Survival Warehouse

Please check out our Sponsor Survival Warehouse!

They are dedicated and devoted to providing the best Survival & Preparedness Gear available. They have been around for decades and really excel in the Long Term Food Storage Category.

Survival Warehouse - Offering the best deals and hard to find Survival Kits, Survival Gear, MRES, MRE Meals, Freeze Dried Camping Food, Bug out bags, Survival Gear, Gas masks and more. Be Prepared and ready for any emergency or disaster
See more
See less

Understanding Water Filtration - MUST READ

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Understanding Water Filtration - MUST READ

    I did not write this, was written by a guy named Catalyst on a few diff forums etc.

    Thought it was excellent and worth a re-post.

    Choosing A Water Filter

    Why do we need a drinking water system?
    More people are using drinking water systems while camping, backpacking and traveling. Why?

    * Safety. Unfortunately, most lakes, rivers and streams are full of microorganisms that can make you sick. Drinking water systems can eliminate these contaminants and make the water safer to drink.
    * Protect Yourself. Because you never know what's in the water.
    * Freedom. Be self-sufficient with a drinking water system. As long as there is a water source, you can have safe drinking water. And, lightweight drinking water systems won't weigh you down like carrying extra water.

    What's really in the water?
    Microorganisms are the primary threat in untreated water sources. They may be in any lake, river or stream, even if the water looks clean. Microorganisms generally come from animal waste and may be spread by rain and run-off.
    Beware of these 3 types of microorganisms:

    Protozoa (2 microns and larger).
    Protozoa are the largest microorganisms. Therefore, they are the easiest to filter out of the water. However, their protective shell makes them resistant to iodine and chlorine treatment alone. One common protozoa, Giardia, causes "Beaver's Fever.

    * Giardia and Cryptosporidium

    Bacteria (.2 microns and larger).
    Bacteria range in size from 0.2 to 10 microns. Large bacteria may be removed by most microfilters, but smaller bacteria can only be eliminated by a very small micron size microfilter or a purifier. Bacteria are responsible for diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid Fever.

    * E. Coli and Salmonella

    Viruses (.004 microns and larger).
    Viruses are the smallest microorganisms and cannot be reliably removed by filtration. It was traditionally thought that viruses aren't a concern in North America, but that opinion has changed. Wilderness studies suggest that 60% of all back county illnesses are actually caused by bacteria and viruses. Viruses can cause serious health problems, such as Hepatitis, Polio and Norwalk Virus. Viruses can be eliminated from water with purification, chemical disinfection, or boiling.

    * Hepatitis A, Polio, and Norwalk Virus

    What is the best way to make water safe to drink?

    * Purifying:
    Combines chemical disinfection with filtration to eliminate all three types of microorganisms.
    * Boiling:
    Bring the water to a full boil to kill microorganisms. requires energy source and takes time
    Iodine Tablets:
    * Add 1 or 2 tablets per quart and wait 20 minutes to kill the microorganisms. Takes time and adds foul taste. limited effectiveness against Giardia and not effective against Cryptosporidium.
    * Filtering:
    Microfilters may remove protozoa and most bacteria. Doesn't remove viruses. May require frequent cleaning due to clogging.

    How do I choose a drinking water system?
    Use the Drinking Water Safety Guide to help you choose the best products for your needs. It organizes drinking water systems according to the #1 concern: safe water.
    Drinking Water Safety Guide Water System Microorganisms Eliminated Microbiological Micro Rating:
    ·Protection Level No. 1 Purifier Eliminates Viruses, Bacteria and Giardia .004
    ·Protection Level No. 2 Microfilter Eliminates Giardia and Most Bacteria 0.2 to 1.0
    ·Protection Level No. 3 Filter Eliminates Giardia 1.0 to 4.0

    Purifiers: #1
    Highest safety rating Eliminates Viruses, Bacteria and Giardia, no matter what micron size
    Microfilters: #2
    # 2 safety rating Eliminates Giardia and Most Bacteria, depending on their micron size.
    Filters: #3
    # 3 safety rating only eliminates Giardia and microorganisms larger than 1 micron.

    Okay, so how do you choose the right one?
    1. Consider How Much Protection You Want
    It's impossible to know for sure if a given water supply is free of contamination. But bacterial and protozoan contamination has been estimated to be present in 90% of the United States' surface water. And water-borne viruses may be found anywhere where humans have come into contact with the water supply.

    Filters - All of the water filters that EMS carries provide reliable protection against bacteria and protozoa (one new model also provides reliable protection against viruses!). Filters are the easiest, most economical method of making water safe to drink in situations where viral protection is not needed.

    A Note on Pore Size
    The size of the holes, or "pores", in a filter determine which microorganisms get caught and which sneak through. Most filters have a small range of hole sizes. Absolute pore size refers to the size of the largest (least effective) holes. This measurement tells you which critters will be caught and which won't.

    Unfortunately, some manufacturers advertise nominal (average) pore sizes instead of absolute sizes, which can make the whole pore size issue very complex. When comparing the effectiveness of different filters, concentrate instead on which water-borne nasties the unit claims to eliminate and which it doesn't.

    Every water filter (and purifier) that EMS sells has packaging that describes which microorganisms it can protect you from. Be sure to read this information carefully before choosing a specific model.
    Purifiers - Water purifiers offer the very best protection available from contaminated water in the backcountry. Purifiers usually provide reliable protection against bacteria, protozoa and viruses. But is this extra protection worth the extra cost? It depends on your plans.

    Choosing A Water Filter Page Four
    You are at risk for viral infection any time humans have come into contact with your water supply (NOTE: viruses can be spread by everything from urinating to brushing your teeth to spitting in a stream).

    This means situations like:

    * Crowded recreation areas where sanitation systems may become overloaded from time to time.
    * Areas where infants may be in the water.
    * Backcountry sites where backcountry visitors may not have disposed of their waste properly.
    * Developing countries with basic sanitation systems.

    Areas that are susceptible to natural disasters like floods and earthquakes (which could overwhelm sanitation systems).

    Quite simply, purifiers are the best choice for any backcountry traveler who doesn't want to take any chances with their water supplies. Remember -- you never know for sure what's been going on up stream!

    2.Consider How Much Water You'll Need
    If you only backpack a few times a year, focus your attention on smaller, less expensive filters/purifiers designed to handle a limited amount of water. You may need to replace the filter elements in these models from time to time, but you'll still come out ahead in the long run. If you plan on using your filter/purifier more often (10-20 times a year), it may be more cost effective for you to choose a more expensive unit that's designed to last longer between filter replacements.

    Also keep in mind as you compare filter/purifier models that different designs work at different speeds. If your trip plans involve difficult terrain, dry conditions and/or large groups of people, look for a model that can process a lot of water quickly. If you're planning shorter trips and/or smaller groups, you maybe happier with a lighter, smaller, less expensive model.

    3.Consider Size and Weight
    Keep in mind that you'll be carrying your filter/purifier everywhere you go. Balance your desire for high water output and ease of use with your desire to keep your backpack light.

    4.Consider Ease of Operation
    Water filters/purifiers come in a variety of styles. When performance levels are similar, the decision between them is often a matter of personal taste. To decide between models, consider how easy each one is to use. Ask yourself questions like:
    ·How easy is the filter/purifier to set up and operate?
    ·If it's a pump design, how easy is it to pump?
    ·Can it be operated easily by a single person? (try it out for yourself and see!)
    ·Is it possible to connect a water container directly to the unit? If not, how easy is it to get the treated water into your water jug?
    ·Can the filter unit be cleaned to extend its usable life? How easy is it to do?
    ·What about basic maintenance procedures? Can common problems be fixed in the field?

    NOTE: If you plan on setting up camp and staying put for a while, you may want to consider a large-volume, gravity-driven system instead of one that you have to pump. Gravity-driven systems tend to be bulkier and slower than hand-held units. But they can process a large volume of water while you're out exploring, and you don't have to lift a finger!

    5.Consider Cost
    The most expensive water filters/purifiers are often the most cost-efficient when you consider their performance and longevity. If you plan on backpacking for a number of years, consider paying a little more up front so you can save money further down the trail. When comparing costs, look at:

    * The overall price of the unit.
    * The amount of water that it can treat before the filter must be replaced.
    * The cost of replacement filter/chemical elements.

    Also keep in mind that some filter/purifier elements can be "scrubbed" from time to time to clean out pores and extend their useful life. Others cannot.

    Pre-filter - Usually located at the end of the intake hose or just before the main filter. Pre-filters strain out the largest particles and cut down on wear and tear to your main filter element. Most pre-filters can be rinsed from time to time to remove caught particles.

    Depth Filter - These are blocks of filtering material, honeycombed with small passages. Water flows through the passages and microorganisms are caught inside. Some depth filters can be cleaned to improve longevity, others cannot.

    Surface/Membrane Filter - Membrane filters are perforated surfaces that strain out particles as the water passes through. Surface/membrane filters cannot be scrubbed clean.

    The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)

  • #2
    I think British Red wrote the best article on water.

    Originally posted by British Red
    Over the years I have read an awful lot about water purification. Some of it was good advice. Some of it contained a few mistakes, exaggerations or inflated manufacturers claims. Some was flat out wrong.

    A while ago I wrote an article that looked at the science of how fire works and how to apply it to an outdoors environment when you need a fire to keep you alive. This time I thought we might look at water and how to stop it making you ill or even killing you.

    A lot of has been written about “purifying” water and how various methods of “purifying” are best. Before we even consider how to make water safe, perhaps we should consider what makes it unsafe.

    Part 1 - The Contaminants

    There are two main classifications of contaminants we need to concern ourselves with – organisms (living creatures) and chemicals (which may be organic or inorganic in nature but are not alive).

    Organism Hazards
    There are a large number of types of organisms that can exist in the water. The hazards in drinking water are small – very small. I’ll include rough size ranges when describing them. For consistency I’ll give all sizes in microns (a micron is one thousandth of a millimetre or one millionth of a metre. These include:

    A virus is a piece of nucleic acid wrapped in a coat of protein. It is not a cell and can only reproduce and grow by infecting a host where it inserts its nucleic acid into host cells.

    Examples of water borne viruses include Hepatitis and Rotavirus

    A virus is the smallest of the organic hazards we are discussing – they range in size from 0.3microns to 0.01microns.

    Bacteria are single celled organisms with a complete set of nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) and are much larger than viruses (up to 100 times). Over 90% of bacteria are harmless or beneficial to humans but some are dangerous.

    Examples of dangerous bacteria include Cholera and Typhoid
    Bacteria measure 0.5microns to 5 microns

    Protozoa are single celled creatures. Larger and more complex than bacteria, they are commonly found in both water and soil. They are generally invisible to the naked eye – they range in size from ten microns to half a millimetre (or 500 microns) Some protozoa have the ability to form cysts.

    A cyst is a hard walled form of a micro-organism such as Giardia or Cryptospyridium, These cysts can survive in water or fecal matter for a long time and in conditions that the protozoa would not. Chlorine and Iodine for example may not reliably kill cryptospyridium cysts

    Chemical Hazards
    Many chemicals can be found in water – these include metals (lead, arsenic, mercury), nitrates / nitrites and many more. Their presence can be natural or the result of human activity. Mining can cause the presence of metals in the water supply (particularly in less regulated parts of the world), agricultural run off of fertilisers and pesticides are another common cause of chemical pollution.

    Chemical contaminants have to be separated from the water to render it safe since they cannot be killed as organisms can.

    Part 2 - The Treatments

    Heat / Boiling
    Heating water to a high enough temperature for a long enough time will kill all dangerous organisms. Advice from reputable sources varies but consensus seems to suggest that raising water to 100C will have killed all bacteria and viruses. Cysts are a little tougher and advice is to maintain 100 degrees C for one minute to be safe.

    The amount of “boil time” advised by “authorities” varies. There are two reasons for this:

    Altitude (and consequential air pressure) alters the boiling point of water. To take an extreme example, the pressure at the summit of Everest is about a third of sea level air pressure. At this altitude, water boils around 70C. Since 82C is the temperature at which bacteria are instantly killed, the problem is obvious. US EPA advice is that cysts which are probably the toughest of the organisms will be killed by ten minutes of exposure to water at 70C.

    Turbidity. This is mucky murky water to you and me. Many micro organisms are found in soil. If soil particles are floating in water, they can insulate the organisms they contain from the rise in temperature for a period of time. The murkier the water, the longer the boil time should be sustained. Better yet is to use a coarse filter to remove larger soil particles.

    Turbid Water

    Clear water brought to a rolling boil at low altitude will be safe from organisms. The higher the altitude and the murkier the water, the longer a boil should be maintained (to a maximum of 15 minutes for dirty water whilst standing on the summit of Everest).

    There are really three subsets of filtration – I would term them “coarse”, “fine” and “ultra fine”.

    Coarse filtration.

    Coarse filtration will not remove either organic or chemical hazards since the barrier apertures are large enough to allow even protozoa to pass through. What coarse filtration will do however is screen out all but the finest of the particulates that cause turbidity. This will render boiling and chemical sterilisation far more effective and also hugely improve the palatability of water. The most common form of coarse filtration is the Milbank bag – a tightly woven canvas bag with a design optimised for coarse filtration.

    Fine Filtration

    Fine filtration will certainly remove protozoa and cysts and the better quality filters will also remove bacteria. To look out a quality fine filter, look for “absolute” filtration of 1 micron or less. The most common form of fine filtration is a ceramic filter (often used in combination with other approached described later). A high quality ceramic filter will last indefinitely (although other combined products will not). It is important to note that fine filters, because they can trap bacteria, can become a breeding ground and source of contaminants. In order to alleviate this some form of secondary barrier is often included in the fine filter – often silver is used to prevent the bacteria surviving. A ceramic filter will also form a barrier to some metals and organic matter (but by no means all).

    Ultra Fine Filtration

    There are portable filters available that can filter out viruses. These are relatively new to the market and are still relatively expensive. I addition there is the process known as reverse osmosis. This is a very fine filter which water molecules are forced through with a pressure of 40 – 80 psi. Reverse osmosis can remove not only viruses but also salts (e.g. producing fresh water from salt water) and metal salts

    There are a variety of chemicals that will kill micro organisms – perhaps the most common are Iodine and Chlorine based products.

    Chlorine based products attack the cell walls of organisms and then oxidise the intra cellular madder rendering harmless.


    The cheapest method of adding chlorine to water is to use plain, unscented household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite). Add one drop (0.05ml) per litre – two if the water is cloudy and leave for at least 30 minutes. This works best in warmer water and may not be effective against protozoa and cysts. Household bleach is not the best solution for travelling as persistent shaking can result in loss of chlorine activity.

    Chlorine tablets

    Tablets are far more convenient to carry, less subject to degradation by motion than household bleach they are a slightly different chemical (Sodium dichloroisocyanurate). The most common form uses 1 tablet per litre (although I would use two in cloudy (turbid) water). Water should be left for 10 minutes after the tablet has been added. Puritabs (the most common type) claim effectiveness against Giardia.

    Note that acid pH water can reduce the efficacy of chlorine based products as an agent.

    Iodine is considered slightly more effective than chlorine based chemical approaches against protozoa and cysts, however even iodine based preparations did remove more than 90% of cysts in some tests unless left for 24 hours.

    There are some health concerns over prolonged use of iodine (with the potential to lead to goitre). It is wise for young children, pregnant people and those with iodine allergy (or shellfish allergy which can be an indicator) to avoid the use of iodine-based preparations.

    Some find the taste of iodine preparations unpleasant and use a “neutraliser” to remove the taste. It should be noted that adding the neutraliser renders the iodine ineffective so it should only be added after the correct waiting period (30 minutes to 1 hour if in doubt). It is worth mentioning that the “neutraliser” is soluble ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Soluble vitamin C from the pharmacy will work just as well (and cost less). The risk of using a neutraliser is that any left in your water bottle will reduce the efficacy next time iodine is used.

    Tincture of Iodine

    Tincture of Iodine (Alcoholic Iodine Solution BP) - this is readily available from pharmacies and contains (generally) 2% iodine. Suggested doses vary, but to deactivate cycts, five drops per litre and a half to one hour wait period allowed at normal temperatures (more if cold)

    Note that iodine should not be stored in plastic but in glass bottles with paper lined Bakelite caps. Iodine can leach in plastic bottles. This clearly carries some risk of breakage and iodine is messy stuff!

    Iodine based tablets

    The most common type of these is “Potable Aqua” – they are tablet form Tetraglycine hydroperiodide. Each tablet contains 4mg of iodine. They are slow to dissolve and should be used up when the bottle has been opened.

    Iodine crystals

    It is possible to make your own iodine solution by the Kahn–Visscher method. This is done by putting 5g of iodine in a glass jar (about 30ml) with a paper lined Bakelite lid. The jar is filled with water. The saturated solution will disinfect about 2 litres of water but care must be taken not to draw up any crystals. A commercial version of this is Polar Pur.


    Its worth noting that when harmful micro organisms are exposed to the ultraviolet light, their RNA /DNA is disrupted by absorbing the UV this makes the organism sterile and safe. UV is found commonly in “inline” systems for water drawn from wells and bore holes. It also has more “portable” variants – notably the “steri pen” battery powered UV water treatment system. Even leaving water in a clear bottle in strong sunlight will have a beneficial effect id done for a long enough period and in strong enough light. It should be noted though that any “cloudiness” in the water will render UV treatment ineffective so it is best combined with filtration.


    One very useful item in water purification is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is not the stuff from your barbecue (although its chemically similar). It is charcoal that has been altered by a special manufacturing techniques to make it highly porous. So porous in fact that a gram of activated charcoal has a surface area of up to 2,000 square metres. Activated carbon adsorbs (chemically bonds with) certain chemicals as they pass through it thereby trapping them and removing them from the water. This is not true of all chemicals – some are trapped:

    Mercury, organic arsenic complexes, 245 T (dioxin) and chlorine. Its worth noting that chlorine is adsorbed – your carbon filter will remove the chemical taste from water but also prevent it being efficacious – always filter first and then chemically treat!

    Its worth noting that activated charcoal can trap and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Some contain other materials (such as silver) to inhibit such bacterial growth however it is a good idea to regularly flush your carbon filter with clean decontaminated water to remove bacteria.

    Activated charcoal is used in two forms – granular and block. Block both filters and adsorbs and is often seen as the superior product.

    Resin Filters

    Resin filters act on an ion exchange principle – they remove cations (e.g. lead and mercury) and anions (e.g. chlorides) with harmless ions such as hydroxyl (OH). Brita filters are a common example of ion exchange filters. Quality field use filters often combine activated charcoal with resin filters.


    Distillation is often thought to render all water safe. In effect water is heated to the point of evaporation and the steam gathered and condensed. The heating action will kill all micro organisms and many chemicals (with a lower boiling point than water) will be left behind and not come across in the distillate. It is a fuel heavy and mechanism to produce large quantities of fresh water although a variety of techniques (including the “solar still” and “connected bottles” will produce small quantities in extremis). It is worth noting that some chemicals (e.g. methanol) have a lower boiling point than water and can come across in distillation.

    Part 3 - Practical Solutions

    Having talked a lot of “theory” lets look at some practical solutions and discuss the pros and cons of each.

    The “Low tech”

    Perhaps the simplest of water filters is the “Milbank Bank” – a tightly woven canvas bag often issued to British Forces. Lets see how it works

    This is a Milbank bag – it looks simple but its an elegant design. The hanging hole is opposite the “toe” of the sock shaped design causing it to hang “toe down” and allow the water filtering through it to be received accurately into a receiving vessel.

    Although its normal to attach a simple cord to the bag, I use a carbiner so that I can tie the cord on, fill the bag from a stream and then quickly clip the bag in place (its heavy when full and you end up needing three hands to hang it. An alternative of course is to tie it up and then fill it using your billy etc.

    Before use its important to soak the bag to swell the fibres – dumping it in your billy can and squeezing it a few times after a good soak works well

    Fill the bag (I like to put it so the mouth faces up stream and let water do the work) and clip it in place

    Let the water run out onto the ground until it finds the black line and then put the receiving vessel under it

    What we have at this point is coarse filtered water. We have not removed any organisms. Since we are going “low tech” here a good rolling boil (taking note of the warnings in the heat section) will do the trick. Please note that a rolling boil is big,fat bubbles – not a few little ones.

    It would of course be fine to use chemical disinfection rather than boiling if this is your preference.

    What are the advantages of the “Low tech” system? Well its simple, effective, does not wear out with use. The disadvantages? It takes a little longer than other systems and provides no protection against chemical hazards. Due to the relative coarse filtration, some degree or turbidity may remain leaving a slightly griity taste to the water.

    “Medium Tech”

    This filter (the Clearbrook Travel Filter) is a basic fine filter with activated charcoal.

    Its use is simple – put water in the top and let gravity carry it through to a waiting water bottle. This will filter finer than the Milbank bag (although the water “load capacity is smaller requiring two or three “top ups” for a litre bottle).

    The advantages of this method are finer filtration and some measure of chemical adsorbtion. Disadvantages are that water still requires disinfection chemically or by heat, the unit is both cumbersome and unstable (you need to hold it or put it somewhere really flat on a windless day)

    High Tech

    This is one of my favourite units. It has course and fine filters and iodine resin built in. It also nests neatly into the mouth of a 58 pattern water bottle. Water is pumped into a long tune (with course stuff filtered out through the pre filter)

    The water is fine filtered and iodine treated and available for drinking fairly quickly.

    Advantages of this system are that it is “self contained” and does not require further chemical treatment. It is also very good at gathering water from puddles and standing ground water. Disadvantages is its relative expense, the fact that it takes about 5 minutes of pumping to produce a litre of water and the complexity – I carry spare “O” rings and filters just in case (although it is still a small unit even then). I do not believe the unit would be effective against all chemical contaminants but is safe for most “wild” water.


    This is a neat device it combines iodine, fine filter and (I think) activated carbon. In use its as simple as fill, shake and wait (15 minutes) then the water is relatively safe.

    The advantages of this system are its speed and relative simplicity. It can even be done whilst on the move – almost without stopping. The disadvantages are it cannot produce a large amount of water at one time, you MUST drink through the tube and it can be a bit of a faff adding water to cooking etc. Because its not pump based it is not that suitable for gathering water from puddles etc. Its hard to beat when travelling light or moving fast (or even when local water is suspect abroad).

    Home based.

    For home based use or even base camping, this unit is hard to beat. Made by Freshwater Filter (British Berkey make a similar unit) its gravity fed and contains some of the best filters made (ceramic, silver, activated charcoal and ion exchange resin). Up to 7 litres can be poured in the top where gravity forces it through two or four ceramic “candles” to the bottom where it is literally “on tap”

    The advantages of this unit are its ease of operation, huge capacity and superior filters. Disadvantages are cost and the fact that it is not effective against viruses so boiling is still advised if viruses are suspected.


    There are many more units around than those I have illustrated – these are intended only to be a representative sample – however knowing what approaches will combat the various types of contaminant will, I hope, help you make an informed choice when selecting your own water purification approach.



    • #3
      I've got a portable First Need XL water purifier (goes for $112 on Weighs 1 pound. While I haven't used it extensively, my former Squad Leader said they had one on a previous deployment when a Squad plus would strap on their rucks and be out for 3 days. He told us once they couldn't find any running water whatsoever, and came across a large mud puddle. Everyone being on the verge of dehydration, they used that First Need to filter the mud puddle. Everyone drank, no one got sick. If that pump can make an Afghani mud puddle drinkable (considering all the microbes and bullshit that even a good Afghan river has in it that makes an American puke & shit himself for 3 days straight) then I'm convinced it'll work anywhere.


      • #4
        One thing that must really be kept in mind, is that if you plan on getting your water from a large water system especially rivers or lake chains, you must know if there are processing plants using water from that water system. If there is there is a good chance that chemicals will be, or have been, dumped into the water system. This can also happen months or even years down the line. This will happen as the electrical grid goes down, causing electronic counter measures to leaks and spills to fail. Also sooner than you would think mechanical counter measures against leakage will corrode and fail leaking hazardous substances into the water that you plan to drink.

        So this is one important thing that must be kept in mind while choosing which water source you are planning to use.
        The government can only give to you what they take from you.


        • #5
          again check up on colloidal silver do some research can be put in water and it kills all bacteria and can be used for alot of things check it out


          • #6
            by the way this is one of those things the gov. doesn't want you to know about because you can make it yourself at home for very little if you buy it on the market it costs alot


            • #7
              Awesome post


              • #8
                Because of my electrical in nature job while active with the USMC we had the water purification guys in our support platoon. We would bring the huge reverse osmosis water purification units(ROWPU's) and make fresh water from anything. If I remember correct the filters alone were something like $5000 each and the units each held about 20 or so filters. My generators supplied the power to run them so needless to say, we were very popular because everyone likes fresh water and hot showers.
                He who lives with the most toys, wins.


                • #9
                  Something not mentioned is crazy pills. A lot of people end up flushing them down the toilet. If you are drinking city water you are being medicated and probably aren't aware of it.

                  In 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the first study of pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater-related chemicals in streams across the nation. Most sites were downstream of urban and farming areas where wastewater is known or suspected to enter streams.

                  The study showed that:

                  Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater-related chemicals have been detected at very low concentrations in streams across the U.S.
                  Many of the chemicals examined (81 of 95) do not have drinking-water standards or health advisories. Measured concentrations of compounds that do have standards or criteria rarely exceeded any of them.
                  Among the chemicals detected were: human and veterinary drugs (including antibiotics), natural and synthetic hormones, detergents, plasticizers, insecticides, and fire retardants.
                  Some of the compounds most frequently detected include: coprostanol (a fecal steroid), N-N-diethyltoluamide (an insect repellant), caffeine, triclosan (an antimicrobial disinfectant), tri (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (a fire retardant), and 4-nonylphenol (a detergent by-product).
                  38 chemicals were found in a single water sample.

                  "Each city, each town has some kind of treatment system in place," he tells WebMD. "But that system will vary according to the contaminants they're trying to address, and the system's age. ... The filtering systems may not be capable of removing certain chemicals like pharmaceuticals."

                  Last edited by Stitch; 07-26-2011, 12:35 PM.


                  • #10
                    Great post and lots of great information! I have done my research on this topic and I came to the conclusion that the Berkey with the Black elements is the way to go for me and my family. I bought mine at and they took good care of me. There is a lot of good information on their site. We went with the Big Berkey because I only need to provide water for 4 people.


                    • #11
                      Great posts everyone

                      I am looking at the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter and was hoping to get some feedback. My home has fine filters in place, and until now I have been old school with my travel water.
                      boil and iodine tabs
                      But that Katadyn sounds impressive, and pricey $285-$350 a pop. Im thinking what price do you put on your health
                      however, before I plunk down the dollars I was hoping someone had some input
                      Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.


                      • #12
                        See what you think about these

                        ON CHANGING THE FILTER MATERIALS - Please see the full answer below.This filter MUST be used with some chemical means or boiling to make the water safe. Th...

                        Things are seldom what they seem.


                        • #13
                          Thanks a lot O.W. both of those were surprisingly impressive
                          It seems that the in cost and simplicity are the pros
                          while the speed and chemically treating the water the only cons (negligible)
                          Thank you again :)
                          Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.


                          • #14
                            I've made two from pvc and carbon as in the second video and am pleased .... a bit of the carbon comes through and isn't aesthetically pleasing but the carbon is good for ya. I bought the carbon in the pet fish section .... there are a couple of different "blends", make sure you get the straight carbon.

                            Things are seldom what they seem.


                            • #15
                              I've made two from pvc and carbon as in the second video and am pleased .... a bit of the carbon comes through and isn't aesthetically pleasing but the carbon is good for ya. I bought the carbon in the pet fish section .... there are a couple of different "blends", make sure you get the straight carbon.
                              Did you treat the water as well? iodine? bleach? boil?
                              or just straight up?
                              Thanks again
                              Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.