Water filtration
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Andy Goodell
(geekguyandy) - F

Locale: New York State
Water filtration on 03/21/2007 11:38:12 MDT Print View

What are the options for good water filters that don't weigh a pound? I have a 12oz Sweetwater Guardian, and was hoping to find something lighter. I've heard of inline filters, but don't know of any specifically. I try to stay away from chemical treatments.

I also came across a 1oz "straw"
$10 survival water filter straw

Edited by geekguyandy on 03/21/2007 11:40:21 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Water filtration on 03/21/2007 11:54:54 MDT Print View

WARINING: Skip reading if you want to avoid chemicals period. However, if you are willing to use chemicals and it's just their taste that you hate, then read on...


One option: Treat with chemicals (e.g. Micropur) first to kill viruses and bacteria, wait 15 minutes, then suck water through an inline filter (e.g. Seychelle) to block out protozoa (cysts, crypto, etc.) and remove any chemical taste. The Seychelle filter weighs just 3.6 oz.

Pros: Complete water treatment, no chemical taste, reasonable waiting period, light weight and simple. At camp, inline filter can be quickly rigged as "gravity filter".

Cons: Just one -- you have to suck harder for your water.

Sometimes, when really thirsty, I like to suck a whole mouthful of water -- then swallowing it in volume. I can do that easily without the filter. However, with the filter inserted, while I can still suck water easily, it's now only in small sips at a time for some reason.

Edited by ben2world on 03/21/2007 11:56:13 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Water filtration on 03/21/2007 12:40:58 MDT Print View

Look at the 5oz. Timberline water filter. I've been using them for 16 years. You can find them at prices below $25.00.

John Hopkins
(DrGonzo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Filter Straws on 03/21/2007 16:27:44 MDT Print View

I have alway wondered about those straws. It seems like they would be really hard to suck water through. I have a seychelle inline filer but I've only used it once so far so I cant give a full review.

From what I've seen chemicals are the way to go. And if your worried about the health aspect, well you better not drink city water (and probably bottled water), or eat non-organic foods. I would think you could look around bpl.com to find some facts to back this jibberish up.

Andy Goodell
(geekguyandy) - F

Locale: New York State
Re: Filter Straws on 03/22/2007 10:25:52 MDT Print View

Since that straw is only $10 I'm going to try it out. I'm thinking of modifying a cap and putting it on a platypus to make a gravity filter for fairly cheap.

I'm not on city water, and I do buy a good percentage of organic foods. I just tend to stay away from chemicals. Some people are afraid of snakes or heights, I'm afraid of chemicals.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Filter Straws on 03/22/2007 11:15:00 MDT Print View

REI (and others) sell First Need Purifier. A blip from REI:

"The only non-chemical water purifier certified to EPA Guide Standard for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses."

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Consider the ULA Amigo Pro on 03/22/2007 14:47:48 MDT Print View

I've been using chemicals (Aqua Mira) lately, but I think it's likely I'll buy an Amigo Pro,
http://www.ula-equipment.com/amigo.htm

$45, 7.5 oz, gravity filter that uses a Katadyn cartridge. I think it's effectively a professionally made (possibly improved?) Jardine type filter.

I live in the Pacific NW and am generally quite happy with Aqua Mira, but on some longer trips one sometimes finds that the only water source is something you would really like to filter more particulates out of --- even if the chemicals are supposed to kill anything in it. I particularly remember seeing something swimming in my water bottle for a while until the chemicals finally did it in.
In situations like that I like the idea of the Amigo Pro *plus* chemicals, for which I'd decant the Aqua Mira into smaller bottles purchased either here or via Gossamer Gear.

Please note that I have no personal experience with the Amigo Pro.


Brian

John Hopkins
(DrGonzo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Filter Straws on 03/22/2007 15:14:42 MDT Print View

I can agree with you for staying away from chemicals. The best my body ever felt was when I worked on an organic farm, basically eating raw organic vegetables all day. Never pooped better in my life.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Water filtration on 03/23/2007 05:06:58 MDT Print View

>>"I've heard of inline filters, but don't know of any specifically."

Search the WWW for Sawyer and Camel-bak (used by US Armed Forces) in-line filters.

Andy Goodell
(geekguyandy) - F

Locale: New York State
Re: Water filtration on 03/23/2007 07:21:55 MDT Print View

$8 McNett / Aquamira Frontier

$23 Seychelle Inline

$15 Seychelle Straw

$26 Timberline pump/straw

$95 First Need pump (huge, expensive, and heavy)

$50 Sawyer inline filter

Edited by geekguyandy on 03/23/2007 07:30:11 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Water filtration on 03/23/2007 09:31:26 MDT Print View

Andy:

Obviously, we all have different thresholds/tolerance/preference for chemicals, bugs, etc.

I am kind of surprised that you are so careful about the avoidance of chemicals on the one hand, and yet, seemingly nonchalant about the avoidance of bacteria/viruses on the other.

You mention the First need as "huge, expensive, and heavy". I suppose that's necessary since it has to be mechanically good enough to take care of even the tiniest of viruses. But still, it compares quite favorably with many popular filters -- such as the MSR Miniworks.

Maybe you already know this, but just in case... the better mechanical filters have a filter size of 0.2 micron -- good enough to filter out cysts and the larger bacteria -- but NOT good enough for viruses. Per Denis below, the Timberline filter pore size is 1.0 micron -- or five time bigger. The Seychelle filter size is 2.0 micron or ten times bigger! This is why I paired the Seychelle with chemicals -- in my case, the chlorine dioxide would kill the viruses and bacteria first, then the Seychelle would block the larger stuff (cysts, protozoa) and remove the chemical taste.

Again, each to his own, but for me anyway, I find it odd that you would go way out of your way to avoid chlorine and yet you don't seem to mind viruses. I've read that viruses are rare in the wilds of North America... but if you follow trails, esp. the popular ones, then viruses are potentially there... Anyway, just my two cents.

Edited by ben2world on 03/23/2007 10:14:49 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Timberline Filtration on 03/23/2007 09:40:47 MDT Print View

Ben, et al,

The last time I remember looking it up the Timberline filtered down to .4 microns.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Timberline Filtration on 03/23/2007 09:46:38 MDT Print View

Thanks, Denis. I edited my post above.

Edited by ben2world on 03/23/2007 09:49:38 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Timberline Filtration on 03/23/2007 10:02:44 MDT Print View

Ben,

My bad! I really should look before I speak/write. Timberline's site says the correct size is 1 micron.

I will say that I have used this filter exclusively since 1991 with no harmful effects. I am fairly particular about my water sources.

A side note of no particular relevence: A few years ago I had contacted Timberline to find who was selling the replacement filters in my area. One of the numbers they gave me indicated the facility was in the neighborhood of my office. When I called the fellow who answered wanted to know how I had gotten his number. I explaned and he told me that he produced the filters for Timberline and they were not fot sale. His shop was less than 3 blocks from my office.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Timberline Filtration on 03/23/2007 10:16:03 MDT Print View

No problem, Denis. Gotta love that 'Edit' button. :)

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Filter Straws on 03/23/2007 10:59:42 MDT Print View

>REI (and others) sell First Need Purifier. A blip from REI:
>"The only non-chemical water purifier certified to EPA Guide Standard for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses."


Not any more. Another option is the Sawyer purifier; there's a BPL thread covering this item as well as the Sawyer Filter. Here's something I wrote about it:

"Sawyer 7/6/V Water Purifier (SP125), 4.4 oz dry/7.4 oz wet. The purifier housing cannot be opened to replace the cartridge. Length is 4.5" and diameter is 2.6"; it is too wide to fit through a Nalgene Widemouth. The purifier displaces 300ml of water if used in a water bottle. Gravity-feed rate is 8 minutes/liter. The resistance while drinking is noticeable; I wouldn't want to drink over 1/2 liter at a time.
[...]
I will either use the filter in-line from a hydration bladder (containing raw water) or use the purifier on a gravity-feed system to fill a hydration bladder (clean), depending on whether bacteria and/or viruses are a local problem and how much time I plan to have to filter water. Even a quick lunch break should be sufficient to purify a couple liters of water. I don't really like to have raw water in my hydration bladder, so I now need to make/buy a silnylon gravity-feed bag. (The Sawyer gravity-feed bag looked too heavy.)"
[Note: a Platypus 6L Big Zip Reservoir (3.2 oz) with a Platypus Filter Link (0.4 oz) makes a decent gravity-feed bag, as well as being useful for bulk water storage.]

Edited by Otter on 03/23/2007 11:02:46 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Sawyer on 03/23/2007 11:09:31 MDT Print View

Douglas:

I looked into the Sawyer purifier a few month ago in my quest for a lightweight option that would

1. get rid of all three classes of baddies (cysts, bacteria and virus)
2. improve water taste (when needed)
3. leave no aftertaste


The Sawyer purifier lacks the charcoal element found in many other filters, and so if there is any bad taste in the water at all, the Sawyer will do nothing to remove or improve the taste. So close, yet so far (for me)...

Alas, my current set up (Micropur treatment followed by Seychelle inline filtering) is sort of a two-step compromise on my part. I so wish the Sawyer would include a charcoal element or equivalent!

Edited by ben2world on 03/23/2007 11:12:01 MDT.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Sawyer on 03/23/2007 11:17:17 MDT Print View

>The Sawyer purifier lacks the charcoal element found in many other filters, and so if there is any bad taste in the water at all, the Sawyer will do nothing to remove or improve the taste. So close, yet so far (for me)...


True. The First Needs Deluxe Water Purifier claims it removes the nasties "plus many organic and inorganic chemical and aesthetic contaminants." No mention of charcoal, so it must be part of the "structured matrix" (whatever that is) technology. YMMV; I don't know if a reviewer has actually put it to the test.

Fortunately I like the taste of our raw water, and I'm not adding any chemicals whose taste needs to be removed.

Gene .
(Tracker)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Filter Straws on 03/23/2007 11:18:37 MDT Print View

Andy the problem with the 'straw filter' is it only allows you to suck water up into your mouth, not filter it into a water container for carrying in your pack. This limits it's usefulness, and I don't consider it a 'water filter' after 4 years of using it. It's a 'backup' in case main filter fails IME.

Andy Goodell
(geekguyandy) - F

Locale: New York State
Re: Filter Straws on 03/25/2007 21:03:17 MDT Print View

I wouldn't think it would limit usefulness, since I drink from a platypus, and could just fill that with water, than drink through the straw. If I'm cooking, it would be boiled anyway.

To respond to the filter size, I'd rather risk the slight chance of getting bacteria/viruses from a stream that is likely fairly clean, than comsume chemicals with unknown effects. I generally do day hikes and weekends, so I often carry enough water from home. In any case, I'd rather carry my 12oz filter than any chemical treatment. I've also been in the backcountry for longer trips without any treatment. I am certainly not an expert on water quality, but as long as the water is coming from flowing streams I am generally not concerned. Lakes are the issue.