Purifying water

cabinfever

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If you were in a survival situation and didn't have water purification drops or iodine tablets, how would you make sure your water wasn't contaminated? I'm a prepper, to a degree anyway, and I have a stockpile of drops and tablets, but those wouldn't last forever if there was an apocalyptic event.
 

Grandpa

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Take an ordinary soda bottle, clear with a plastic recycle code of 1. Fill it with water, set it in the sun for at least 6 hours. UV rays will kill all bacteria and virus. Or set out 10-20 of them and.....well, you can do the math. It won't remove heavy metals and chemicals though so you still have to be careful of your source. But then, neither will your drops and tablets help with the heavy metal and chemicals.
 

Marlowe

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We saw a show on TV where they were taking big clear plastic bottles to Haiti after the earthquake to UV sterilize the water. They were just filled them and sat them out in the sun all day. I never knew there was enough UV in sunlight to kill all the bad germs and bacteria in raw water. Not that I ever want try it, but it's good to know.
 

Grandpa

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One thing to remember, dehydration, which leads to hypothermia will kill you much faster than giardia or cryptospirosis.
 

ponderosa

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Dehydration also leads to hyperthermia, or can just kill you without help from critically high/low body temps. If you have some means to treat the available water, by all means use it...but if you have nothing, drink anyway.
 

Pathfinder1

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Hi...


The lad in the video was trying a method frequently touted by survival 'experts'. It generally doesn't produces very much water for the effort. The soil in the pit must be VERY damp/wet in order to produce a drinkable quantity.

The soil he chose looked like it was VERY dry. The greenery added very little to the process.
 

wvbreamfisherman

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Add a little alum or swimming pool flocculant to the water, stir for a bit and let it settle. It will make most of the fine solid contaminants clump together and settle out. You can them decant the clear water from the top.

This will remove many bacteria, and is the first step in a lot of municipal water treatment plants, followed by sand filtration and chlorination.
 

wvbreamfisherman

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Actually, there is a RO hand filter for desalinating water. Products - Katadyn Products Inc.

Basically, you are forcing the water through a membrane that is too tight for the salt and other molecules to pass.

It's overkill for most applications, but for a lifeboat, or salt water passage of some sort, it would be indispensable.
 

cabinfever

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I doubt very much I would need to remove salt, as it's unlikely I'd be out on the ocean. I'll look into all the other methods, though, and make sure I have some bottles on hand of the right type. I never thought about UV purification but that would be the easiest method.
 

Pathfinder1

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Take an ordinary soda bottle, clear with a plastic recycle code of 1. Fill it with water, set it in the sun for at least 6 hours. UV rays will kill all bacteria and virus. Or set out 10-20 of them and.....well, you can do the math. It won't remove heavy metals and chemicals though so you still have to be careful of your source. But then, neither will your drops and tablets help with the heavy metal and chemicals.



Hi...


And there's even a name for that: SOLdis...interesting reading on the 'net...and I believe some posts on OBC have info on same also.
 

Pathfinder1

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Hi...


The latest Lehmans.com catalog I just received has a water filter that will filter "up to 160-gallons". Looks like an ordinary water bottle. I have one like it, or the same one.

"Filters Giardia...to heavy metals"...etc. Holds 25-oz. $24.95.
 

dinosaur

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The breamfisherman has an interesting suggestion but the average guy isn't going to have these things with him in a survival situation. They probably won't have the plastic sheeting or the can or the tubing to make a solar still either. Most of the drinkable water will end up in droplets on the bottom of the plastic sheeting anyway.

The best you can do is boil the water. If you don't have a pot, this could be a problem. But, if you can kill a deer and cape it, you can dig a hole in the ground and line it with the hide, pour water in it, start a fire and heat some large rocks and roll them into the waterfilled hole. Use what you have.
 

NatureGal

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Hmm... I don't know. To be honest, I haven't thought of it much, even though I should be thinking about it. The only thing I can think of right now, without researching, is to boil it. I will keep an eye on this thread though, because I feel like it is an important thing to know.
 

troutstalker

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In the Adirondacks there are plenty of beavers. Their feces causes a bacteria called giardia. This bacteria causes "beaver fever". It will make you very ill. Violent vomiting,diahrea,and dehydration. It is imperative that you treat your drinking water. They make treatment tablets or you can boil or filter the water. I use a Katydin Hiker Pro filter pump which has been trouble free. There are plenty of filters on the market to choose from.
 

ppine

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Boil it. That is the tried and true method.
A solar still sounds like a great idea, but every time I see one in action it produces teaspoons of water in 24 hours.
Collecting rainwater should never be under estimated.
I agree that drinking bad water is always preferable to not drinking. Judgement is quickly impaired by dehydration. Making one bad decision can start an avalanche of problems. Deal with parasites, etc after rescue.
My brother spent 7 months going across Africa. That were stuck a few times in over 100 degree heat in places like Mali and were forced to drink out of local rivers sometimes without treating the water. He got checked out for parasites after coming back to the States and was fine.
 

wvbreamfisherman

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Boil it. That is the tried and true method.
A solar still sounds like a great idea, but every time I see one in action it produces teaspoons of water in 24 hours.
Collecting rainwater should never be under estimated.
I agree that drinking bad water is always preferable to not drinking. Judgement is quickly impaired by dehydration. Making one bad decision can start an avalanche of problems. Deal with parasites, etc after rescue.
My brother spent 7 months going across Africa. That were stuck a few times in over 100 degree heat in places like Mali and were forced to drink out of local rivers sometimes without treating the water. He got checked out for parasites after coming back to the States and was fine.
When I did the section hike on the AT, we hiked southbound as most thru hikers were going northbound. A asked a lot of them about treating water. Well over half said they never treated water if it looked clean and was coming from a spring. A few said they only treated "nasty-looking" water. The rest said they treated it every time.

The guys that didn't treat said they hadn't had any problems- take that for what it's worth.

I prefer to use my Hiker Pro and not take chances, but hey- hike your own hike. That said- I'd always drink before I'd allow myself to get dehydrated.
 
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