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  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Question Water Filters

Hi all
I'm interested in which Water Filters travellers are using, tell me which you are using good points and bad, cost, and availability of repair and service parts and any general comments you have, and if you take water purification tablets. Many thanks Skip
please
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  #2  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by skip View Post
I'm interested in which Water Filters travellers are using, tell me which you are using good points and bad, cost, and availability of repair and service parts and any general comments you have, and if you take water purification tablets. Many thanks Skip
I bought a Drink-Safe inline water filter for use in a Kriega reservoir with quick release valves. I use the Kriega polyurethane bladder inside a larger Kriega backpack.

I used this set-up in India and Sri Lanka and I'm still alive. I didn't have any stomach problems but I can't be more scientific than that.

Pros:
Excellent for individual filtered water on the move.
The filter is economical as you can stop buying bottled water.
It's light and doesn't add much to your kit.
It's a fairly unbreakable piece of plastic requiring little maintenance during its lifetime.
It can be removed; turning the reservoir back to standard in locations where you trust the water
The best part of the Kriega reservoir is that the entire end opens; making thorough cleaning very easy.

Cons:
Drawing water through the reservoir tube is slightly harder with a lower flow rate.
Not the best system for producing larger quantities of safe water.
Stephan
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  #3  
Old 10 Feb 2009
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I always bring one just in case, but never really need it. Better to have it and not need it than to not have it and needing it.

It's the Katadyn Hiker because of it's cleaning requirements and because I don't like fragile carbon ones.
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Old 10 Feb 2009
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Same company Drink-Safe Systems but I have the 'Survivor' - the one that looks like a bike/sports bottle.

Goes in a pocket and is very easy to use anywhere at all. Gives me 500ml in about 30 seconds.
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  #5  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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The Katadyn Pocket Filter is still the gold standard as far as I'm concerned. It's expensive and a bit slow, but you won't be replacing cartridges very often when the original is good for 10,000-plus gallons. At a gallon a day that's over 25 years of use.
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  #6  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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These water filters seem interesting...but borrow one from a buddy, and pump yourself 1 gallon of water. You'll see the amount of time/work involved.

I'd take a bottle of bleach...3oz..with a dropper. 2 drops per liter, shake, wait 15 minutes and then drink.

On my trip, bottled water was always available and when I found a local deep well source, I drank from there.
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Old 19 Feb 2009
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Natural

I think if camping that using some charcoal in a cloth as a water filter is pretty effective especially if the water's then used for coffee or cooking. That said I was put on a drug a few months ago that had the nasty side effect of weakening my immune system a lot. I planned a trip to north Africa and splashed out on a Katadyn filter. Now I'm off the drug and wonder if I'll bother to carry the filter. I suspect the risks are being stressed by sellers who have gear to sell. Nomads in the Sahara have never carried filters I suspect. I think the most important thing is camp hygiene personally. Linzi.
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Are risks exaggerated by filter makers? Probably. Is it silly to be concerned about pathogens in water from unknown sources? I don't think so. Fecal contamination is a world-wide problem, and using a filter on suspect water is a simple way to avoid, at the least, several miserable down-days. Sure, people accomplish major trips all the time drinking anything they find - I've done so myself - but plenty of people have much worse luck.

Boiling works perfectly, but wastes fuel. Bleach works fine too if you're diligent with the proportions, but the taste can leave a lot to be desired. A filter simply removes a lot of doubt.
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Thanks

Thanks for that. I once read a book about the dangers in water worldwide and it scared me frankly. I shall take the Katadyn and observe the locals' systems. One point that interestes me is the water holes in the Sahara for instance. It would only take one dead animal falling in to make the water dangerous yet these have stayed good for thousands of years. Are they sometimes not safe or does nature have other killers of the pathogens? As an aside the nomads used a bit of pitch in their water urns on camel treks to keep the fresh water safe. Considering it's only millions of trios of molecules its a very complex subject!
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Are risks exaggerated by filter makers? Probably. Is it silly to be concerned about pathogens in water from unknown sources? I don't think so. Fecal contamination is a world-wide problem, and using a filter on suspect water is a simple way to avoid, at the least, several miserable down-days. Sure, people accomplish major trips all the time drinking anything they find - I've done so myself - but plenty of people have much worse luck.

Boiling works perfectly, but wastes fuel. Bleach works fine too if you're diligent with the proportions, but the taste can leave a lot to be desired. A filter simply removes a lot of doubt.
Things to note.. that it is not the fact that there is actual pathogens in water supply but NEW and DIFFERENT pathogens. OJE is correct contamination is world wide but the bugs you have been exposed to for a long time in you local water supply your body is used to so they have no effects on you. A person from the developing world can just as easily get sick in Europe as vis-versa.

If you want your filter to be effective you must get the finest filtration size as possible. Filter with pores larger than 0.2 microns will let bacteria through. AS well as the cysts (spores) of Giardia.

Most filters do not do anything for viral loads so it is always best to do a three part kill system, filter to 0.2micons, treat with puratab (e.g bleach or iodine) and carbon filter. There are some filters that do all three in one. They have a iodine treated filter with a 0.2um filter and a carbon end filter.

If you boil your water, remember the rule is 5 minutes to kill protozoa (Cryptosporidiosis and Giardia) and virsus, (remember to add 1 minute to this time for each 1,000 feet above sea level starting at about 3-4,000 feet). Boiling will NOT neutralize chemical pollutants.

Bleach or iodine to kill the nasties in the water works well. This method can be lightweigh, but will also not neutralize chemical toxins. YOU must make sure that water at 25 deg. C (75deg. F) sits for AT LEAST 20-30 minutes with iodine/bleach in it for purification to take place (and before adding any flavor it can react and lessen the efficacy of the treatment). If the water is colder, you will need to let it sit longer - possibly overnight for cold stream water. Used properly, iodine will kill most protozoa and all bacteria and viruses in water. BUT after prolonged use, some people develop thyroid problems, so be aware of this potential side effect.


A carbon filter can remove some/most chemical toxins, and can make the water taste better after all the above treatments.


enjoy!


Oh and is safe to drink as it has been treated (boiled) to sterliisation temps to extract the flovors from the grains and to allow the fermintation process to work!!! (so maybe we should all just drink all the time)...
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Things to note.. that it is not the fact that there is actual pathogens in water supply but NEW and DIFFERENT pathogens. OJE is correct contamination is world wide but the bugs you have been exposed to for a long time in you local water supply your body is used to so they have no effects on you. A person from the developing world can just as easily get sick in Europe as vis-versa.
I came back to make exactly this point, but Xander beat me to it.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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It would only take one dead animal falling in to make the water dangerous yet these have stayed good for thousands of years. Are they sometimes not safe or does nature have other killers of the pathogens?

The Sahara is actually very sterile compared to the more humid and populated Sahel. And in my experience the 'dead animal falling' scenario (similar to the 'dead sheep upstream' worry I've often heard in the British hills) is extremely rare. I think it may have happend at the vital Arbre du Tenere well (on the salt caravan route) where they simply dug a new well alongside. But it is one reason desert people never live right next to wells, which are not as old as you think in the Sahara.

Out there animals are of course rare and those that are indigenous (ie: not camels) never actually drink, they get all water from eating plants (or other animals).

I used a Katadyn Pocket on a recent desert trek relying on natural waterholes (no wells). It sure beat the taste of Iodine, even neutralised, and is a solid bit of low-maintenance kit that will last for years. In the short term it is awkward and slow to use for more than a few litres a day (depending on contamination). A crank (as on the Hiker) looks easier to operate.

This effort is all relative. On foot or bicycle I would not begrudge it as the consequences of getting ill are more troublesome. TBH, I think on a motorbike (if that's what we're talking about), as Edde says, getting and carrying enough clean (bottled) water is much less of an issue than people think - on the road in certain countries, what you get fed is as likely to lay you low as what you drink.

Ch
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  #13  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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Thumbs up Pure Hydration Water Purifier, Check this out

Hi
Many thanks to all those who replied to this thread, i was very interested in which water filter and system you were all using, i myself have used an MSR filter in South America and have been with friends who have Katadyn filters, but in 2007 i started using a purifier/filter from a local company Pure Hydration here in Farnham ( England ) they supply both the MOD in Afghanistan and Iraq and now both the RAF Typhoon fighter squadron and the Saudi Arabian air force with water purifier/filters.They are all ready famous in the Backpacking world for there water purifying bottles. I have just used one of there pumps and purifier for over a year now and i have to say, and this is just my view, that this is by far the best I've used, its light easy to clean and store, and pumps water very fast but the one thing that impressed me the most is that it is a Purifier not just a filter and that is some thing that all the others aren't. this is the link to there web page www.bwtechnologies. com/inline_connectors.html
I have attached in-line purifiers to my friends Hepco Becker panniers, the water he was carrying in the little compartment had started to taste a bit offish, and with a bit of fiddling it worked, this was just temporary but it did take the taste away.
I'm not one who would normally rave on about a product but i think were health is concerned its worth saying something, check out there web site,
at the moment there are know pictures of the pump and purifier that i used but if you contact them I'm sure they will be happy to give you any info you want. I hope this is of interest cheers Skip
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  #14  
Old 1 Mar 2009
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water purifier

Just noticed this thread. Another option is the steripen (steripen.com). It uses ultaviolet light to purify the water. They are super small and light and can use regular AA bateries. My wife and I have used ours for all of our water on a one month backpacking trip in Turkey and several backcountry trips around the rocky mountains with no trobles. We are going to bring it as our water treatment for our upcoming Mexico CA moto trip.
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Old 2 Mar 2009
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Regarding the "dead animal in the well" legend: My wife and I draw all our water from an 80-year-old hand-dug well about 75 feet deep, with a water level that varies between 15 feet below the surface to 50 feet, depending on rains in southern Arizona.

A couple of years ago the cover was knocked loose by cows, and a skunk fell in and drowned, then decomposed to a fine state before I discovered it and fished it out in several slimy pieces. Needless to say we were a bit concerned, and I dumped some bleach in the well and monitored it carefully. Not only did we not get sick, we never noticed the slightest effect from the poor skunk. No taste even. So I don't think there's much to worry about from dead animals in wells.
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