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My plan for drinking the Colorado River- suggestions?
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Michael Cassidy
(duncansit) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
My plan for drinking the Colorado River- suggestions? on 04/12/2011 21:32:50 MDT Print View

I'm doing the Escalante Route in eastern Grand Canyon NP next week. The Colorado will be our only dependable water source. There are three of us. Four days. Our water system will be:

Fill dry bag 30ish liters from river, let sit to allow sediment to settle- dry bag weighs 2.3oz

Fill bottles with settled water, filtered through bandana for further sediment removal- bandana weighs 1oz

Treat water in bottles with Aquamira Drops- AM weighs 3oz

I've used this system in the Canyon before and it worked pretty well as long as we planned our water use well. The drawback is that it takes a long time to let the water settle and then use the drops. We would settle it overnight and treat all our water for the day in the morning. On this trip, we'll have access to the river throughout the day. We wouldn't need to carry as much, but it would take a long time to do this process every time we wanted a couple liters.

Anyone have a lighter/simpler/faster system?


David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Colorado water on 04/13/2011 08:10:38 MDT Print View

Just skip the first step and you'll be good to go.

During dam releases without rain storms (ie fairly clear water) I'd just dip a bottle, use chemicals, and drink, but I have a high tolerance for sediment.

Michael Chamoun
(snowchief) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: My plan for drinking the Colorado River- suggestions? on 04/13/2011 09:10:04 MDT Print View

I got back from a Tanner to South Bass trip 1 week ago. The river is now sediment-filled but not too thick. I did not filter or treat and it was fine. My experienced Canyon-hiker friend who joined me for the 1st half of the trip used only Aqua-mira. It depends on your level of comfort with treating/not treating, but you can do both. It didn't take long for the sediment to settle either.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Colorado River Water on 04/13/2011 09:44:52 MDT Print View

Your scenario is similar to what I used there as well. We were rafting from just below lake Powell to Lake Mead and used a plastic bucket for the the water to settle, but the rest was the same. Fantastic trip!

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: My plan for drinking the Colorado River- suggestions? on 04/13/2011 12:14:43 MDT Print View

Jason Klass' setup is worth considering - I wonder how long a Frontier Pro would last before the sediment gets to it?

Shave some more weight:
" 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."

Edited by akajut on 04/13/2011 15:52:23 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: My plan for drinking the Colorado River- suggestions? on 04/13/2011 12:17:38 MDT Print View

Do a search for flocking agents.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
wild idea on 04/13/2011 20:23:44 MDT Print View

no idea if this is feasible, I've never traveled in a high-sediment water area, but a possibility for, if nothing else, some trail fun:

Take a bottle, platy, other sealable water containing device
Get some cordage, stronger is better, guyline should suffice
Tie it to the neck of the bottle
Fill and cap bottle
Swing the bottle on the string in a 2-3 foot radius horizontally at a decent clip, don't hit yourself or your friends.

Thought being, you're making a centrifuge of sorts to settle the heavy sediments more quickly. No idea if this would work, but worst case, you just look like a fool for a minute and find out that it was a waste of said minute.

I'd love to know if this would work though...

Michael Cassidy
(duncansit) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Thanks for the help on 04/14/2011 17:46:42 MDT Print View

I'm gonna do what I've been doing and maybe bring a little alum. I am going with two GC noobs that I expect to have a low tolerance for the sediment.

I love the centrifuge idea, but it scares me too... : )

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
centrifuge on 04/14/2011 18:38:20 MDT Print View

I was thinking about this on my hour drive home from work today (sad I know), I think I'm going to give it a go this weekend, just toss a little dirt from the backyard in a water bottle, fill it and shake it up til the sediment suspends, and try the guyline centrifuge to see if it makes any marked difference in 15-20 seconds of doing it.

If that time period worked, it would seem feasible, any longer than that would be just annoying to me. It would seem it would sure beat sitting and waiting in the hot canyon sun.