Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » AquaMira 3 dropper system?


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Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
AquaMira 3 dropper system? on 03/05/2014 21:43:00 MST Print View

I saw a thing not long ago about using a third dropper and making a "batch" of A/B mix in the morning (for example) and using pre-mixed drops right from that during the day, instead of mixing every time you fill up.

Sounds logical, but I question the length of time vs. effectiveness of such a practice. An hour? A day? Several days? So i emailed sales at Aqua Mira and asked them directly. This is the response I received today.

We don't recommend this, as Chlorine Dioxide is a gas. As time goes by, an
"off gas" takes place, lessening it's effectiveness.


So I bring it to you people. Anyone with real world experience on this? Or maybe someone with a degree in chemistry? Neat idea or recipe for disaster? Marketing hype or plausible scenario? Obviously it doesn't expire immediately after the five minute mark, so what is a realistic expectation?

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/05/2014 21:43:47 MST.

Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Re: AquaMira 3 dropper system? on 03/05/2014 21:48:40 MST Print View

I did this on a couple trips, one days worthy at a time. No science to back it up, but it worked for me.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
AquaMira 3 dropper system on 03/05/2014 21:49:05 MST Print View

Supposedly, as long as the mixture retains its yellow color (it will lighten over time), it is still effective.

Keep the mix in a cool, dark place to maximize life span.

IIRC, Ryan Jordan published a study on this topic several years ago at BPL. I'll check my bookmarks and see if I still have it.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: AquaMira 3 dropper system on 03/05/2014 22:03:30 MST Print View

I never turn down a good article!

I tried a little 10ml or so batch at home, and after 48 hours it didn't really seem to change color much. It did seem to dissipate (gas out) and the volume was reduced. It reminded me of why you'd leave tap water out overnight before adding it to a fish tank.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
Not an issue. on 03/06/2014 17:48:36 MST Print View

Keep it in the little black dropper, mix up one days at a time 3ml dropper holds about 3-4 L worth if I recall correctly. You wont have to worry about it losing effectiveness, keep it sealed.

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
Re aquamira 3 dropper system on 03/06/2014 21:13:23 MST Print View

I would make up enough for up to two days when I hiked the CDT. Did this most of the way. I had no issues. Sometimes I even used it on a third day if I did not need it due to clean water sources. If the mixture is not in a closed system it would definitely off gas. Much like letting tap water sit to off gas before adding it to an aquarium. In a small dropper not as much. Worked for me, but individual comfort with my methods will vary.

Nate Boyer
(NateB123) - F - MLife
AM on 03/18/2014 07:13:52 MDT Print View

I've done this for two seasons now. Each morning, I just mix A&B into my little black bottle and use that for the day. If I have extra at the end of the day, I dump it out and start fresh in the morning.

I've never gotten sick from bad water.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: AM on 03/18/2014 09:38:27 MDT Print View

"Supposedly, as long as the mixture retains its yellow color (it will lighten over time), it is still effective."

So why does everyone seem to be using a black bottle then, if you can't see the shade of yellow in it? I get that it should be kept in the dark, but there's lots of places for that in a pack, pouch, pocket, whatever. It's not likely to get mixed up with the A/B due to its color, so I guess I'm missing the purpose of the black bottle.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
water on 03/18/2014 09:54:56 MDT Print View

> I've never gotten sick from bad water.

Which either means that the chemical treatment worked or the water didn't need to be treated in the first place. Hard to know.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Premixing not something I'm interested in on 03/18/2014 18:02:06 MDT Print View

For one thing, AquaMira specifically recommends against it. If premixing risks making the treatment less effective I'm not interested.

Secondly, premixing addresses a problem that doesn't really exist for me. I treat water on breaks, maybe three times a day total. The premixing could save me a maximum of about 15 minutes day. Of break time. Which I want anyway. It also doesn't save me any time on the much longer wait required after mixing the solution into my water.

Thirdly, I either have to mix exactly the right amount for how much water I want to treat that day or throw out some of my mix or chance it for a second day.

I like an effective treatment and keeping it simple. For me that means "using as directed."

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
ClO2 on 03/18/2014 18:46:59 MDT Print View

"So why does everyone seem to be using a black bottle then, if you can't see the shade of yellow in it? I get that it should be kept in the dark, but there's lots of places for that in a pack, pouch, pocket, whatever. It's not likely to get mixed up with the A/B due to its color, so I guess I'm missing the purpose of the black bottle."

Because the ClO2 is only stable in the absence of UV light.

Aquamira isnt going to reccomend any situation under which the ClO2 concentration isnt reliably controlled for the user, and that means following their directions. (with the exception of waiting 4 hrs for treating Crypto of course)

Everyone already discounts Crypto treatment, so its hard to say anyone "follows directions" anyway.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/18/2014 18:47:41 MDT.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: ClO2 on 03/18/2014 19:48:59 MDT Print View

So, as I was saying... Lots of options to block it from the light, seems like a black bottle just hinders monitoring though.

CDC only rates crypto treatment as low to moderate anyway. Needs to be filtered. Technically, good water treatment is supposed to be a 2 part process using BOTH filtration and treatment. Using just one or the other is really only half as good as using none at all. Maybe for the select few high mountain streams it's ok to cheat the system, but for the rest of the country (world?) I feel people are being misled with these single source approaches.

A simple to read treatment table PDF:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Backcountry_Water_Treatment.pdf

Of course there's all these claims of "I never got sick", but I don't read much into that, since it only means that their body wasn't overwhelmed with nasties. One bug won't make you sick, it's all a numbers game.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
dropper on 03/19/2014 05:33:33 MDT Print View

There isnt anything to monitor.
Use it till its gone, then mix up more.
If you want to use the full dose, its about 20 drops from the black dropper bottle, it holds about 60 I recall.
I normally use much less, around 7-10.

It is a numbers game
But 1 giardia cyst has infected people in controlled studies,but very low percentage. It was a small study with only a dozen people or so , not that reliable. I think one person got sick. Some didnt get sick with 4 cysts. Even 30% did not get sick with 10 cysts.

This is why it doesnt matter, you have about 1000x giardia reduction in a couple minutes at 4ppm normal treatment concentration. Unless you drink sewage, in the backcountry you are unlikely to get more than a couple cysts, in almost any situation, a small treatement for a very short time works. Viruses and bacteria are eliminated in seconds to 1 minute as well. AM recommendations are based on at least 10,000 fold reduction to be conservative.

Edited by livingontheroad on 03/19/2014 05:36:45 MDT.