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  • #31
    Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
    Grizzlyette: I would be very careful about anybody making claims to be able to remove radioactive contamination. You may remove the contamination from your water, but I think you will end up with a radioactive filter. You may want to check with a hospital Radiation Safety Officer or a Health Physicist. Radioactivity has to decay at its own half life. Removing it from one place will just put it in another. I will see if I can find more info, but you may want to ask around.

    I submitted a question to this site. We will see if the answer.

    http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/ask.cfm
    Even a supply of materials for constructing your own filters (charcoal, sand, etc.) would need to be protected against contamination in some manner from
    radioactive contamination . And if you plan to replace your charcoal by making your own, consider that the wood you use may be radioactive if you cut and use it after an 'event'.. So again you would have to have a supply cut, stored and protected.

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    • #32
      I sent the Berkey folks another letter, and edited my earlier post to include it:


      --------------
      In the event of a nuclear disaster, how advantageous would pre-filtering through a tight weave fabric such as silk along with about 8 inches of clayey soil (collected from a depth of about 5 inches below the surface) be as a pre-treatment to help extend the life of the Berkey filter?


      Worst case scenario (depleted stored water, etc.):

      If no other water could be had other than a heavily contaminated pond of water, how soon could I expect to have to replace the Black Berkey filter if the water was pretreated as outlined above?
      -------------------

      (I don't expect much of an answer, but it doesn't hurt to ask.)

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by ZAGran View Post

        Even a supply of materials for constructing your own filters (charcoal, sand, etc.) would need to be protected against contamination in some manner from
        radioactive contamination . And if you plan to replace your charcoal by making your own, consider that the wood you use may be radioactive if you cut and use it after an 'event'.. So again you would have to have a supply cut, stored and protected.
        Yes indeed.

        I also have a goodly supply of diatomaceous earth which has a ton of uses, including use as a valuable addition to almost any homemade expedient filtering system. (As a bonus it will also control common SHTF-endemic pests such as lice and bedbugs.)

        My mind is also focused on the possibility of being caught away from my supplies in a nuclear emergency... hence the potential value of the travel-sized Black Berkey and pre-treating the water as outlined in my previous posts.
        Last edited by GrizzlyetteAdams; 11-12-2018, 03:08 PM.

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        • #34
          I don't expect to live very long if we have an event that dumps radioactive stuff on me with a half life longer than say 6 months. Living where I do I would catch any fall out west Arkansas and north of Texas. Sort of figure you have to be in a place like Cheyanne Mountain or a deep bunker for a year or longer.
          Perhaps I am looking on the dark side. After all I was in grade school during the 50-'s when we practiced "Duck and Cover" as regularly as fire drills. It seemed to me like a natural disaster that would happen sooner or later, like a tornado. But unlike a tornado you had to do more than just live through the bomb or what ever event released radioactivity in a massive amount. So I am prepared much as I would prepare for a direct hit by said tornado Basement, food for a few years, and water filters. Even if the initial fall out does not harm me, the soil will have to be scraped a few inches before you plant, residual fall out will become air born again from any wild fires west of me, depending on wind, rain will wash it from the air and deposit it on the land again and so on. It is cumulative. One year you might not get enough to hurt you but add the next year and the next year and the next and it will start to have it's effect.
          Don't get me wrong, I will go down fighting , doing all I can to endure and ensure my family does as well, but if there is enough radioactivity around we will absorb enough to die from it's effects, be it rather quickly from acute radioactive sickness or slowly from some cancer.
          Not a very sunny prospect from my point of view any way I look at it. So in spite of all my efforts, plans and preps it is in God's hands.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Sourdough View Post

            That is only a problem for you with your addiction to "PURIFIED" water, to avoid instant horrific death. Me....... I'll have lots of "NOT" perfectly pure surface water to enjoy.

            So tell me does it "SUCK" for you knowing you have a compromised digestive system.......???
            You're still confused into thinking that has anything to do with your original claim about "pure water".
            You're even contradicting yourself now.

            Does it SUCK for you to not be able to see the difference in what you're saying?
            Do we need to get Murpy back to explain it to you? ;)
            Last edited by Snyper708; 11-13-2018, 07:37 PM.

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            • #36
              This is the answer I received to my question about filtering radioactivity from water.

              Thanks for your question which was submitted to our Ask the Experts feature on 12 Nov 2018. The short answer is that in general, radioactive chemicals (radionuclides) can be removed from water if they are particles, and the filtered water is safe to use. Let me explain further.

              We usually filter water to remove natural radionuclides, like uranium and thorium, that are found naturally in the soil and rocks of our environment. These radionuclides are in the form of particles, and they are captured by filter paper.

              However, some natural radionuclides, like radon, are not particles but are gases. Radon gas dissolves in water, then after a few weeks at most, essentially all the radon gas decays to other radionuclides that are particles. These particulate radon decay products can then be filtered out of the water.

              The filter used to remove radionuclides from water is radioactive because it holds the uranium or thorium or other radionuclides. For most residential water filtration systems where the radionuclide levels in water are relatively low, the radioactivity of each filter is also quite low and is not a hazard. Still, it would be prudent to handle the used filter carefully and place it in a plastic bag for disposal.

              No matter what radionuclide particle is in the water, filtration will remove it, and the water will be safe to use. It is important, however, to be sure that the filter is changed as often as recommended by the manufacturer of the filtration system. If the filter becomes overloaded or is torn or damaged, it will be less efficient at trapping particles and some may pass through into the water.

              I hope this answers your questions. Thanks again for turning to the Health Physics Society’s Ask the Experts for help with your concerns about radiation.

              This was what I expected. Your water may be safe, but your filter may not be. Best to have several replacements on hand, and have a place for the contaminated filters to decay before they are used again.
              The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

              Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

              Comment


              • #37
                So I'm going to be a bit snarky. Am I better off grinding up my black berky filters and spreading them over several acers or foisting them off of my neighbors, or having a lead box buried within walking distance to put them in?

                Snarky over. Lead box out of the running. Will poison every one down stream. Foisting them of on neighbors? Only if they are really evil , not bad, neighbors. Don't think I could do that. But who knows? My life on the line? I can't say. Grinding or crushing them up with rocks and spreading them out over a large area Seems to be the best bet. I would like to be 'nice'. I would like to be aware of the needs of my fellow man but How do I decide where and how to dispose of the filters?

                Comment


                • #38
                  ZAGran: You don't have to go to that much trouble. Some basics on Radiation shielding: there are only three things that will protect you from radiation 1.) Time 2.) Distance 3.) Shielding. If you have to be near a radioactive source try to be near it for as short a time as possible. The farther away from the source you can get the safer, at least from radiation, you will be. Shielding will reduce your exposure depending on the type of shield, and how thick it is. Think of a burning candle. You can put your hand through the flame, and not get burned if you do it quickly. The farther you get from the flame the less light and heat you will feel. If you put something in front of the candle you will block the light and the heat.

                  By modern standards you want a protection factor of 1000. This means that by using shielding you will reduce the radiation exposure to 1/1000 of its original strength. To achieve a protection factor of 1000 you can use the following list. These equivalents are what is required to achieve a protection factor of 1000.

                  Lead 4 inches
                  Steel 10 inches
                  Concrete 24 inches
                  Packed Dirt 36 inches
                  Water 72 inches
                  Wood 110 inches

                  Another possible material, although I do not know the equivalency value, is paper. Books are a good source for shielding. Whoever thought saving old phone books would be a good idea. They are great for shielding, and probably for #2 if you run out of the real stuff if you know what I mean.

                  If you put your contaminated Berkey filters in a five gallon bucket, and sealed the lid, you would have to bury it about three feet down to achieve the protection level you need. The farther you bury it from the house will increase the protection factor by even more (distance). If you put concrete blocks in the hole, and then put the bucket inside the concrete blocks it will help even more. Put a couple of concrete blocks on top of the bucket before you bury it.

                  If you had to handle the radioactive source, in this case when changing the Berkey filter, wear two pairs of latex gloves, and try to accomplish the task as quickly as possible. I would suggest wearing an apron and eye and hair protection as well. Put the gloves and the apron in the bucket with the filter, and bury them all together. When you have finished wash like you were preparing for surgery.

                  Radiation will travel the same way as light in a straight path. If you had to design a bunker you would make sure there are no straight paths that light could penetrate. If light can get through so can radiation. More than likely the two main isotopes of concern are Strontium 90 and Cesium 137. Both of these have a half life of close to 30 years. The third isotope of concern would be Iodine 131. Iodine is the one that will attack the thyroid. It has a half life of 8 days, so it won't be around nearly as long.

                  Let's hope we never have to do this, but at least we have a plan.
                  The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                  Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Thanks, Morgan, for condensing the basics into a nutshell.

                    Others who may want to delve a little further on the topic will find the publication, Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Cresson Kearny, very useful and easy to understand. It is a classic that is available in print and as a free download from various sources. I like the upgraded 2012 edition. The older editions are still very useful, though.

                    Wikipedia gives an overview: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclea...urvival_Skills

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                    • #40
                      I heard back from Berkey, and got this:


                      Thank you for reaching out to Berkey® by NMCL. Without knowing the exact contaminates that are in the water we cannot give you a specific time frame in which your elements will need replacements. I will provide all of the testing we do have.

                      http://berkeywaterkb.com/wp-content/...est-Report.pdf


                      http://berkeywaterkb.com/wp-content/...est-Report.pdf

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                      • #41
                        Grizzlyette: I think where a lot of people get confused is differentiating between radiation and contamination. If the radiation is in particulate form it can be filtered. That doesn't mean you have removed the radiation. You have just trapped it in a filter. When you see people dressed in heavy Tyvek suits they are not being protected from radiation. They are being protected from contamination, radioactive particles contacting their bodies. The suits will still be radioactive, and your body is still absorbing radiation, but when you remove the suit and dispose of it you probably won't be carrying around any residual radiation.

                        My suggestion would be to learn how to use a Geiger counter, and learn what levels of radiation are safe. That is the only way I know of to measure what you have trapped in your filters. Filter the water. Measure the water for radiation; then measure the filter for radiation. After the measurements you will know what is safe. If the radiation level in the filter is unsafe it should be changed.

                        Another option would be to build a bunker where you could keep the Big Berkey; maybe a corner of a garage where you could stack concrete blocks. You isolate it, and shield it, and only go near it when you are going to use it. Remember it would have to be shielded on all six sides, although the floor may not be as critical. that would be an option to changing the filters frequently.

                        The Kearny is very interesting. I'm sure most of the data is still quite accurate. My question would be the sheer volume of radiation that could be released now vs. 1979 when the report was published. There are many more weapons out there, and bigger and more powerful ones than in '79.
                        The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                        Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Speaking of radiation: Once the first bust has happened only things that have been in the immediate area of the blast will have residual radiation. This includes ash, dust, metal will all retain Alpha and Beta radiation

                          There are filters that will remove alpha and beta radiation from your water source.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
                            Grizzlyette: I think where a lot of people get confused is differentiating between radiation and contamination. If the radiation is in particulate form it can be filtered. That doesn't mean you have removed the radiation. You have just trapped it in a filter. When you see people dressed in heavy Tyvek suits they are not being protected from radiation. They are being protected from contamination, radioactive particles contacting their bodies. The suits will still be radioactive, and your body is still absorbing radiation, but when you remove the suit and dispose of it you probably won't be carrying around any residual radiation.

                            My suggestion would be to learn how to use a Geiger counter, and learn what levels of radiation are safe. That is the only way I know of to measure what you have trapped in your filters. Filter the water. Measure the water for radiation; then measure the filter for radiation. After the measurements you will know what is safe. If the radiation level in the filter is unsafe it should be changed.

                            Another option would be to build a bunker where you could keep the Big Berkey; maybe a corner of a garage where you could stack concrete blocks. You isolate it, and shield it, and only go near it when you are going to use it. Remember it would have to be shielded on all six sides, although the floor may not be as critical. that would be an option to changing the filters frequently.

                            The Kearny is very interesting. I'm sure most of the data is still quite accurate. My question would be the sheer volume of radiation that could be released now vs. 1979 when the report was published. There are many more weapons out there, and bigger and more powerful ones than in '79.
                            Yes indeed, a Geiger counter has been on my wish list for a while now. I really should amp it up to the top of the list soon.

                            You are so right: the nuclear picture is quite different now, so I was glad to see an updated version of the Kearny book. (It would be interesting to compare this edition with the older (free) online versions. I just have not had the time yet but if and when I do, I will definitely start a thread about it!

                            I like your idea of building a shielded area for the Berkey to live in, as an option to frequent filter changing.

                            Thanks for all your input (this thread and many others); I like the way you think!


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                            • #44
                              A bunker for my Berkey. Good thought.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by ZAGran View Post
                                A bunker for my Berkey. Good thought.
                                Gran, your post made me smile... It's an inspiration for a cool prepper song...A bunker for mah Berkey, uh huh.... a bunker for me and you..uh huh...


                                Aww, why not fly my freak flag proudly? I just might start a thread in the humor section in the next day or two....

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