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Steve Kuhn
(Stevel_Kanevel) - F

Locale: Orygun
Water Purification Tablets on 08/28/2009 10:14:05 MDT Print View

I'm new to fastpacking and I've been looking at tablets instead of my katadyn filter I've been lugging around. I can't seem to figure out the practicality of them because of the 4 hour wait time once you put them in the water. Can you guys let me know your technique and advice for UL purification methods? As a runner I don't usually have 4 hours to wait for hydration.

Thanks!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Water Purification Tablets on 08/28/2009 11:09:16 MDT Print View

Hi,

The 4-hour wait time is for worst case cold and contaminated water. In the US you probably never have to wait that long.

Normally a 15-20 min wait time is sufficient. The different packagers of the tablets use different marketing strategies, although they are selling the identical item. Those less infiltrated by lawyers recommend the shorter wait times. I recall one of them even has a table listing different wait times for different water conditions (temperature, contaminant, cloudiness, etc).

I use tablets all the time and never wait more than 20 mins for relatively clear water.

Actually all the recommendations come from an EPA study you can find on the web. There you'll find complete information on wait time versus log reduction of various contaminants, temperature, cloudiness, and a bunch of other factors.

Steve Kuhn
(Stevel_Kanevel) - F

Locale: Orygun
tablets on 08/28/2009 12:39:09 MDT Print View

Most of my trips are in the Oregon Cascades and a lot of my water comes from snow melt or high alpine streams - both of which I’ve drank unfiltered before without any “known” effects. It sounds like I could probably go with much shorter wait times that the 4 hours, which makes me start to think tablets are a worthwhile option.

Thanks for the advice

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
AquaTabs on 08/30/2009 00:01:19 MDT Print View

I just picked up some 'aquatabs' which weigh 1.4g for a strip of 10 one litre tablets. For a weekend I'd probably take 20 tablets to be safe, which is 2.8 or 0.1oz.

www.aquatabs.ca

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Water Purication Tablets on 08/30/2009 08:35:08 MDT Print View

I use Aquamira water purification tablets with great success. I recently completed a Wonderland Trail thru-hike using the tablets. I agree with others that the 4 hour wait time is not always necessary. I try to treat as long as possible, but there are times when 20-30 minutes is fine and you can't wait. I have not had any ill effects with the shorter wait time. I brought a 1L Platypus and a 1 quart Gatorade bottle and rotated between the two. With record temps in Seattle of 103 degrees during my hike and likely in the low nineties on the trail, I ended up carrying more waster than usual but this treatment system worked well for me.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Crypto on 08/30/2009 17:05:56 MDT Print View

Is crypto a significant concern? My understanding is that tablets don't stop this.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Water Purification Tabs on 08/30/2009 18:55:29 MDT Print View

Tablets kill crypto...but it can take up to, or over 4 hours.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Water Purification Tabs on 08/30/2009 19:14:40 MDT Print View

remeber that cold stream water or snowmelt is going to warm up once you remove 1 quart of it and let it sit in a bottle at air temps.

on any given trip ive been on recently (during this summer, which in Phx wont end until October 31st :(
the water can be in the 45-60° range and quickly warm up to the 82° outside air temp (and thats about 102° in direct sunlight)

Katadyn MicroPur - approved, not just recongnized, by the EPA

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 08/30/2009 21:50:51 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
crypto on 08/31/2009 02:03:12 MDT Print View

My chlorine tablets say you can wait a few hours and they'll kill giardia, but they say chlorine tablets haven't been proven to kill crypto. I wonder if they are just playing it safe?

FWIW, In their MIOX literature, MSR says that chlorine tablets (and iodine) don't kill crypto. That's why they called this device the MIOX (mixed oxidents) rather than the ChlorinOX (or whatever) because it does more than create chlorine. I dunno if they are just using the lack of absolute proof in the literature to support their product though.

I'm not terrible worried...just curious really

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Water Purification Tablets on 08/31/2009 08:53:29 MDT Print View

Dan - as per Micropur Tabs (Chlorine based):

"The Only EPA Registered Purification Tablets on the Market - effective against Cryptosporidium, Giardia, bacteria, and viruses. The only disinfection system effective against viruses, bacteria, cryptosporidium, and Giardia. Fresh tasting water - no unpleasant taste. Easy to use tablets. The same proven technology that is used in municipal water supplies. Lightweight and compact - ideal for traveling, lightweight backpacking, and emergency use."

More info here:

http://www.katadyn.com/fileadmin/user_upload/katadyn_products/Downloads/Water_Guide_EN.pdf

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Interesting on 09/03/2009 20:53:33 MDT Print View

That's interesting....I wonder if they are the only tablets effective against crypto, or just the only tablets that someone has spent the time & effort to test? Either way, I usually would rather drink sooner and risk crypto vs. waiting 4 hours or so I guess crypto is a red herring.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Water Purification Tablets on 09/04/2009 00:26:35 MDT Print View

> The only disinfection system effective against viruses, bacteria, cryptosporidium, and Giardia.
Well, that's a lie anyhow.

> Fresh tasting water - no unpleasant taste.
A bit like a swimming pool...

Cheers

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Water Purification Tablets on 09/04/2009 08:16:47 MDT Print View

Be careful to make a distinction between chlorine-based treatment (bleach) and chlorine dioxide (ClO2) treatment.

The active agent in the former is chlorine, and the active agent in the latter is oxygen. The ClO2 dissociates in water and yields O2 ions, which kill the nasties, including Cryptosporodium if the contact time is long enough.

Actually the relevant measure is concentration (C) times contact time (T). This is referred to as CT in the EPA surface water treatment studies, which are the basis for all manufacturer's recommendations.

Edited by ewolin on 09/04/2009 09:08:31 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: tablets on 09/04/2009 13:16:59 MDT Print View

Most of my trips are in the Oregon Cascades and a lot of my water comes from snow melt or high alpine streams - both of which I’ve drank unfiltered before without any “known” effects. It sounds like I could probably go with much shorter wait times that the 4 hours, which makes me start to think tablets are a worthwhile option.
Water under those circumstances doesn't normally need to be treated at all -- the lightest treatment option of all. Despite all the hype from filter companies, the water at elevation in the Western US is pretty clean. Use your head of course (don't drink downstream from the herd), but you should be fine just drinking it straight.

Edited by hikin_jim on 09/04/2009 13:18:01 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Water Purification Tablets on 09/04/2009 18:14:20 MDT Print View

I've heard that mountain goats and bighorn sheep can carry Giardia all over the place, even to high elevations. But Jim seems to think not. I have no clue. Anyone care to comment?

A D
(wentworth) - F
aquatabs on 09/04/2009 22:23:28 MDT Print View

the aquatabs previously mentioned don't touch crypto.