Canadian Canoe Routes

Water Treatment
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Author:  glenm [ July 16th, 2015, 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Water Treatment

I've been reconsidering my water treatment options. Many public health boards give instructions for using ordinary bleach for treating water. in emergencies. I have used it in a pinch in the past and had no problems with it. Does anyone know of any reason to not to use bleach rather than the commercial treatments? Bleach is basically free in the quantities required and pretty simple to use. I haven't noticed the taste to be any worse than the chlorine-based tablets available now. I'm hesitant to play armchair chemist with strong chemicals but it isn't obvious to me if bleach is any more dangerous to use than the commercial products.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ July 16th, 2015, 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

What commercial products? Bleach calls for 1/4 cup per gallon.. Not liking that!
And it takes 45 min to kill giardia cysts as they are resistant to chlorine. ... table.html

I prefer water filters.

Author:  wotrock [ July 16th, 2015, 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

I find there's very little taste with Pristine.

Author:  nessmuk [ July 16th, 2015, 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

I've used PolarPure for more than 20 years in the Adirondacks.
It is pure molecular elemental iodine, and does have a nasty taste, but you get used to it. A small bottle will last a lifetime (2000 gallons). It has no expiration date. Haven't have any problems with it, and have not contracted any ill effects from drinking treated water in the backcountry in all this time.

On the Yukon River, with its incredibly thick silty nature, I have used Pur Reliance water chemistry to eliminate the silt and to purify for drinking.

Author:  shearjoy [ July 16th, 2015, 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

You have to be careful with the amount of bleach. I think it is 1/4 teaspoon per gallon to purify drinking water (not a 1/4 cup). Too much can be poisonous.

I use the Micropur tablets. A bit expensive at 70 cents a litre but easy to use and no after taste.

Treatment time depends on the clarity of the water and its temperature. For the Micropure (basically Chlorine), clear water at 20C is 30 minutes, cloudy/silty water is 4 hours at 5C.

Author:  DougB [ July 16th, 2015, 10:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

When you can get an easy to use long life filter for less than 100 bucks why would anyone mess around with bleach?

Author:  open_side_up [ July 16th, 2015, 11:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

x2 on the Pristine especially for large quantities of water on good sized lakes. I also travel with a Sawyer SP 128 Mini for use on sketchier waters. Good insurance for under $30. ... YIK6Y9EEQB

Author:  littleredcanoe [ July 17th, 2015, 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment ... sonal.html

oops 40 drops per gallon

Author:  Sam82 [ July 17th, 2015, 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

Lately I've been just boiling my water. I fill up two nalgeine bottles at night before bed and then by morning they are cool. In the morning I'll top them up for the day with the water I boil for coffee.

Author:  sturgeon [ July 17th, 2015, 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

I use Aquatabs. 1 tablet for 1 litre. At $12.99 for 50 tablets, that's $.26/litre. Even cheaper $10 (like $.10/litre) at MEC. For clear water. Takes 30 minutes or longer if colder. No big deal. My two water bottles which I alternate are just convenience store size 740 ml, so I'm getting a stronger dose per bottle. No taste; occasionally a very very slight chlorine taste.
For dirtier water I sometimes carry a Sawyer Squeeze 1micron filter, but not often.

Author:  Mac [ July 17th, 2015, 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

I use Bleach to treat my water and then filter it, if I am planning to drink it cold. For cooking with or using it to make coffee, I just use the bleached water.

The dosage rate is between 0.1 to 0.2ml of 5% Na0Cl/litre of water, depending on the temperature of the water or its turbidity.

But, the concentration of Bleach has been increasing in strength over the past few years, so you may encounter Bleach disinfectant products with up ~ 8% Na0Cl in them. In that case you need to reduce the dosage accordingly.

There is a problem with putting too much Bleach in your water. It will kill off all of the beneficial organisms in your gut and you will be sick for a few days, until you get re-populated.

I use a calibrated syringe with a 0 to 5ml range to measure and deliver the correct amount of Bleach. I then stir the water vigorously to make sure it is well mixed.

Author:  wotrock [ July 17th, 2015, 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

Here's what we normally use: ... guage_id=1

With a little planning that's pretty well all we need but we take Pristine or a water pump as a back-up. One of the first things I do when we get in camp is to fill hang the filter bag. By the time we are ready for supper we have enough water to do us. Left overnight we have lots for breakfast and to take with us. We don't do much portaging these days so we are not lugging much water over the ports.

Author:  vpsoccer [ July 17th, 2015, 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

Interesting discussion.
I think that everyone I know uses a filter, with one or another sort of tablets as a backup in case the filters (yes, usually plural, if 4 or more people on the trip) have a problem.

Author:  Paddle [ January 11th, 2016, 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water Treatment

I've been thinking of this too. I always used liquid iodine or just bleach and would treat a gallon jug at a time. No problems. We weren't too specific with the bleach, maybe a capful per gallon? I'm finding people frowning on these chemicals now.
Last year went with a friend and used a msr pump filter, and even just for two people it seemed a lot of time/ energy filling Nalgenes so I'm hesitant to buy one myself.

Anyone seen the new msr guardian filter? It looks amazing on paper. 10 yr cartridge. Twice as fast as the old pump. And takes out viruses as well. Not a cheap buy though.

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