If you are allergic to shellfish and/or have a sensitivity to contrast media that is injected
during certain medical scans, then do not use any chemical purification that uses Iodine at all.
Persons with thyroid problems, on Lithium,
women over fifty, pregnant women need to consult with your Healthcare Provider prior to using Iodine for purification.
When you are out and about,
hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, etc in the rural areas of america, one must assume that the water sources are contaminated
and should be treated before drinking.
Water contamination comes in all shapes and sizes. It is from toxic
chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fecal matter, decaying animals, bacteria, viruses, etc.
you are in an area that has mining, pesticide runoffs from farm fields and so on, those chemicals will not be removed at all
through the use of a water filter. So drink at your own risk in these areas.
if you are lost in the wilderness and you have no way of filtering, and purifying water before you drink, go ahead and drink
it. It is easier to treat you after you have consumed non-potable water, then it is after you have perished due to dehydration.
Water Purification is
basically using various chemicals to treat water in order to make it safe to drink. This also includes boiling water.
Filtration is basically a membrane or media that is used strain out microscopic contaminants, thereby making water
clear and somewhat pure and this all depends on the size of the pore's in the filter. This is where you will see the
word micron. Micron is the size of the opening in the filter media (is one thousandth
of a millimeter, you cannot see this with the naked eye).
A filter with a rating
of one micron or smaller will remove protozoa like Giardia and Cryptosporidium as well as
parasitic eggs and larvae, but it takes a pore-size of less than 0.4 microns to remove bacteria.
water is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms. According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperature
above 160F will kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185F within a few minutes. To be extra safe, let water
boil rapidly for one minute.
Chemical purification is done by using one of
two chemicals: Iodine and Chlorine. There are many different varieties of chemical purifiers on the market, so
you will need to follow those instructions.
The effectiveness of all chemical treatment of water is related to the temperature
of the water source, pH level, and clarity of the water. Cloudy water often requires higher concentrations of chemicals
If the water is cloudy
or filled with large particles, strain it, using a cloth such as a bandanna, socks, t-shirt, etc, before the chemical
treatment. Large particles, is swallowed, may be purified only "on the outside".
Add the chemical to the water and swish it around to aid in dissolving. Splash
some of the water with the chemical onto the lid and the threads of the water bottle so that all water ares are treated.
The water should sit for at least 30 minutes
after adding the chemical to allow purification to occur. If using tablets, let the water sit for 30 minutes after
the tablet has dissolved.
the water, the less effective the chemical is as a purifying agent. Research has shown that at 50F, only 90 percent
of Giardia cysts were inactivated after 30 minutes of exposure. If the water temperature is below 40F, double
the treatment time before drinking. It is best if water is at least 60F before treating. You can place the water
in the sun to warm it up before treating.
treated water can be made to taste better by pouring it back and forth between containers, after it has been adequately
treated. Other methods include adding a pinch of salt per quart or adding flavorings (e.g., lemonade, tang, tea, etc)
after the chemical treatment period.
Iodine is light sensitive and must always be stored in a dark bottle. It will work the best if the water
is over 68F. Iodine has been shown to be more effective then Chlorine-based treatments in killing Giardia cysts.
General Iodine Treatment Procedures
2% Tincture of Iodine add 5 drops per quart when
the water is clear and 10 drops when it is not.
Polar Pure Iodine Crystals fill the Polar Pure bottle with water and shake. The solution will be ready
for use in one hour. Add the number of capfuls listed on the bottle, based on the temperature of the Iodine solution.
The warmer the solution, the less capfuls you will need to use. The particle trap prevents crystals from getting
into the water being treated. It is very important to note that you are using the Iodine solution to treat the water
and not the Iodine Crystals. The concentration of Iodine in crystal form is poisonous and can burn skin or the
eyes. Let the treated water stand for 30 minutes before drinking. In order to destroy Giardia cysts,
the drinking water must be at least 68F. The water can be warmed in the sun before treating or hot water can be added.
Refill the treatment bottle after use so that the solution will be ready one hour later. Iodine crystals in
the bottle make enough solution to treat about 2,000 quarts (500 gallons). Discard the bottle when empty.
Potable Aqua is another Iodine based tablet and
you will need to follow the instructions provided with this form of treatment.
Chlorine can be used for persons with Iodine allergies or restrictions. Remember,
that water temperature, sediment level, and contact time are all elements in killing microorganisms in the water. Halazone
is an example of a Chlorine tablet product. To use, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Here are some tricks while you
are on the trail
just like fire starting materials, the same applies to making non-potable water potable. Always have at least one backup
way or method for water purification and filtration just in case one fails or gets lost in the jungle. This can be any
combination of methods. If your backup method is boiling water, make sure you bring extra fuel.
Getting rid of the taste as mentioned earlier, you can
add whatever flavoring you want to mask the bad taste. Just make sure you only add the flavoring after the Iodine has
purified the water.
Common microorganisms and the filter
Particle Size Rating (Microns)
5 microns or larger
1.0 - 4.0 microns
Cholera, E. coli, Salmonella
0.2 - 0.5 microns
0.2 - 1.0 microns
Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Norwalk Virus
to 0.004 microns
First Water Filter Project:
This first link is to a do it yourself water filter
made out of NOS Powershot Energy Drinks in the 2oz bottles, 2 each nylon hose barb splicers 1/4" x 1/4" made by Watts, Part#
A-195, Activated Carbon from either Walmart or local Pet Store, glue and cotton balls.
you cannot find these bottle in your local community, go take a look on ebay and see if they are listed there. I found
23 bottles on ebay and have turned all but 7 of them into this DIY water filter.
With the Activated
Carbon, it will be in a chunky particulate form. If you take the time and effort to grind these chunks down into a powder
form, it will take the filtering down to .5 microns instead of around 2-5 microns now.
Second Water Filter Project:
The second water filter is made out of a coffee creamer container, a Brita Water Filter and a 2 inch rubber O-Ring.
Water Filter Project: (Credit for this project goes out to a very good friend and patriot of mine. He has the overwatch
and he knows who he is. Nuff said. Thanks man!)
The other water filter
that is currently available is made by Clear2Go. These filters come in a two pack for less than $10.00. These are made
to be used with the reusable water bottle made by the same company. All the filter does is screw into the squeeze bottle top.
Each filter is good for 100 gallons and is already approved by NSF/ANSI Standard 42 which removes the bad taste in water
due to the added chemicals at the local water treatment plant to include Chlorine. They are also NSF/ANSI Standard 53
approved which is for the reduction of turbidity, and cysts such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
But you do not need the
reusable bottles at all. These filters can be utilized by purchasing an nylon adapter made by Green Leaf, Inc called
Adapter: Male Taper Pipe Thread x Hose Barb (3/8" MPT x 1/4" Hose Barb). Part# A 3814. I got mine from Tractor
Supply. Lowe's did not carry these in the size that is needed.
Also get some pipe thread seal tape and make several wrappings around the threads
on the nylon adapter. The threads are an exact match for the threads on the water filter. You just need to apply
enough seal tape to make a tighter bind on the water filter threads that's all.
If you cannot find these water filters at your local
store, go to their website and the filters can be ordered from them.
Here is the video that is on YouTube showing the water filter and the water bottle that these
are made to go in. Very nice demonstration once you will see how these filters turned black colored water into clear
water. This will be the first link, the second link is to the company Clear2Go.