Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

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Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:10 pm

Welcome back to another install of Tactical Tuesday. We're going to divert from the norm here a little, but cover a very important topic: Clean Water! While there is a lot to talk about concerning this, my intent is to give people a primer to get started. So... Everyone knows how important it is for the human body to stay hydrated? Yes? Okay, nod your heads with me. *nods head* If you're lucky, you can score some bottled water and it's all good. However, if you far away from any sort of civilization, being able to have clean water is very important.

First, here are some of the nasties that can be in water: viruses (polio, hepatitis), bacteria (cholera, salmonella, streptococcus), and parasites (Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium) All of which will pretty much ruin your weekend, and probably then some.

There are tons of choices when it comes to water cleaning devices, so lets break it down a little bit. The two main catagories are Filters and Purifiers. While these sound like they do the same thing, they don't!!! In short, Filters are rated to capture 99 to 99.99 percent of viruses. Purifiers are more powerful, and must inactivate 99.99 percent of viruses. Basically a 1% difference, but it this game it makes all the difference.

To make matters even more complicated, both Filters and Purifiers are rated at different micron levels. Microns are super tiny length of measurement used to measure really small things like viruses, bacteria, etc. Micron levels are another thing to concerned about. For instance, if you have a filter that can stop .03 micron viruses, but your water supply is chuck full of .02 micron viruses, that's not good news. Generally the smaller the micron number is the better. That's not to say that you need a .01 or anything crazy, it really depends on the contamination of your water supply.

There are also several methods to filter and purify water. Such as: Pumps, Gravity, UV, Chemicial Each have their advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to do your homework! :D

EDIT:
This thread was seriously lacking the a TACTICAL PHOTO, so here we go...
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This is my Katadyn Hiker MicroFilter.

http://www.katadyn.com/usen/katadyn-pro ... hiker-usa/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Murph on Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by spacecase0 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:15 pm

my favorite is 4 micron filter, then UV.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by phil_in_cs » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:18 pm

Glad to see Tactical Tuesday back! Filter or Purifier? Yes! Both!
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Frank » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:21 pm

bandanna and polar pure ftw
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:28 pm

Leave it to beaver to forget to mention the easiest method of making potable water... Boiling!
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by spacecase0 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:34 am

Murph wrote:Leave it to beaver to forget to mention the easiest method of making potable water... Boiling!
it works well, but it takes lots of fuel
"1911, AK, corn bread, red/blue wire neutral"
people in america still like to pretend they are free, the day they know they are not, they will stop pretending

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:12 pm

spacecase0 wrote:
Murph wrote:Leave it to beaver to forget to mention the easiest method of making potable water... Boiling!
it works well, but it takes lots of fuel
**looks out his back window and sees a whole backyard of "fuel"** :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by maddmatt » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:15 pm

spacecase0 wrote:
Murph wrote:Leave it to beaver to forget to mention the easiest method of making potable water... Boiling!
it works well, but it takes lots of fuel
And doesn't stop most chemical contaminates.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:26 pm

Murph wrote:**looks out his back window and sees a whole backyard of "fuel"** :wink:
If it is summer, and it takes you a quart of sweat to get enough to purify a quart of water, you aren't making any headway.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Lonely Raven » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:30 pm

Murph wrote:
spacecase0 wrote:
Murph wrote:Leave it to beaver to forget to mention the easiest method of making potable water... Boiling!
it works well, but it takes lots of fuel
**looks out his back window and sees a whole backyard of "fuel"** :wink:

Yeah, out here in the Chicago burbs, people pay $100 for a half cord. FTS.
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http://www.FirespeedTactical.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:47 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:
Murph wrote:**looks out his back window and sees a whole backyard of "fuel"** :wink:
If it is summer, and it takes you a quart of sweat to get enough to purify a quart of water, you aren't making any headway.
Always spoiling my fun! :D
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by 1200RT-P » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:50 pm

Thanks for the post. This helps in making some decisions!

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:16 pm

1200RT-P wrote:Thanks for the post. This helps in making some decisions!
Anytime, I'm glad I could help!

Phil_in_CS just sent me a video about another type of filter that is being used in the 3rd world with lots of success! It's called a BioSand Filter (BSF). I've read about similar ways to filter through different sizes of sediement, and this one sounds like the most effect. If you have other ways to filter water, by all means take advantage of them first.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioSand_Filter" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:23 pm

Here's another goody I found the other day. Quick reference chart for bleach:

Image
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:27 pm

Here's the video I sent Murph. There is a plead for money in this, as they are raising $ to get these out to third world nations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKuVtaoc6Io" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Frank » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:58 pm

dont they also sterilize water in PET bottles in the third world by leaving them exposed to direct sunlight for a few hours?

oh and if it truly came down to it i would filter with bandanna full of sand, use polar pure iodine purifier and then boil it.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Big B » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:25 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions for UV purifiers? I was eyeing one at REI a while back, but I've never used one.

BTW- Great thread!
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Brandt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:27 pm

Big B wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for UV purifiers? I was eyeing one at REI a while back, but I've never used one.

BTW- Great thread!
I know this thread has been dead for awhile, but I think I can help you out.

My astronomy teacher who goes out to Black Mesa here in Oklahoma uses this bad boy: http://www.steripen.com/-journey-safe-water-system

I went out with one of her classes on a 3 day hike/camping field trip after I graduated and she had the SteriPen. I now want one because it worked great and non of us had any ill effects drinking water that was purified by it. If you are looking for a UV purifier, I would say go for this. Comes with bottle funnels for different size bottles (small and large mouth) with removable filters. One UV lamp will purify 8000 liters of water. Also comes with extra filters... Pretty sweet piece of equipment.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:06 am

That steripen link looks VERY tempting! Thanks for posting it- I didn't know there was a portable UV system available. My experience with UV treatment has been on well systems, where the lamp is powered by 110VAC, not really what I'd call a 'portable' system.

What I'd like to hear about, is ways to remove chemical contaminants. Distillation is one method that works pretty reliably, as each chemical has it's own unique boiling and condensation temperature, but some of them can be VERY close to that of water- and being that accurate with something portable, or put together out in the field, seems a rather unreliable approach to me. Something that selective is pretty much going to be in a lab only.

What are common pollutants (man-made, chemical, etc) that can be expected in water sources? I realize the answer to this may read like a list of the periodic table, but how do we remove this kind of thing? Suppose your water source is downstream of a chemical attack, and you don't know it- who knows what might be in your water source? Would something like a nerve agent be detectable, and if so, how? I'm pretty sure, given what little I do know of them, that anything strong enough to be detected by smell, has just clobbered me at the first whiff. Assuming it's there, and not going to kill me for looking at it funny, how do I get it OUT?
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Big B » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:01 pm

Brandt wrote:
Big B wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for UV purifiers? I was eyeing one at REI a while back, but I've never used one.

BTW- Great thread!
I know this thread has been dead for awhile, but I think I can help you out.

My astronomy teacher who goes out to Black Mesa here in Oklahoma uses this bad boy: http://www.steripen.com/-journey-safe-water-system

I went out with one of her classes on a 3 day hike/camping field trip after I graduated and she had the SteriPen. I now want one because it worked great and non of us had any ill effects drinking water that was purified by it. If you are looking for a UV purifier, I would say go for this. Comes with bottle funnels for different size bottles (small and large mouth) with removable filters. One UV lamp will purify 8000 liters of water. Also comes with extra filters... Pretty sweet piece of equipment.
Thanks for the info Brandt! Glad to hear it works well and no one got sick :wink:
Looks like this gadget needs to go on my "wish list".
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:35 pm

Updated OP with a fun picture.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by derf26 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:42 pm

I should have probably introduced myself somewhere else first, but I saw this thread and I know a little from doing research about this.

Viruses don't usually go smaller than 20 nanometers (0.02 microns) and bacteria are usually bigger than 200 nanometers (0.2 microns). Most of the water filters I've seen out there will filter down to 0.2 microns, but not smaller. Many of the cheaper or smaller ones don't even do that. This means you're looking at filtering out particulate matter, bacteria, protozoa, etc., but not viruses.

In order to kill viruses, you need to use purification tablets (cheap but taste nasty as they're usually based off chlorine. Iodine isn't near as effective as chlorine so avoid those). UV will also work, but you have to filter the water first, otherwise particulates in the water will literally stop the UV rays from penetrating far enough to purify all of the water. Also, UV purifiers seem to be very expensive, and keep in mind that they are electronic. Electronics can fail, so make sure you have tablets on you just in case. There are only two filter systems that I have found so far that can mechanically filter down to the size of a virus. This is the Lifesaver bottle and the Sawyer 4l filter. The latter has received some reviews saying that it has failed quite quickly, and so I'm doubtful about the reliability of such a filter in a survival situation. The former seems to be mired by some negative reviews too, but they mostly originate out of misunderstanding.

In order to reduce chemicals and pharmaceuticals in your water, as well as chlorine (if you want to filter tap water, or filter after you've purified with tablets), you should use a filter that has an activated charcoal attachment. This is far cheaper, faster, and more practical than distilling water in a survival situation. The Lifesaver bottle has one of these, but their activated charcoal filter attachment is rated to only 250L, so you would need over a dozen if you plan to fully use the 4000L rating of the main filter.

Look for filters impregnated with silver. This will stop or minimise any bacterial growth. The Katadyn pocket has this I think, as does the Lifesaver bottle. I could be wrong on this though.

Also to consider: filter throuhput and method of use. For example, the lifesaver bottle is not practical for filtering large quantities of water. If all you want is drinking water, that will be fine. If you want to filter water for cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth, etc., then one of those Katadyn filters that attaches to water bladders is probably a more sensible variant.

Lastly, a word of warning with regards to micron ratings. What manufacturers usually list as their micron rating is the nominal (or average) rating. This is merely the average pore size. This means that there will be pores bigger, usually two to three times bigger. And since water likes to travel through the easiest place first, this is actually quite important. The minimal pore size they guarantee is called absolute rating. When you see a filter rated at 0.2 microns, be aware that the absolute rating is probably anywhere in between 0.5 and 0.9 microns, which is significantly bigger than the smallest bacteria. To complicate things further, the U.S. and International standards for testing water filters are different. The U.S. ones are (apparently) an order of magnitude less stringent.

I've sent e-mails to several manufacturers trying to find out what their absolute rating is, including the Lifesaver bottle. I have only received one reply so far, that one concerning the Katadyns being between 0.5 and 0.9. This means they will still filter out most microbes, but not all.

If you combine both filtration and purification though, you should kill everything :) Hope this helps!
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:39 am

Moved to BOG.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Water, Filters vs. Purifiers

Post by Murph » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:25 am

I was talking with a friend of mine in Afghanistan. The water there is known to be pretty nasty, but they have another method of purification all together. Pretty ingenious too, it's called SODIS.

"SODIS (abbreviation of Solar Water Disinfection)"
http://www.sodis.ch/index_EN" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In short, you leave a plastic bottle of water in the sun for 6 hours and the UV rays kill any nasties. So what my friend does is fill up a bunch of water bottles and toss them on the roof of his hooch. Leave them up there for a few days, and they're ready to go. With a rotating stash on the roof, he's got plenty of clean water.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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