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Aquamira Information and Update
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Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 11:08:14 MDT Print View

Aquamira Information and Update

Recently I corresponded with Aquamira Technologies regarding their Aquamira tablets and drops. Product literature for the tablets indicated they generate 4 parts-per-million (ppm) of CLO2 in one liter of water. Based on label information, I calculated that Aquamira drops generate 5 ppm of CLO2 in one liter of water. This similarity in CLO2 ppm between tablets and drops conflicted with statements to the contrary that I had read over the past few years.

I asked Aquamira Technologies if they could confirm the ppm concentration of chlorine dioxide (CLO2) generated by the two products. I also asked about the status of Aquamira drops’ approval as a water purifier.

Aquamira Technologies’ reply to these complex issues was informative and thorough. Here are relevant portions of Aquamira Technologies’ reply:


Please allow me to introduce myself; I am Dennis Brown the C.O.O. of Aquamira Technologies, Inc. I have received and reviewed your email of April 4, 2011 relating to some confusion in the market place and internet forums, regarding differences between Aquamira Water Treatment (liquid) and Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets. First, let me thank you for being a devoted user of our products and also let me thank you for your diligence in wading through the large amount of information available on the internet regarding our products in your effort to find answers to what can be somewhat complex questions.

Basically you have come to the correct conclusion in your summary at the end of your email regarding the final concentrations of ClO2 in 1L of water using drops vs. tablets. There are a few things to consider that will add some light and understanding to the issue.

The main difference between the tablets and the drops is the method of delivery of CLO2. In the case of the tablets, ClO2 is generated when the tablet comes in contact with water and it bubbles off as the tablet dissolves. This entire process happens within the container of water that is intended to be treated, so essentially the entire chemical reaction is contained in one container. It is true that when treated according to instructions, the result of the reaction is a 4ppm concentration of ClO2 in 1L of water. The delivery method of the liquid is much more complex and many factors may come into play that could have an effect on the final concentration of ClO2.

1. The reaction begins when the Part B (activator) is added to the Part A (2% stabilized chlorine dioxide). This process happens in a separate mixing cup.

2. The reason that the instructions call for a reaction wait time of 5 minutes is so that the mixture can be added to the water at the peak of ClO2 production. If a person adds the mixture too early or late, the final concentration of ClO2 in the water can be significantly less than the required 4ppm.

3. Since the reaction occurs in an "open-air" environment in the mixing cup, some CLO2 is lost to the atmosphere around the cup. This is evidenced by the "smell" when mixing the solution. Our mixing instructions have taken this into account which is why at first look the liquid concentration in the final container would calculate to be higher than 4ppm. Mixing in a windy area or at higher temperatures can add to this potential loss of ClO2.

4. Once the reaction time is reached, it is important to pour the entire amount of liquid in the mixing cup into the water to be treated. Any leftover material in the mixing cup essentially reduces the concentration of CLO2 in the final container. We recommend poring some of the treated water into the mixing cup and then pouring that back into the container of water to flush out any residual material from the mixing cup.

If all of these requirements are met in the mixing and dispensing of the liquid ClO2 into the final container of water, the resultant concentration of ClO2 should be virtually identical to that of the tablets.

This should address your question regarding the final concentrations of ClO2 in liquid and tablet treated water. Now allow me to address your other questions and concerns.

Aquamira Water Treatment (liquid) has been in the marketplace for over 15 years. Aquamira purchases the base chemical from a bulk supplier. The primary EPA registration for this product was owned and controlled by the bulk chemical supplier. Over the years we have been limited to the label claims that were approved by the EPA for the base chemical supplier, and we had no ability to make changes to those claims. Recently Aquamira procured the EPA registration for the base chemical from the supplier and we are now in the process of submitting our own label with appropriate claims to the EPA. This is a lengthy process, and requires every claim to be backed up with test data. Some of the data was not available from the bulk supplier and must be supplied by Aquamira. We expect this process to take up to a year from now to complete.

Since the initial claims from the bulk supplier for Aquamira Water Treatment were "bacteria, taste and odor", and all testing was done in potable water, the required wait times are appropriately lower than the tablets. The testing for the tablets was conducted to meet the EPA purifier standards in EPA Type II water. This water is kept at low temps, has a high level of turbidity, and organic load to intentionally make chemical treatment more difficult. This is the reason for the 4 hour wait time with the tablets. Under EPA Type II conditions it takes 4 hours to achieve a >99.9% reduction of Cryptosporidium which is the most difficult test organism to kill. If Aquamira Water Treatment was subjected to the same conditions, it would require a 4 hour wait time to kill Crypto as well. Keep in mind that in very few cases would anyone encounter water sources that are even remotely close in difficulty to treat as EPA Type II water.

Thank you again for the opportunity to address your questions and concerns.

Dennis B. Brown
Chief Operating Officer
Aquamira Technologies, Inc.

I extend my thanks to Dennis Brown and Aquamira Technologies, Inc. for their informative reply.

Any inquiries should be directed to the address. All other appropriate contact info can be found on our website


Edited by Lancem on 04/10/2011 11:38:12 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 11:39:48 MDT Print View

Hi Lance,

Thanks for the update -- and in writing from the COO no less! My info was a few years back, on the telephone. The points I picked up from the above:

1. AM liquids and tablets are two different methods of providing the same 4ppm concentration.

2. AM liquids' 20 minute wait time was tested using potable water -- and therefore only mentioned treating "odor causing bacteria".

3. AM tablets were tested and written in accordance with EPA's guidelines.

IMO, #2 isn't really applicable to us hikers as we seldom encounter potable water out in the wilds!!

But re. #3, taking the COO at his words, the testing conditions were much more stringent that what we hikers are likely to encounter. OK, so what should the guideline for hikers be? Looks like somewhere between #2 and #3 -- but where??

Edited by ben2world on 04/10/2011 11:42:21 MDT.

Justin Nelson
(jnelson871) - MLife

Locale: CA Bay Area
Re: Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 11:51:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great info Lance! I had been wondering about the difference between the tablets and the liquid for awhile now.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 12:23:15 MDT Print View

It has been my experience that during the day, I don't have 4 hours to wait for my water to be rendered "safe". So for me, the message to take away is:

If I have reason to believe there might be Crypto or Giardia in the waters I will encounter, I need to carry and use a purifying filter.

If I do not believe there might be Crypto or Giardia in the waters I will encounter, I can get by with either the tablets or liquid and a 30 minute wait while the CLO2 kills all the bacteria. I can also fill all my water containers in camp and let the tablets or liquid work overnight while I sleep.

Tablets are easier to use, but the liquid is much cheaper per treated liter (about 3:1 if I remember correctly).

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 13:28:35 MDT Print View

Round and round we go...

It seems there are still the same two options:

A) As has been customary for many backpackers (including myself) for many, many years in many different places, whether using pills OR drops: treat, wait 30 minutes, drink. I have yet to ever have a personal experience or hear of a case of this being insufficient.

B) For those more inclined to follow the instructions/precautions to the letter: treat, wait somewhere up to 4 hours or more, drink. I have yet to ever hear of a case of this being insufficient.

Luck? Science? Who knows?
Option A has always done me fine.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Aquamira Information and Update on 04/10/2011 23:20:39 MDT Print View

Pretty outstanding for the COO to provide such a lengthy and informative response!

So what methodology to use? I like Craig's option A and used it for years with iodine tablets. I have been using the Aquamira tablets for a few years, based on a very thoughtful response Ben provided to some questions I asked.

If I am really uncertain about water sources, I try to time water refills near early morning and evening, when I am boiling some water for meals. After a meal, I don't need fresh water right away. Actually, I don't give it much thought, but have never even considered a filter.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Aquamira Information and Update on 04/11/2011 04:00:18 MDT Print View

OK. So from the horses mouth, Here are the things I have gleaned from the posts:
1) Both are effective at killing Crypto and Guardia as well as other pathogens(bacteria & viruses.)
2) A 4 hour wait time is required to kill Crypto. Something real numbers...for anything else.
3) Tablets and Liquids provide the same dose.
4) Do not premix, or, minimally, double the dosage of any premixes to maintain concentration.
5) Use the clearest water you can find, or, double the dosage for treating.
6) Overall, it looks like the tablets and liquids are identical, except, for shelf life.

That said, I have been using AquaMira drops for about many years, least 7. And I have not picked up gardia or crypto. Most waters are clean. But, you cannot tell which water and where you may find it. Rivers with treatment plants, or sewage, of course. But, in the back country it is hard to tell. A spring may or may not be contaminated. I think covering the mouth with a bandana and filling the bottle before adding the treatment will work. I am a little sceptical about tablets cleaning the rim and threads of the cap, since it will not be disolved when it is capped. (It takes a couple minutes.) Maybe about 10 minutes into the treatment process, flip it over and loosten the cap, squirting a little treated water out to wash and clean the threads?

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Aquamira Information and Update on 07/23/2011 12:31:42 MDT Print View

Some (late) comments:

1. Cryptosporidium is MUCH harder to kill than Giardia. The long wait time is for Cryptosporidium in the worst water conditions (cold, high turbidity, but no significant detritus or biofilms). If you are only concerned about Giardia (as in most of the continental US) then 20-30 mins is fine.

2. Cryptosporidium (and Giardia) can be filtered out with a relatively coarse filter, e.g. Aquamira Frontier Pro. Treat for 20 mins to get rid of the easy to kill stuff, i.e. everything but Crytposporidium, then filter.

3. Current info on ClO2 effectiveness comes from an old EPA study. An Aquamira rep told me this is still the gold standard. The report documents effectiveness vs time and dose for a range of pathogens, turbidity levels and water temperatures.

The full (long!) EPA report can be found by searching for "EPA alternative disinfectants and oxidants." Skip to the chapter on CL02 and read the relevant sections.

Edited by ewolin on 07/26/2011 07:55:18 MDT.