36300FR - McNett Aquamira Water Treatment - Tim Tessier
- Aug 5, 2007Please see my FR on the McNett Aquamira Water Treatment tablets below.
The .html version is in the test folder and the link is as follows:
AQUAMIRA WATER PURIFIER TABLETS
TEST SERIES BY TIM TESSIER
May 28, 2007
NAME: Tim Tessier
EMAIL: timothy_tessier@... <mailto:timothy_tessier@...>
LOCATION: Greensboro NC
HEIGHT: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
WEIGHT: 215 lb (97.50 kg)
Backpacking Background: I hiked as a child with my father and started
hiking with my now 15 year old son 7 years ago. We now routinely take
20 mile weekend hikes (2 nights) approximately once a month year round.
Additionally, we take one, 5 - 7 day extended trip each summer. Most of
our hiking is done in North Carolina, southern Virginia, Tennessee,
Kentucky, and West Virginia. We go regardless of weather so we have
experience in all types of conditions. We do not tend to travel very
light, with a typical pack weight of 25 lb (11.3 kg) exclusive of food.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Aquamira Technologies
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: <<www.aquamira.com <http://www.aquamira.com> >>
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 1 oz. (28 g)
Other details: The Aquamira Water Purification tablets are designed to
purify clean water so that it is safe to drink. They are effervescent
tablets that are designed to be added to water in order to kill
potentially harmful microorganisms commonly found in stream/lake water
collected in the outdoors. These tablets would normally be used in
place of boiling or filtering water.
The tablets come in packages of 12 or 24 tablets each. I was provided
the 24 count package for testing. The tablets come packed in foil packs
with six tablets per pack. Each of these inner sheets is approximately
4" X 2.5" (102 mm X 64 mm) in size. The tablets are individually
enclosed in small compartments 1.3" X 1.25" (34 mm X 32 mm) which must
be opened with a knife or scissors. Four of these packs are then
enclosed in a 6.5" X 5" (165 mm X 127 mm) foil package.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Aquamira
There is a tear-off notch approximately .8" (20.3 mm) below the top of
the outer package. I opened the first package by simply tearing the top
off of the package. Inside the package is a Zip-Lock type sealer which
makes the package resealable so that it remains waterproof and airtight.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions are very straightforward and easy to follow.
In order to use the tablets simply take out a sheet of tablets, cut open
one of the individual pouches, and drop the tablet into a liter (34 oz.)
of water. Place the water container in a shady spot and wait four
hours. The effervescent tablet releases Chlorine Dioxide (the active
ingredient) to a solution of 4 parts per million (ppm). This is
certified by the EPA as a microbiological water purifier. Once tablets
are open they should be handled as little as possible and should be used
There is a sheet inside the package which details first aid instructions
in the event of directly ingesting a tablet or getting the tablet
material on skin or in eyes. Based on this, though the instructions
don't specifically recommend it, I will attempt to drop the tablet
directly into water without handling it directly. This is probably more
of an issue with wet or very sweaty hands. My greatest concern would be
handling the tablet with sweaty hands, then rubbing my eyes,
transferring some of the material to my eyes.
TRYING IT OUT
I have to say, I approached this test with deep misgivings. I have used
chemical water treatment in the past with unacceptable results. The
chemicals certainly made the water safe but the taste was so poor that I
had to mix the water with Gatorade in order to choke it down.
I was particularly skeptical of the manufactures claim on the package
that the tablets would "Improve the taste of Treated Water." According
to the Aquamira website: "Unlike iodine, chlorine dioxide does not
discolor water, nor does it give water an unpleasant taste. In fact,
chlorine dioxide is often used to improve the taste of water by
neutralizing unpleasant flavors."
To test this method of purifyling water I took two Nalgene bottles, the
Aquamira tablets, and my trusty PUR water filter along on a family
picnic to the New River in VA. I walked to a point where a side stream
came tumbling down a hillside and into the river. This is exactly the
type of water source I would tap for water on your average backpacking
trip. I then pumped water into one Nalgene with the filter and filled
the other directly from the stream, being careful to fill it to the rim.
Using the blade on my multi-tool I opened a tablet pouch and dropped the
tablet directly into the water bottle.
I then noted the time and set both bottles aside in the shade. A little
over 4 hours later I pulled them out. First I took a drink of the
filtered water. It tasted fine, much as I would have expected. Then I
tasted the Aquamira treated water. To my surprise it was even better.
It had a very crisp clean tast with absolutely no chemical taste. I
was very happy with the taste of this water treatment and would be
pleased to drink it on a regular basis.
My testing strategy is simple. Aquamira generously supplied us with 3
of the 24 packs of tablets. As my son and I hike this summer we will
use these in place of our normal water treatment routine. We will
attempt to do a few weekends, leaving the filter at home. The largest
obstacle to this will be developing strategies to overcome the four hour
wait time for the product to become fully effective.
We will pay particular attention to any difference in flavor of the
water, and whether there is any discoloration. We will also pay
particular attention to any side effects such as bad breath or
This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in approximately
two months for my field report.
Field Report - August 5, 2007
Per our test protocol, we have continued to use the Aquamira tablets
throughout the summer hiking season. We have used them on overnight
trips to Mt. Rogers Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, as well as using them on a three day trip to West Virginia July 4
week. I have found that the tablets do perform exactly as advertised.
Now, as part of our daily routine I simply take my 4 liter (4.2 quarts)
Platypus bag to the nearest water source at the end of the day and,
pulling the top completely open I simply scoop it full of water.
Carrying it back to camp I drop in 4 tablets and set it aside. I then
have safe drinking water to fill both my hydration system and my son's
the next morning. This is handy and convenient as it saves me the
trouble of having to pump water at the end of a long day of hiking.
There are two factors, however, that prevent me from being able to carry
these tablets exclusively, leaving my filter at home. The first is that
a filter is also a pump that allows you to capture water from unlikely
sources. This can best be illustrated by an experience we had in the
Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia. We were in a campsite that we
understood to have "undependable" water. Fortunately, that night while
we were in our tent we had a long, heavy, rainstorm. This meant that
any water source in the area would indeed contain water so, rather than
start a twelve mile (19 km) day without full water bladders I set out to
find water. I found a depression in the ground that was filled with
collected rainwater from the previous nights cloudburst. Because I had
the filter/pump I was able to simply pull the float all the way down to
the inlet, lower the collection hose into the water and pump out what I
needed. Without the filter collecting this water cleanly, without also
collecting mud and other organic material, would have been tricky at
The second limiting factor is that the tablets take four hours to be
effective. This limitation becomes a problem if we are doing a long hot
day and need to refill our drinking water at lunchtime. The only
strategy I have come up with to eliminate this obstacle is to pull my
stove out and boil water immediately upon reaching our lunch
destination. Then the water can cool while you are having lunch. To
hasten the cooling process I could even set our hydration bladders in
the running stream with the hot water in them. This would surely cool
them down relatively quickly. To be honest, while I have, with all good
intention, meant to try this procedure, I haven't done so yet. It seems
to be a LOT of trouble to go through in order to save a few ounces or
grams of pack weight. I will make it a point to try this out and
include my findings in my long-term report.
My only other comment on the tablets is that the packaging, while
certainly tough for a reason, can be annoying to try to get into. I can
not tear the tough plastic/foil packaging that surrounds the individual
tablets with my fingers. I have to use my multi-tool each time. As
long as I don't lose my multi-tool this is not a big deal but it's just
annoying. It seems they could develop packaging with a perforation or a
notch that would allow you to simply rip it open to get to the product,
rather than force you to cut it each time. It's a minor detail but
The McNett Aquamira tablets do an admirable job of treating water,
making it safe to drink. We have used them several times now with no
ill effects whatsoever. They don't leave any negative after-taste. The
largest drawback I have found to the product is the four hour wait time
in order for it to treat water. This precludes me from being able to
use this as an exclusive water-treatment method, and makes it a
convenience product, saving me from having to pump at the end of a long
Things I like:
They really do leave water tasting clean and good.
They are lightweight and compact, adding virtually no weight or bulk to
Thigs I don't like:
They take four hours to work, meaning I still have to carry a filter.
The packaging is a bear to open to get the individual tablets out to
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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