Water purification question

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Re: Water purification question

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:41 pm

Quailman wrote:
ThunderingWind wrote:I am one of those depending on where I am at. If I am down stream of cattle by less than 100 miles, I will filter and chemically treat. I am up in elevation then I just filter by various filters.


You do realize, don't you, that grazing rights to nearly every acre of public land are leased to ranchers. I've seen sheep straddling the Continental Divide in the Rio Grande National Forest. And if there aren't livestock there are probably elk or bighorn sheep, though cattle are probably the grossest in terms of fouling the water. People take horses a lot of places too.


Sorry, I did not make myself clearer. By my post, I meant knowingly downstream of know cattle operations. I am not worried about the deer, elk etc...just the major ranching operations.

I check with the USDA leasing office, Dept of Interior, and local Ag Office before I venture too far out. I then plot any available electronic data to my electronic topo map and plan my trip accordingly. I have even gone so far as to plot the map using a CNC machine and made a terrian model for some of my tougher hikes so I can really visualize the terrain and plan the alternative routes, evac points, etc...
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Re: Water purification question

Postby Quailman » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:57 pm

:shock: I'm surprised to still be here today. I've been known to follow Colin Fletcher's advice when picking a place to hike - look for a blank area on the map and head for it. :)
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Re: Water purification question

Postby FrankJ » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:05 pm

I check with the USDA leasing office, Dept of Interior, and local Ag Office before I venture too far out. I then plot any available electronic data to my electronic topo map and plan my trip accordingly. I have even gone so far as to plot the map using a CNC machine and made a terrian model for some of my tougher hikes so I can really visualize the terrain and plan the alternative routes, evac points, etc...



Wouldn't be easier to hire an helicopter to overfly the route?
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Re: Water purification question

Postby fritz1255 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:31 am

Sorry guys, but I don't regard the G2SS as the authority on water purification. The folks who wrote that are concerned with making sure that aboslutely no incidents occur when the policy is followed (liability), and I will certainly agree that filtration combined with boiling and chemical treatment will do the job. Again (and please don't quote G2SS or tell me what you "always" do), is microfiltration on a filter such as an MSR adequate for removal of bacteria and giardia, or isn't it? If not, a lot of us have spent lots of money on these things for nothing, and should be using a coffee filter combined with iodine or bleach instead - much cheaper and lighter to carry.
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Re: Water purification question

Postby cad-guy » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:05 am

something that I have wondered about pertaining to water purification. Many swimming pools are now being treated w/ commom household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) as a purifier. Has anyone ever studied using it as an emergency water purifier for backwoods hiking/camping? I am not suggesting that kids carry bleach, I was just wondering if the subject had been approcached?
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Re: Water purification question

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:40 am

Household bleach will work. Do remember that the manufacture is making this for washing clothes & not drinking. Use straight bleach, not the scented kind. 8 drops per gallon is one recommended dose. The issue is the concentration of your bottle of bleach. Add too much & you poisoned your water. Add too little you do not kill all the bugs.

Fritz: your filter is adequate most of the time, but you need to be aware of what is likely to be in your water were you are camping. I never add chemicals to the water I filter (or filter the water I have chemically treated.)
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Re: Water purification question

Postby alex gregory » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:32 pm

Using household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is a pretty nutty way to purify water in the great outdoors, but it does work. Ingesting undilluted bleach is a lot worse than the runs (so how close is poison control when you camp?).

The reccomendation is 8 to 16 drops per gallon (yes it does taste awful), or 1/4 teaspoon per gallon. Double that for "cloudy" water (does'nt that sound yummy). You are also supposed to let the water stand after treatment for at least 30 minutes. If you can't smell the bleach you are not using enough.

Water treatment is appx. 12% chlorination. Swimming pools contain about 30% cholrination (calcium hypochlorite). Almost everybody has swallowed a mouthful of pool water and even at 30% chlorination you are not at risk of poisoning (unless you drink a lot of pool water).

Remember to be very careful not to mix bleach with an acid or you get chlorine gas which is very nasty.

Dilluted bleach to a great way to disinfect your water bottle. But really, is a filter that hard to use?
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