine in chlorine dioxide. Although chlorine dioxide has the word chlorine in its name, the two chemicals have completely different chemical structures. The additional oxygen atom radically changes the molecule and creates completely different chemical behaviors and by-products. Their differences are as profound as those between hydrogen, the explosive gas, and hydrogen combined with oxygen, which creates dihydrogen oxide—commonly called water.

4. How safe is Aqua Mira?
Water treated with
Aqua Mira is safe to drink on a regular basis when treated as directed. Other water treatment chemicals may create foul tastes and odors, and discolor water. Some chemicals, like iodine, chlorine, and other halogens, create potentially harmful by-products.

5. How does Aqua Mira work?
When
Aqua Mira parts A and B are mixed together, chlorine dioxide is activated and releases oxygen in a highly active form to effectively kill bacteria and enhance the taste of water.

6. How much water will one Aqua Mira kit treat?
One
Aqua Mira kit (two one-ounce bottles) will treat up to 30 gallons (120 liters) of water. Aqua Mira is also available in other sizes to treat larger quantities of water.

7. Is it essential to premix parts A and B before adding to water, or can each part be added separately into the water container?
Aqua Mira parts A and B must be premixed in the small mixing cap before adding it to water. Premixing parts A and B activates the chlorine dioxide and begins the release of oxygen that kills bacteria. The mixture will turn yellow as the chlorine dioxide activates. Only then is Aqua Mira ready to be added to drinking water.

8. Are there any special mixing requirements when treating large quantities of water?
Premix all the
Aqua Mira necessary to treat the entire container of water with one dose. Do not treat large containers of water with multiple small doses of Aqua Mira . For example, if you are treating a full five-gallon container of water, premix all the Aqua Mira needed to treat all five gallons, allow the mixture to activate for five minutes, then pour the entire mixture into the water.

9. Can Aqua Mira be premixed in a container other than the mixing cap provided?
Other small, clean containers may be used to premix
Aqua Mira provided the container is small enough to allow parts A and B to mix together thoroughly.

Features:

  • Safe & easy
  • No unpleasant taste
  • Effective against viruses & protozoa

Specifications:

  • Weight:  3.0 oz (typically enough for 30-45 days)
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