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  #1  
Old 26 Dec 2009
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water purifers

Can anyone tell me what is the best method they have found for water purifing whilst trveling through africa,I've looked water purifiers iodene and puri tabs but which is best?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 26 Dec 2009
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The reason you can't find "the best method" is that there is no "best;" there is only the one you prefer. Or rather, the one you prefer in addition to one backup.

Most travelers buy water in throwaway bottles. I try to do this as little as possible, so I carry a filter. It's been working well for me for twenty years and a hundred countries (plus countless trekking trips): limitless water wherever I go in fair safety with a bit of ongoing effort. Plus, I like to have water instantly, rather than waiting for chemicals to take effect.

Others prefer chemicals. I carry a little bottle of tablets in case of emergency, but I never use them and always end up throwing them away and buying fresh....which I never use.

YMMV.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 26 Dec 2009
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Hi
search on this forum using water purification you will find previous threads on this topic I use a seagul with no extras apart from occasional boiling all good so far in india.

In-Home Water Purifiers and Micro Water Filters - General Ecology Alpha
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Old 26 Dec 2009
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I like the way you do this markharf its along the lines of how i want to do it as i'd rather not buy bottled water if i can help it.
I used to use puri tabs in the army and didn't like the taste and as i'm taveling with my kids would rather only use them as a last means.
but my problem is what make brand and type of fillter set up to use i've read about ceramic silver and charcoal fillters and a mix of all three.
As it not a cheap item and could be the differance between being healthy or sick i want to get the right one at the right price.
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Old 26 Dec 2009
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If you wear contact lenses it is worth getting a pair of spectacles in case either pure water gets scarce or your eyes start to reject the lenses.
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Old 27 Dec 2009
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good point my wife dose, Thanks
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  #7  
Old 27 Dec 2009
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Like many overlanders I use a filter from General Ecology and a water pump from a caravan type place. Other overlanders tend to use the Brownchurch solution. My impression is the Brownchurch solution is not as good a filter, but is easier to clean out if you put in bad water.

I've never poured in anything other than clear water (ie: straight out of a well or tap in the city) and the GE has always been fine in over 2 years of travel in Africa. So either will work.

Buy each person a proper water bottle from a good camping shop (screw on lid etc) and then each person can top themselves up when they want to.

People who buy bottled water should be made to carry the empty containers home imho - you end up saving money with your own filter/pump/tank and I wish every overlander in a vehicle would do so ;-)

Water Purifiers and Micro Water Filters: Seagull IV, Nature Pure, First Need - General Ecology
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Old 27 Dec 2009
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I have a

Model JWP

for the drinking water only which gets pumped from the water storage tank which has

Products - Katadyn Products Inc. Micropur Forte

in it to keep things clean. I did use milton tablets which are good but the water smells of chlorine, though not after the filter for drinking.

The filter was about £350 and does 20000 litres. When the cartridges need changing either the flow will have dropped off or the water will taste of iodene. If it reaches 20000 litres thats about £0.0175 per litre. The tub of micropur needed ordering from a friendly chemist and is £0.0015 per litre but the shelf life is around a year ish.

So even if my filter and micropur came to £500, thats around 500 litre bottles of water in the UK, or really quite a lot of freshly filtered, known to be safe water in my camper

Last edited by grizzly7; 1 Mar 2010 at 14:58.
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  #9  
Old 1 Jan 2010
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Its worth doing alot of research on "washing water". You need 2 forms of purifying/filtering to be effective. On our trip to Morocco we only used Iodine and I think my other half became ill from this water (you can never tell what source it came from!). Didnt completely ruin our trip, but it so easily could have. This set in motion the need for better water purity/control.

There was a thorough purifier/filter review in the last Overland Journal.

It voted the GE 1st need xl as its "value" award. Its around £100 in the UK. When you look at the stats from their independent test, the 1st need really came in well, doing everything it claimed to 99.99%. It also claims to rid viruses which the OJ team could not test for (cant remember why). many of the others did not do as well as claimed and when compared side by side its easy to eliminate the competition.

Anyway, On this test I sourced a used 1st need on ebay for £7! very happy with it. Will be using it on our next venture

G
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Old 3 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary27 View Post
Can anyone tell me what is the best method they have found for water purifing whilst trveling through africa,I've looked water purifiers iodene and puri tabs but which is best?
Thanks
I use Accepta chlorine dioxide generating tablets; each good for 4ppm in 30L, so each 220L tank takes 7. Then, the water goes through a Pre-Mac filtration system: 4 micron fleece filter, then iodine releasing resin, then activated charcoal filter which also takes out the iodine and chlorine dioxide.
If you have a vehicle with a tank then a double method of killing the bugs in the tank and also filtering them out, preferably in stages, provides the best insurance.

Charlie
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  #11  
Old 4 Jan 2010
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I'm now looking at a KATADYN POCKET Its ment to be one of the best hand pump water fillters around,I've read a lot reveiws on it all posative but dose anyone here have one and are they really that good?
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Old 1 Mar 2010
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The best way to approach cleaning water is to use three stages: filtration, chemical addition and filtration again. The first two can come in any order, but the final should be a charcoal filter to remove the chemicals that you added in step one or two. Some of the commercially available filters can achieve both filtration steps in one unit. The reason for the various stages is (as explained in the OJ article), there are various classes of bugs you are trying to remove. They are classed by size:

Large (cycts and protozoa) are easy to filter, but are very resistant to chemicals (on the order of 4 hours contact time with chlorine required to kill them)

Medium (bacteria) are hit and miss in a filter, some will filter some won't, but they can be killed by chemicals (on the order of 20 minutes with chlorine)

Small (viruses) are practically unfilterable, but are easily killed by chemicals.

For the Overland Journal test we used a bacteria cocktail. The reason we did not use viruses is mainly due to the hazard and the price. Sourcing a water born virus can be difficult and they are very expensive. Well, much more so than the bacteria. Since cysts and protozoa are easy to filter we did not use them in the test.

For my system, I use common household bleach at 2 to 4 ppm in the tanks followed by a 0.4 micron ceramic filter impregnated with silver as a bacteriacide and then a charcoal filter to get rid of the chlorine. The bulk water in my tanks is stored as it comes and I filter on exit. I did a water system article for OJ that explained that system as well. I'd avoid iodine in an overland situation unless it's a system like Charlie described above. Prolonged drinking of iodine in high concentrations can cause thyroid problems.

Feel free to shoot questions to me if you have them. I'll be doing a talk on water systems and purification at the Overland Expo in Arizona in April.

cheers
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  #13  
Old 1 Mar 2010
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Graham I'd have to say it does help to filter first, since any chemicals may be inactive on viruses hiding in larger particles.

And as a suggestion on household bleach, use it in tablet form. The chlorine content is often quoted over a range for liquid bleach making accurate dosing a guess, so you dose according to the weaker %. Chlorine also evaporates at a rate determined by temperature among other things

[url=http://www.drlaundryblog.com/?p=144]Clorox - Dr. Laundry

The above being a Clorox US bleach manufacturers site, who also have an online dosage calculator. They vary their manufacturing dose during the year to acheive 6% six months after manufacture in your home, so what will it be after a few months in a hot vehicle?!

The tablets I have are the equivilent of 60ml of 2.5% chlorine content each, and have an 18+month shelf life. As I posted earlier I use Micropur Forte in the water tank since it has silver in it too, and is very concentrated making a mug sized tub good for 50000 litres!
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Old 1 Mar 2010
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That s a little miss-leading. The WHO recommendation for killing bugs in water is around 2ppm. If I can hit 2 to 4ppm with ~6% sodium hypochlorite (active ingredient in bleach) then that should be pretty darn close. If there is a 1 to 2% difference in the bleach it will make very little difference apart from taste.

The tablets you are using are a pretty good idea for long trips. For shorter trips I have no problem with liquid bleach.

On filtering before, you are quite correct. Bugs can hide from chemicals in sediment in the water and avoid treatment. I do actually strain water on the way in if needed, but I don't consider that pure filtering. Sure I run the risk of a virus hiding in a particle, but if he's hiding there then he'll probably get filtered out along with the particle, and I won't have to worry about him. It's probably not the perfect solution, but it has worked very well for me, and I know the risks I'm taking. Obviously I do have to shock the system every now and again, which is also easy to do with bleach. My main reason for using bleach is the price.

cheers
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  #15  
Old 2 Mar 2010
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We used a Katadyn water filter and found it to be excellent. I would recommend with any of the portable/hiking type of filters that you also bring some coffee filters to get any really fine dust out of the water before you filter it.. saves having to take the filter apart to clean it out so frequently.. and as Murphy is a bastid.. any filter will always need cleaning when its dark, cold or raining and your in an area surrounded by mosquitoes or rabid dogs... just a thought!.


However we have relied on Katadyn and have been very happy with the performance (e.g. we didn't get sick and it was fairly minimal effort)
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