Water Filtering

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Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:43 pm

Hi

I have never really bothered with water filtering in the south-west of WA nor on the Larapinta Trail in the NT. Well on the Larapinta I did carry a water filter and did use it for about five minutes at one water hole but then gave up. However reading Cycling Outback Australia they mention filtering water a few times on the Gibb River Road etc and it has got me wondering if maybe I should do this if not using tank water, but then I go for flowing water..... Anyone have any thoughts? Are I just over-reacting to what they are saying?

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by BNA » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby rifraf » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am

I had a thought........ :idea:
Its "You got the book" :!: :wink:
What do you think :?:
Does it cover most of what you hoped :?:


As far as your question goes - if its not town supply or I've caught it from out of the sky myself then
it gets boiled and plenty of it.
I've not yet owned or used a filter.
Saying that after spending the last seven years in NZ you dont have to wait long before
it rains so poor waters never been an issue for me.
I'll watch with interest the answers. :D
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby WarrenH » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:42 am

Feral dogs are a problem in the ranges of the Great Divide. They leave the ranges and enter the grazing lands. Wild Dogs, feral dogs and foxes are prolific contagious intermediate hosts for the hydatids parasite. A hydatids worm can carry a thousand eggs on its body and the hydatids eggs can stay viable on the ground for a few years and wash into streams. I can think of nicer ways to go than from hydatids and repeated infestations and surgery. There are also Samba Deer in the ranges and in places like Royal National Park there have been cases of botulism blamed on the deer. I always filter and boil the water.

Also because I take water from farm dams and TSR watering points, on the TSRs you often cant tell when stock last used the waterpoint so filtering and boiling for 8 minutes also protects from liver fluke.

I have an MSR Expedition SweetWater filter (468gm). It uses a screw on Nalgene bottle which I decanter the water to bidons. Even in the clearest of streams I only get about 4-5 litres before I have to clean the ceramic filter. The filter gets boiled once a week on tour.

I didn't get a Steripen, which is quick to use because they don't clean turbid water and on the bushwalking sites I've read some bad reports, even about simple things like batteries going flat.

When you see toilet paper beside a pristine alpine stream ... there isn't enough running water to waylay my doubts about not using a filter.

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:01 am

Aushiker wrote:However reading Cycling Outback Australia they mention filtering water a few times on the Gibb River Road etc and it has got me wondering if maybe I should do this if not using tank water, but then I go for flowing water..... Anyone have any thoughts? Are I just over-reacting to what they are saying?

Whilst I wouldn't be too concerned about pollution or disease in remote Northern Australia, I assume that you will be travelling during the dry season. Or to put it another way, I'm pretty sure you won't be travelling in the wet. The streams stop flowing after the wet and form chains of still pools, and smaller streams may dry up altogether. So it may be a good idea to carry filtering equipment and backup MicroPur or iodine tablets. If turbidity is a problem then you need to settle or pre-filter the water to reduce clogging of the filter.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:08 am

I use a MSR MiniWorks EX but like all filters too ensure that you get longevity out of the canisters and not having to clean them so often place a couple of coffee filters over the end of the pickup line with a rubber band you dunk in the drink if you get these sort of things. I also carry the tablets as well so from my experience a filter is a must when travelling in the outback.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby GJ_Coop » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:04 am

I never had a water filter when I came over west for 15 months.

On the Gibb River Road, for instance, there are fish and even freshies in the waterholes. They can be quite large, a kilometre long, and the water is generally reasonably clear. My thoughts are that if it has that sort of life in it it can't be too bad. One place I wished for one was when I was forced to use water from a smaller dam, quite muddy, but I seemed to survive.

I decided on a Vario filter for the return trip. Worked well for a few weeks but now leaks like a sieve and takes hours to filter even a small quantity. Haven't yet been in a situation where it's been essential. Just carry plenty.

The bore water is generally great, much better that "rainwater" which has been sitting in some fetid tank for who knows how long. The key seems to be to sterilise the water bottles I use every day to stop them going green.

I always think that the pioneers used to live out here quite successfully, they survived on these waterholes.

But I'd be using the filter on the waterhole water if the filter actually worked.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Hi

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I might be wise to update my old water filter. Will probably go with a gravity filter set up such as the Sawyer 2L Water Treatment System or the 4L version.

Image

There is a video of it in use here. This is the system with a clean water bag, but I would go with the cut down one.

They also have a new squeeze system out as well which is very light. See http://www.moontrail.com/sawyer-squeeze ... ration.php for pricing.

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:11 pm

rifraf wrote:I had a thought........ :idea:
Its "You got the book" :!: :wink:
What do you think :?:
Does it cover most of what you hoped :?:


Pretty happy with the book and it covers all the way back to Perth plus into Karijini which is handy. It has good details on camping options but more importantly water sources.

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Water Filtering

Postby Max » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:50 pm

In terms of the end result (drinkable, safe water) is there a difference between using a filter vs using purification tablets? Does one do the job better than the other? Does the water taste different?

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:26 pm

Max wrote:In terms of the end result (drinkable, safe water) is there a difference between using a filter vs using purification tablets? Does one do the job better than the other? Does the water taste different

You would only use tablets to treat water for pathogens - if the water is turbid then mechanical filtering is required. Micropur tablets are made by Katadyn as a supplement to kill tiny pathogens their filters can't remove. They are tasteless. Iodine tablets have a very strong taste which some find unpalatable. Some are also allergic to iodine, and there may be issues about its long term use.

Personally I prefer iodine because it is obvious that the water I'm drinking has been treated, but if you forget to use a Micropur tablet you won't know until too late. I've never had stomach problems of any kind on multiple treks in Nepal, simply by being meticulous about my water treatment. At the same time my companions have experienced various stomach upsets including giardia. Not nice.

On recent tours I've carried a sheet of Micropur tablets as a precaution, just in case I miss a watering stop and have to resort to stream water.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:53 pm

RonK wrote: Iodine tablets have a very strong taste which some find unpalatable.

Citric acid will neutralise it. The Coghlans iodine tablets I bought a while back had one bottle of iodine tablets and one bottle of citric acid neutraliser tabs.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:45 pm

Max wrote:In terms of the end result (drinkable, safe water) is there a difference between using a filter vs using purification tablets? Does one do the job better than the other? Does the water taste different?


Just to add to Ronk's comments, the Sawyer does filter out Giardia (my biggest concern). From what I have read, it only just and I mean just misses out on being called a purifier, i.e., not quite ticks all the box to satisfy the US regulations. For me it will be closer enough. From their website:

Biological Filtration: removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria like salmonella, cholera, and E. coli. And 6 log (99.9999%) of all Protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. You will find these removal rates to equal or exceed competitive options. EPA guidelines allow ten times more Protozoa left in the water than we allow.


Sawyer also do a purifier ... see http://www.moontrail.com/sawyer-sp194.php

I have "enjoyed" top soil in my water in the past hence prefer a filter if that is likely to be the case. Of course my Pur Hiker has never seen any real action since as most of the time water has been quite okay to drink (reasonable idea of the source/flowing/not turbid).

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Max » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:53 am

Thanks everyone for your quick responses. I think I understand a bit better now :)

Edit: I just had a look at the safety data sheet for Micropur. That stuff is scary! :shock:

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Wollemi » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Guys - just use betadine. In any pharmacy. 4 to 6 drops per litre and wait a while.

I have cycled Cape York to Wilsons Prom. Carried a Katadyn Pocket filter; and used it for less than 5 litres - as water was hard to find on end-of-season Cape York, and so I waved down rare vehicles to ask for water. After a few major sea kayak expeditions and several XC ski trips since, as well as countless bushwalks where the filter was left at home and not missed, I sold it for $90 last year. It was bought for $425.

I did a 6 day bushwalk across Wollemi NP a few weeks back. We took water from still pools on a few evenings, and a soak after shooing out cattle. A wild dog was seen once back in the wilderness. And boiling was all that was done - by one of 6 people. Very experienced world travellers and 2 senior RN's amongst us... just carried (unused) betadine. Which can be applied neat to wounds, and 15 drops to 50 mL of water as a sore-throat gargle.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Schmenz » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:35 pm

read most of the thread then skipped to the end so sorry if its been said.

purification tabs dont kill all. just carry a small bottle of iodine. it kills 99.99. (i wont say everything as there may be the odd thing it doesnt). its small light and easy. as others said tho.. it doesnt get the solid material out so filtering may also be necessary.

the iodine water doesnt taste too bad. you get used to it. i thought it was gross but that was just tanzanian water! i used it for 5 months in nepal and it was fine.

a lot of aussies are also iodine deficient so it kills 2 birds with one stone!
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby il padrone » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:47 pm

Wollemi wrote:Guys - just use betadine. In any pharmacy. 4 to 6 drops per litre and wait a while.

I have cycled Cape York to Wilsons Prom. Carried a Katadyn Pocket filter; and used it for less than 5 litres - as water was hard to find on end-of-season Cape York, and so I waved down rare vehicles to ask for water. After a few major sea kayak expeditions and several XC ski trips since, as well as countless bushwalks where the filter was left at home and not missed, I sold it for $90 last year. It was bought for $425.

I did a 6 day bushwalk across Wollemi NP a few weeks back. We took water from still pools on a few evenings, and a soak after shooing out cattle. A wild dog was seen once back in the wilderness. And boiling was all that was done - by one of 6 people. Very experienced world travellers and 2 senior RN's amongst us... just carried (unused) betadine. Which can be applied neat to wounds, and 15 drops to 50 mL of water as a sore-throat gargle.

+1 to most of this. Boiling will kill most nasties if you're worried. Most of the places I tour it's either clean catchment streams (all bushland, no cattle/sheep) or there are enough towns about to get water supplies. Riding from Melbourne to Oodnadatta we never once needed to boil water for drinking, wee carried Puritabs but never used them, and carried water bags for 16L plus bidons but only once or twice really needed to rely on carried water.

Iodine is also the best standby, as long as you're not using it long-term (for more than a few weeks at a time).
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby rama » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:12 pm

Boiling is OK if heating persists for several minutes, ie don't boil and stop immediately like you would if preparing a cup of tea with your kettle.
Iodine is very effective, but only as a solution of last resort, where it is a matter of life or death. It will wipe out the fauna in your stomach, and takes 2-3 months to recover. In the mean time your diet must be strictly controlled or you risk indigestion and stomach aches.
Use a good pump purifier and boil the water to get best results. If the water is in bad condition initially with solid particles, start filtering it very slowly through a (clean!) cotton cloth and multiple layers of paper tissue.
Take some iodine tablets with you just in case things get very ugly. Adding some citrus juice (eg lemon) or vitamin C tablet neutralises the iodine taste, but the taste should not be a problem if it comes to that.
Adding some lemon drops even in tap water when going to new places is also a good safety measure.
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Water Filtering

Postby Max » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:16 pm

I have a (suspected) iodine intolerance, so I'm interested in purification methods that don't use it. Of course, as IP just said, I'd probably never need to use it, but it's good to know :)

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:31 pm

Hi

My Sawyers Squeeze Water Filtration System has arrived. Yet to be used in anger but here are some photos and my weights for the parts.

Image

Image

Image

Image

My weights are:

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter - 69 grams
Terumo Syringe without needle - 33 grams
16 oz (0.5 l) bladder - 17 grams
32 oz (1 l) bladder - 22 grams
64 oz (2 l) bladder - 27 grams

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby hotfoot » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:45 pm

I don't know about filtering water but just in case it helps..you can get a citrus extract that disinfects water, many parrot/bird keepers use it for their birds water. It is called travellers friend (also GSE) and comes in an eye drop sixed bottle, abd costs about $25..you can get it from good health food shops.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:56 am

hotfoot wrote:I don't know about filtering water but just in case it helps..you can get a citrus extract that disinfects water, many parrot/bird keepers use it for their birds water. It is called travellers friend (also GSE) and comes in an eye drop sixed bottle, abd costs about $25..you can get it from good health food shops.


With no disrespect but there is a big difference between "freshening up" scheme water and filtering/treating water out in the bush that may have come from a creek or pond in cattle country. Citrus extract (I assume you are referring to Grapefruit Seed Extract) is not going to protect against the likes of Giardia or for that matter much else.

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby WarrenH » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:14 am

During the last two tours, I've put a paper coffee filter (using a rubber band above the basic pre-filter) over the inlet to an MSR filter. Each time I filter water I use a new paper filter. The filter doesn't hinder the water flow. Using the paper filters is extending the time between cleaning the ceramic filter from 5-6 litres to now over a dozen litres. I was thinking of buying the expensive MSR pre-filter to extend the time between cleaning the ceramic filter and found the recommendation for using coffee filters. A pack of 25 filters was about $1.90 at Woollies.

I've just been for a ride along the Northern Tinderries. This is good feral dog, deer and pig country and of course sheep and cows everywhere ... and I enjoyed the water, taken from farm dams. No creeks up high were flowing, so farm dams were the go.

Two excellent water stops.

Image

Image


Warren.

PS, and where there are farm dams ...

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:14 pm

Max wrote:I have a (suspected) iodine intolerance, so I'm interested in purification methods that don't use it. Of course, as IP just said, I'd probably never need to use it, but it's good to know :)

Steri-pen ??

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Re: Water Filtering

Postby hotfoot » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:23 pm

Aushiker..check www.diagnose-me.com/treat/T223917 . It suggests GSE does deal with GSE. You had me wondering as parrots are very sensative to "bugs" and this stuff saves many from gastro bugs in summertime...I had to check myself.
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Re: Water Filtering

Postby Aushiker » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:35 pm

hotfoot wrote:Aushiker..check http://www.diagnose-me.com/treat/T223917 . It suggests GSE does deal with GSE. You had me wondering as parrots are very sensative to "bugs" and this stuff saves many from gastro bugs in summertime...I had to check myself.


If you want to risk a protozoa infection and to end up in hospital in agony, you go for it. I will stick to scientifically credible, US EPA approved (the most stringent standard in the world) filters and treatments thanks.

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