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Thread: Water purifying

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default Water purifying

    G'day blokes and blokettes,

    I need some advice on water purification and what may be best in terms of options.

    Here goes:- picture this... 1000 litres of onboard water tanks, the possible need to take on water from a river / dam / creek etc or from a source of unknown quality, anywhere in the world.

    I'm thinking the water would need to be filtered from source into tank then probably again from tank to tap.

    Here is where you come in... what specs would I need to look at in terms of filters or is something like a reverse osmosis system needed. Remembering this is our only source of drinking water etc.

    Your words of wisdom would help greatly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Scottsboro, AL
    I'd suggest using separate containers for washing and drinking water. It would save you lots of time and money in the long run. For drinking water are you thinking of a pump filter or wanting something quicker? Katadyn, MSR has hiking water filters that are great for a couple of people to share. Either way you go I'd suggest getting the MIOX water purifier from MSR. It uses batteries, salt, and water to provide you with chlorine for killing viruses and bacteria. Good luck finding something that works right for you, and please share.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Simple filters to improve the look/smell of water to be used for all non drinking purposes and then you could set up a heat exchanger that would boil water that is sent to a holding tank for drinking purposes. Boiling is really the only sure method. One minute is all it takes. I've seen some really nice setups on here though so I bet you'll find lots of advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    NW Oregon
    I came up with a filtering system for this summers kayak trip that worked so well, we actually prefer the water from it than our tap water at home. And we have good water from tap.

    Here is what I used and how I went about it.

    Picked up a Sawyer SP184 complete 4L Bag to Bag Water Purifier System. It boasts a 1 million gallon guarantee at .1 micron filtering.


    So, I took an MSR 10L Dromlite bag to the river, and filled it in the faster moving area.


    Added 2 drops of household Clorox unscented bleach per liter, so 20 drops for the 10 liters.
    Shake well and let sit at least 30 minutes.
    If there is still a faint chlorine smell to the water, we are good to go.
    If no chlorine is detectable, it needs a few more drops and and another 30 mins to do it's job. (Water would have a lot more critters to kill).
    At this point the water was safe enough to drink right there, but with the above Sawyer filter, we can make it better.

    I built an inline activated charcoal filter about 6" long, and 1" diameter. This was placed down stream of the gray 4 liter Sawyer bag.
    Then the Sawyer filter, then the clean blue 4 liter bag.

    Just hung the gray bag from a suitable branch, or elevated area to keep the charcoal filter vertical. The blue bag and .1 micro filter can lay flat on the ground.

    Now just add the already chlorinated river water from the red bag to the gray bag. Water flows down through the charcoal filter, removing the chlorine, some metals, pesticides and such. Then to the .1 micron filter, where it the hollow fiber membrane removes particles, protozoa, and bacteria including Giardia, Salmonella and Cryptosporidia (which were already killed anyway with the bleach).

    This all lands in the blue 4 liter bag with a reasonable flow rate.
    We filled all our drinking water straight from the blue bag.
    The bag has a nice built in spigot in the cap.
    Awesome taste!!!

    For extra potable water storage on the kayak we stored cleaned water in two of the 6L MSR Dromedary bags. These are some tough bags that can take a crazy beating. The water can get a harmless plastic after taste from these bags, so we only used them for dishes and personal hygiene. Per MSR this after taste is normal, and not unsafe by any means.


    The real beauty of this filter system is that gravity does all the work, no pumping a hand pump, and it can filter the water while other camp chores commence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    NW Oregon
    Boiling is a good way to kill the living critters in the water, but uses fuel and isn't readily cooled to drink immediately.
    You only need to get the water up to boiling temp and you're good. All living critters die well before boiling.
    Also, it isn't really economical for larger quantities of water if you are on the move.

    Plain old bleach will kill these critters with just a few drops per liter.

    Staphylococcus aureus (Staph.)
    Salmonella choleraesuis
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep.)
    Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli)
    Shigella dysenteriae
    Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
    Trichophyton mentagrophytes (can cause Athlete’s Foot)
    Candida albicans (a yeast)
    Rhinovirus Type 17 (a type of virus that can cause colds)
    Influenza A (Flu virus)
    Hepatitis A virus
    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
    HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)*
    Herpes simplex Type 2
    Rubella virus
    Adenovirus Type 2

    And a gallon of bleach will cover you for zillions of gallons of water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    I can vouch for the MSR filters. I have a handheld one that screws onto a nalgene bottle. takes only a few seconds and we always have a few liters spare. I also believe MSR makes a gravity filtration system that works for larger groups.

    Clean safe water is a necessity -- I never go on any trip without my filter.

    Cheese cloth and boiling works but, it's work.

    Another option that's gaining a lot of traction is UV light filtering. I believe CamelBak has a UV water bottle. That may be up-scalable for the amounts you are talking about, and is very quick provided you have a pre-filter for particulates.

    How I Get Around:

    2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, Gobi Stealth roof rack, Tepui Kukenam tent, German Shepherd "LOOK ITS A PERSON" system.
    2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC, Givi cargo rack, home-made Pelican panniers.
    Clark's Desert Boots Heel-toe express

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    NW Oregon
    Although the UV filters work, they require batteries and then you're out of luck when those go kaput.
    They also require the water to be filtered to clarity to work well.

    A clean clear PET plastic container set in the sun can also work as a solar water purifier.
    In about 6 hours of direct sun exposure, you can kill:

    Bacteria – Escherichia coli
    Bacteria – Vibrio cholera
    Bacteria – Salmonella
    Bacteria – Shigella flexneri
    Bacteria – Campylobacter jejuni
    Bacteria – Yersinia enterocolitica
    Virus – Rotavirus
    Parasites – Giardia
    Parasites – Cryptosporidium (needs 10 hours exposure)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Rockingham WA (AUS)

    check out the BEST range of water filters
    its what i use to pump water up from all kinds of sources
    its got all kinds of filtering medium and so far i havent died from anything so it must work
    the provision of two seperate systems domestic and drinking is the way to go
    with your domestic water you only have to filter the groublies out (things like dirt, dust, fish, plastic bags, and crocodiles) and can get by with a single pass of a decent filter
    for drinking I use the BEST filter when filling and have a .5 micron with all the trimmings filter in the system
    I can also re circ the water through the filter from my domestic tank if need be


    LIFE Its an adventure - Not a race

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Border town

    Default Purification

    Check out how Douglas Hackney put a purification system together click on the left hand side project design docs and build up photos. You will see water systems overview. I figure this is the best system I have seen to date and I am going to copy it eventually. I am no expert though in water purification systems. By the way that is alot of water=heavy
    Last edited by biggoolies; 08-19-2012 at 04:06 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks for the replies so far folks. Keep them coming.

    Travelling with wife and 3 children all girls puts certain demands upon a man that can only be muttered in certain circles... (around fires late at night, that sort of thing) The demand for water is obviously high on the agenda.

    And as far as weight goes when ya plan 1000 ltrs of water and 1000 ltrs of diesel you need to use a truck that is capable of such feats of strength. 13ton GVM's just don't cut the mustard.

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