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How do you Purify Water?
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Jake Calabrese
(trekmore) - F

Locale: Colorado
How do you Purify Water? on 11/14/2007 10:22:49 MST Print View

I am looking for a detailed answer from a process geek like myself. I have used a PUR (giant filter) for years, part of which was backpacking in AZ, where when you found water, you needed to fill up and the pump worked well for volume. We have not been out much since our boy (16mo) wieghs 25+ lbs, so that kind of kills a lot of options. I am however plannning a trip back to AZ (in CO now) in December. It will be a short trip, and I am looking at Aqua Mira or that tiny filter that I saw here that allows you to drink water right from the bottles/platy. Ok, so that is the background...

So you start off with 32 oz of water (more in AZ) and then what? You get to a stream/lake and do what? Do you have a second empty bottle? How do you fill it? Do you filter it into that bottle with some kind of mesh or just fill it up and then let the particles settle... through in the AM and wait?

I guess I can just not quite visualize the specifics of how people do this... maybe this is obvious and I am missing something?

- Jake

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
Arizona water on 11/14/2007 10:42:47 MST Print View

I can only give you insight on the AZ water that I treat, which varies from (relatively) clear pools trapped in the bedrock found in the Superstition mountains to clean flowing streams in the transition zones.
On a recent 45 mile trans-wilderness hike we used water found at the spring troughs and with my bandanna as a prefilter I can squeeze and release an aquamira bottle to fill it that way. Then add the pre mixed aquafina that has been :brewing: while I fill my 2 bottles. Other times, the force of the water from a pipe or in a stream will fill the bottle/prefilter by itself. This is a simple way to rid the floaties from my palate :0)
I used a PUR filter for a few years, and never gave much thought to using aquamira drops, and now I kick myself for not trying this method earlier!
I would only use a filter for the most stagnant of pools, but fortunately most of us have experience to find good water, even in AZ with it's 11 year drought. A friend of mine also used that little filter from the BPL store, but modified it with a hose to make a gravity filter. Pretty cool!

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: How do you Purify Water? on 11/14/2007 10:46:39 MST Print View

Often times I start with two full bottles of water. I drink on one of them until I get to a stream or the like. I finish drinking the rest of the bottle and fill it, I don't normally prefilter the water unless there are lots of leaves/muck in the water. I add my Aqua Mira and stick it in my pack. By the time I finish the second bottle the original bottle has been left more than long enough for the Aqua Mira to have done its job. I like to think that the motion of me walking keeps the Aqua Mira mixed well in the solution too.
If any small particles get into the bottle I don't worry too much about it. If I think the water source is particularly dirty I've used my pack towel to keep bigger chunks out, though it takes a bit longer to fill the bottle.


Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: How do you Purify Water? on 11/14/2007 19:52:51 MST Print View

Jake - Try multi-using your cookpot as a dipper when collecting from pools and shallow streams. If the water deserves pre-filtering before treating with Aqua Mira, fill up a dromedary or other large-capacity reservoir, then fit a bandanna over your cookpot and pour the water over it. Finally, empty the pre-filtered cookpot water into your water bottle(s) and treat it. Useful tip - better than a bandanna for this purpose is a "Buff," which is stretchy tubular material that fits nicely around a cookpot for this purpose.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
How do you Purify Water? coffee filter + micropur on 11/15/2007 02:06:13 MST Print View

Jake, I'm a process geek myself; I make a living off it. But no need to make this complicated. I suggest leaving your heavy filters at home. Have you ever been forced to drink water so polluted with visible contamination that you needed to filter it to remove the visible detrius? If the answer is no, just carry what you need to make the water safe to drink.

Before leaving home top off your bottles. When you get to your first water stop fill a 1L platypus and drop in 1 micropur tablet. By the time you finish the water you carried, the treated water will be ready to drink. 4 hours worst case, much less for clear room-temperature water. Before drinking open the cap and shake a little of the treated water over the threads to wash away contamintaed debris.

You can carry a cone type coffee filter to remove visible particles before treatment with micropur.

If anyone can explain a scenario where this very light paper filter + micropur combination would not suffice, please explain. There is always more to learn about this subject.

Edited by Brett1234 on 11/15/2007 02:10:32 MST.

Jake Calabrese
(trekmore) - F

Locale: Colorado
That clears up most of it! on 11/18/2007 20:54:28 MST Print View

Thanks! This did help, perhaps seems obvious... but would rather ask and get some tips before ending up out there trying it (and screwing it up)!

I was also wondering about contamination on the outside of the bottle or around the lip, but that does not appear to be an issue with just rinsing the lip/threads it sounds (based on saying to just "slosh" some water over the threads)?

To answer the other questions - all water is generally clear and running from some source, spring/creek. And I am not sure where everyone lives, but water in AZ and CO is always VERY cold, since it is generally snow fed or spring fed... if you go in the mountains- which we prefer.

- jake