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Water Purification

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by riverrat373, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    I was talking with a friend recently and the subject of preparedness for an emergency situation came up. My friend told me that he always had two six gallon containers of water on hand at all times for his family. He was quite surprised when I told him that most experts say that you need about two gallons per day per person for hygiene, drinking and cooking. "What do you do if it's a long emergency and your water source can't be restored?", I asked.
    He replied with a blank stare,
    Not only do you need an immediate reserve of water in your preparedness kit, you should have a good water purification system and spare filters that will purify at least 1000 gallons of water at minimum. Not all water purification systems are equal so do your research and buy the best, highest rated system you can afford. :thumbup:
     
  2. netsecsys

    netsecsys near: Bellingham, WA Active Member

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    Yeah, there are a lot of things we can live without but water is not one of them...

    I purchased an Aquarain filter system with spare filters. Also have bleach on hand that we (my wife...) rotates regularly. Luckly for us, we have a spring-fed creek that runs year round and the water association that we are a part of gravity feeds to us. As a last resort, we are 2 blocks from the Nooksack River and have a woodstove.
     
  3. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I keep water, I keep bleach, but as on order of redundancy, I've had it on my list to get a Berkey......maybe sooner than later.
     
  4. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I got a Katadyne Hiker many years ago for solo backpacking and I'm still passionately in love with the thing. It weighs nothing, processes an enormous volume in minutes, cleans and stores easily, and has never needed a filter change. Granted, I've always fed it visibly clean water, but it's never let me down.

    I went out and bought a bunch o' them along with spare filter elements from an internet place that offered free shipping for orders above some minimum. They sit in storage, along with the bleach.

    I have lots of empty juice and soda bottles that I fill with tapwater and a few drops of bleach, then store away for about two years before changing them out. As long as you have enough storage space that you don't have to be shifting them around, there's no downside to keeping lots of drinking water.

    Beaverton Creek is only a hundred yards away anyway, and my Katadyne will take out anything that needs taking out, like parasites and E. Coli. I'm high enough up at the edge of Tualatin Valley that there isn't any agricultural runoff here to speak of.
     
  5. oregonshooter

    oregonshooter AMERICA Member

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    Pumping water for daily cooking use sucks... get a camp size drip filter for this and you will thank me. I bought the Royal instead of the cheaper plastic Berkley because it travels a lot easier and it's one of those items that you buy once cry once IMO.
     
  6. wawaverider

    wawaverider PDX, OR Member

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    I keep water stored and I have liquid and powder bleach and a hiking filter (decade old, so time for a new one). And of course could use UV rays to kill most bugs. But what I would like to do is figure out, which filter can remove heavy metals?

    Killing bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi are great but many of the hiking filters don't remove heavy metals. Does the Katadyne Hiker? Please tell.
     
  7. wawaverider

    wawaverider PDX, OR Member

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    Great link thanks, a little bit more money than I was wanting to spend but it looks like you get what you pay for. I would be curious to know what the Aquatanks are made of they just say it isn't vinyl. But some of the plastics and leech estrogens.
     
  8. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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  9. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    You can spend a mint on a water filtration system. This guy made one out of spare junk for a little over $100.00. You can buy the filter elements for $99 a pair.

    Homemade Berkey Water Filter | The Survival Spot Blog

    I just bought the filter elements and put them away. The rest won't be too hard to scrape together if i need to. Hope to find BPA free buckets...
     
  10. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Metals in solution are tough to remove, since even low concentrations can be dangerous, and you have the 2nd Law of Thermo working against you.

    Chelation/precipitation is good enough for less-deadly things like Pb, but if you were faced with Strontium-90 you'd have to use something better, like ion exchange. Water softeners work by cation exchange, but they're made for efficiency (speed), not effectiveness. A lab ion-exchange system that produces perfectly clean 18 megohm water is expensive, and needs new elements regularly. And the water it produces tastes nasty!

    By far the most effective low-tech water purification system is distillation, which can be accomplished with a sheet of plastic and a hole in the ground on a sunny day. It's slow and energy-intensive, but it works.

    Personally, I don't give BPA a second thought. First off, there are so many estrogen mimics and endocrine disruptors in the environment that I don't think BPA makes a substantive difference to my total exposure. Secondly, I'm only going to consume my emergency supplies in, well, emergencies! If people all around us are laying on their bellies to drink from puddles, I'd rather have more BPA-laden water than less BPA-free water.

    One more thing: Chlorine bleach. I'm tired of explaining to people that electrons can't magically appear from nowhere, so I'll turn it around this time. If you think that NaOCl solution in a closed container can spontaneously decompose in a matter of months, then please explain the chemistry.

    As I see it, there are exactly two autocatalytic mechanisms by which pure hypochlorite solution can break down.
    At low pH, it's:
    2 NaOCl + H2O -> 2 NaOH + 1/2 O2 + Cl2

    At neutral to high pH, the mechanism is:
    2 NaOCl -> 2 NaCl + O2

    In both reactions gases are produced: oxygen, with or without chlorine. So if I crack a new container of bleach and no gas is vented, then I believe that no significant breakdown of the hypochlorite has happened. If you believe otherwise, tell me why!
     
  11. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    What are you some kind of chemist...................oh, never mind.........
     
  12. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    Stop that, I might actually learn something!:laugh:
     
  13. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Boiling the water will make it safe to drink, but distillation is the safest bet in my opinion. Eventually one will probably run out of filters, chlorine, iodine..etc.
     
  14. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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  15. oregonshooter

    oregonshooter AMERICA Member

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    Questions:

    1. Who has a still setup ready to go when power drops tomorrow? How long to get it going and protect it?

    2. If after 7 years my filter runs out of use and I am not living off the grid completely, I got bigger issues. Like I'm dead.

    3. Convenience and volume is what you get with a berkley (or any camp drip system) that a pump filter won't do.

    Take the test today and tell me how you like the reality of it? Go turn the main on your water line off for even 2 days and tell me how you did?

    I thought the Hiker Filter pump was all I would need before I did the above. You use a LOT more water than you think and most ain't for drinking, it's for food prep.
     
  16. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I don't think you guys know how good you got it... compared to down here, you guys have more water than you know what to do with.

    Still, I've taken up the habit of buying 55gal drums from the place that sells soda syrup, I have enough water for 10gal person/day for several months for the occupants of my house. I would guestimate that within a week the rest of los angeles would be dead, or dying of dehydration or typhoid.

    However, I have setup small water purification systems before, and they are pretty basic. Starting with a large bucket, you can fill it with fine cheese cloth, activated charcoal, fine sand, coarse sand, and then pea gravel. They will catch most of the bugs in the water, and even many chemicals.

    In specific reference to what chemist said... yes, removing metals from water is a difficult task, yet not an impossible one. Generally the easy way to do this is to convert the dissolved metal salts into insoluable metal salts. Ironically, floride (one of those tin-foil hat topics) does a very good job of converting most of the toxic alkaline earth metals into insoluable salts. (Eg SrF2) This is typically a chelation process. I know a few years ago everyone was all excited about prussian blue for chelating Cs-137. It seems when dealing with most fission products, an ounce of prevention is worth several tons of cure.
     
  17. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've always thought it would be interesting to build a bio-sand filter:

    They use a schmutzdecke layer of biological "gunk" to help in the cleaning process.

    Otherwise, I'll rely on my stored water and (for now) a hand-pump ceramic filter. I'd like to get a Katadyn Ceradyn at some point because hand-pumping water is a lot of work (and sometimes the pump breaks).
     
  18. novamind

    novamind Hillsboro Active Member

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    You always have the water in your hot water heater tank.
     
  19. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    Actually, many experts advise against using water from a hot water tank for drinking or cooking. After you lose power and the hot water tank cools down it is a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, after a period of years the inside of the tank corrodes and releases dangerous metals into the water.:)
     
  20. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The water in your water heater should already be about as sterile as the water you get out of your tap, most likely there are floura in the tank that won't live without the heat. However, the metals in the tank... usually these tanks are lined with an enamel layer to keep them from rusting, and are then given aluminum anodes to protect them. While it may be true you want to avoid those metals in your water supply, they are in your normal hot water supply anyways.