Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle?
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Ryan Mitchell
(ryan112ryan) - F
Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 07:27:34 MDT Print View

I have been considering various lightweight options for water treatment, I did have one questions about the Steripens.

Let's say you get to a stream, you pull out your nalgene bottle and want to fill it. How do you avoid getting contaminated water on the threads of the bottle and if you do, how do you sterilize it?

I know when I used tablets, I was taught to let the tablets dissolve for a while then loosen the cap and shake so the treated water gets into the threads of your bottle cap.

So that's my question, beyond that I'd be interested in people's experience with them, I am nervous that the batteries will die while in the field.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 07:50:00 MDT Print View

I don't worry about it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 08:08:47 MDT Print View

Roger's articles say it doesn't matter if a drop or two's worth of untreated water gets into your drinking water.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 08:09:45 MDT Print View

I have cutoff the very top of a one liter Aquafina bottle. It is my scoop and treatment container. So I scoop and treat in the Aquafina and pour into my drinking container. I don't use Nalgene (too heavy) so for me this setup is the best option because the opening on my drinking container is too small to treat.

Another approach in your case without the separate scoop/treatment vessel is to treat the water inside your Nalgene and then carefully pour a small amount of treated water out such that it runs down the threads and clears out any dirty water.

Here is a separate thread I had started a while back about it

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=48237

Edited by randalmartin on 08/15/2012 08:11:59 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 08:12:57 MDT Print View

Plastic is hard to sanitize.

Get a metal bottle and carry a torch. Flame the threads and you will be safe.

Ryan Mitchell
(ryan112ryan) - F
Re: Re: Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 08:47:49 MDT Print View

"Roger's articles say it doesn't matter if a drop or two's worth of untreated water gets into your drinking water."


Respectfully I'd take issue with that viewpoint. Studies have shown that in a single drop of water you have on average 10,000 bacteria (mostly harmless to us) up to 50,000 bacteria. Now if you're using a chemical treatment, then the drops will be killed, but with the steri pen, the treatment isn't persistent because the light isn't present. You certainly have a reduced risk because of simple numbers game (only a drop), but if that drop has e.coli or coliform and is introduced to your clean water, it will multiply rapidly.

All that said, the instance of becoming ill from these bacteria, protozoans etc is relatively low. The CDC (center for disease control) reports giardia as infection of 15 per 100,000 annually with one of the main affected groups being backpackers/campers/hikers.

CDC Giardia surveillance: http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/PREVIEW/MMWRHTML/ss5401a2.htm

My thoughts are, I'd rather not spend 15 days on the toilet with drugs that will make you vomit often (treatment for giardia), so I am going to treat my water and if I am going to lug it there and back, I'm going to be sure to use it to it's full effect.

Just my two cents though.

Edited by ryan112ryan on 08/15/2012 08:48:55 MDT.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 09:43:52 MDT Print View

Ryan,

I have a similar concern. If I was using a steripen I think I would have a dedicated "dirty" bottle and pour it carefully into whatever container (another bottle or cup) that I would be using for the steripen procedure.

Daryl

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Steripen on 08/15/2012 10:18:47 MDT Print View

I just wipe down the threads with my shirt or bandana. Batteries, or the device itself, can die while you're out so it's good to have a backup. That's the downside of the Steripen although when I used to carry a filter I also had a backup method. But the great thing about it is when water sources are plentiful, I don't carry any water at all. Just dip, treat, drink, and walk on.

Edited by rlnunix on 08/15/2012 10:24:23 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
UV Treatment - Sterilizing the Threads on 08/15/2012 10:53:20 MDT Print View

I don't use a Steripen - I use either an AquaStar or their smaller mUV, but the issue is the same.

I have a "dirty" Sobe bottle that I use for treating the water. That's what I dip in the source and then I treat it in that bottle before transfering it to one of my Platys. I don't bother with the threads because I'm pouring it out after treatment.

I often carry water in my "dirty" bottle and will give it the UV treatment if I'm going to drink it directly or boil it untreated if I'm cooking dinner.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 11:10:09 MDT Print View

This has been asked before. Generally, this is not if great concern, but why take chances?

When treating water with the steripen, dry the cap first. Then fill the water bottle, pretty much ignoring the threads. Treat the water. When getting ready to put the cap on, again, lightly squeeze the bottle to force a small amount of clean water out, along the threads and cap. Continue squeezing till the cap seals. This methode is pretty good. The cap should have been clean to start with. So, really only the threads are the problem. Like contamination suits, that always force stuff away from you, the same principle is applied to water bottles. Always force the water away from a possible contamination source. But, even watching it done, you may miss that. Once you start to squeeze, you must continue till it is sealed and flushing enough water out to wash everything.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
How about on 08/15/2012 11:16:54 MDT Print View

I carry an aluminum IMUSA mug that is used for cooking and boiling water. I can scoop dirty water with it, use Steripen and then pour it down into a bottle. The mug itself gets sanitized during cooking/boiling process.
I think there is very little cross contamination if any during the pouring of water after treatment.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Fear of Water on 08/15/2012 11:47:33 MDT Print View

So if I were to take a swim and get untreated water on my lips, how would I go about sterilizing them before licking them?

If I don't put my head under can untreated water still get into my body through my belly button?

Rob Vandiver
(ShortBus) - M

Locale: So Cal
Re: Fear of Water on 08/15/2012 12:18:19 MDT Print View

Craig, you are spot on, man.
Week before last some guy scolded when he saw me blowing on the dirty side of my Sawyer Squeeze to blow the water out, rather than unscrew the clean side. About 4 hours later I was spashing happily in Lake Hamilton under the noon day sun, and I wondered if he would have scolded me for that as well.
I'll tell you what, that water was heavenly.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Steripen questions - sterilizing the threads of water bottle? on 08/15/2012 12:44:28 MDT Print View

Is it paranoid if I stop to put on gloves when handling shoes,socks and pants that get wet at stream crossings ?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Fear of Water on 08/15/2012 13:21:58 MDT Print View

"So if I were to take a swim and get untreated water on my lips, how would I go about sterilizing them before licking them? If I don't put my head under can untreated water still get into my body through my belly button?"


Damn, where's the thumbs up emoticon when we most need them??

At any rate, I've been thinking, after reading the dangers here, that I should probably quit kayaking too. 20 yrs of getting splashed in the face...my luck of not getting the poops are bound to come to an end!



(In all good fun, guys......)

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: Fear of Water on 08/15/2012 13:40:40 MDT Print View

"...my luck of not getting the poops are bound to come to an end!"

Rusty, this is pure gold!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Fear of Water on 08/15/2012 14:45:12 MDT Print View

That's it, I'm not going outside anymore.

Dee knisley
(dee@steripen.com) - F

Locale: Northeast United States
threads of water bottle on 08/16/2012 07:31:29 MDT Print View

Here at SteriPEN, we suggest gently swirling the water in the bottle while treating it to make sure there are not untreated droplets. When you finish treating your half or whole liter, use a cloth to carefully wipe the threads of the bottle before drinking.