Drinking Water

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Drinking Water

Postby Peter Corcaigh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:34 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post. I will be arriving in Perth from Ireland at the end of March to cycle to Darwin with my wife. I expect that I will have little need for a water filter until after Broome as I understand that there is no surface water available before then (apart from Karajini Park). I am reluctant to endure the weight of a water filter (we are not young) if there is another way. My question is, 'What would Australian cyclists bring for treating water to make it suitable for drinking.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Tim » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:06 am

Scotch Whisky :D
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:13 am

I have never used a water filter... but most of my touring has been in the south east of Australia. When I have gone into dry zones (summer in the Victorian bush, outback SA and NT) I have used one of the following when I am unsure of the water quality:

1. Boil water for 3 minutes
2. Katadyn Micropur tablets
3. Coghlan's iodine and neutralizer.

I am fussy about the water source, but will happily take it straight out of creeks from a bushland catchment that I know has no stock in it. Don't know about WA, but in the NT they have roadside tanks at rest areas. These are all labelled "Untreated water - do not drink", however we were pretty sure it was just the same bore water that you got out of town taps, so drank it readily with no ill effects. Here in Victoria, in the national parks and public lands the tanks at picnic and camping sites are labelled "Danger - untreated rain-water". Go figure! I always drink from these with no water treatment.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:28 am

I carry a sheet of Katadyn Micropur tabs in case I'm uncertain about the water quality.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby iacl » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:01 pm

I carry cloth to filter sediment if requird, hanky or bandana. Steripen, UV treatment pen. And if really concerned, I also boil. I'm allergic to iodine so avoid these. : ) I carry an epipen to guard against well intentioned poisoners, used twice so far.

Not travelled in northwest WA yet. But I am familiar with the shed tanks from central aus, be safe, if you don't know where your water has come from or if it is from a non-running source then treat it.

Don't spoil your trip with a stomach bug.



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Re: Drinking Water

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:41 pm

Just do us a favour and make sure that you leave word at various places of your expected arrival times. And carry an emergency locator (epirb sort of thing). We have far too many visitors out for an adventure who wind up necessitating volunters by the hundreds to put their life on hold to mount searches when tihngs go wrong. Worse, sometimes it winds up in tragedy.

Otherwise, enjoy the adventure. And a beer at the end of the day. :)
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby coffeeandwine » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Peter Corcaigh wrote:Hello everyone, this is my first post. I will be arriving in Perth from Ireland at the end of March to cycle to Darwin with my wife. I expect that I will have little need for a water filter until after Broome as I understand that there is no surface water available before then (apart from Karajini Park). I am reluctant to endure the weight of a water filter (we are not young) if there is another way. My question is, 'What would Australian cyclists bring for treating water to make it suitable for drinking.


Tim wrote:Scotch Whisky :D


Welcome Peter,

Tim, he is obviously a man of discerning taste and would be drinking Irish WhiskEy :wink:

BTW you would never mix the two.

Sláinte

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Re: Drinking Water

Postby mitzikatzi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:18 pm

Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Peter Corcaigh » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:36 am

Thank you very much everyone for your advice and comments.
They have been a great help.
I'll probably leave the MSR filter at home and bring along some tablets or iodine - I need to read your responses and links more slowley to take it all in.
If you feel generous enough to offer more advice I intend to put up another topic later this week about food to carry in the remote areas. You might watch out for it.
Thanks again,
Peter
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Aushiker » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:12 pm

I have only ridden as far north and inland into the Gascoyne (WA) but once you get into the station country you need to be a little wary if getting water from creeks or rivers as you may find the cattle like sharing your taste for water (or the wate is salty as, e.g., Murchison River). That said I have drank straight from the Gascoyne River in a couple of places. I just try to make a judgement as the likelihood of cattle accessing the water hole.

Have swam and drank the water from Rocky Pool on the Gascoyne River ...

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Didn't have much luck at this unnamed creek but :)

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or out of this cattle trough but sometimes the water can be okay from them

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I did get water from Goolinee Pool (tasted nice too) as I knew the water at the Mt Augustus Tourist Complex was undrinkable (saline)

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I passed on this water at the Wooramel River as I saw cattle bathing in it a bit further upstream :)

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But waterholes like Bilung Pool where okay as cattle could not access it..

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BTW if you are heading up the coast to Carnarvon, once you get north of Northampton, your only water is about 182 kilometres north of Geraldton at the 200 Mile Water Tank. I suggest you full up here as the roadhouses will charge you around $5.00 for 1.5 litres of water - no free stuff out here.

Have fun.

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Re: Drinking Water

Postby il padrone » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:40 pm

Yes, I'd have to add (and hopefully you're aware of this) that you will need water carrying capacity. I can recommend one or two of the MSR Dromedary Bags, in 10L. They are tough as old boots and easy to fill and use. In my experience I found the MSR easier to use than the Ortlieb waterbag, and it seems tougher as well.

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The 6L does fit very nicely on my rack though, between the panniers.

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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Tim » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:38 am

il padrone wrote: I can recommend one or two of the MSR Dromedary Bags, in 10L. They are tough as old boots and easy to fill and use. In my experience I found the MSR easier to use than the Ortlieb waterbag, and it seems tougher as well.


Yes, I agree the MSR 10l Dromedary seems tougher than the equivalent Ortleib bag.
I wonder though IP whether your MSR bags taint the water?
My Ortleib bag doesn't "flavour" the water at all but my MSR bag adds a very unpleasant plastic taste. I contacted Cascade Designs and they reckon that some town water supplies with chemical additives create a chemical reaction inside the bag that causes the plastic taste.
I've tried soaking and washing the Dromedary with vinegar, bicarb and Milton sterilisation tablets (on separate occasions) but the taste won't go away.
I haven't tried bottled water or water from a different source than that at home. I generally just use the Ortleib bag.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:27 am

I can't recall ever having had any problem with tainted water. I must admit I mostly use the Dromedary for cooking water supplies, but I do still often top-up the bidons when riding in heat. I'll have to watch out for that.

The Ortieb bag proved to be a bit tricky to close securely. I don't know whether it was just me, but I would often find that after bouncing about in the pannier for several hours it had seeped some water - not a lot, about 100mls, but that's enough to mess up the pannier contents. I solved this by keeping it in a pannier with items that would not be harmed by getting wet. The Orlieb does have a better tap compared with the MSR Dromedary's choice of the little "pee-stream" spiggot or the gushing flow with the cap off. But I have developed the technique to work around this, and when it is filled and the large cap secured it has never leaked on me.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Tim » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:09 pm

I've got a feeling the two caps (MSR and Ortleib) are interchangeable.
Not sure if they seal properly when swapped over but I know from fiddling around that each cap fits on the other bag.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby WestcoastPete » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:15 pm

Tim wrote:
il padrone wrote: I can recommend one or two of the MSR Dromedary Bags, in 10L. They are tough as old boots and easy to fill and use. In my experience I found the MSR easier to use than the Ortlieb waterbag, and it seems tougher as well.


Yes, I agree the MSR 10l Dromedary seems tougher than the equivalent Ortleib bag.
I wonder though IP whether your MSR bags taint the water?
My Ortleib bag doesn't "flavour" the water at all but my MSR bag adds a very unpleasant plastic taste. I contacted Cascade Designs and they reckon that some town water supplies with chemical additives create a chemical reaction inside the bag that causes the plastic taste.
I've tried soaking and washing the Dromedary with vinegar, bicarb and Milton sterilisation tablets (on separate occasions) but the taste won't go away.
I haven't tried bottled water or water from a different source than that at home. I generally just use the Ortleib bag.


I have and still find this with my MSR bag. I've tried all sorts of methods to clean it out since new, but none have been successful. I still use it, but avoid it for drinking as much as I can. I also found that the secondary screwcap - the one that looks a bit like a dishwashing liquid cap - became leaky. I replaced the whole cap with a Nalgene cap without problems.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:02 pm

Uh great

I've got a 6L MSR dromedary and it had a foul taste to the water. Anyone tried to filter it before putting into a bidon if needed?

Just found bicarb soda & water should do the trick to clean them out.

Seems they were designed to not be taste free and seems best to used filtered water with it. It's the chemicals in the tap water causing a reaction
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Tim » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:10 pm

Baalzamon wrote:Just found bicarb soda & water should do the trick to clean them out.

Seems they were designed to not be taste free and seems best to used filtered water with it. It's the chemicals in the tap water causing a reaction


Tried bicarb along with other remedies, didn't work.
I'll try bottled or tank water next, see if that makes any difference. Don't have a filter.
The tainting is so bad I can taste it in cooked food and even strong, sweet, milky coffee.
I've pretty much given up on mine and just use the Ortleib if I need to carry more than a couple of litres in bidons.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby WarrenH » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:09 am

Tim wrote:Don't have a filter.


Wouldn't leave home without my MSR Miniworks ... unless I was scootin' to a club for a beer.

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Tim wrote:The tainting is so bad I can taste it in cooked food and even strong, sweet, milky coffee ... if I need to carry more than a couple of litres in bidons.


Have you tried wine cask bladders. The only taint is the taste of wine, that helps the cooking.I've got Specialized Purist bidons (850mm). They are silicon lined and they don't taint the water. They are relatively expensive and possibly someone makes a bidon of a similar quality but more affordable than the Purists. I might bung a couple more on the front of the fork, for my next trip.

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Warren.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby WarrenH » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:09 am

If you use wine cask bladders your tour will be, going up the country, where the water tastes like wine ... to quote Canned Heat.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby il padrone » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:25 am

Camelbak Podium bidons (BPA-free) also give taint-free water, even when it has sat for a week in the bidon. Re-used 1.5L bottled water bottles are also very good as well, easiest if you have a large bottle-cage to hold them in.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:10 am

The BBB Hydratank is made from food grade materials and won't taint the water. I've been using them for a few years now and I'm sticking with them. The current version has a dust cap over the nozzle which mine doesn't have.

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BBB also offer the Fueltank XL cage. This cage can accommodate a 1.5 litre soft drink bottle.
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Better still, the top catch of the Fueltank XL cage is easily removable, so it can then be used to carry a 1.5 litre Nalgene Silo.
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I'm not into outback tours, so one BBB Hydratank and a Nalgene Silo are usually sufficient for my touring needs - and sometimes I only part fill the Silo. If I'm doing a long stage, i.e. 100 kilometres or more then I'll usually carry a bottle of Powerade in a pannier.

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Lower bidon cage carries stove fuel.
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Finally, I carry a couple of 1 litre B-Pak wine cask bladders in case I need a reserve water supply. I like these bladders because they occupy little space when empty, and in particular because they have a screw top. And of course, it's a pleasure emptying the original contents (I usually start a tour with a full one, and empty it as I go).
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby il padrone » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:35 am

RonK wrote:BBB also offer the Fueltank XL cage. This cage can accommodate a 1.5 litre soft drink bottle.
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It's good to see there's another large bottle cage on the market. The commonly available Topeak cage has a couple of severe limitations that can lead to failure in use. I have the rather excellent Blackburn cage, which is very robust but sadly no longer manufactured.

It seems that this BBB cage overcomes one of the failure points of the Topeak, with a solid metal neck-mount. Unfortunately it still has the short mounting plate that is low-mounted on the cage bars. It is quite likely that over time this welded join will fail, or the actual cage bars will break. The Blackburn has a mounting plate (crimped around the bars rather than welded) that runs 80% of the length of the cage with multiple mounting holes in it. I have found it to be very tough. If you happen to see one in a specials bin or second-hand store, buy it!
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:49 am

il padrone wrote:
RonK wrote:BBB also offer the Fueltank XL cage. This cage can accommodate a 1.5 litre soft drink bottle.

It's good to see there's another large bottle cage on the market. The commonly available Topeak cage has a couple of severe limitations that can lead to failure in use. I have the rather excellent Blackburn cage, which is very robust but sadly no longer manufactured.

It seems that this BBB cage overcomes one of the failure points of the Topeak, with a solid metal neck-mount. Unfortunately it still has the short mounting plate that is low-mounted on the cage bars. It is quite likely that over time this welded join will fail, or the actual cage bars will break. The Blackburn has a mounting plate (crimped around the bars rather than welded) that runs 80% of the length of the cage with multiple mounting holes in it. I have found it to be very tough. If you happen to see one in a specials bin or second-hand store, buy it!

Yes, I had a Topeak cage but it failed very quickly. The BBB cage is much more solid, and I think mounting the cage vertically should reduce the stresses. I also use a small tie down strap around the top for added support.

Minoura also make a cage but it looks pretty flimsy.

Another option is the Salsa Anything cage.
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Re: Drinking Water

Postby Aushiker » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:42 am

RonK wrote:Better still, the top catch of the Fueltank XL cage is easily removable, so it can then be used to carry a 1.5 litre Nalgene Silo.


I have a couple of these. They have worked well for me. One thing to keep in mind but is whether you have clearance within the frame for them. WIth my 58cm frame Surly Long Haul Trucker I can only fit one. I have mounted it to my seat post, which has worked out well as it means I can use a normal drink bottle "up-front" which I can reach and drink from whilst riding.

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Topeak also do something similar which I cannot recommend ... way to fragile in my experience for touring.

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Re: Drinking Water

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:08 pm

il padrone wrote:I have the rather excellent Blackburn cage, which is very robust but sadly no longer manufactured.

This is the B52 Bomber cage. I don't need it - but there is one listed on eBay. Shipping cost is as much as the cage though.
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