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General question on water treatment

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  • Tim Tessier
    OK, I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial test. They actually do
    Message 1 of 8 , May 28, 2007
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      OK,

      I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My
      initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial test.
      They actually do work well. Here is my question though...

      I currently carry a filter. Filter, hoses, stuff sack etc. all
      combined weigh close to a pound (estimate) and take a whole pocket in
      my pack. However, I can easily refill from any stream at lunchtime
      with no worries. I would like to lighten my pack and these tablets
      seem like a good solution. Here's my problem, the tablets take four
      hours to work. If I hit my water hose at 1:00 in the afternoon on a
      hot day, and hear that familiar gurgling noise that means I'm nearly
      out, then what? If I just carry enough water to go all day then I'm
      carrying more weight than the filter, so that's a no win either.

      I'd be interested to hear from the group your input on this.

      Tim
    • Dark Lazarus
      This is probably better off on BackpackingTalk. To give some sort of answer, you can carry a backup bottle or bladder and fill up before you are totally empty
      Message 2 of 8 , May 28, 2007
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        This is probably better off on BackpackingTalk.

        To give some sort of answer, you can carry a backup bottle or bladder
        and fill up before you are totally empty (I like to stick my arm down
        into the bladder sleeve and give it a squeeze) then either swap out
        bladders or refill the current bladder. Consider 2 2L bladders fill
        one for the trip then at the first hole, fill and treat the next. At
        the next stop check the original then swap and start another
        treatment. This might work better with 2 bottles that are easily
        visible but still doable.

        The 4 hour wait was what decided me against going for this test call.

        cheers

        kathryn

        On 5/28/07, Tim Tessier <timothy_tessier@...> wrote:
        > OK,
        >
        > I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My
        > initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial test.
        > They actually do work well. Here is my question though...
        >
        > I currently carry a filter. Filter, hoses, stuff sack etc. all
        > combined weigh close to a pound (estimate) and take a whole pocket in
        > my pack. However, I can easily refill from any stream at lunchtime
        > with no worries. I would like to lighten my pack and these tablets
        > seem like a good solution. Here's my problem, the tablets take four
        > hours to work. If I hit my water hose at 1:00 in the afternoon on a
        > hot day, and hear that familiar gurgling noise that means I'm nearly
        > out, then what? If I just carry enough water to go all day then I'm
        > carrying more weight than the filter, so that's a no win either.
        >
        > I'd be interested to hear from the group your input on this.
        >
        > Tim
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Will Rietveld
        Hi Tim. I am the Monitor for this test. I m amazed that they take 4 hours to work. The regular Aqua Mira only takes 15 minutes. Anyway, dealing with this issue
        Message 3 of 8 , May 29, 2007
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          Hi Tim. I am the Monitor for this test. I'm amazed that they take 4
          hours to work. The regular Aqua Mira only takes 15 minutes. Anyway,
          dealing with this issue is part of your test strategy and reporting,
          and as the tester you need to work this out. If the 4 hour wait is a
          problem and requires that you carry a backup system, then put that in
          your report. Or if you find a good strategy to deal with the 4 hour
          wait, then put that into your report. Have fun!

          Will Rietveld


          > I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My
          > initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial test.
          > They actually do work well. Here is my question though...
          >
          > I currently carry a filter. Filter, hoses, stuff sack etc. all
          > combined weigh close to a pound (estimate) and take a whole pocket in
          > my pack. However, I can easily refill from any stream at lunchtime
          > with no worries. I would like to lighten my pack and these tablets
          > seem like a good solution. Here's my problem, the tablets take four
          > hours to work. If I hit my water hose at 1:00 in the afternoon on a
          > hot day, and hear that familiar gurgling noise that means I'm nearly
          > out, then what? If I just carry enough water to go all day then I'm
          > carrying more weight than the filter, so that's a no win either.
          >
          > I'd be interested to hear from the group your input on this.
          >
          > Tim
          >
        • Andy Mytys
          I don t think we should be too harsh in terms of criticizing the 4-hour wait time on the tablets. This isn t a case of a bad product - I suspect this is a
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 1 7:48 AM
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            I don't think we should be too harsh in terms of criticizing the
            4-hour wait time on the tablets. This isn't a case of a bad product -
            I suspect this is a case where we're using a product outside of its
            intended market.

            If I was someone from the McNett company, I'd be thinking "We have a
            product for backpackers that treats water quickly, it's called Aqua
            Mira." Personally, I think we're trying to fit a square peg into a
            round hole here.

            I see the tablets as something that folks like canoers would be
            interested in, where they fill up a large water container (it's a
            canoe, weight isn't an issue until you portage), toss a couple of
            tablets in, and then after a few hours they've got water for the
            everyone. Since you're in the canoe, you can easily have a gallon or
            so of treated water on the side to use while you wait the requisite
            4-hours.

            In light of this, I think reports should focus on things like ease of
            use, aftertaste of water, etc. rather than "how I got around the
            4-hour wait time by carrying way more water than I would have needed
            to if I was using a filter, boiling, or some other chemical
            alternative." Focusing on using this product while backpacking makes
            us look like idiots, IMO, because we've selected the wrong product in
            the first place.

            Of course, this is just MY view.

            --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Will Rietveld"
            <willi_wabbit@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Tim. I am the Monitor for this test. I'm amazed that they take 4
            > hours to work. The regular Aqua Mira only takes 15 minutes. Anyway,
            > dealing with this issue is part of your test strategy and reporting,
            > and as the tester you need to work this out. If the 4 hour wait is a
            > problem and requires that you carry a backup system, then put that in
            > your report. Or if you find a good strategy to deal with the 4 hour
            > wait, then put that into your report. Have fun!
            >
            > Will Rietveld
            >
            >
            > > I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My
            > > initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial
            test.
            > > They actually do work well. Here is my question though...
            > >
            > > I currently carry a filter. Filter, hoses, stuff sack etc. all
            > > combined weigh close to a pound (estimate) and take a whole pocket in
            > > my pack. However, I can easily refill from any stream at lunchtime
            > > with no worries. I would like to lighten my pack and these tablets
            > > seem like a good solution. Here's my problem, the tablets take four
            > > hours to work. If I hit my water hose at 1:00 in the afternoon on a
            > > hot day, and hear that familiar gurgling noise that means I'm nearly
            > > out, then what? If I just carry enough water to go all day then I'm
            > > carrying more weight than the filter, so that's a no win either.
            > >
            > > I'd be interested to hear from the group your input on this.
            > >
            > > Tim
            > >
            >
          • chcoa
            Obviously I m not involved in this test but I thought one of Andy s comments was not completely accurate and I decided to toss my 2 cents in. I don t think
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 1 4:02 PM
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              Obviously I'm not involved in this test but I thought one of Andy's
              comments was not completely accurate and I decided to toss my 2 cents
              in. I don't think waiting 4 hours for a water treatment to work is
              something outside of the backpacking relm. An example of such is
              quite common here in the desert where we regularly hike for several
              miles in dry country to end up camping at a water source. With a
              situation like this the water treatment happens at camp so waiting 4
              hours is not all that big of a hardship.

              I do agree with Andy that the testers shouldn't focus so much on why 4
              hours is a PITB, though. This is just how this product is designed to
              work. A comment or two on having to wait might be appropriate but not
              anything beyond that.

              Jamie D



              --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...>
              wrote:

              > In light of this, I think reports should focus on things like ease of
              > use, aftertaste of water, etc. rather than "how I got around the
              > 4-hour wait time by carrying way more water than I would have needed
              > to if I was using a filter, boiling, or some other chemical
              > alternative." Focusing on using this product while backpacking makes
              > us look like idiots, IMO, because we've selected the wrong product in
              > the first place.
              >
              > Of course, this is just MY view.
              >
            • pamwyant
              I m going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods may take up to 4 hours
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 1 9:24 PM
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                I'm going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water
                treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods
                may take up to 4 hours for protozoa/cysts, depending on water
                temperature and clarity. Read the back of Aqua Mira drops. I don't
                have any on hand, and can't find it readily on the website, but as I
                best recall it states it can take up to four hours for cysts. Read
                the labels of Iodine treatments. From the Potable Aqua
                website: "Potable Aqua is not effective against cryptosporidium
                cysts."


                Compare apples to apples. Potential long treatment time is one
                drawback of chemical methods.

                Pam Wyant
              • Andy Mytys
                Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that If water is very cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes. I can t say for sure if its affective
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 1 10:34 PM
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                  Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that "If water is very
                  cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes."

                  I can't say for sure if its affective against cryptosporidium,
                  tapeworms, or viruses. I do know it works against Giardia.

                  I must admit that I find it more that slightly troubling that I can't
                  find any official information on the web as to what exactly Aqua Mira
                  is good for, beyond making water "taste better" in some cases,
                  preserving stored water, and killing bacteria in water.

                  I wish that these chemical oompanies had disclosure to the level of
                  filters, where you're told what the product works on and, more
                  importantly, what it doesn't work on.

                  --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > I'm going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water
                  > treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods
                  > may take up to 4 hours for protozoa/cysts, depending on water
                  > temperature and clarity. Read the back of Aqua Mira drops. I don't
                  > have any on hand, and can't find it readily on the website, but as I
                  > best recall it states it can take up to four hours for cysts. Read
                  > the labels of Iodine treatments. From the Potable Aqua
                  > website: "Potable Aqua is not effective against cryptosporidium
                  > cysts."
                  >
                  >
                  > Compare apples to apples. Potential long treatment time is one
                  > drawback of chemical methods.
                  >
                  > Pam Wyant
                  >
                • S
                  It s easy to tell what exactly can be caught by a filter making filter disclosure easy. Either the critters are bigger than the filter or they re not. For
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 1 11:49 PM
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                    It's easy to tell what exactly can be caught by a filter making filter "disclosure" easy. Either
                    the critters are bigger than the filter or they're not. For instance, giardia are pretty huge,
                    so just a filter works well grabbing most of them. There's going to be more variability with
                    the chemical treatments: which chemical treatment is used, water temperature, pH, water
                    chemistry. Iodine is really common, I've used it a bunch, but it tastes gross. In addition to
                    tasting better than iodine treatments, chlorine dioxide solutions (e.g. Aqua Mira) are
                    actually quite effective against cryptosporidium, unlike the iodine products. When you get
                    down to the tiny viruses, typical filters are useless. Even chemical treatments aren't great.
                    In fact, many viruses survive even big city chemical treatment plants. They are best
                    inactivated by boiling the water, if viruses are even a problem where you're hiking (they're
                    no biggie in the Sierras). Sorry, I know nothing about tapeworms. Maybe the eggs are big
                    enough to get caught in a typical 0.2 micron filter?? UV treatment kills off all sorts of stuff.
                    I take advantage of that by filtering surface water from lakes (or just under the surface if
                    there's a lot of pollen or other floaties). A nice double-death-whammy.


                    --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that "If water is very
                    > cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes."
                    >
                    > I can't say for sure if its affective against cryptosporidium,
                    > tapeworms, or viruses. I do know it works against Giardia.
                    >
                    > I must admit that I find it more that slightly troubling that I can't
                    > find any official information on the web as to what exactly Aqua Mira
                    > is good for, beyond making water "taste better" in some cases,
                    > preserving stored water, and killing bacteria in water.
                    >
                    > I wish that these chemical oompanies had disclosure to the level of
                    > filters, where you're told what the product works on and, more
                    > importantly, what it doesn't work on.
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