MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW on 12/04/2007 22:25:12 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
just a quick clarification on 12/04/2007 23:10:08 MST Print View

Do you take the 'pen' only or the 'kit' when hiking and using in the field?
(I only ask because if i'm looking at the kit weight then it's only an once lighter than my MSR pump filter).

Thanks for the review.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: just a quick clarification on 12/05/2007 02:25:54 MST Print View

Hi Andrew

> Do you take the 'pen' only or the 'kit' when hiking and using in the field?
Well, to be very blunt, I won't take it into the field as the taste is too bad.
If you want to use one, I think you would need the MIOX, the batteries and the bottle of test strips. The salt lasts a fair while.

Cheers

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Miox Versus Micropur on 12/05/2007 13:13:10 MST Print View

The $139.99 Miox doesn't do anything more, better, or faster than Micropur tablets. If anything, Micropur tablets are much easier and quicker to use!

I haven't done the math, but maybe the thing pays for itself after years of usage (even though the Miox too has continuing operating costs for batteries, salt and test strips). But that's also years of carrying extra weight and risking dead batteries, or heaven forbid, a circuitry malfunction...

As a comparison, UV purifiers are also expensive, but at least those have the advantage of speed over Micropur tablets. Frankly, the MIOX is just underwhelming.

Edited by ben2world on 12/05/2007 13:28:05 MST.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
excellent review on 12/05/2007 18:54:45 MST Print View

Roger,

Enjoyed reading your review. Was glad you got the others to collaborate your findings about the bad taste. The four hour time requirement is reason enough for me to leave it on the shelf. I wonder how MIOX sales have done.

Thanks for the great work!

gm

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Thanks Roger on 12/05/2007 19:48:50 MST Print View

No I don't think I want one. Just wondering about actual field weight.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW on 12/05/2007 20:24:11 MST Print View

Roger,

I will apparently be a dissenting voice here, but I have found the MIOX to be very useful for group hikes. Every summer we go on a week long backpacking trip with my wife's family. That used to mean pumping 8 to 12 liters of water through a filter for each meal. This consumed a lot of time and energy from a tired and hungry mob.

When I got the MIOX (as a gift), suddenly the quality of life improved on these trips. In about 5 minutes I would treat a couple of our Platy 4 liter tanks and be done. We would wait the 30 min. and be ready. (I know you're supposed to wait 4 hours, but generally the vast majority of pathogens are killed in the 1st 30 min. and our water sources pretty good.)

Chlorine taste did not seem to be as significant in large batches. When making only a liter it was definitely like a swimming pool smell. But the 4 liter quantity wasn't too bad.

So, not a ringing endorsement, but I think a reasonable alternative for large groups. It also does pay for itself with a large group and treating 100 to 130 liters during the week. Thats a lot of 50 cent Micropur tablets so the MIOX is paid for in a little over 2 trips.

That said, I don't use it for solo trips. I take Micropur usually, but I think Santa may bring me a Steripen.

-Mark

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
MIOX and large groups on 12/05/2007 22:19:54 MST Print View

Wasn't the technology behind the MIOX originally developed for the US Army? It would make sense that the MIOX might work better for large quantities of water. Though I expect that most of the potential users will only want to purify small quantities at a time.

On another note, (bearing in mind I rarely purify water, and if I do, and the couple of times I have, its been with an old PUR Scout...), if you want to kill "everything" and therefore wait 4 hours, wouldn't you be better off just forking out for the extra weight of a proper decent filter? I am guessing that most people will need to get another 1L (or more) of water after that 4 hours is up, which means for most of your walking you are lugging an extra 2+lbs of weight around with you. Probably worth it just to carry the extra couple of ounces or so in filter weight, and avoid lugging excess water around, and any potential taste problems. IMHO.

Adam

Edited by oysters on 12/05/2007 22:20:55 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW on 12/05/2007 23:49:06 MST Print View

Thanks, Mark, for your dissenting -- and insightful -- feedback! While I doubt that very many of us UL hikers here ever involve ourselves with treating 130 liters of water in a week(!) -- it does point to one advantage of the MIOX over Micropur tablets -- namely lower cost overall. In my post above -- thinking of hikers in "onesies and twosies" -- I mentioned that it would take "years" for MIOX to pay for itself.

I hope Santa brings you a Steripen. :)

Victor Karpenko
(Viktor) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Miox treatment times on 12/06/2007 00:29:07 MST Print View

Just as a comparison, here are the chlorine dioxide treatment times:

Microorganisms Contact Time
EPA Water #1 EPA Water #2
Bacteria 15 Minutes 15 Minutes
Viruses 15 Minutes 15 Minutes
Cysts 30 Minutes 4 Hours

Miox treatment times are the same except for Cryptosporidium which is listed at 4 hours.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: MSR MIOX Purifier REVIEW on 12/06/2007 02:02:34 MST Print View

Hi Mark

> Chlorine taste did not seem to be as significant in large batches. When making only a liter it was definitely like a swimming pool smell. But the 4 liter quantity wasn't too bad.
Curious! I have no idea what is happening here.

But yes, the military may also treat larger volumes at a time. Hum ...

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
msr miox purifier review on 12/06/2007 17:30:25 MST Print View

I've brought this issue up numerous times, but apparently no one is able to understand what I am saying. The major biological risk to healthy adults in north america and europe is helminths. Echinococcosis is known to be present in the arctic of North America and also the Lake Superior area. It is also present all over Europe. This is a SERIOUS problem. By contrast, there is little real danger from bacteria, viruses or smaller parasites in the backcountry for a healthy adult. Risk of diarrhea? Yes. Risk of death to a weak adult or a child from a bad case of diarrhea? Yes. Risk of death or permanent injury to a healthy adult? No.

By contrast, echinococcosis poses a serious long-term risk to even a healthy adult. Some MD on here says he has seen a few cases over the years, but the worms usually get trapped in the liver. However, it is known that they can get past the liver and into the brain or heart, at which point you have a real problem. There is no cure, no way to operate. If the cyst bursts, you will probably die. Time to develop problems is 10 to 30 years from time of ingesting the worm egg. The eggs are designed to last for years in the outdoors. They thus have a very hard shell and are probably at least as resistant to chlorine-dioxide as cryptosporidium eggs, and probably resistant to UV light as well. All helminths and their eggs are at least 5 microns in diameter, so any filter, even the 3 micron seychelle and mcnett frontier filters will stop them. Municipal water supplies always run water through a coarse sand filter, and that is also adequate to stop these helminths and their eggs. I doubt either this MIOX device nor Micropur is going to stop them, though I don't have proof of this, nor does anyone else seem to know.

The problem has become serious in Germany:
foxes in Munich exposing people to dangerous echinococcosis parasite

Because these helminths are carried by canines (wolves, foxes, coyotes, dogs), there is the potential for the problem to spread across all of North America.

Echinococcosis is already present in much of Europe and used to be a major problem in Iceland and New Zealand (dogs-sheep cycle) until those islands launched a major program to eradicate the problem by vacinating all their dogs or sheep, I forget which. I'm not sure of the situation in Australia, but given the large number of sheep, I'd imagine it is a problem there too.

Medical references:

http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1046.htm,
http://www.emedicine.com/MED/topic629.htm

Echinococcis is merely the most problematic of the helminthese in North America and Europe, but there are plenty of other helminthes out there. Roundworms, in particular, are a problem in much of the third world.

Edited by frprovis on 12/06/2007 18:16:38 MST.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: MIOX and large groups on 12/06/2007 18:59:45 MST Print View

Adam - You're right the MIOX company, which makes water treatment plants for cities, was asked to miniaturize the process for the Army as I understand it.

Ben - "While I doubt that very many of us UL hikers here ever involve ourselves with treating 130 liters of water in a week(!)" Actually the cool thing is that I have been able to "convert" all these folks that I was treating water for to UL. They love it.

Victor - thanks for the info

Roger - I don't know why either, but even my "all natural, all organic" sister-in-law is willing to drink the larger volume treatment.

Frank - Your point is well taken, however from your 1st referenced emedicine article:

"In the US: Despite the rise in occurrence, echinococcosis remains a very rare disease (<1 case per 1 million inhabitants) in the continental United States. Northern Alaska has endemic areas of E granulosus, but the frequency of infection remains low (<1 case per 100,000 inhabitants)."

For reference: Giardia = approx 1 in 6,138 in the US, so there is a reason that helminth infection is not really on the radar screen here, yet. Most US docs have never seen a case, including this one. However, I fully understand the implications and basis of your concern.

-Mark

Edited by markhurd on 12/06/2007 19:05:25 MST.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
treating for helminths on 12/06/2007 23:47:18 MST Print View

Actually, I asked the people who developed the AquaStar UV system and they provided research that showed the UV treatments successfully scrambled the helminths DNA so they were unable to pose a health risk to humans. The bodies were of course still in the water but inert. I believe they have their data public at www.uvaquastar.com

While I'm on the chlorine Dioxide bandwagon for my winter use (AquaMira or Klearwater) I use UV throughout most of the warmer part of the year. I've used the UV treatments year round but keeping batteries warm enough was problematic as even if they were warm when I put them in the device the water rapidly chilled them during treatment.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 12/06/2007 23:48:45 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: treating for helminths on 12/07/2007 00:54:11 MST Print View

> Actually, I asked the people who developed the AquaStar UV system and they provided research that showed the UV treatments successfully scrambled the helminths DNA so they were unable to pose a health risk to humans. The bodies were of course still in the water but inert. I believe they have their data public at www.uvaquastar.com

Not found by searching on 'helminth'

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: msr miox purifier review on 12/07/2007 07:20:35 MST Print View

"I'm not sure of the situation in Australia, but given the large number of sheep, I'd imagine it is a problem there too."

I grew up on a farm in Australia. I had never heard of echinococcosis being in Australia but that's because we call it hydatids. We always gave the farm dogs tape-worm medicine and they weren't allowed to eat raw offal. It's a long time since I heard of anyone having cysts from hydatids. I found this info on a Victorian government website:

"Notification of hydatid infection ceased in Victoria early Victoria early in 2001. In the decade prior to 2001 there was an average of 16 notifications per year. Most of these represented infections acquired overseas. Occasional cases of recently acquired hydatid infection have been identified in visitors to rural areas in Victoria where there are infected sheep or dingoes. Urban dogs which accompany travellers are often suspected of being an intermediary of the cycle of transmission to humans. People who trap wild dogs are similarly at risk."

Arapiles

Edited by Arapiles on 12/07/2007 07:23:49 MST.

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
msr miox purifier review on 12/07/2007 10:56:34 MST Print View

Actually, I asked the people who developed the AquaStar UV system and they provided research that showed the UV treatments successfully scrambled the helminths DNA so they were unable to pose a health risk to humans. The bodies were of course still in the water but inert. I believe they have their data public at www.uvaquastar.com

I couldn't find the information at their web site. Anyway, there is a distinction between the adult helminthes and their eggs. Killing the adult helminthes is easy. Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, UV, iodine, heat--anything should kill the adults, because they are soft-skinned. But killing the eggs of echinococcosis and similar helminthes is another matter. These eggs are designed to lie on the ground (where the canine predator defecated) for months or years until the herbivore prey (sheep, mice) accidentally ingests the egg while eating grass. The eggs will thus be exposed to natural UV light for long periods of time. I would imagine the eggs are also resistant to chemicals, simply because cryptosporidium and giardia cysts are, which suggests that putting a chemically resistant shell around an egg is not that difficult in biological terms, and is probably easier for the helminths given that their eggs are much larger than the cryptosporidium and giardia cysts and hence probably sturdier. But this is speculation on my part.

Eating the adult form of helminthes is known to be an issue when you eat uncooked vegetables that grow in moist environments. Liver flukes, in particular, are known to be a problem with watercress.

Another thing. Just because hydatid cysts from echinococcosis worms is not common in the US or Australia or other areas where these worms exist, does not mean there isn't a problem for backcountry hikers. Remember, most people in the United states and Australia never visit the backcountry and hence are never exposed to the problem. But the problem does exist. As my link above indicates, when the backcountry visits the people in cities (foxes in Munich), echinococcosis does indeed become a problem for the population as a whole. The real question is what is the incidence of hydatid cysts for hikers who travel in areas like the Arctic or Lake Superior region of North America, or the Alps in Europe AND drink water from streams without filtering (by filtering I mean just that, not chemical or UV treatment). Given that it takes from 10 to 30 years for problems to occur, it can be quite difficult to get reliable information about this.

Finally, just because the dogs are treated in Australia does mean the echinococcosis problem is eliminated. There could also be wild predators of sheep (dingos? coyotes?) which carry the worms and so the worm circulate that way. And it doesn't just have to be dogs/coyotes and sheep. In the European Alps, for example, the worms are carried by foxes and mice rather than dogs and sheep. In the North American Arctic and Lake Superior region, it is wolves and caribou/moose/deer.

Edited by frprovis on 12/07/2007 11:06:26 MST.

Donald S Bosch
(manofmt) - F
MIOX Purifier on 12/09/2007 21:18:38 MST Print View

Another dissenting opinion. I have used the MIOX for about 8 months now and have found it convenient and lightweight, even when compared to iodine tablets. I also prefer the taste to that of iodine. Of course the clarifier helps with the iodine, but that also takes more time. I did find the MIOX a bit perplexing at first to use, but now have the hang of it and have no problems. One of the issues seems to be how you shake it. If you hold it upright and carefully shake it in that position, it seems to work best. Otherwise, I seemed to use up the salt way too quickly. As for the strips, well, after a while I just depended on tasting some of the chlorine as an indication that it was working. Not too scientific. I just got back from a trip to Turkey where I used it and a 4 liter platy, just to make sure the hotel water was okay.
On a recent trip my friend had the Steripen. Very cool, but he also had trouble at times getting it to work. It seemed it would not quite light up all the way.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Prefilter? on 12/29/2007 15:13:06 MST Print View

Does anyone know of a good prefilter that could get rid of some of the taste and or these alien eggs or whatever the sort that could explode our brains? the micron size required is very small but along with the MIOX it could provide both cyst and viral and echinococcosis eggs

My opinion of the MIOX has now changed now that I realized that plain table salt works with the batteries, and that the test strips could be cut and then used with a pair of tweezers, the idea could be very low bulk and convenient by dropping all but a spare battery or two and micro test strips, which would be great on a long distance hike with little resupply chance or food shipment

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
My take on Miox on 03/01/2008 18:28:58 MST Print View

We've used the Miox for the past four years in Southeast Alaska. It works well, and when it doesn't it is our vault. We (2 adults) treat approximately 8 liters a day if the sun is shining and less if it isn’t. It usually isn’t, so lets say 6 – 7 liters.

I found an alternative approach to the directions that came from MSR. We use our thumb to cover the top when mixing the water and salt, then open the top to release the mix into the chamber. Practice has also taught us it is easier to treat a three-liter container through two 2-liter applications rather than one 4-liter application.

We spent 40 nights on the beach (kayak trips) this past summer, and, at 7 liters a day that comes out to a lot of water! We haven’t used a pump filter for three years and hope never to need to do so again.

Smell and taste dissipates with time and is generally not noticeable. Batteries have not been a problem.

Everyone who travels with us buys a Miox within a week of returning home.