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Water filtration - what do you have?

Discussion in 'Food, Water Storage and other Prepper Gear' started by O.S.O.K. 1961, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. wileycoyote

    wileycoyote Member

    i wrote this up ten years ago but i believe much of it is still useful or at least a good starting point:

    Water Contamination Solutions

    Clean water is a bigger concern than food, shelter, warmth, etc. Only air is as important.
    25,000 people die each day worldwide from contaminated drinking water.
    Even if the probability of contamination is low, the consequences can be grave.
    When traveling in third world countries, ALL water sources should be considered suspect.
    Although viruses aren't a likely problem within the U.S., they are a problem elsewhere.
    Most viruses, bacteria and most protozoan parasites can be killed by boiling or iodine treatment.
    Unfortunately, iodine does not kill Cryposporidium which can only be removed by boiling, by high quality filtering or by treating with chlorine dioxide or by UV light or by MIOX treatment.
    These are the current lightweight, portable options an individual can use to clean water for drinking -


    Negatives - needs metal pot with lid, fuel, fire pit or stove, time, storage containers.

    Positives - it's the most preferred method for killing all parasites, bacteria and viruses.

    Conclusion - excellent for fixed camps where fuel and time allow

    TABLETS (traditional) includes brands like Halazone (chlorine)and Portable Pure (iodine)

    Negs- temperature effects speed of action and quantity of pills, doesn't work against Cryposporidium, slow process (over ½ hour), bad taste (Vitamin C can later be added to improve taste), extremely corrosive, some people allergic to iodine, short shelf life (under 1 yr), costly per gallon (50 cents/gallon)

    Pos- these products are the most readily available and are carried in any sporting goods department

    Conc- not worth considering except for use in tiny survival kits or hollow-handle knives

    IODINE CRYSTALS includes products like Polar Pure

    Negs- many of the same negatives as tablets

    Pos- easier to adjust amount needed to work effectively, slightly faster acting, doesn't work against Cryposporidium, very low cost ( ½ cent per gallon), indefinite shelf life

    Conc- excellent lowcost stand alone system. Perfect back up to other systems and may be used in addition to other methods if viruses are a concern

    TABLETS (newest generation) includes Katadyn Micropur MP1 (chlorine dioxide)

    Negs- long wait time for full treatment in cold, dirty water (up to 4 hours), fairly short shelf life (3 years), very expensive (50 cents/quart), [a similar chlorine dioxide product "Aquamira" by McNett is a two-part liquid system and are not EPA approved]

    Pos- a true chemical purifier that kills Cryptosporidium, has no taste, safe for those allergic to iodine

    Conc- simple, convenient, small and safe method (although one of the most expensive)


    Negs- not as effective as other methods, clog easily, delicate, very limited life, cannot be cleaned, does not kill viruses, extreme high cost ($1/gallon)

    Pos- very small, instant use

    Conc- for emergency back up and storage in mini survival kit


    Negs- same as drinking straws

    Pos- handy single unit combo that fits in bike's carrying rack

    Conc- simple answer for bicyclists but not preferred over other solutions


    Negs- work the same as drinking straws with the same problems. Also, when plastic canteen is not full it causes slashing sounds which are annoying or even dangerous in some military situations

    Pos- works, to a degree, if one must carry canteens

    Conc- only for use as a backup method or if no other choice is available


    Negs- very slow, must be used at water source until process is complete

    Pos- nothing mechanical, not labor intensive, can continue to produce clean water throughout the day/night. Excellent for large groups

    Conc- for long term fixed camps where time is not a consideration


    Negs- for single person use. somewhat limited in total gallons at a higher cost per gallon, not as effective a filter as pump models, doesn't lend itself for use in cooking/washing, does not kill viruses

    Pos- small, light, easy to use, most filters can be cleaned, quick to fill bag, easy to transport, easy to access while moving or at work

    Conc- for a single person on the move, it's a preferred military & law enforcement system.


    Negs- expense, requires manual pumping, bigger than other systems, more delicate, requires time to use, some models require carrying additional replacement filters/parts, water storage containers needed, some units heavy & large so transporting a problem particularly those models with big levers & hoses

    Pos- very effective in removing contaminates and improving water taste/smell

    Conc- excellent choice for camping and general travel

    Additional considerations before purchasing a pump model-

    type of filter (ceramic vs carbon), size (6" - 12" in length), weight (6 oz to 24 oz), flow (.4 to 1.2 litters per minute), pump energy required (2 to 20 lbs of pressure), total gallons before replacement (20 gallons to 12,000 gallons), cost of unit ($25-$200), filter rating (.2 to 1.0 microns), ease of cleaning, the addition of an iodine filter built into the unit for use against viruses, anti-clog designs/pre-filters, cost/size/weight of addition parts that are suggested to be included in kit, will replacement parts still be available for this model in ten years, company's reputation and proven reliability.


    Negs- requires 4xAA batteries (set of alkalines is good for 20-40 uses), needs “proper” agitation, very fragile construction, does not remove particles, good for 5000 uses before needed rebuilding, does either one pint or one quart at a time

    Pos- quick and easy, faster (45 to 90 seconds) than the MSR MIOX unit (which takes up to 4 hours), kills Cryptosporidium, useful against 99.9% of all viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites, unit can be put in container after container so it can purify a large quantity of water in a short period of time, no pumping

    Conc- a stick-like device that is inserted into a bottle and held in water while turned on. if the limitations fit your needs, it’s a fast and simple solution.


    Negs- requires a single CR123 battery, does not remove particles, can purify only one liter at a time

    Pos- comes with it’s own bottle, adds only 3 oz (including battery) over the weight of the bottle, completely sealed electronic head, no moving parts, works in under 2 minutes per liter, useful against 99.9% of all viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites, no pumping

    Conc- new product works much like the Steri-Pen but tougher, self contained and even easier to use. Lighter lithium battery is a big plus over the four heavier AA batteries used in the Steri-Pen. Bottle threads still need to be wiped down with diluted iodine solution to be truly safe.

    SALT-OXIDANT SOLUTION PURIFIER (MSR MIOX electrically-charged chemical-reaction kit)

    Negs- requires the handling of strong oxidant chemical, requires time to work (up to 4 hours for Cryptosporidium), needs CR123 batteries, imparts slight chlorine taste (like heavy treated city water)

    Pos- easy to use, kills all biological contaminates including viruses, not temperature dependent, lightweight and small, suitable for up to a gallon at a time, uses rock salt (has indefinite shelf life), can use table salt or salt tablet if needed, positive feedback via test strips, works in turbid water, about the same size as the Steri-pen but has much longer battery life, no pumping

    Conc- this is a compact portable version of a large municipal water system. Recently designed for U.S. military applications, the unit uses salt, water and electrolysis to produce a complex compound of mixed oxidant chlorides that is effective against all bacteria, viruses and parasites, including crypto. It should work well for anyone willing to accept it’s limitations.

    - end -

  2. 91cavgt

    91cavgt New Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    The Colony
    I’ve got a Lifestraw in my wife’s and my GHB. Got a couple of the Sawyer Mini filters as well. Then I made my own that will be used for filtering mass quantities of water should SHTF. It consists of a 5 gallon bucket where raw water is poured into a 100 micron filter that is designed to fit a 5 gallon bucket. The water then strains through a 10 micron filter, once again that is designed for 5 gallon buckets. After that there is a spigot on the 5 gallon bucket about 3” up from the bottom. That is to help solids settle to the bottom instead of continue through the filtration process.

    After the spigot, water goes through a see through 60 micron filter whose primary job is to show me that large particulate matter is not bypassing the previous filtration media. After the see through filter water goes through a Sawyer Mini, then it continues and drips down into a coffee filter filled with activated carbon.

    All of this, with the exception of a piece of 4” by 2’ PVC pipe fits into a 5 gallon bucket.
  3. wileycoyote

    wileycoyote Member

    excellent system and info. could you please tell us where you got the "100 micron filter that is designed to fit a 5 gallon bucket"?
  4. 91cavgt

    91cavgt New Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    The Colony
  5. wileycoyote

    wileycoyote Member

    excellent! will definitely pick 'em up. thnx 91cavgt!
    91cavgt likes this.
  6. no2gates

    no2gates Well-Known

    Aug 31, 2013
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I've got a Berkey and it works great. Also have a UV sterilizer pen just in case as well.
  7. bowjunky39$

    bowjunky39$ New Member TGT Supporter

    Feb 2, 2020
  8. crzy_one

    crzy_one Member

    Aug 29, 2011
    I have never looked into this but you have sent me down the rabbit hole...spent hours reading. Thank you for all the info!
  9. sobi1998

    sobi1998 Active Member

    Mar 18, 2016
    I got two lifestraws for backpacking. If SHTF it’d be tough to filter any large amount but drinking from a straw is better than nothing. When in doubt, just boil the $h!t out of it

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. HKaltwasser

    HKaltwasser Well-Known

    These guys have some affordable setups, I've ordered some silver embedded ceramic filters from them. They're good to go.

    I have several different filters/systems but I think I'll be trying this one next or a Big Berkey. This one is made in the USA and has a built in UVC lamp that's recharged with a USB charger.

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