Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Water Purifiers(Useful but Long)
Water Purifiers(Useful but Long)
Tue, 27 Oct 1998 16:40:15 -0600
This is pretty long!
Kathy Coates wrote:
So, I thought to myself, "Humm, why can't I take a couple of those
iodine tables that cost $3 per bottle, throw them into the bucket of
dirty water and then filter it with my new Pur filter? Seems it would
save me lots of money AND keep my filter clean since iodine is
running through it?"
I'm on a tight budget these days and couldn't justify spending more
money than I need to. Anybody have a different perspective on
End of Quote
Kathy, if you're going to purify your water using an iodine
treatment method, then there is no need to filter it afterwards. A
good iodine product, such as polar pure or potable aqua, will do the
job just fine, as long as it's used correctly.
I bought a PUR voyageur purifier and used it with much
success. But I decided that I really didn't need it. The polar pure
bottle that I have now weighs much less, costs much less, and has
lasted me an entire summer of backpacking in which I logged
several hundred miles.
Some people don't like the taste of iodined water, but I find that
if folks just suck it up for a couple days, they don't notice the taste
after awhile. And the "neutralizers" that some folks use to avoid
the taste are usually little more than Vitamin C tablets.
Some folks also like the convenience of a pump. There is no
waiting involved. You get water when you need it. But I've found
that if you just plan ahead a bit, you'll come out fine.
And yes folks, there is a difference between a purifier and a
filter. A filter does water it says. It mechanically filters out
particles, some more effectively than others. A purifier contain
both a mechanical filter and has the addition of a purifying element.
This usually is done by impregnating part of the filter with iodine or
some other purifying agent. I've used sweetwater and PUR filters
and have seen others use an MSR design. All have been effective,
however I preferred the PUR to the sweetwater. It didn't clog as
Some tips: You have to be careful not to pump a filter or
purifier too fast. Take the cleanest water you can find. Don't take
water from a stagnant source if possible. Stagnant water is a
breeding ground for Giardia and other scum. Look for a circulating
pool, this is best because the water is not stagnant but it's not
roaring either. Water moving too swiftly contains a large amount of
sediment. If water is extremely murky, allow it to settle it a pot for
a period of minutes before pumping.
And ground water sources such as wells or springs are usually
better than open sources such as streams and rivers. This is
because Giardia and other pests are spread through fecal sources
that contaminate above the ground.
And there are some folks who need to use filters. I know a few
people who are allergic to iodine. You should be very cautious that
these persons do not intake water containing iodine. Use what's
best for you. Good luck and good scouting!
College Station, TX