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Can anyone advise what methods they have as part of their preparations for water filtration? This is the thing I am going to look at this month.

I have a 3L Brita Maxtra water filter at home that I use but want more methods and also portable methods for my BOB.

How do you test for poisons in water that might not be detectable my any senses? For example I am thinking of Cyanide and Arsenic.
 

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The big question is what is the purpose of the filter, BOB, BOL, Home.........?
For my BOB, My go to is an MSR Sweet water, back packing filter, and a life straw. I have used my Sweet water now since Apr 2005 and it's filtered some of the most undesirable murky green swamp water and filtered it well. It's a work horse in my opinion. there are many different types of compact filteres that work well, it's what works for you. check out MEC.ca and look at backpacking filters and check out the reviews on all the filters they carry, even you tube has some good reviews on filters. As for kitchen counter top filters, I would recommend Berkey water filters!

I really don't have any exp when it comes to filtering chemicals, or testing for them, but I'm sure you can buy test strips to find out ppm content of chemicals if you really wanted to. Google is your best friend at this junction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info! I guess I want to cover all bases and have a few different methods of filtration. I like that the lifestraw is very low cost. The MSR seems to be a brilliant product though it seems quite expensive for me. I may pick up the lifestraw for now and see if its possible to get the Waterbob which seems like a great solution for emergencies. Big Berkey seems fantastic though I'm unsure if they sell them here in the UK.

I am wondering how you can test of filter out cyanide? Big Berkey seems to cover arsenic.
 

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John,

We have the Royal Berkey Water Filtration system for home use. Here is a link to the Big Berkey Company website.

Big Berkey Water Filter

All of my family have the LifeStaw Product. Inexpensive and good for camping or on the road and easy to carry.

Amazon.com : LifeStraw Personal Water Filter : Camping Water Filters : Sports & Outdoors

I have also heard good reviews of the Katydyn Products and you can find them at most sporting goods stores in the camping section. Good luck
Well the old saying about great minds occurs to me. I too have the Royal Berkey and Lifestraws. The Berkey for my home if the power/water goes out and the Lifestraws for traveling. I have extra filters for the Berkey and if we have to leave and can't take the whole system with us, I can use the filters and a couple of buckets for the same result.
 

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I have a very old Sweetwater filter. I will buy the Royal Berky next. Haven't decided between a steri pen and the life straws. Both are cool.
 

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For a permanent location the gravity type ceramic water filter systems are about as good as it gets, the best of these types of filters are sold as Big Berkeys or Dultons both are good brands.

Next is the portable type filters and these are generally a membrane filter cartridge housed in a body that seals the cartridge in and has a hand actuated pump. These are popular with hikers and folks who are processing smaller amounts of water.

Lastly the filter straws, which are a lot like the portable filters without the hand pump and sized to take up less space in a kit. These are geared more towards the Survival kits and BOBs etc. as a personal water filter.

There is some crossover applications, If I were going on an extended camping trip I might take the Berkey along for the base camp, and have a straw and portable filter in my kit. If I were going for an over nighter/weekend trip then I'd take the portable and the straw.

It is my practice to always have (at the minimum) a straw with me in a bob or kit of some kind.

Also something to consider is what to carry the water in. I use the best water jugs/bottles I can find, the filters are great yet they are only half of the equation. Having good (quality) water containers is the other half.
 

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Emergency Water Kit (BC-0102)
Treats about 3000 gallons and runs $25 plus shipping and handling. It doesn't do as much as others, but it does enough if you are treating the water properly with chemicals.
I picked one up a couple of years ago, simple design but I wouldn't trust the water either, without chlorination.
 

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We have a variety of large and small filters for bugout situations, as well as UV pen purifiers. BUT... for home use, I am making a biofilter with 5 gallon buckets, fine gravel and sand. Many, many places around the world use water from biofilters. There are many different styles and methods of construction. The water is fine to cook with just as is. For drinking, however, I will purify either by boiling or UV sterilization. A very simple UV sterilizer can be made by simply using a piece of corregated steel that faces the sun. Put bottles (glass would be safest) of water (after filtering through the biofilter) on the steel and let the sun do the rest. A full day will be more than enough to render the water safe for drinking. Can also use the solar oven to sterilized water, but most likely, the sun oven will be in use for cooking.

Safe drinking water is the highest priority for survival in my mind. Bacterial dystentary can kill you from dehydration in a matter of days - even faster for children and elderly. Water borne illness like hepatitis A and typhoid are also devastating. Typhoid, of course, can kill you, and if you survive, the recovery can take years. It is pretty horrible. I've lived in a 3rd world country where some of my coworkers contracted typhoid from contaminated water. Even with the best medical care, their recovery was long and difficult. Hep A won't kill you, but it will sure knock the socks off you for a few months and you will be worthless to your family. My family is vaccinated for both these diseases. Hep A vaccine lasts lifetime. Oral typhoid for 5 years. To me, it is worth it.

Also very important to maintain absolute cleanliness of hands, utensils, dishes, and all food prep areas.

Safe drinking water
 

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Emergency Water Kit (BC-0102)

Treats about 3000 gallons and runs $25 plus shipping and handling. It doesn't do as much as others, but it does enough if you are treating the water properly with chemicals.
I picked one up a couple of years ago, simple design but I wouldn't trust the water either, without chlorination.
I have some of these as well. I would recommend treating with chemicals after filtering to prolong the life of the activated charcoal in your filter. Pre-treating will unnecessarily clog your charcoal with chemicals. Also, the ceramic will be effective much longer than the charcoal so I keep some activated charcoal around to make a secondary filter when I feel the original enclosed stuff is no longer working. I have no idea how I will tell that, though, other than just keeping track of how many gallons have been through it.
 

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We have a variety of large and small filters for bugout situations, as well as UV pen purifiers. BUT... for home use, I am making a biofilter with 5 gallon buckets, fine gravel and sand. Many, many places around the world use water from biofilters. There are many different styles and methods of construction. The water is fine to cook with just as is. For drinking, however, I will purify either by boiling or UV sterilization. A very simple UV sterilizer can be made by simply using a piece of corregated steel that faces the sun. Put bottles (glass would be safest) of water (after filtering through the biofilter) on the steel and let the sun do the rest. A full day will be more than enough to render the water safe for drinking. Can also use the solar oven to sterilized water, but most likely, the sun oven will be in use for cooking.

Safe drinking water is the highest priority for survival in my mind. Bacterial dystentary can kill you from dehydration in a matter of days - even faster for children and elderly. Water borne illness like hepatitis A and typhoid are also devastating. Typhoid, of course, can kill you, and if you survive, the recovery can take years. It is pretty horrible. I've lived in a 3rd world country where some of my coworkers contracted typhoid from contaminated water. Even with the best medical care, their recovery was long and difficult. Hep A won't kill you, but it will sure knock the socks off you for a few months and you will be worthless to your family. My family is vaccinated for both these diseases. Hep A vaccine lasts lifetime. Oral typhoid for 5 years. To me, it is worth it.

Also very important to maintain absolute cleanliness of hands, utensils, dishes, and all food prep areas.

Safe drinking water
I think that this ^^^ explanation gets to the heart of the issue. We will have much more to fear from parasites and bacterial issues than from poisons like arsenic, etc.
 

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UV pens like the one shown below don't really kill bacteria, etc. The UV light damages the DNA and RNA of the bacteria, etc., preventing it from reproducing en mass. This effectively purifies the water. BUT testing seems to show that in a matter of a few hours or so, the damaged DNA and RNA rebuilds itself, negating the purification of the water. Water purified with UV pens works but you should consume the water quickly. Also the water must be clean and clear so the UV light illuminates all the water, if the water is cloudy or turbid, it not going to work because suspended particles shield microorganisms buried within particles, from the UV light thus leaving them unaffected.
View attachment 5294
 

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Get a 0.05 Micron or better it will cover you for pretty much anything.

You might want to learn how to make charcoal from wood.

Also the type of filter might depend on your climate. As freezing could be a consideration.

I have a Sawyer which is portable and easy to use.

Also one thing to note

A lot of people get filters, but they don't get a TDS tester to test their water...

Something to consider if you are shelving out 100 for a filter consider $10 for a water quality tester.

Many who don't do hydroponics or water systems probably don't even know they exist.

How else can you check if you water actually is safe.

You need to test it...

http://www.amazon.ca/Digital-Water-Quality-Tester-Hydroponics/dp/B00CL7GIOW/ref=pd_cp_hi_0

Systems fail... so this is that extra oomf.

There are probably better water quality testing systems out there.

Food for thought.

Other testing kits etc..

http://www.amazon.com/E-coli-Coliform-Bacteria-Water-Test/dp/B008HSYK44
 

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UV pens like the one shown below don't really kill bacteria, etc. The UV light damages the DNA and RNA of the bacteria, etc., preventing it from reproducing en mass. This effectively purifies the water. BUT testing seems to show that in a matter of a few hours or so, the damaged DNA and RNA rebuilds itself, negating the purification of the water. Water purified with UV pens works but you should consume the water quickly. Also the water must be clean and clear so the UV light illuminates all the water, if the water is cloudy or turbid, it not going to work because suspended particles shield microorganisms buried within particles, from the UV light thus leaving them unaffected.
View attachment 5294
The steripen is my favorite type of water treatment when I want to travel as light and quickly as possible in the red-river gorge area in Ky where there are plenty of streams. For water I just take the steripen and some zip lock bags. I stop just long enough to fill the bag and 90 sec. for the pen to work then I am off again. I never had any bad reaction from drinking the water.
 

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Sawyer makes filters that run between $50 and $100 that have a life capacity of around a million gallons with proper care. They are not the fastest but the capacity is hard to beat.

I've had the filters that Ripon posted bookmarked for over a year now. They also make one for just a few dollars more that will (advertised) filter chemicals. In all honesty, chemical contamination is not a primary concern, but since I work in the chemical industry I want that capability.
 
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