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Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment?
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment? on 07/05/2011 10:01:58 MDT Print View

I read a tip for faster treatment of water....crush the tablets in their foil tab before you add it to your water. This will treat the water "faster."

Any truth to this? CD is light, but takes a while to treat (Whether you want 1/2 an hour for most stuff, or full 4 hours) and if crushing the tablet let to faster treatment that'd be great.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Re: Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment? on 07/05/2011 12:45:26 MDT Print View

It appears to take the tablets about 5 minutes to dissolve completely (I watched once), so that's the amount of time you'd save. You might lose some disinfecting capability if the tablets aren't put in the water immediately after being crushed.

The 4 hours is for cloudy, cold water at 40* F, sort of a worst case scenario, for cysts of giardia and cryptosporidium, especially the latter. Nobody (I asked) is willing to say how much less time is needed if (1) the water is 40*F but clear, a more logical scenario in the mountains of the western US, and (2) it's a warm day so the water has warmed up to 50-55*F at the end of 2 hours, a logical summer scenario. Undoubtedly nobody has ever tested at that level.

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/05/2011 12:46:22 MDT.

Will Webster
Re: Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment? on 07/05/2011 12:57:09 MDT Print View

After reading the safety warnings and first aid instructions on the package, and considering how I would implement them in the wild, I've decided that anything which increases the potential for contact with the tablets - including cutting them or converting them to powder - is a Bad Idea. YMMV, HYOH.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
crushing on 07/05/2011 12:57:11 MDT Print View

Yeah I'd crush them in their foil packs with a rock or something while it is airtight sealed, then cut it open and dump immediately into my bottle. Thanks!

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: crushing on 07/05/2011 13:55:10 MDT Print View

i would not risk sodium chlorite dust blowing into my eye.. not to save 2 minutes of dissolving time.. just sayin'
the time it takes for the tablet to dissolve is the only thing you would shave off of time, which isnt much.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
not worth it on 07/05/2011 15:45:31 MDT Print View

What you'd be doing is complicating a process for no appreciable benefit. The limiting factor is not the time-to-dissolve, it's the time-to-disinfect. Think about washing your hands. A squirt of soap is faster than having to rub a bar of soap, but the actual time needed for effective cleansing (i.e. how long you should spend scrubbing) is the longer of the two and does not change based on how the soap gets on your hands.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: not worth it on 07/05/2011 18:02:08 MDT Print View

As always on BPL, what is worth it to one member may not be to others. I like considering all ideas none the less and let individual members make the call for themselves.

We're talking total time here to treat the water. And it's not complicated at all. Just crush the tablet while inside the foil pack and dump it in the water bottle. Are there other steps I am not thinking of?

To me it's a question of:

- Does the crushed tablet dissolve faster? (I think we'd all agree yes)

- Does crushing a tablet cut down on the overall time it takes to treat the water? (I'd say yes, time to dissolve is part of the equation)

Even if dissolving the tablet is only 10% of the time vs. 90% for treating time, if you can cut down the dissolving time, that's still time.

Now the risks of CD dust, that would be something to consider. Sometimes my tablets are already beaten up a bit with some dust when I rip open the foil pack. It's never bothered me for it all to travel from the foil pack to the bottle opening, about 1/4 of an inch.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: Re: not worth it on 07/05/2011 18:38:05 MDT Print View

If it's 5 min to dissolve a full tab and four hours treatment, then dissolving accounts for about 2% of the total time. So lets say for the sake of easy math that crushing cuts the dissolving time in half. Then you've saved yourself 2.5 mins out of 240 mins total or just over 1%. It's up to you if that is worth it.

I'd be more worried about losing some of the tab if it's in dust form (either by wind dispersion or it being left behind on the packaging). If it's in tab form, I know I'm getting a full dose.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Re: not worth it on 07/05/2011 20:51:56 MDT Print View

Another idea i considered a while back, has been on my mind, and i thought to bring it up here.. just because.

once the treatment process begins.. and you injest the water.. does the treatment stop in your stomach? I think it would remain active until well into your small intestines. if your pyloric sphincter remains closed during normal drinking activity at room temp or colder water, it seems reasonable to think the water is undergoing an ongoing treatment... I dont see any evidence to the contrary.

i wonder.. if 100 ppl were given water as soon as the tablet dissolved within a few minutes.. and it was known to have say, 1000 giardia cysts per liter, how many would show an ailment?

im only trying to find any info that can verify my claim, or debunk it. HOW LONG will the c.d. keep working, after you have ingested freshly treated water?

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 07/05/2011 20:53:34 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Re: Re: not worth it on 07/05/2011 22:21:53 MDT Print View

I generally treat clear water in the NE 30-60 minutes. It has worked for me thus far. Not saying I'm "right" just what has worked for me and the water sources I have selected. So in my situation it goes from:

30 minutes (5 min to fully dilute)
60 minutes (5 min to fully dilute)


27.5 minutes (2.5 min to fully dilute)
57.5 minutes (2.5 min to fully dilute)

So in total...
8% time savings for low end
4% time savings for high end

Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
re on 07/07/2011 00:23:34 MDT Print View

Break it up if you have to. I wouldn't pulverize it. At the 1 minute mark... just shake the bottle for 20 seconds.. should be fully dissolved by the time your done. Then you know the entirety of the pill was utilized.

And yes a faster dissolved pill will treat the water quicker. If you could get it in liquid form... it would work even quicker.

Edited by coreyfmiller on 07/07/2011 00:27:25 MDT.

Will Webster
Shaking on 07/07/2011 05:32:04 MDT Print View

I was under the impression that shaking removes the disolved ClO2 gas from the water, and should be minimized until the treatment period is complete.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Shaking on 07/07/2011 09:20:31 MDT Print View

Looked some stuff at Micropur's website:

Looks like their "Forte" product is what we would need in the backcountry for tablets.

Micropur Tablets
Add 1 tablet to a liter of clear water. Wait 10 minutes until tablet is dissolved. Shake well. Wait another 20 minutes before
Further tips:
• Wait 2 hours before drinking if water is very cold or if you are concerned about the presence of Giardia cysts.
• The maximum amount of silver in the drinking water is 0.08 mg/l and is not exceeded once Micropur Forte has
taken full effect.
• Use Mircopur Antichlorine to neutralise the (light) taste of chlorine.

Here is their product selection guide detailing what kills what:

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
I've emailed Micropur on 07/07/2011 09:26:08 MDT Print View

....for their thoughts on this thread. We'll see if they get back to us.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Re: Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment? on 07/07/2011 15:10:23 MDT Print View

"...including cutting them or converting them to powder - is a Bad Idea. YMMV, HYOH."

I would have to agree, getting a bit of that powder in your eye or up your nose may result in serious injury. Same warnings show up on those big pool chlorine tablets...

James Winstead

Locale: CA
Re: Crushing Chlorine Dioxide Tablets for faster treatment? on 09/21/2011 14:00:06 MDT Print View

Interesting idea. I keep 6 tabs in my FAK as a backup for my steripen or Aquamira or whatever my primary treatment is. They've been riding along all summer and are pretty pulverized(but still within the packet).

I never really thought too much about it, but it seems that the chemical composition of the tabs isn't really related to whether they are solid or broken up.