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Help with Aqua Mira
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Help with Aqua Mira on 06/09/2006 15:45:42 MDT Print View

been using it for the past 3 years and have had some....ahem problems with not feeling too well the next day and bad diahrea. Sorry about being so descriptive folks. Has anyone else had this problem or is it me, user error, ie not as many drops for mixing? I use micro drops and I drop 10 drops of A and 10 drops of B, wait the 15 minutes and I still get a bad case of the poops the next day. Seriously. I just was wondering if others have had this problem. Thanks folks for any reply

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Help with Aqua Mira on 06/09/2006 16:09:26 MDT Print View

Never had that problem with AM. Do you mean you have had problems every time you have used it for 3 years? If so, I think I'd try something else.

You mentioned the number of drops but not the size container. That could possibly maybe have something to do with it. But it sounds like your digestive system doesn't like it at all.

Steven Miller
(millergear) - F

Locale: SE
Re: Help with Aqua Mira on 06/09/2006 16:21:45 MDT Print View

You didn't mention it, did you wait the required 5 minutes after mixing it to add it to the water?

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Help with Aqua Mira on 06/09/2006 16:27:56 MDT Print View

Are you visiting the same location and using the same water sources every time you get sick?

Do you treat all drinking water you use on your trip?

Do you get sick every time you use Aqua Mira?

Are these all day trips, or overnights?

If any of these are longer trips, do you get sick during the trip or after you get home?

Is this "not feeling well" accompanied by really nasty-smelling burps and farts?

Are you puking too?

Do your *BEEP* float or sink in the toilet?

Are your *BEEP* bloody? If so, go to a doctor.

Have you gone to a doctor?

If you can reliably produce your symptoms on every trip, I'd call your doctor and make an appointment for the day after your next hike. Give them a stool sample and you'll get the straight story. Don't let them diagnose you without a stool sample. A lot of doctors will say, "You're a hiker, you must have ghiardia, take this monster expensive pill."

Since the latency period on most GI problems related to contaminated water is a lot more than 24 hours (usually 5-10 days) my bet is that your health problems don't have anything to do with Aqua Mira failing. Your GI tract might be sensitive to the chemicals in Aqua Mira, but I'd bet against that too. One more likely possibility is that you have some latent infection that is set off by the exercise or diet change that comes with a hiking trip. The other more likely possibility is that something you are eating on your trip (and maybe burger and shake and the salad bar on the way home) is annoying your digestive tract and the helpful little creatures that live there.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/09/2006 16:34:44 MDT Print View

I have had similar symptoms every time I've used a chlorine based chemical treatment (Katadyn Micropur tablets), even if I've let the water sit for an hour or so in the sun.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/09/2006 16:45:34 MDT Print View

sorry for some confusion. The times that I have used Aqua Mira, half of the time I get the symptoms. The last trip was an overnighter. The micro drops are from Gossamer Gear that comes with the AM. Keep in mind that not all of the time this has happened, just about half the time. I do wait 15 minutes after I dump the AM into my water that I am going to use for drinkng etc. I'm generally pretty good about sanitation in the backcountry, but I am not ruling that out either. I used a filter for about 5 years prior to AM and did not have that problem. I really do not want to go back to filtering because I hate the weight. It could just be me that the chemicals affect, dunno. As for food prior to hiking, I did not eat before hiking and the next day I hiked out and ate nothing until I got home and then by then I was not feeling too well. Thanks for the responses folks, I apprecitate it.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/09/2006 19:11:46 MDT Print View

I hated the taste of Katadyn MicroPur when I tested it in the kitchen, but in the field I hooked the Nalgene bottle to my belt and after an hour I was surprised that I didn't notice any taste at all. It could be that shaking the water helps dissipate the chemicals. It might be worth trying, if you normally just let the water sit.

My solution is an AquaStar UV sterilizer. It kills everything (including viruses, except perhaps not including tapeworms; I'm adding a coffee filter) and weighs 3.8 oz (including battery, and not including a widemouth bottle; I use a Nalgene Cantene), which isn't much more than AquaMira at 3.2 oz (but your micro-droppers probably weigh less than that).

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/09/2006 20:52:51 MDT Print View

thanks Douglas, I actually thought of the Steri Pen or the MSR thingy (forgot the name, and I am too lazy to look it up). That might be the route that I am heading towards. I do shake the Platy when I add AM, so I just don't know. Thanks.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/10/2006 00:42:09 MDT Print View

Ken, just a collection of thoughts; might not help much.

1. 15min contact time is for viruses and bacteria, if i'm not mistaken. 30min giardia and maybe longer for crypto (up to 4hrs for some chemical disinfectants - don't know about AqM). Couldn't remember or find and real numbers for AqM, but somewhat similar Cl-O2 products have times similar to those i mentioned. You may want to wait longer before ingesting.

2. the MSR "thingy" you mentioned is called MIOX. It too is a chemical disinfectant like AqM. It may not work any better for you than AqM.

3. Did you mean Micro droppers or Mini droppers? The Mini is 11drops per liter. Is Micro the same or is drop size smaller??? Don't know. Of course if one halves the dose, the contact time is doubled, so keep that in mind - you said that you were using 10drops, so a tad longer contact time is in order.

4. Not sure of all the chemistry involved, so the following could be totally off-the-wall. I don't know the half-life of the chems in AqM, nor if they make it through the stomach, and upper intestines intact with reacting with various digestive enzymes. If the chems are still active when hit your intestines, they can kill off normal intestinal flora, which account for ~20% of the volume of stools, IIRC. This is why "broad-spectrum" antibiotics can give a person the runs. Basically, IF this is happening, you are disinfecting your intestines. This will cause the runs. Maybe you are sensitive to this chemical. I can do the same thing to myself with too much wasabi, hot chinese mustard, or jalapenos. Yogurt with active cultures often works well to resolve this issue. You may want to wait longer before ingesting the water to give more time for the chemicals to break-down (again, i don't know the half-life so i can't say how long, or if the wait would be prohibitively long).

5. The 24hr onset of your runs may lend credence to #4 above. Crypto onset after ingestion is 2+ days (sometimes a week). Giardia is 1-2weeks onset after ingestion. Therefore, if you are being precise about the "next day" onset, neither is the most likely candidate - unless you contracted them before you began your hike, or encounter a more rapid onset strain of Crypto. Crypto can be relatively benign and in some areas up to 85% of the population has been exposed to Crypto - most with no ill effects. If your water at home comes from a well, you might want that water tested, and/or install a water purification device on your home potable water system. Do other family members, if any, have any similar issues? Visitors to your home? Just trying to determine if symptoms are related solely to you and only when your in the field.

6. Can there be chemical pollutants in the water (before you add AqM)? More likely, perhaps, in some places out my way, perhaps less likely where you live an hike.

7. I've used UV-C purification. Keep in mind, that just like chems, UV-C, at the dosing levels produced by SteriPen and AquaStar units, won't kill larger parasites (flukes and tapes). Approx. 28x higher dosing is required for 98% inactivation - not a very high pct. actually - i like 6 9's, or one in a million (99.9999%) inactivation. As little as 1 Crypto cyst ingested in volunteer human testing has produced symptoms - larger parasitic organisms probably also require a similarly small load to produce infection. UV-C, however, it will inactivate viruses which a simple mechanical barrier filter won't eliminate. The coffee pre-filter Douglas mentioned is a very good idea. However, i'm not sure the "pore size" of the metal ones is small enough. 25micron pore size is the absolute max and is right on the edge for hydatid tapes. A paper coffee filter is uncontrolled so pore sizes vary with 5-15microns being typical, so this would work, but is not very robust and slow to gravity filter.

Sorry i can't be more help.

Edited by pj on 06/10/2006 00:54:48 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/10/2006 10:55:53 MDT Print View

Thanks Paul, yep I meant Micro Drops. Thanks for all the detailed insight. From my understanding the Miox is a salt based water purifier versus AM is chemical based? Now I am no scientist so I bet there is similarities. I appreciate all of the help here folks, I am just trying to narrow it down as to what might be causing it

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: GI problems & chemical treatment on 06/10/2006 11:30:11 MDT Print View

Think of the Miox as a little chemical plant, using two chemicals (salt and water) and electricity to create the treatment chemicals (chlorine compounds and acid). This makes it a close cousin to, but not a precise equivalent of the chlorine dioxide-based treatments (of which there are now several).

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Experiment on 06/12/2006 21:03:05 MDT Print View

If you would like to experiment (albeit on yourself) in order to help identify the source of the problem...you could use the Aqua Mira on some tap water at home and drink the treated water over a weekend to eliminate or prove your personal sensitivity to the chemicals themselves.
Tom